Kompas newspaper last week wrote the news that gives hope that this year the poverty rate in Indonesia will be below 10 percent. However, whenever the government develops the program, the series of activities are generally unfocused so that by the end of the year the achievement does not go unnoticed.
This experience lasts very long. In the era of President Soeharto, the planning and direction of the program was done gradually with clear objectives so that in 1997 we won the UN award for succeeding in reducing poverty level from 70 percent in 1970 to 11 percent.
President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, we do not follow directions. There are indeed Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) strategies, but not tightly guarded so that targets are not achieved.
There is a reason why we hope that by the end of this year the poverty rate will be in single digits. For three consecutive years, the government implemented a massive and serious development of villages and suburbs. The direction of President Joko Widodo is very appropriate because the village is targeted.
In addition to starting from the outskirts and serving remote and unreachable villages, we need to build large-scale concentrations in densely populated villages and poor families.
Build a Poor Family
Suburbs that are never reached and poor facilities require more attention. However, since the population is usually small, it needs to be paid attention to the densely populated villages of poor families. Otherwise, the national impact in terms of poverty alleviation will be very low. Although the starting point and the developed program have not been specifically aimed at reducing the poverty rate directly, we can read the preliminary results of the economic development efforts of the village people in order to be more systematic in their implementation into the future.
It is encouraging that within three years the people can see and witness the commitment of President Jokowi, as evidenced by the seriousness of the government’s assignment and responsibility to the Village Minister, the Development of Disadvantaged Regions and Transmigration Eko Putro Sandjojo, together with other officers and ministries guarding the development with high priority in the countryside. Another concrete evidence is that village funds are increasing year by year.
Moreover, according to the status of December 31, 2017, the budget ceiling of the 2017 budget year is Rp 60 trillion. The funds have been transferred to 33 provinces, 434 districts / cities, 6,453 sub-districts, and 74,910 villages.
Village funds transferred from the center to districts reach 100 percent. Village funds transferred from district to city reach 94 percent. That is, the speed of absorption of village funds in fiscal year 2017 is consistently high.
The absorption of village funds is still very varied, but the highest use-in accordance with government policy-is for the construction of village facilities and infrastructure, Rp 28 trillion or 59 percent of all funds disbursed. However, compared to 2016, it declined 23 percent from 82 percent. The decrease in the percentage of village facilities and infrastructure development occurred because the funds began to be diverted for basic needs and village governance so that the role of village funds for basic needs rose by 10 percent.
The transfer to the fulfillment of the basic needs of poor families is very precise, and in the future results in a decrease in poverty.
From the aspect of the process, in order for the village development to run smoothly, there should be a village facilitator with a proportion of one assistant for 4 villages so that the total number of available assistants is around 40,000
Assistance is known to reduce 7 percent of obstacles in village financial administration. Currently under development of faculty and faculty of KKN from various universities are being developed. Hopefully, in 2018 will function more widely than ever before.
Counselors-will be developed from volunteers-in the future to function doubly, overseeing the funds to be used appropriately and not to be distorted and to assist the empowerment of poor families so that aid funds can be used for productive, selling, and profitable purposes.
Social groups in villages and KKN students can be voluntary companions and help empower poor families utilizing village funds or funds that are channeled through various offices from many ministries, as well as various other institutions.
In terms of reporting that is open to the public, the results of development of village facilities and infrastructures include 21,423 kilometers of village roads, 103 km of bridges and 986 units of boat moorings.
It can be noted also the result of the development of basic needs infrastructure for early childhood education in the form of early childhood education facilities, basic health facilities in the form of clean water 42,209 units, wells 6,334 units, toilet facilities or MCK 22,049 units, drainage 32,788 units, services for pregnant women and children under five 20,303 units, village polyclinic 2,568 units, and sports facilities in 12,794 villages that have been used by young people every village.
Education and Health
In 2018 efforts to complement education and health needs other than sourced from village funds, some are sourced from the funds of each ministry. Provision of funds in the field of early childhood education will enable children of young and poor families to enter early childhood so that their mother can work to increase family income, and automatically reduce the poverty of his family.
The improvement of village health facilities, such as toilets, posyandu, and polindes, will reduce the risk of illness for young and poor families so that they can be healthy and working.
To increase the utilization of natural resources, there is the construction of village embungs 881 units, land retention from landslides 13,660 units, construction and repair of irrigation 12,829 units.
For the development of local economic potentials, village funds, even at the initial level, are also used to build or repair 4,161 village markets in line with the construction of village-owned enterprises (BUMDes) in about 19,921 villages. The development of BUMDes is expected to be enriched by attracting and inviting village institutions in the past built by the PKK.
Higher labor market excitement outside agriculture allows villagers to work outside the agricultural field after working on their rice fields and gardens. This automatically increases the family income.
Efforts through BUMDes are not yet delivering remarkable results, but in 2018 BUMDes development will be faster. If not disturbed by political activity, the income of the community and the village family will increase sharply.
Labor absorption at the rural level increased 0.08 percent, as indicated by the working population to employment to population ratio (EPR) of 66.16 percent. This ratio informs the economic ability to create jobs.
This three-year effort-still relatively concentrated in the development of facilities and infrastructure-has not really been expected to increase the wage of workers. However, overall, the wages of workers, employees and employees increased by Rp 30,000 to Rp 2.03 million per month. The open unemployment rate (TPT) declined slightly by 0.51 percent (to 4 percent). Even a little, but the impact because the number of unemployed decreased 300,000, to 2.39 million inhabitants.
In terms of the impact can not be seen clearly through the decrease of poverty level because the fund for empowerment has not been developed significantly. Therefore, the poverty rate fell only 0.18 percent.
The number of poor people fell by 570,000 people and the index of poverty depth (P1) decreased 0.25 percent. That is, the average monthly expenditure of the poor is increasingly approaching the poverty line.
The poverty severity index (P2) decreased 0.12 percent, meaning that the disparity of expenditure among the poor decreased so that the rural inequality-although relatively small is seen to decrease, is indicated by a decrease in the gini ratio of 0.007.
It is our hope that if concentration in 2018 coupled with labor-intensive development plans and prioritized on poor families in densely populated areas, it is possible that the poverty rate will be marked by a single digit or at least close to a single digit. Insha Allah.
By: Haryono Suyono (Coordinating Minister for People’s Welfare and Poverty Eradication 1998-1999)