The implementation of the Village Law and the sustainability of PNPM Rural
Village assistance is needed to improve local governance
The Village Law No.6/2014 passed by the House of Representatives on December 18, 2013 will result in a higher development budget for villages. It is estimated that a village, on average, will receive approximately Rp1.4 billion each year. For this reason, rules and guidelines are needed for the implementation of the law at the village level.
The law was initiated by the government in order to provide a stronger legal status for villages. It is also meant to insure that the central and regional governments transfer development funds to villages so the communities will be able to fulfill their basic needs.
“Now the village government can manage their own budget and decide the use of it,” said Budiman Sudjatmiko, vice chairman of the House’s Special Committee for the Village Bill (RUU Desa). He was speaking at a village forum called “Forum Desa Nusantara” held at Sambak Village in Kajoran Sub-district, Magelang Regency, province of Central Java, on February 8, 2014.
Forum Desa Nusantara dealt with the readiness of villages in implementing the new Village Law. The attendees included Akhmad Muqowam (Chairman of the Special Committee on the Village Bill), Ir. Tarmizi A Karim, MSc, (Director General of Community and Village Empowerment – Ministry of Home Affairs), Arie Sudjito (Sociologist of Gajah Mada University - UGM), Kholiq Arif (Wonosobo Regent), Drs. Heru Sudjatmoko, MSi (Central Java Vice Governor). Village officials from places across Indonesia also attended the forum. Among them were officials from Southeast Sulawesi, South Sulawesi, West Nusa Tenggara, and East Nusa Tenggara.
Tarmizi A. Karim said that the government will issue two Government Regulations (PP) by mid- 2014. The regulations will deal with the requirements for Desa Dinas, or the state’s administrative villages, and Desa Adat, or customary villages. It will also regulate village budget management. The two PPs will be part of the other PPs that will also be issued. “The government will issue 17 PPs in total as a guideline to the implementation of the Village Law,” he said.
In 2015 and 2016, villages will start receiving a significantly greater amount of development funds. These funds will be transferred throughout the nation in phases. Based on a simulation, the annual transfer for 73,000 villages can reach Rp104.6 trillion. This number is ten times higher than the total of this year’s PNPM funds.
The funds are aimed to increase the community’s welfare and aid development in villages. Villagers themselves must carry out the development by following RPJM, or the medium-term development planning, as well as the annual planning arranged by villagers in participatory meetings. The Village Law is expected to improve the accountability of the village governments in implementing PNPM activities such as village meetings and village information systems. Strengthening the village government then becomes an important part in the implementation of the Village Law.
The government is planning to incorporate PNPM Mandiri to help prepare villages before the Village Law is fully applied. The principles of PNPM Mandiri have been incorporated in the law as a result of cooperation and communication between the House of Representatives and the Government, especially the Directorate General of Community and Village Empowerment (PMD). These principles include participation, self-management, transparency, accountability, decision making through communal meetings, women’s participation, assistance, and monitoring.
“The Village Consultative Body (BPD) needs to help control the use of the funds,” said Arie Sudjito, the UGM sociologist.
In implementing the Village Law, villages need to be equipped with qualified officials with capabilities to manage the funds.
“For example, to arrange the village medium-term development planning (RPJM),” Arie Sudjito added.
Because they have to manage a huge amount of funds, village officials are expected to have adequate capability. Villages can utilize PNPM Mandiri resources to help develop their capabilities during the transition period before the law is fully applied.
In order to improve village governments, facilitators of PNPM Mandiri who have been assisting villagers under PNPM Rural programs can continue to assist them in applying the Village Law.
“The role of PNPM facilitators are very strategic, especially to assist with knowledge during the transition period,” explained Tarmizi A. Karim, Director General of Community and Village Empowerment (PMD).
See photo gallery of Forum Desa Nusantara here.