New Diagnostic Approach in Indonesia Helps Districts Deliver Better Public Services and Budget Allocation

Stocks and Financial Services Press Releases Wednesday March 23, 2016 07:03
Bojonegoro--23 Mar--World Bank

Bojonegoro, March 22, 2016 – A new diagnostic approach, the Rapid Assessment and Action Plan to Improve Service Delivery in Indonesia (RAAP-Id), supported by the World Bank, the European Union, and the governments of Canada and Switzerland, is being piloted in Indonesia to help deliver better public services and improve outcomes, including in health and education.

Bojonegoro, the first district to carry out the RAAP-Id, says that the new approach is helping the government to meet its goals of reducing high maternal mortality rates, increase enrollment rates at secondary schools, and streamline the process of issuing business licenses.

The RAAP-Id approach identifies specific problems in service delivery and then outlines an action plan that includes monitoring of progress.

"By clearly identifying the problems and the solutions, the RAAP-Id approach makes a lot of sense to us," said the head of Bojonegoro district, Suyoto. "For example, we discovered that pregnant mothers require more quality midwives and health centers with better equipment. So we set aside more budget for training midwives and doctors, and relaxed rules on funding for the kecamatan or sub-districts, so that they too train midwives. These are small but important changes that will lead to better health-care services and healthier families."

The RAAP-Id allows governments to diagnose complex causes of service delivery problems "from the bottom up," by using a systematic diagnostic framework and inputs from experts to identify specific failures. The diagnosis starts with service delivery "symptoms" like poor quality ante natal care, but concentrates on underlying failures in core management systems, including public financial management, that cause these symptoms. To ensure that the action plan will be implemented, it includes a financing plan.

Local governments are responsible for delivering public services in Indonesia, but poor capacity and governance have led to some alarming health indicators. For example, at 126 maternal deaths per 100,000 live births, the maternal mortality rate in Indonesia remains high; the Millennium Development Goals' target for maternal mortality is 102 per 100,000 live births.

"The welfare and future opportunities of Indonesians rely on local governments delivering services well. With the support of our development partners, the World Bank is exploring new ways to help Indonesia's district and city governments strengthen their capacity to better plan, allocate, and manage public finances, so that they can serve their communities better," said World Bank Country Director for Indonesia, Rodrigo Chaves.

The piloting of RAAP-Id is part of a larger program supporting improved public financial management in Indonesia, funded by the European Union and the governments of Canada and Switzerland. The RAAP-Id will be piloted in two more locations.

The analysis for Bojonegoro, unveiled during a seminar held today, was carried out jointly by the World Bank and the Bojonegoro local government. An overarching theme shows that more money does not necessarily translate into positive development outcomes unless supported by good management processes.

For example, the RAAP-Id approach showed that, in Bojonegoro, distributing education grants in the form of vouchers instead of cash may be more effective. The switch in funds distribution would provide schools with additional operating funds that could lead to more interest in the grants program and subsequently higher student enrollment rates.

The event in Bojonegoro also included the launch of the district's implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals.

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