SPADA comprises two projects, SPADA National which covers 186 kecamatan in 32 disadvantaged kabupaten in eight provinces; and Aceh–Nias which covers 19 tsunami, earthquake and conflict–affected kabupaten in Aceh and North Sumatra provinces.
PNPM–SPADA is designed to bring PNPM–Rural experiences in participatory development planning and implementation mechanisms to the kabupaten level, and to build the capacity of local governments to deliver basic services in disadvantaged and post–conflict areas of the country. SPADA provides block grants for local planning and investment at the kabupaten and kecamatan levels, with sub–projects determined through participatory planning processes involving communities and multi–stakeholder groups at the kabupaten level. The project provides intensive technical assistance and training to local governments and citizen groups to improve the local government planning process, specifically to increase accountability, transparency and community participation. SPADA operates with an “open menu” system for the use of the block grants, but at least 30 percent of the district block grants must fund health and education sub–projects, and at least 5 percent of kecamatan grants are targeted to youth. Both SPADA National and SPADA Aceh–Nias are implemented by the Ministry of Disadvantaged Areas.
The SPADA National project amounts to US$134 million, of which 78 percent is financed through a World Bank loan and credit, and 22 percent is financed from national and local government resources and community contributions. The SPADA Aceh–Nias amounts to US$51.6 million, of which 72 percent is donor financed through trust funds and 28 percent GoI financed.
2010 Results and Key Achievements: After a slow start in 2007 and 2008, SPADA has significantly increased disbursements and utilization rates in 2009 and 2010. In 2010, 99 percent of the block grants for investments were disbursed, in the amount of US$27.8 million. A total of 1,888 sub–projects were completed in 2010: 946 infrastructure, 459 education, 338 health and 145 targeted to youth. In addition, a total of US$4.25 million in planning grants was disbursed for technical assistance for and training of more than 12,000 local governments and SPADA stakeholders.
Just as with other PNPM programs, the effectiveness of the program depends on intensive facilitation, technical assistance and supervision. The two SPADA projects have a team of 23 specialists in Jakarta and 58 specialists in 10 provinces. At the kabupaten level, SPADA has almost 300 professional staff members. Each participating kecamatan also has a resident, full–time, university–educated facilitator.
SPADA block grants are being used to complement local government resources for health, education, and basic infrastructure development, and to link community needs with local government priorities. In 2010, more than 800 health clinics and schools were rehabilitated or provided with improved access through roads and footpaths. As part of SPADA’s capacity development program, more than 57,000 teachers and health workers have been trained (over 40 percent women), as well as members of health and education committees, village facilitators and empowerment cadres.
The training aims to improve school management and health techniques, business development applications, and sub–project preparation and implementation. Local governments are reporting that this has improved access to water, markets, and education, and improved the health of young children and mothers. Community proposals that because of fiscal restraints were not funded by SPADA, have in several jurisdictions been included in regular Musrenbang (planning process) development plans. SPADA block grants have also opened up access to previously isolated villages, improved opportunities to start small businesses, and improved access to health and education services in disadvantaged communities.