Expanding and Diversifying Indonesia's Program for Community Empowerment, 2007-2012

In 2007, Indonesia embarked on a multiyear effort to expand an innovative community-driven development program, first started in 1998, into the largest program of its kind in the world. For nearly a decade, the Kecamatan Development Program had empowered communities to determine how they wanted to use funds for their own development, whether for small infrastructure projects, health and education, or microcredit opportunities. Communities planned, implemented, and maintained projects on their own through village and intervillage committees. The program experienced very low levels of corruption, and in some communities it was the only government program to provide direct benefits that actually reached citizens. It was also successful in raising the incomes of Indonesians in poor parts of the country. From 2007 to 2012, the central government significantly expanded the program and launched pilot projects to extend participation to geographic areas and activities beyond the scope of the original program. Although the scale-up strained management, creating occasional delays and gaps in implementation, the program continued to raise the incomes of the poorest Indonesians. This case study offers several lessons about scaling up community-driven development.

This teaching case is available here.

Authored by Jonathan Friedman.

Published by Innovations for Successful Societies.

Indonesia, EconomyNYSEAN