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. Although progress continues, government institutions have faced challenges in controlling endemic corruption, improving management of public services, protecting civil rights, and addressing the drivers of intolerance and radicalization. Under the U.S.-Indonesia Strategic Partnership, the United States and Indonesia work together to advance strong and resilient democratic societies while promoting international peace and security.
Inclusive democratic governance and human rights are foundational to economic, social, and political opportunity, which includes access to economic opportunity, improved environmental protection, education, and health, and engagement in all aspects of a society. 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 accountable and responsive democratic governance, and fortify resilience against intolerant and 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 civil society, promotes access to information and media, and strengthens a culture of diversity and pluralism. Examples of USAID’s contributions to Indonesia’s democratic resilience and governance include:
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. In 2018, the GOI took full ownership of LAPOR and with USAID support began integrating thousands of local complaints handling systems into LAPOR. Most government entities (over 19,500 ministries, district governments and technical working units at the local level) are now connected to LAPOR. In 2021, the GOI processed 76,656 complaints through LAPOR, with an average of 212 complaints every day. The LAPOR application continues to undergo upgrades to improve data integrity. As of November 2021, LAPOR has been implemented in 33 pilot ministries and local governments across the country. The Google Play store had recorded approximately 50,000 app downloads.
USAID supported the Research and Development Agency of the Indonesian Ministry of Law and Human Rights to upgrade its Law and Human Rights Information System, known as SIPKUMHAM. The upgrade, which allows the system to glean human rights violation information from online and social media, will improve the quality of human rights reports used by the Indonesian government to make policy decisions. SIPKUMHAM is publicly accessible through an online registration and will feature data collaboration with civil society organizations (CSOs), academia, and the media.
With USAID support, Indonesia makes online criminal court proceedings legal, ensuring continuity of justice during COVID-19. In response to unscheduled courtroom closures and other disruptions to the delivery of justice in 2020 caused by COVID-19, USAID assisted Indonesia in developing a protocol for holding criminal case proceedings online. The protocol, which was finalized and implemented as a Supreme Court regulation, made online criminal court proceedings legal. As a result of this regulation—the first of its kind in Indonesia—nearly 60 percent (excluding traffic violations) of all criminal court proceedings in 2020 were conducted online. With the ability to facilitate remote participation in court proceedings, Indonesia has maintained a functioning justice system during the pandemic. The regulation is expected to stay in place even after the pandemic subsides.
STRENGTHENING A CULTURE OF ACCOUNTABILITY
A government that is effective, transparent, and accountable to its citizens is a key GOI priority. USAID supports GOI in its corruption prevention efforts and promoting integrity in public and private sectors. Specifically, USAID encourages policies and practices that reduce conflicts of interest, improves cooperation among key actors engaged in anti-corruption efforts, such asIndonesia’s Anti-Graft Body, Indonesia Corruption Watch, Kemitraan, and Transparency International Indonesia, and increases public education and participation in anti-corruption efforts. USAID also strengthens public-interest media and CSOs advocating to ensure government accountability, hold business interests to account, and counter misinformation and disinformation. The project provides investigative journalism training and supports media coverage of citizen rights issues.
PROMOTING PROTECTION OF CITIZEN RIGHTS
Indonesia continues to face challenges in ensuring the 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, media associations, and university partners, to improve access to government services and improve citizens’ ability to advocate for their rights. In particular, the voices of religious and ethnic minorities, indigenous populations, women, children, the poor, marginalized individuals, and groups vulnerable to discrimination and violence need to be heard. This effort is to promote tolerance, counter violent extremism, and advance public participation through strengthening of civil society and promoting accountable and healthy citizen-government engagement.
SUPPORTING PROVINCIAL AND DISTRICT GOVERNMENTS
Indonesia has made significant progress in promoting democratic systems and improving local public services and civic participation since decentralization reforms began in the Reformasi period. However, a lack of government capacity at provincial and district levels, poor accountability, weak mechanisms for civic engagement, and increasing intolerance threaten the gains made to date. USAID supports the GOI to improve policy implementation and service delivery for the benefit of all citizens. This partnership helps national, provincial, and local governments strengthen coherence of policies, policy implementation, and budget planning and execution. USAID’s work also aims to increase accountability and enable incentives so that government services are delivered in a transparent and effective manner.
SUPPORTING CIVIL SOCIETY
Through grants and technical assistance, USAID assists local CSOs to enhance their effectiveness by improving their operational systems, expanding their constituency and stakeholder reach and relevance, and encouraging sustainable means of mobilizing financial resources. Furthermore, USAID encourages CSOs to expand networks by leading learning forums and partnering with other CSOs to strengthen local government accountability, promote tolerance, and facilitate more effective citizen participation in their communities. USAID also helps CSOs increase citizen awareness about COVID-19 and improve local government responsiveness.
STRENGTHENING INCLUSION AND RESILIENCE
In recent years, Indonesia’s tradition of political, social, and religious tolerance has come under threat from individuals and organizations promoting a narrow vision of Indonesian identity. The underlying grievances fueling this threat have led to violent acts and increasing efforts to restrict individual and group freedoms. USAID extends technical support to key GOI and other Indonesian institutions combating extremism and building resilience against intolerance and radicalism. USAID engages government institutions, civil society, the national media and education institutions to mitigate the risk of recruitment into violent extremist organizations, and reintegrate reformed extremists and their families into Indonesian society. In line with these initiatives, USAID supports grassroots movements that advance tolerance and pluralism in Indonesia and works with young Indonesians to discover ways to manage differences constructively.