IO, Sintang – For four years World Vision Germany and Wahana Visi Indonesia (WVI), under the auspices of the European Union (EU), have assisted the people of West Kalimantan, in 50 villages, 10 sub-districts and 3 districts, through the Program for Strengthening the Role of Village Communities and Civil Society Organizations (CSO). This program – which concludes the project in a ceremony today – has brought many positive changes, especially in improving the quality of health facilities as well as regional commitments to become child-friendly regencies / cities.
The program received EU grant funding totaling EUR 650,000 and was intended for civil society organizations, child-friendly districts / cities (Kota Layak Anak/KLA) working groups, children’s forums, and local governments, with recipients involved in in basic health and community welfare sector policy development. 174 facilitators in 50 villages were trained and involved in dialogues and action with government functionaries and community inhabitants.
As a result, the three districts – Sintang, Melawi and Sekadau – are committed to become child-friendly regencies / cities, so that the budget for the health sector rises annually, according to project objectives. Puskesmas (Community Health Center) services are open 24 hours while the quality of services and facilities have improved in 40 Posyandu (Integrated Health Post for Child Health) and Puskesmas.
The participation of community organizations also encouraged upgrading of district expenditure allocations for the health sector in all three districts during the course of the Action. Referring to central government regulations, budget allocation for basic health and welfare is at minimum 10% of the total Annual District Government Budget (APBD). In Sintang, budget allocation for health has increased from IDR 174 billion or 9.51% (2016) to IDR 307 billion or 15.84% (2019). In Melawi, it increased from IDR 121 billion or 10.91% (2016) to IDR 157 billion or 13.44% (2019), while in Sekadau it increased from IDR 58 billion or 7.07% (2016) to IDR 70 billion or 8.14% (2019). The increased budget allocation is used for the construction and renovation of health facilities, such as Puskesmas, Posyandu, and the operational costs of Puskesmas. It is worth noting that there are multiple factors influencing local budgeting, particularly revenues from central government. Even though the Action cannot control district budgets, evidence is pertinent in terms of influencing budget allocations. Through CSO Coalition efforts, actions have inspired an increase in the health budget in three target districts.
In addition, the coalition of civil society organizations has successfully recommended to the regional governments the issuance of several regional regulations, such as:
Renewal of Decrees on child-friendly district task forces in Sintang, Melawi, and Sekadau
Melawi District Regulation Number 3 of 2018 concerning Child Protection
Sintang District Regulation Number 12 of 2018 concerning Local Action Plan on Food and Nutrition
Draft District Regulation on the Implementation of Child-Friendly District and Action Plan in 2018- 2021 in Sintang, Sekadau, and Melawi districts
In an address by H.E. Vincent Piket, EU Ambassador to Indonesia, read out by Mr Hans Farnhammer, Head of Cooperation of the Delegation of the European Union to Indonesia, the following was stated: “The EU is delighted to have supported transparency and accountability of public services and finances related to Child-Friendly Districts in Kalimantan, and we hope that the results contribute to creation of a comprehensive national child protection system in Indonesia to prevent and respond to violence, abuse, neglect and exploitation of children”.
“We appreciate the cooperation that has been carried out with the European Union since 2016. We hope that the regional government and community can continue cooperation. It will help us create a better environment for children to grow and develop optimally,” declared Doseba T. Sinay, National Director of Wahana Visi Indonesia (WVI). A similar program is implemented by WVI in East Nusa Tenggara, in Kupang, North Central Timor (TTU) and Sikka regencies.
Alysius, a facilitator in Rirang Jati Village, Nanga Taman district, Sekadau regency, said that in 2017 Rirang Jati Village only had one Posyandu and one village midwife. “Now we have 3 Posyandu, 2 health workers and many Posyandu cadres,” said Alysius. (OHW)