The COVID-19 pandemic has increased the number of people living in poverty in Indonesia. The number of poor and vulnerable people increased, especially amongst the informal sector workers. In 2020, the poverty rate increased by 0.37 percent, from 9.78% to 10.15%, equating to 1.28 million people. Unfortunately, data on the poor has not been optimally updated for several years. Between 2017 and 2019, several regions struggled to update their data systems and with the number of poor people fluctuating, the real number of people eligible for social assistance was not properly reflected in government databases. Additionally, synergy between programmes for social assistance and skills improvement to reduce unemployment has been weak. Consequently, aid programmes have not been able to respond to the impacts of disaster, climate change, and pandemics in a way that addresses the needs of poor people.
To achieve effective and inclusive targeting of social protection, the data of cash recipients must be included, consolidated, and integrated into the Integrated Social Welfare Database (DTKS), that is housed in the Ministry of Social Affairs (MoSA). In light of this, President Regulation No. 86/2020 specifically mandates the registration of social and economic data of all Indonesians by 2024.The short-term goal is to reach 60% registration by 2021–this is currently facilitated through the update of DTKS via the Village Monograph systems–from the village to national level. This will be the modality through which the government achieves One Data Indonesia.
To pilot the system, Bappenas conducted a trial programme by facilitating the registration of social and economic data (Regsosek) and providing Information System for the Elderly (SILANI) in Aceh and West Java. The trial programme aimed to:
- Ensure that the collection and registration of social and economic data is accurate, valid, updated, and accountable.
- Identify the supporting and challenging factors in the implementation of the social and economic data registration, including for SILANI.
- Standardize the mechanism for each implementation stage of the social and economic data registration.
- Improve the capacity of the local government to conduct its data collection and updates.
UNICEF and UNDP, under the COVID-19 MPTF programme, supported the government by providing technical assistance for the piloting of the trial programme, developing data methodology, survey instruments, and guidance, as well as building the surveyors’ capacity. The support aimed to expand the unified database coverage, ensuring that no one is left behind.
Although many obstacles were faced in the coordination of complex data at the central and regional levels, the provincial and district governments were responsive and persevered through these, ensuring its success. Another challenge faced in the implementation was the reluctance of many households to be recorded. Data collection was then carried out by officers who are members of the community; thus, data could be collected well. All villages welcomed the data update as it was implemented by officers they know of.
The follow-up plan comprises of strengthening institutional settings, including data updates that involve the local governments (Bappeda at the city level and the district to village governments), capacity building for local governments, and provision of budget as well as resources for the registration process. From here on, it is expected that data updates will be carried out annually within a similar time frame. The introduction of this system to villages is expected to be managed and used by the village government, in line with their awareness of the importance of data updates.
“We are grateful for the UN’s support. In the near future, we expect the programme will serve as the best method to determine funding for vulnerable groups apart from the family system. We hope UNICEF can support this programme expansion and replication in several areas with different characteristics in the future. Also, we hope that the social and economic trial programme can be a flagship programme to strengthen socioeconomic programmes,” Maliki, Director for Alleviating Poverty and Development of Social Welfare, Bappenas.