In Bulukumba (South Sulawesi), MADANI works with Nasyiatul Aisyiyah, a young women’s group that promotes education, civil society, women’s empowerment, and religious affairs. Nasyiatul Aisyiyah is an autonomous organization of Muhammadiyah, Indonesia’s second-largest Islamic organization, with approximately 60 million followers. Established in 1912, the organization has evolved from its initial focus on education and promoting Islamic social values to consolidating democracy, promoting religious moderation, and improving public services.
Until recently, Nasyiatul Aisyiyah in Bulukumba has relied on charity from donors and government social welfare programs. However, they know that this type of funding is not sustainable. To address this constraint, MADANI has provided Nasyiatul Aisyiyah in Bulukumba with technical assistance on resource mobilization tailored to its specific needs and interests.
With increased capacity through its newly acquired knowledge, Nasyiatul Aisyiyah in Bulukumba is now mapping new potential sources of funding and developing a strategic plan for the organization’s fundraising projects. Already, Nasyiatul Aisyiyah has acquired funding support through philanthropic organizations and the private sector. Other promising local opportunities include providing tailoring services as an income generating activity, partnering with for-profit companies, and taking advantage of the Swakelola Type III government procurement mechanism.
Nasyiatul Aisyiyah’s collaboration with the private sector has continued to grow. First, in late 2020, Nasyiatul Aisyiyah signed an agreement with the Bulukumba branch of the Indonesian National Alms Agency (Badan Amal Nasional or BAZNAS) to reduce stunting and maternal and newborn child mortality in the district. Nasyiatul Aisyiyah and BAZNAS have jointly distributed healthy food packages to pregnant women in low-income communities, provided COVID-19 personal protective equipment to high-risk populations, and strengthened the community-based Maternal and Child Health Forum by using village mosques as community centers. The Chairman of BAZNAS in the District of Bulukumba, H. Yusuf Sandy, hopes that the collaboration with Nasyiatul Aisyiyah will help to prevent stunting by providing nutritious food packages to pregnant women with chronic nutrition deficiency in several sub-districts.
In September 2021, the local branch of Bank Syariah Indonesia (BSI), the state-owned Islamic bank, and Nasyiatul Aisyiyah agreed on a partnership to improve the emergency referral system for pregnant women and newborns at community health centers (Puskesmas) in MADANI’s three target areas in the district.
In February 2022, Nasyiatul Aisyiyah continued to expand its impact in Bulukumba, signing an agreement with the local branch of Muhammadiyah’s philanthropic organization, Lembaga Amal dan Zakat Muhammadiyah (LAZISMu). This agreement aims to educate the public on health topics and advocate for regulations that support mothers and children. LAZISMu will leverage its organizational and funding strengths, whereas Nasyiatul Aisyiyah will provide subject matter experts, to improve public health in targeted villages.
The organization is now collaborating more within the civil society community as well. In June 2022, Nasyiatul Aisyiyah Bulukumba shared their experience and knowledge of the Organizational Performance Index (OPI) and organizational standard operating procedures (SOPs) with 19 other Nasyiatul Aisyiyah branches in South Sulawesi. The organization has since received several requests from other branches to help them adopt the OPI and SOPs.
MADANI’s support to Nasyiatul Aisyiyah continues. On 28-29 June 2022, experts from MADANI and USAID’s Momentum Private Healthcare Delivery (MPHD) program provided a training to Nasyiatul Aisyiyah, local CSOs, midwives, and the Bulukumba Public Hospital on techniques to facilitate and organize interviews and focus group discussions using MADANI’s human-centered design approach. Nasyiatul Aisyiyah will use the “social autopsy” tool, which is a community process based on interactions with the family and wider local community of a deceased mother or infant, to explore the social causes and policy failures that lead to these deaths in Bulukumba. This tool will allow Nasyiatul Aisyiyah to provide additional evidence to frontline agencies and policymakers for improvements.
With MADANI’s support, Nasyiatul Aisyiyah has demonstrated itself as an integral component of the fabric of society in Bulukumba. Through targeted interventions and advocacy initiatives, they provide critical goods and services to populations in need, voice the demands of the citizenry via data-driven methods, and ensure that governments are held accountable in a public manner. As Nasyiatul Aisyiyah’s continues to grow its technical expertise, organizational capacity, and financial resources, it will allow them to play an even more important and progressive role in the region in the years to come.