Village Governance and Community Empowerment Study (Sentinel Villages)

Team Member: Palmira Permata Bachtiar, Rendy Adriyan Diningrat, Gema Satria Mayang Sedyadi, Ulfah Alifia , Kartawijaya
Completion Year:
Jawa Tengah, Nusa Tenggara Timur, Jambi
Livelihood & Community Development, Governance, Institutions, and Decentralization

Collaborating Partners

Funding Body :

World Bank


Description & Progress

The study will observe how the first two years of the implementation affects village governance—whether the embodiment of good governance principles (participation, transparency, and accountability) can be translated into managing the village resources in an accountable manner to benefit the general community; how various groups in the community respond to the VL implementation; and what the key contributing factors are that influence implementation (including roles of different institutions and experience with CDD/PNPM). 



The passage of Law 6/2014 on Villages (Village Law, VL) provides opportunities to improve village governance in Indonesia by incorporating good governance principles of community participation, transparency, and downward accountability, and providing more resources and autonomy to villages. Despite the Law’s  multiple accountability mechanisms, such as giving back power to the village council (Badan Permusyawaratan Desa, BPD) as community representatives, instituting village deliberation forum (Musyawarah Desa, Musdes) to enhance general community participation and provide transparency on government operations, and reporting to district government, given that many village governments will be managing large resources with limited practices in such good governance measures, concerns have been raised about potential misuse of funds, misalignment of priority development needs between village government and the community at large, and increased exclusion of marginalized groups from development processes.  Hence, it is important to observe how these good governance principles are practiced, especially in the early years of the VL implementation.

Responding to the implementation of the new Village Law, SMERU – with the support from the World Bank - initiated a study to monitor the implementation of the Village Law in five districts in three provinces, namely Jambi, Central Java and East Nusa Tenggara. The study comprise of three components: a baseline and endline study; a mini case study; and field monitoring activities. The takes place over 23 months, from August 2015 to June 2017. 



The study will track the VL implementation progress in the next two years with the objectives to:

  1. Examine whether VL implementation is following the stipulated principles of participation, transparency, and accountability in village governance processes. 
  2. Observe whether VL implementation is leading to more responsive village government as reflected in the decisions that correspond to community priorities.
  3. Examine whether the existence of local institutions (such as BPD and/or 'adat' council) and village activists (such as ex PNPM actors) influence the implementation of VL.  



Up to December 2017, the study has produced the following outputs: (i) a baseline report; (ii) a case study report on Benefits of Village Expenditure; (iii) a thematic study on Village Facilitation; (iv) policy briefs on three issues: Transfer of Authority to Subdistrict; Enhancing Capacity of Village Council; and Disbursement Issues of Village Fund; (v) short papers on five issues: Village Leadership; Village Facilitators; Village Transect; Training of Village Facilitators; and Village Facilitators; (vi) papers on three issues presented in a conference: Participation, Village Fund & Inequality, and Village Leadership; (vii) biannual reports; and (viii) supervision reports. The team is currently writing another policy brief on the issue of village supervision. The team has presented outputs on the issues of Benefits of Village Expenditure, Village Facilitation, The Roles of Supravillage, and Village Planning to the World Bank and target stakeholders.

In March 2018, the team is expected to finalize the instruments for the endline study. The field visit for the endline study will take place in April 2018. Prior to that, the field researchers will be called for a retreat and analysis of monitoring data which has been collected during December 2015–March 2018.



The study will be longitudinal (22 months) using both qualitative and quantitative methods. The quantitative component will be handle by a team of experienced enumerators in PSF. SMERU will thus be responsible for the qualitative component only.


Sources of Data

Interview with key actors in the community, review various documents (plans, budget documents, minutes of meetings and village regulations).  In addition, the study will use focus group discussions to get general views from women, the poor and marginalized groups, to be followed up with in-depth interviews. The study would also collect information from related actors at the kabupaten level, such as kabupaten officials (Bappeda, PMD), DPRD members, and NGOs/CSOs. 



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