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Democratic Resilience and Governance

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A man of indigenous Papuan descent queues for public health center services in Wamena District, Papua. USAID Indonesia improves access to better basic services for vulnerable groups, particularly in eastern Indonesia, where demand is high.
Luthfi Ashari, USAID/Indonesia

Over the last two decades, Indonesia has emerged as a regional leader whose democracy, prosperity, and continued stability are critical to the Indo-Pacific region. While this young democracy continues to make progress, government institutions still struggle to control endemic corruption, improve management of public services, protect citizen rights and address the drivers of violent extremism and radicalization. Under the U.S.-Indonesia Strategic Partnership, the United States and Indonesia, two of the largest democratic countries in the world, advance strong and resilient democratic societies while promoting international peace and security.    

Democratic governance and human rights are critical components of sustainable development and lasting peace. On behalf of the American people, the U.S. Government through the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) partners with the people and Government of Indonesia (GOI) to reduce poverty, strengthen democratic governance, and fortify resilience against extremist influences. USAID supports Indonesia’s efforts to advance an inclusive, just, and accountable democracy that protects all citizens’ rights, roots out corruption, engages with an active civil society and media, and strengthens a culture of pluralism and tolerance.

  • Using a USAID-designed and piloted integrated national complaints handling system, called LAPOR, the Government of Indonesia is streamlining its process for collecting public feedback on the quality of services. As of 2019, GOI had connected over 600 hundred government institutions (ministries, agencies, district governments and public services units) to LAPOR and is planning to connect all remaining government entities in the near future. Through LAPOR, citizens now have greater access to a more responsive and accountable government.

  • USAID advocacy and assistance, GOI added $500,000 to its legal aid budget in 2019, bringing the total to $3.8 million, enough to provide legal aid to over 60,500 citizens, increasing access to justice for some of the most marginalized citizens.

  • USAID supported the establishment and implementation of Indonesia’s nascent development assistance agency, which will enhance Indonesia's role as a strategic partner for countries in the Asia Pacific region. In October 2019, the Government of Indonesia established the Indonesian Agency for International Development (“IndoAID”), a huge step for Indonesia's transition to a donor country in its own right.



As a founding member of the Open Government Partnership, Indonesia declared that openness is a necessity for a modern government and is the key to public service improvement and economic growth. Government that is effective, transparent and accountable to its citizens is a key GOI priority. USAID partners with a wide range of GOI accountability institutions to sustain and deepen reform efforts and produce more transparent and higher performing anti-corruption bodies responsive to citizens’ needs. USAID works to strengthen the capacity, performance and public outreach of Indonesian accountability institutions and improve public access to budget information. USAID also works with partners to enhance accountability in the health, education, and environment sectors by developing systems that reduce opportunities for corruption.  Further, USAID engages universities, civil society organizations (CSOs), and think tanks in devising anti-corruption strategies.


Indonesia continues to face challenges in ensuring the impartial and effective protection of rights and equal access to justice for its citizens. USAID supports the work of relevant GOI agencies and reputable CSOs, including legal aid organizations and university partners, to improve access to justice, strengthen the capacity of citizens to advocate for their rights, and advocate for the protection of human rights for target groups (religious and ethnic minorities, indigenous populations, women, children, the poor, marginalized individuals, and groups vulnerable to discrimination and violence) in priority provinces.


USAID works with local governments and civil society groups to improve their ability to protect vulnerable citizens, focusing activities in Eastern Indonesia, where gender-based violence (GBV) rates are proportionally higher. USAID advocates for improved anti-GBV policies in partnership with local civil society organizations and the local governments of both Papua and West Papua provinces, where nearly 90 percent of women report experiencing GBV. Program activities focus on assisting government in-service delivery to those affected by GBV and empowering women and men to become agents of social change by helping them change their attitudes, perceptions and behaviors related to GBV.


Indonesia has made remarkable progress in promoting democratic systems and improving local public services and civic participation since decentralization reforms began during the Reformasi period. However, a lack of sub-national government capacity, poor accountability, and increasing intolerance threaten successful decentralization. Through grants and technical assistance, USAID empowers local CSOs to become more effective by improving their operational systems, expanding their constituency and stakeholder reach and relevance, and building up sustainable means of mobilizing public and private financial resources. Furthermore, USAID encourages CSOs to expand networks by leading learning forums and partnering with other CSOs to promote better frontline service delivery, facilitating more effective citizen participation in their communities.


In recent years, Indonesia’s tradition of political, social and religious tolerance has come under threat from individuals and organizations promoting an exclusionary form of Indonesian identity. The underlying grievances fueling this threat have led to a spate of violent acts. Recognizing that development plays a critical role in addressing these grievances, USAID extends technical support to the key GOI institutions combating terrorism and building resilience against radicalism. USAID engages key government institutions, civil society and the education sector to mitigate the risk of recruitment into violent extremist organizations, strengthen the resilience of Indonesian migrant workers, and reintegrate reformed extremists into Indonesian society. In line with these initiatives, USAID supports various grassroots movements that advance tolerance and pluralism in Indonesia.


Last updated: June 24, 2020

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