The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic that hit Indonesia in the first quarter of 2020 has led to the collapse of economic activities. Unemployment rates increased and many workers were laid off or their working hours were reduced. In response to this, the government has attempted to improve the employment indicators through the National Economic Recovery (PEN) program. The PEN program is a series of projects that aim to recover the national economy by accelerating the handling of the COVID-19 pandemic. This program aims at protecting, maintaining, and improving the economic capacities of business actors in running their businesses, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic.
In 2020, the budget for the PEN program managed by the Ministry of Labor was 29.7 trillion rupiah. In 2021, it was 9.7 trillion rupiah, with 90.05% of the budget allocated for the Wage Subsidy Assistance (BSU) program, 8.45% for the Unemployment Benefit, and 1.50% for other programs. The PEN program which targeted the employment sector includes BSU, Pre-employment Card, Micro Business Productive Assistance (BPUM), and labor intensive program managed by the Ministry of Labor and other ministries/agencies.
Considering the large amount of budget that the government has allocated for handling the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, there needs to be an evaluation of the programs/projects using the budget. The evaluation will be focused on the PEN program under the coordination of the Ministry of Labor. It is expected that the results of the evaluation will be able to capture the effectiveness and efficiency of the PEN program’s implementation in the employment sector and give recommendations to improve protection programs for workers, especially during an economic shock.
Specifically, the objectives of the study on the Evaluation of the Implementation of the PEN Program under the Ministry of Labor are as follows.
- Evaluate the implementation of the PEN program under the Ministry of Labor in supporting economic recovery during the COVID-19 pandemic, from the planning, implementation, to evaluation
- Provide recommendations for an adaptive worker protection program, especially when an economic shock like the COVID-19 pandemic occurs
The study uses the qualitative approach. Data and information will be obtained and explored using desk review and focus group discussions (FGDs) with stakeholders of the PEN program, particularly the one managed by the Ministry of Labor for the 2020–2021 budget year.
The desk review will be carried out by reviewing numerous regulations and study results on the PEN program in general and the PEN program under the Ministry of Labor for the 2020–2021 budget year.
A series of FGDs will be held with various stakeholders to explore the background, planning, implementation, and monitoring and evaluation of the PEN program under at the Ministry of Labor. Discussions will also be held with institutions that have conducted research on the PEN program under the Ministry of Labor for the 2020–2021 budget year. In addition, FGDs will be held with the Ministry of National Development Planning (PPN)/Bappenas, Ministry of Finance, Social Security Implementing Agency (BPJS)-Employment, National Team for the Acceleration of Poverty Reduction (TNP2K), Labor Union, Indonesian Employers’ Association (Apindo), and Indonesian National Chamber of Commerce and Industry (Kadin) to discuss and invite input on adaptive social protection programs during economic shocks.