364 More Indonesian Villages Commit To Funding Family Planning

Following village-level budget advocacy efforts led by district working groups, 364 additional villages in Indonesia took the initial step to allocate local funding for family planning. In Karanganyar district (162 villages), the Mayor signed an endorsement letter for Village Heads on January 27, 2015, to allocate for family planning, particularly long-acting permanent methods (LAPM). In Lumajang (202 villages), on February 5th, the District Secretary did the same.

The district working groups (DWGs), with the support of AFP partners Yayasan Cipta Cara Padu (YCCP) and the Johns Hopkins Center for Communication Programs Indonesia (CCP-Indonesia), will continue to follow up with Village Heads on implementing these budget commitments. Each village in Lumajang is expected to allocate approximately 1.5 million Indonesian Rupiah (IDR) per year (USD 150) toward family planning – a total of 303 million IDR (USD 30,300) for the 202 villages involved. Among other things, budgets allocations are expected to cover data recording and reporting, community mobilization, and transport for LAPM users who do not have easy access to facilities.

In addition, the districts of Lombok Barat (119 villages) and Lombok Timur (254 villages) deepened their initial village-level commitments to family planning made last year. On December 29, 2014, the Lombok Timur District Head signed the Regulation on Village Financial Management Guideline, which now includes support for family planning. Similarly, Lombok Barat released new Technical Guidelines for Village Budget Allocation on February 25, which newly includes support for family planning, particularly LAPM. This allocation will be covered by the health program budget, which is typically 2.5% of the total village development budget.

The Village Law, signed by then-President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono in January 2014, became the new master framework for village development and community empowerment in Indonesia. It is a compromise of the village as a self-governing community and the most local level of government. With the law in place, communities assume greater responsibility and control over village affairs and are able to meet more of their development needs, including family planning.

YCCP and CCP-Indonesia first used village-level budget advocacy successfully in Bandung district (270 villages) in 2012. They have since replicated the village budget strategy in 11 districts, providing DWGs with technical assistance; mapping the target network, building advocacy strategy, and identifying the strongest decisionmaker through AFP SMART. To date, more than 1,000 Indonesian villages in 5 districts have budgeted for family planning through AFP advocacy.

The partners draw on associations of Village Heads to reach many villages at one time, instead of traveling from one village to another. DWGs work with them, identifying District Heads as decisionmakers to issue supportive regulations for the Village Heads to prioritize family planning activities in the village development agenda.

Going forward, district working groups are conducting advocacy meetings to revitalize work plans and Family Planning Village Teams, in which local family planning champions like community and religious leaders, women’s organization cadres, and midwives implement family planning activities in the community.

Luke Mackin courtesy of Flickr Creative Commons