Prior to the implementation of Law No. 6/2014 on Villages (the “Village Law”), the prevailing policies on village areas were considered ineffective in bringing change at the village level, particularly in terms of village governance. The implementation of the Village Law thus offers new possibilities for village development, given that the Village Law views villages as being self-regulating and self-managing. This study is the baseline study of a two-year longitudinal study that observes how village administration mechanisms implemented principles of good governance (transparency, participation, and accountability) in the early years of the implementation of the Village Law. Qualitative methods were applied in this study by collecting information from FGDs and in-depth interviews, direct observation, transect walks, and the collection of documents. The study was conducted in 10 villages located within 10 kecamatan (subdistricts), in five kabupaten (districts) and three provinces in Indonesia.
There are three main findings from this baseline study. First, while good governance was practiced in all the study locations, there were varying levels of performance. Second, the practice of village governance did not fully accommodate the needs of all members of the community. Third, the role of institutions outside the villages studied was not optimized to assist in the process of village governance. Thus, several recommendations are provided based on these findings, including: (i) further socialization of the Village Law among village communities, BPD, and other institutions in the village; (ii) the implementation of central government regulations to encourage regional governments to provide more intensive assistance for village administration mechanisms; and (iii) directives for village facilitators to encourage the participation of poor and marginalized groups in the community more vigorously in the process of village planning.
Keywords: Village Law, governance, village administration, participation, village.