Indonesia: Opening insight: KPK saved the life of Mr. Rumi’s baby

Assistance in Preventing and Combating Corruption in Indonesia (APCC)
Entry for the Gender Competition 2017
Opening insight: KPK saved the life of Mr. Rumi’s baby
“Corruption not only stops counties from getting wealthier, it ruins peoples’ life.” says an
officer of the Indonesian Anticorruption commission (KPK) on a joint mission with the GIZ
Project on corruption prevention.
The team is traveling in July 2017 in a remote area of central Sumatra area (in Riau Province)
on dusty roads through dense palm oil plantations on a survey mission. They have met Mr
Rumi who explains to the team from KPK and GIZ that his wife is in labor. It is a risk birth,
because Ms. Rumi has lost her previous two children while giving birth. It is crucial she
received medical assistance, but Mr Rumi explains that although they have medical insurance
that the assistance should be free of charge for them, they cannot afford to call a doctor or
midwife.

The midwife as well as the doctor explained her that if the family wants to have medical
assistance, they have to pay for it. The total cost would be IDR 900.000 (65EUR) for the birth
and IDR 700.000 (50EUR) for the ambulance. The monthly income for the family is around Rp
1.000.000. (70EUR). Furthermore, the husband of Ms. Rumi explained, that they were asked
by the doctor to buy medication some days before.
The Officer from the Anticorruption commission intervenes and soon an ambulance arrives at
the house to bring Ms Rumi to the hospital, the new-born is for some days in a critical condition,
but with the right medical care is now well. The baby boys name is Rahman (means: blessing).
“It is a particularly cruel irony that medical care is among the worst in the country in many rural
areas of Indonesia where income from forestry is created. People living on the edge of the
forests who are devastated to fill the pockets of civil servants must go through enormous
distances to reach the nearest doctor.”

About the Project and Gender Strategy

Gender and RBM
The German Federal Government has been supporting the corruption prevention measures of the
Indonesian Government through a joint project that is implemented by Deutsche Gesellschaft fuer
Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ GmbH) and the Indonesian anticorruption Commission (KPK)
since 2007. The current project objective is “the KPK implements corruption prevention in selected
sectors and on sub-national level as planned in coordination with other governmental authorities and
civil society actors”.
Historically, KPK was built based on the fact that corruption has done a great damage to the Indonesian
economy and public trust. The Asian financial crisis heightened the awareness about the severity of the
impacts of corruption in Indonesia. KPK has a broad mandate to prevent and combat corruption in
Indonesia. Against all odds, the KPK has demonstrated a remarkable and unprecedented success. It
has investigated high ranking officials, some of them are from the most powerful entities in Indonesia,
and it was able to make 100 percent convictions. However, KPK has paid costs, some of them quite
steep, for its success. It has to continuously battle attempts to curtail its power. This contestation of
KPK’s power leaves KPK in a defensive mode. There appears to be no place for other discourse, such
as gender.
However, within the context of KPK duties which encompasses, among other things, education and
corruption prevention and its remarkable and unprecedented succes, the KPK has an ample room to
start a discourse on gender and corruption. Thus, as a GG1 project, we introduced one indicator that
specifically has concern on gender equality: “the KPK has tested the participation of civil society actors
(specifically those promoting women’s rights) in 4 sector specific pilot measures for the prevention of
corruption”. The selected pilot provinces are Riau and Banten. Through dialogue forum (regular
coordination meeting), the women organization express and convey their voice on how corruption
affected the women lives conditions. Therefore they determine the solution of the problem based on
women perspectives.

The strategic role of KPK will contribute to gender equality
Decentralisation has become an emerging trend since 2008 and governments (including Indonesia)
have been increasingly encouraged to decentralise their activities and shift decision making to the local
level in order to promote public participation, government accountability as well as responsiveness of
public policies and service delivery. Although decentralisation provides opportunities as well as entry
points for anti-corruption reform programmes, specific corruption risks and vulnerabilities are associated
with it. Corruption occurs in almost all sectors, local budget management (APBD), procurement of state
goods and services, natural resource management and licensing, and corruption in other sectors
Thus, KPK supported by GIZ in 2016, started its approach (through the Coordination and Supervision
Team on Corruption Prevention/Korsupgah) to closely monitor selected local governments in the
implementation of those three prone to corruption areas, by bringing government activities closer to the
people, making the public sector more responsive, transparent and accountable to the citizens to
promote greater transparency in the local allocation of public resources, making service delivery and
local investments more responsive to the local community needs, including the poor and marginalized
groups.

