Infest Yogyakarta: The Village Doesn’t Need to Be Afraid of Innovation

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The village does not need to be afraid to innovate, as long as it does not violate the rules.

This sentence was one of the conclusions of the open discussion held by Infest Yogyakarta on Saturday (02/10/18) at the Jogja National Museum (JNM). The discussion themed around “Breaking the Generalisation: Village Strengthening Innovation and Community Participation in Development”, was part of a series of activities of Jagongan Rakyat Media (JMR 2018).

The open discussion facilitated by Irsyadul Ibad (Executive Director of Infest Yogyakarta), was attended by the Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK), represented by Benidictus Siumlala MS (Beni) from the KPK’s Directorate of Education and Community Services. In addition to the KPK, in attendance was also Simon Edward as a representative from the Directorate General of PKP Kemendesa PDT, and Transmigration Ministry of Home Affairs, as well as Irma Nurul Fastikah as a representative from the Wonosobo District Government, Dulrohim as the Head of Ngadikerso Village in Wonosobo District, and Saptoyo, a representative of the Gunung Kidul Regent’s Expert Staff.

Open Data Finance Simplifies Community Access

“Open Data” is not merely the introduction of information systems, as it must also go through a number of activities. This activity was organized by Infest Yogyakarta together with the Wonosobo District Government, beginning with a series of activities ranging from “Appreciative Village Planning”, “Improving the Governance of Village Information Services”, “Strengthening Village Financial Governance”, to “Open Village Financial Data”.

Wonosobo District is a model for an example of open financial village data. The launch of Wonosobo as a pilot area was officially determined through the programs “Launching of Wonosobo District as a Pilot Model for Open Village Financial Data” and “National Seminar on Open Data and Participation in Village Development”. The event which was run as a cooperation between Infest Yogyakarta and the Wonosobo Regency Government, was held in Wonosobo Pendopo, on Tuesday (07/18/17).

According to the head of Ngadikerso village, Dulrohim, his village no longer makes mistakes in calculating their budget. This occured after the application of open village financial data using the “mitradesa” application. Likewise, the evaluation and clarification process is relatively easier, with the the villagers having a better understand that the funds are not large enough to be used for all their needs.

“Our village formed a team made up of 21 volunteer personnel, who have the innovation to change their village without incentives. When drafting the APBDes, the team joined regular, non-formal activities of citizens,” explained Dulrohim in front of the speakers and discussion participants.

In addition to the Head of Ngadikerso Village, a representative from the Wonosobo District Government Irma Nurul Fastikah also expressed the same idea. According to Irma, implementing open village financial data would enable the village government to openly share their data on village financial management to village fund supervisors, including the National Police who come to ask for data.

“We have developed a Village Appreciative of Planning and citizens are involved in every stage of the village development. This is a shared responsibility, and as such we need a media or platform to accompany it, so there is no suspicion among us. We currently use open village financial data which can be accessed by anyone, so the villages are now competing to become the best at managing village funds,” said Irma.

Irma also emphasized that, although currently the application of open data is running, the process was quite long. The application of open data initiated by Infest Yogyakarta was accompanied by a number of challenges, especially since the Village Government had previously used the Village Financial System (Siskeudes). As a result, the process saw a rejection by a number of villages, however open data through the “mitradesa” application is not something that is unchangeable. During its implementation, the Wonosobo District Government and Infest Yogyakarta greatly appreciated each proposed change which was appropriate to the proposals of the District Government and the Village Government.

“Because all this time they have used the Siskeude application, whereas we (the Wonosobo District Government) have a commitment that all villages can be accessed not only by the district and village governments, but also by the citizens. It turns out that with open financial data through the Mitradesa application, citizens are now able to access village financial reports” explained Irma.

Improve Poverty Data Through SID

In addition to learning from Wonosobo, other important knowledge can be gathered from the presentation of Saptoyo, Expert Staff of the Gunung Kidul Regent. One of the lessons delivered by Saptoyo was on the application of the Village Information System (SID) in Gunung Kidul Regency. SID in Gunung Kidul was developed by the Combine Resource Institute (CRI).

According to Saptoyo, the development of the implementation of SID in the Gunung Kidul Regency villages was very diverse. This is because the social condition of every village is different, some being a fast process, some taking longer. But there is now progress in its development.

“Regarding the issue of poverty, the problem is the number of government programs that have not reached their targets. There is overlapping data, for example double health insurance cards. People who have passed away still appear to be recipients of the program. The villages, as data sources and institutions, do not hold the data,” said Saptoyo.

Saptoyo added that the flow of funds to the village was increasing, but the villages did not have data from individual sectors for basic planning. Each ministry has its own program with its own versions, which are not yet integrated. One example that cannot be tracked in Gunung Kidul is household expenditure, to determine whether they are considered poor or not. Even though they may have a lot of land, stored harvests, and vegetables available, shopping for expenses has not yet been calculated.

Increasing the validation of data every year is one form of strategy to reduce poverty. The integration of poverty alleviation programs, every year, creates a clear picture if any citizens who have not entered the data. This poverty data is processed through SID.
Overall APH oversee village funds, with both some positive and negative sides. The village funds may be on target, but itthey need the right formulas for assistance.

Innovation Brings Good Practices

On the same occasion, representatives from the KPK and the Ministry of Home Affairs showed their appreciation for the efforts of the innovative villages. Benidictus Siumlala MS (Beni) from the Directorate of Education and Community Services at the KPK, also stressed that villages do not need to be afraid of the process of village fund use supervision, or the oversight carried out by the National Police. Regarding the supervision of village funds carried out by the National Police at the village level, the KPK suggested that the Village Governments do not have to worry because to date, the number of Babinkamtibmas in the village is limited compared to the number of villages throughout Indonesia. Also important is the lack of capacity of Babinkamtibmas in guarding the management of village funds.

This was also expressed by Simon Edward, a representative from the Directorate General of PKP Kemendesa PDT and Transmigration, Ministry of Home Affairs. The MOU between Kemendes and the National Police is expected to result in a strengthening of literacy for village officials, and increasing knowledge. Get into the realm of prevention, not handling. There is nothing to fear in supervision as long as the rules are still followed.

Meanwhile, according to Irsyadul Ibad, as a facilitator of the discussion, the innovations that have been carried out in Wonosobo and Gunung Kidul have succeeded in bringing about good practices and a variety of learning. These positive developments need to be appreciated by the government at various levels. In addition, the learning needs to be mainstreamed so that it can encourage other villages to learn. The varieties of learning also need to be conveyed to policy makers at the national level, to provide new insights into decision making related to the village. So, the village does not need to be afraid to innovate as long as it does not violate the rules. [Alimah]

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