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Results Briefs December 22, 2017

Improving Education Quality in Indonesia’s Poor Rural and Remote Areas

In Indonesia, one in five teachers are absent from schools. The KIAT Guru pilot provides evidence-based policy recommendations to improve teacher presence, teacher service performance, and student learning outcomes. The impact evaluation was conducted in 270 disadvantaged villages, improving the capacity of 1,800 community representatives and the accountability of 1,700 teachers, all of which serve about 26,000 elementary school students.

Empowering community participation and tying allowance payment to improve teachers’ performance



High levels of teacher absenteeism are an obstacle to improving education service delivery and outcomes in Indonesia’s poor and remote areas . A 2014 survey by the Analytical and Capacity Development Partnership showed that one in five teachers was absent from remote schools. Various studies correlate teacher absenteeism with student absence, drop-out rates, and poor learning outcomes.  

The national budget for teacher salaries and allowances was approximately 50% of the education budget, or $16.5 million in 2016. As mandated by the 2005 Teacher Law, the Ministry of Education and Culture automatically provides teachers posted in special areas, including those in poor and remote locations, with an unconditional Special Allowance – a non-permanent stipend that is as large as the teacher’s base salary.

Unfortunately, recipients of the Special Allowance were found to have a higher rate of teacher absenteeism compared to those who did not receive the allowance in the same schools. Improved teacher welfare has not led to improved teacher performance or student learning outcomes. In addition, district governments are constrained in monitoring teachers in remote schools. In terms of learning outcomes, rural areas continued to significantly lag  behind urban areas.



The KIAT Guru Pilot aims to improve teacher presence and service performance by empowering communities and tying teacher allowances to performance. The pilot tests two mechanisms:

(1)    Community Empowerment, which provides community representatives with an explicit role to monitor and evaluate teacher service performance, and

(2)    Pay for Performance, which ties payment of the Special Allowance with teacher presence or teacher service quality.

The pilot began in late 2016 and will take place until June 2018, with regulatory umbrellas and financial support from national to local (district and village) levels. The pilot covers 203 villages (with impact evaluation in 270 villages) in five districts (Landak, Sintang and Ketapang District in West Kalimantan; and Manggarai Barat and Manggarai Timur in East Nusa Tenggara).


Teacher took photos with Android-based application called KIAT Kamera provided on a cellular phone  before the start and at the end of the school day. The time recorded is collected by the end of the month as proofs of teachers’ presence (Photo: Fauzan Ijazah).



  • After passing legislation that allowed the Ministry’s teacher allowances to be conditioned on performance – either on attendance or service quality, the pilot also empowered community representatives to hold teachers accountable in 203 pilot schools. As of November 2017, community representatives in all schools have conducted teacher monitoring and evaluation. In 135 schools, payment of the Special Allowance was based on either the teachers’ attendance, as verified by community representatives, or the service quality, as evaluated by community representatives.
  • In 2017, the Ministry, all five district governments, and 70% of the chosen village governments allocated co-funding for the pilot’s implementation. Initial results indicate that community satisfaction on teacher presence improved from 68% at the baseline to 90% by mid-2017, and on teacher service performance from 55% at the baseline to 91% by mid-2017.


Bank Group contribution

The Government of Australia supported the KIAT Guru pilot from its initiation in 2012. In 2016, the World Bank scaled up the pilot implementation and conducted an impact evaluation, with trust funds totaling US$6.5 million from the Government of Australia and USAID. Research in Improving Systems in Education (RISE, funded by Department for International Development and the Government of Australia) co-funded the impact evaluation.



Every six months, teachers and the education user committee of Hawir Elementary School evaluate their service agreement indicators by assessing its implementation and amending them as needed to improve education quality. (Photo: Fauzan Ijazah/World Bank).



The KIAT Guru pilot project is a collaboration between the MoEC, the National Team for Acceleration of Poverty Reduction (TNP2K), and the district governments of Ketapang, Sintang, Landak, East Manggarai and West Manggarai. The pilot is implemented by Yayasan BaKTI, with technical support from the World Bank and funding from the Government of Australia.


Moving Forward

The Government of Indonesia has requested that the policy recommendation be developed comprehensively to improve education service delivery, particularly in 122 disadvantaged districts and 13,000 very disadvantaged villages. In addition, the Ministry of Education and Culture has requested the implementation of a new pilot to improve teacher performance and accountability in the urban setting, using the government’s teacher Professional Allowance.



“In the past three months, none of the teachers were late. And it trickles down to the students. Seeing their teachers disciplined, the children are, too. They have better manners and rarely come late anymore even though many of them have to walk for 30 minutes to one hour to get to school,” said Andreas Jemahang, a KIAT Guru cadre in Kaju Wangi Village, East Nusa Tenggara, whose son studies at the Mboeng elementary school.