Story of Change

Collaboration to Accelerate Legal Identity Ownership For The Coastal And Inland Communities

Author: Admin
Published: 18/07/2017

(Photo: KOMPAK)

(Photo: KOMPAK)

The Australian Government through KOMPAK, in partnership with the Government of Indonesia, supports the poverty eradication programs in accordance with the National Medium Term Development Plan (RPJMN) 2014-2019. KOMPAK focuses on increasing access, quality and delivery of basic services in health, education and legal identity; strengthening village governance and public participation, and community-based development; as well improving economic opportunities, especially in the non-agricultural sector.

In June 2017, KOMPAK conducted two implementation support missions to review the achievements of the program, as well as to identify good practices and lessons learned, required improvements and stories of change. The missions, focusing on increasing access, quality and delivery of basic services in health, education and legal identity, were held in Lombok Utara district (KLU), West Nusa Tenggara and Pangkajene Islands (Pangkep) district, South Sulawesi.

Opening Basic Services Access through Acceleration of Birth Certificate Ownership

Birth Certificate is a universal right because it defines the state recognition of an individual civil status. In addition, any children with unregistered birth identity will most likely facing various challenging socio-economic problems in their later ages, which will eventually affect the state, government, and society. Unfortunately, there are a large number of Indonesian children whose identity have not been recorded in the birth certificate as an embodiment of the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) and Law No. 23/2002 on Child Protection. 

This is the basic notion behind the National Medium-Term Development Plan (RPJMN) 2015-2019 targets of birth certificates ownership among children, i.e. 75% in 2015, 77.5% in 2016, 80% in 2018 and 85% in 2019. KLU is not an exception to this grim look, where in 2016, the number of birth certificates ownership only reached 61.78%. 

To overcome this problem, District Head of Lombok Utara Najmul Akhyar launched JARING PEKAT PROGRAM (Birth Certificate Provision through the Education, Health and Community Network). JARING PEKAT is a collaboration between health care providers (community health centers, district hospital, and midwives), schools and community (social institutions, as well as customs and religious leaders) to facilitate the public in obtaining birth certificates.

The program was supported by the District Head Regulation No. 7/2017 on Accelerating the Birth Certificate Ownership through Education, Health and Community Network, issued. KOMPAK supported the drafting of the regulation by organising discussions and public consultations. “Lombok Utara has an extraordinary natural wealth that must be well-managed in order to improve the welfare of society. Education is the key to the emergence of future leaders," said Najmul. Therefore, birth certificate ownership is a fundamental step for facilitating access to better education for the future generation.

The district government commitment to accelerate the ownership of birth certificates is evident with the district success in achieving 84% of birth certificates target by May 2017, the highest achievement in the province. In her speech during a visit to the district, Director of Labor and Employment Expansion, Ministry of National Development Planning Agency Mahatmi Parwitasari Saronto acknowledged that, "Many breakthroughs and excellent programs supported by KOMPAK in Lombok Utara have now demonstrated some successes. The local government commitment is the key.”

The enthusiastic supports of the local government organisations, basic service units, sub-districts, villages, community organisations, as well as religious and traditional leaders are also essential to this achievement. The Tanjung General Hospital, for example, provides birth certificates for the newborns. They even prepare the bank name for parents who have not named their children, in order to make sure the birth certificate can be directly issued before the mother and her baby leave the hospital. Similar service is also available in community health centers.

Loloan Village Head Kariadi in Bayan sub-district, said the lack of birth certificates is due to the low number of marriages officially registered in the Population and Civil Registration Office (Disdukcapil). Child's birth certificate can only be issued if the state recognises the marriage of their parents. He also mentioned that in addition to the low awareness on the importance of legal identity ownership, the time and costs required to get the marriage certificates and birth certificates at the district's disdukcapil office exacerbates the problem.

In addition, The Child Protection Agency (LPA), KOMPAK partner in the province, also organises the Village-based Local Wisdom Revitalisation for Community Legal Identity Provision Program. The program was commenced last July 2016, in the villages of Loloan, Sambik Elen, Bayan, Anyar and Akar-Akar in Bayan sub-district. The program is implemented through village consultation, establishment of legal identity working group, collection of required documents requirements, mobile services, itsbat (a mechanism for the government to officially acknowledge the marriage and provide legal document) integrated services, as well as teenagers capacity building on Legal Age for Marriage.

In November 2016, Loloan convened community self-financing itsbat for 27 couples. Having realised the importance of legal identity, the villagers are now asking the allocation of budget for financing itsbat for the disadvantaged couples. Following the public demand, the village government agreed to allocate IDR 37 million in the Village Budget to finance the itsbat for 50 couples.

Integrated Population Administration Services for the Isolated Islands Residents

The Pangkep District Government also has a program to increase the number of children who have birth certificates. This commitment is demonstrated in the Declaration on Free and Completed Population and Civil Registration Administration Movement on May 17, 2017. The movement emerged from the discussions between the local government and KOMPAK. This movement prioritises people living in remote areas, especially those who live in the islands.

The first breakthrough of this movement is implementing Integrated Services of Population Administration and Integrated Itsbat Ceremony in Liukang Tuppabiring Utara on June 6, 2017. The event was the result of collaboration between the Disdukcapil, Religious Affairs Officie, Religious Court and the Liukang Tuppabiring Utara Government to provide civil registration services, especially marriage certificates, family cards and ID cards.

Liukang Tuppabiring Sub-district Head Syamsuria Syam confirmed the integrated service has gradually boosted civil registration in the region, noting that, based on BPS data from 2015, only 30% of  the 11,564 populations had birth certificates. According to him, this is due to the lack of awareness on the importance of legal identity, geographical distant to district capital, and failure of individuals to complete the required documents.

In this integrated service, Disdukcapil and Religious Courts performed electronic ID card data recording to 50 people, including people with disabilities, and sidang itsbat for 10 couples. "It is the basic right of every citizen and part of the requirements to access government services," added Syamsuria. 

Irik (41), a Mattiro Baji villager with visual impairment who works at odd jobs realised the importance of having legal identity documents, after learning from cadres of YASMIB (Yayasan Swadaya Mitra Bangsa) South Sulawesi, a KOMPAK strategic partner. "I learned that if I have an ID card, I can join a sewing course and get assistance from the government," he explained.

Pangkep District Head Shamsuddin A. Hamid confirmed KOMPAK supports were essential in the strategies and plans of local governments, especially in encouraging ownership of legal identity documents. "Documenting and ownership of legal identity is very important to ensure the government's program can be effective, efficient and well-targeted," he said. The local commitment of Pangkep is evident in their attempts to replicate the legal identity ownership program to all the 13 sub-districts. This is done to achieve a minimum target of 60% of the Pangkep residents having a birth certificate.

Director of Special and Disadvantaged Areas of the Ministry of Planning/Bappenas Aryawan Soetiarso Poetro appreciated the measures the Pangkep District Government had taken to replicate the program, especially for people living in the remote islands. “The population and civil registration services implemented in the Liukang Tuppabiring Utara sub-district is a successful collaboration between the government, KOMPAK, and the community members. This initiative should be developed and supported by stakeholders in other regions, "he added.

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