The program has worked to achieve this by developing clear procedures, promoting improved transparency of population data, and encouraging the staff of the Barru Agency for Population and Administration to be more responsive to citizen requests and provide better data. Using an evidence-based approach, MADANI partners have helped improved the accuracy of the civil registry in ways that have improved the district and village governments administrative planning and budgeting, and that have contributed to more citizens obtaining the documents they need to access crucial public services.
With a population of just over 190,000 people, Barru is one of the smallest districts in the province of South Sulawesi. Civil administration services in the district have in the past faced public complaints for not providing minimum service standards. A survey conducted by MADANI CSO partners in 2020 found that the main underlying causes of the subpar services were: an insufficient quality and quantity of human resources, an inadequate civil services information system and unreliable population database, limited administrative service facilities and infrastructure, low public awareness of proper civil administrative documents, poor handling of public complaints, and a lack of standard operating procedures for field staff.
Since early 2021, MADANI has supported Lead Partner Daun Hijau and Learning Forum YASSERBERUI to develop a local initiative in two pilot villages to improve population services by adding additional computers and staff, organize public campaigns and outreach to raise public awareness on the importance of owning civil administrative documents (ID cards, family cards, birth, and death certificates), drafting standard operating procedures for the villages’ civil administration services, and establishing community forums to help manage the civic registry. These community forums act as a more accessible extension of the village governments’ population administration registration services in the piloting villages so that the local community can more easily check population data and channel complaints.
Barru had previously launched a community-based pick-up and drop-off service in 2020 to make obtaining civil administrative services more convenient. The innovative approach, called Lancar D’dukcapil Jalan di DesaKu (“Smooth Civil Administration Services in My Village”), was supported by the MADANI community forums in the two pilot villages, with the community forums cross-checking and updating population data to ensure that remote hamlets were properly mapped, and that marginalized household were included.
Seeing the success of the program in the two MADANI pilot locations, the local government decided to replicate the approach in three other villages and provided financial support through the use of Village Funds (Dana Desa). Daun Hijau has since worked with the District Civil Administration Agency (Dukcapil) to map potential areas to scale-up and replicate the initiative. In January 2022, the Barru Government also increased the budget to support civil administration service facilities at the village level.
In addition to rolling out the community forums pilot in 2021-2023 pilot villages, in 2022, Daun Hijau drafted and submitted a policy brief to revise an outdated local regulation (Perda) No. 10/2011 on civic registry, that included recommendations on organizing community forums, improve public outreach and provide better training for village officials on population issues. These recommendations were included in Regent Regulation No. 2/2023 on village and sub-district civil administration, that also served as the basis for the government to replicate MADANI’s local solution to all 55 villages and sub-districts in the region by 2024. When implemented, village governments will allocate IDR 15 million to support the creation and operational costs of community forums in each village.
Population services in Barru are now easier to access and faster by being promoted and organized at the village level, rather than only at the sub-district level and higher as in the past. In addition, the collective awareness of the community has been raised about the importance of obtaining population documents, indicated by an increase in the number of people seeking population documents and updating their population data in these areas, and a reduction in the number of complaints.
The government has noted its appreciation for the performance of the community forums. “This is very helpful for the Agency of Population and Administration in detecting community complaints related to population administration records,” said the head of the Agency for Population and Administration of Barru, Nasaruddin. “Hopefully this [new] population administration service can be fast, precise, and provide convenience to the community.”