The National Program for Community Empowerment Mandiri (PNPM Mandiri) is a national program within the overall policy framework established to implement poverty alleviation programs, such as PNPM Rural which began in 1998 as Kecamatan Development Program (KDP) and PNPM Urban began in 1999 as the Urban Poverty Program (UPP). PNPM Mandiri was launched by the Government of Indonesia in Palu, Central Sulawesi, on 30 April 2007.
The National Program for Community Empowerment Mandiri (PNPM Mandiri) is the Indonesian Government’s flagship community-based poverty alleviation program. PNPM Mandiri uses a CommunityDrivenDevelopment (CDD) approach, providing direct block grants (BantuanLangsungMasyarakat/BLM) to local communities at the sub-district level to finance an open menu of local development priorities – typically small-scale social/economic infrastructure, education and health activities, and micro-loans to women’s savings groups – implemented with mechanisms to ensure broad-based participation and transparency.
The objective of the program is to improve economic and social welfare of the poor and expand their employment opportunities through community consultation, empowerment, and capacity building at the local level. Using the bottom up mechanism, the community is directly involved in the process. The central idea of the program is empowering communities where they also have independent and collective authority in deciding, and managing development acivities, and hold authorities accountable to ensure better development results.
PNPM is the world’s largest CDD program, with a nationwide coverage of more than 70,000 rural villages (covered through PNPM Rural) and urban wards (covered through PNPM Urban) in 32 of Indonesia’s 33 provinces. As a “laboratory” of learning, PNPM has also been helpful to other countries in terms of offering lessons learned and innovative practices for adaptation to other contexts.
PNPM Programs can be categorized based on community empowerment activities such as PNPM Mandiri Rural, PNPM Mandiri Urban, PNPM Mandiri Support for the Poor and Disadvantaged Areas (SPADA), PNPM Mandiri Rural Infrastructure (RIS), and PNPM Mandiri Regional Socio-Economic Infrastructure (RISE). These five programs are also supported by other community empowerment activities based on sector, region, and special community empowerment to support poverty reduction related to the achievement of specific sectors.
However, PNPM faces challenges in translating social accountability/transparency gains developed within the program into influence on development planning and service provision outside the program. Evidence also shows that PNPM is more effective in particular contexts (poor and remote, infrastructure deficient), which suggests that developing a more targeted approach could improve the overall impact for a range of indicators In 2010, the five GOI core PNPM programs disbursed over US$900million in block grant funds.
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