The District Government of Sumbawa in West Nusa Tenggara keeps innovating to enable public services to run during the COVID-19 pandemic. One innovation has been the adoption of online processing for legal identity documents. This helps to provide citizens with the documents they need to better access social protection programs and other basic services.
“We are now providing online civil registration services through WhatsApp,” explained Jayakusuma, head of the Population and Civil Registration Office (Dinas Dukcapil) of Sumbawa district, “This provides people with the ability to obtain legal identity documents despite the pandemic.”
The Dinas Dukcapil provides several numbers that can be contacted via WhatsApp to process family cards, birth certificates, and electronic identity cards. Through this service, which was launched in May, the public only needs to send photos of supporting documents to process their legal identity documents. After receiving the documents, new legal identity documents are normally issued within one to three days. In its first four months of implementation, over 27,000 legal identity documents were issued using online services in the district.
The Dinas Dukcapil is working with communities to be able to identify and assist elderly people, persons with disabilities, children and people with limited access to telecommunications to access these services. This is being achieved with the support of village registration officers and village registration working groups.
Officiated through a village head decree, the working groups assist in overseeing the issuance of legal identity documents in their communities. The group generally consists of community leaders and village officials. KOMPAK, with the Dinas Dukcapil and Child Protection Agency of West Nusa Tenggara, has helped to establish these working groups, engage village registration officers, provide trainings and develop protocols for these activities.
“The online civil registration service makes it easier for us to process legal identity documents during the pandemic, because we only need to visit the Dinas Dukcapil Office once to collect the completed documents,” said Evi Sulfiati, a member of the working group of Muer village in Sumbawa district. Evi noted that elderly people and persons with disabilities generally do not have legal identity documents. She explained, “In the past, when we asked them to process it, they always quipped back that they were too old to need IDs.”
“The collaboration between the Dinas Dukcapil, village registration officers, and the village working group has brought benefits to our community,” explained Asy Ariy, the Head of Muer village, “Currently, 95 percent of our residents already have legal identity documents, so the government assistance program can run without a hitch,” He noted that 260 poor and vulnerable families are now receiving either cash or food assistance in the village.
Based on the success of the village registration working groups, the Dinas Dukcapil of Sumbawa plans to expand the service to all 24 subdistricts. “This helps us collect more accurate population data that can improve the quality of our pandemic response and regional development planning,” concluded Jayakusuma.