Palu, March 24, 2010 - The PNPM initiated by the Government of Indonesia (GoI) has inspired some local governments to follow the model for accelerating poverty alleviation in their areas. Previously, there are BKPG (Fund for Village Welfare Assistance) commenced by Aceh Province and RESPEK program (Strategic Plan for Village Development) initiated by Papua and West Papua Provinces. Now Palu City Government in Central Sulawesi created similar program named PDPM. The three programs use PNPM mechanism where community assess their problems, discuss the solutions, plan and conduct development activities, monitor and maintain the development.
"PDPM is created to continue PNPM when it is finished," said Rusdi Mastura – Mayor of Palu, during radio talk show in Palu (Central Sulawesi) on March 24. Fund for PDPM is purely taken from the city budget (APBD). Each ward (kelurahan) receives Rp 115-200 million (approximately $12,600 to $22,000) for their development programs. Until now, Palu City Government has provided PDPM fund as much as Rp 5 billion or around $550,000.
Related to PNPM, the Mayor said that total amount of PNPM fund received until now is Rp 25 billion or around $2.7 million. He claims that the fund helps the city to decrease the number of poor households from 13,000 to 11,000. "Around 2,000 households have been moved out from poverty line," he said.
This success encourages the government to do more efforts to alleviate poverty in their city. Vice Mayor of Palu, Andi Mulhanan Tombolotutu stated that PNPM has inspired other pro-poor programs at village level. The government now integrates all poverty alleviation programs done by each government institution to ensure that they answer community needs.
The Mayor and his team believe that partnership is very important to achieve their goal in alleviating poverty. Partnership – according to him – is needed to guarantee program sustainability. "We always try to develop the platform based on 3 pillars: community, government and private sector," said the Vice Mayor. Private sectors should be motivated to give contribution to poverty alleviation programs. The target is CSR (Corporate Social Responsibility) programs from private companies. "In the near future, we will have a meeting with private sector to present our development programs. Then, we will ask for their contribution," explained the Mayor.
However, he realizes that to get support from private sectors, transparency and accountability of program implementation should be guaranteed. Arifudin Tahawila – Coordinator of BKM (community organization) from Village Lambara – testified that trust building is very important to get partners. "Since the beginning, we coach the community in developing and selling the proposal to other institutions. We come as BKM and it guarantees the quality of transparency and accountability. Why? Because BKM was elected by community, not appointed by the government. Therefore, our partners have trust on us." Arifudin admits that his BKM never experience any problem in working with other institutions.
Partnering with private sector – according to the Vice Mayor – forces the government and BKM to be clear about what they need."In order to get support from them, we should be clear about what we need. I am sure they will ask, how they can contribute. If we can not answer this question, it will be difficult for them to help us." For that reason, strengthening community entities and capacity building will be done intensively.
In the future, the Mayor has more expectation from BKM. "BKM should play more important role. I want BKM to facilitate the community to get assistance from other institutions such as banks and business sector," he said.
Besides partnership, Palu City Government is planning to strengthen government institutions in managing poverty alleviation programs, strengthening competitive PDPM among villages and standardizing poverty data. In addition to that, evaluation on program harmonization will be done routinely.
Agustina, program beneficiary who attended the talk show spoke up about the benefit she has taken from the program. "Previously, I had problem in getting fund for my small business. I sell yellow-rice at schools. I borrowed money from koperasi but the interest was very high. Finally, I got fund from PNPM-Urban. At the beginning I only received Rp 500,000 ($55) but now my business becomes bigger as much as Rp 6 million ($660)," she said. Koperasi is an economic enterprise at a village.
About PNPM Mandiri
The National Program of Community Empowerment (PNPM) Mandiri is a national program in the form of a policy framework as a basis and reference for implementing community empowerment-based poverty reduction programs. This program was launched by the Government in Palu in 2007 and will be implemented up to 2015, in line with the time target of achieving the MDGs (Millenium Development Goals). It is expected that, for the period 2007 – 2015, the capital of community independency has been created so that program sustainability can be realized. The implementation of PNPM Mandiri is commenced with the Sub-district Development Program (SDP).
The objective of PNPM Mandiri is to independently improve the welfare and employment opportunities of poor communities, by enhancing community participation and capacity to settle a variety of problems related to the efforts of improving their life quality, independency and welfare by efficiently using their social and economic potential.