Currently, KPK perceives that this approach is successfully implemented to prevent corruption in
subnational level. Many local civil servants feel supported by KPK in implementing their innovative
ideas, get less intervention from the local parliament, motivated to do simple bureaucracy, have fair
remuneration system, able to increase local revenue, etc. Nevertheless, there are still many loopholes
for corruption and KPK cannot work alone with its limited resources. The limited resources in monitoring
the local governments can be answered one of them by community involvement, because the impact
of corruption on the community, both small and large scale corruptions have significant impact on the
impairment of rights to services that people should receive.

Public Participation, Women Participation
Seeing the opportunity that KPK has successfully approach the local governments, the project initiated
a pilot program to link local government in Riau Province with local communities in monitoring the
implementation of public services in Riau Province. In Riau province, since 2010 – 2016 there were 36
corruption cases handled by KPK, Police and prosecutor office. Corruption involved 292 perpetrators,
consisting of 3 Governors, 7 regents / mayors, 46 politicians (members of parliament), as well as
hundreds of bureaucrats and private officials. Thus, KPK has determined Riau Province as one of the
three areas as a corruption- prone area.
Encouraging public participation in the prevention of corruption is one of the recommendations of the
KPK for Riau Province government, because so far, public participation in monitoring the development
process has not been running optimally yet. The policy is in line with the efforts of KPK in its community
development program (Comdev). Collaboration between policy maker (Government) and community
(public) is considered successful if all parties involved have common understanding, values and
principles so that all parties will feel convenient to take actions. Organizing and strengthening dialog
forums becomes an effective way for designing collaborative building in decision making.
Thus, the pilot program was started by mapping which communities will be involved directly or indirectly
in every stage of the process in collaboration to carry out follow-up actions as agreed. After the mapping,
the selected communities are equipped with sufficient knowledge thereby they have common
knowledge on government (policy makers) and confident in delivering message and fact through
dialogue with decision makers.

There was a very challenging process in the beginning in facilitating dialogue between two parties (the
government always feels watched and critized by the local communities, while the local communities
always feels underestimated by the local government). Then, the solution was to enable the local
community to use better communication strategy in the dialogue forum, by not using intimidating words
in discussing the problem, then the local government officials who attended the dialogue forum felt more
open in expressing ideas on the public service activities they have undertaken and also able to freely
tell the challenges they face to improve the quality of the service. At the end, the local government
realized that they need local communities to give real feedback from the ground, what is still lacking
and needs to be improved. Even more, both parties established a joint forum which is called MARWAH
Forum.

Gender Based Participatory Action Research
Based on some hypotheses on public service situation that has been unveiled in dialog forums, the
Government, KPK and local community conduct Participatory Action Research (PAD) approach in 12
poorest villages in Riau province through Field Survey, In-depth Interview, Observation and Focus
Group Discussions FGD from May-August 2017. The Participatory Action Research concentrated on
public services in health, education, village fund as well as water management. Some of the local
communities involved are really focus on women empowerment.
The instrument and approach were formulated with strong consideration on gender perspective. Like
for example one special campaign session for women for each village, making use of the guest house
(base camp for surveyors) and its facilities that was organized by local women as well as questions in
the questionnaire (to identify the women’s participation, access, control, impacts of development policy
and its impact for women).
Besides Ms. Rumi’s case that was mentioned in the beginning, in other village, in a campaign session
for women, when the representation of district education and health offices presented about School
operational assistance fund (BOS) as well as national health security system, most of the participants
felt surprised that they did not know that they (1) do not need to pay the school fees and other fees for
their children as it is covered by BOS fund, (2) do have right to ask for generic medicines (3) can report
their complaints and many other facts.

In short, all of the findings from the Participatory Action Research are followed up by having the local
government as well as local communities in Riau developed their joint action plan. All of the points in
the action plan will be allocated in Riau Province annual budget.
Having seen this fact, KPK plans to replicate this approach in other 100 poor districts in Indonesia. KPK
realized that this kind of collaboration action needs to be replicated in other provinces, districts and
cities in Indonesia. Considering gender, for KPK, women are not only victim of corruption but can be
also potential partners to work with in preventing corruption in Indonesia, as long as they get access to
know their rights.

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