The politics of gender and social protection in Indonesia: opportunities and challenges for a transformative approach

Working and discussion papers
May 2012
Athia Yumna, Vita Febriany, Muhammad Syukri, Paola Pereznieto and Agnieszka Malachowska

This Background Note posits that, despite the decentralisation policy implemented over the past decade in Indonesia, sub-national governments’ efforts to tackle poverty and gender vulnerabilities have not been optimal. Thus, the political economy dynamics of decentralised policy and programme implementation need to be addressed urgently, and systematically.

These findings lead to the following recommendations:

  1. Further investment in gender awareness and capacity building is still much needed.
  2. It is important to promote more incentives for regions which perform well in tackling poverty and gender vulnerabilities rather than punishing those which fail to meet requirements.
  3. Invest more in the generation of gender-disaggregated data and analysis to promote evidence-based policy and programme design and the development of gender-sensitive indicators for better targeting, monitoring and evaluation.
  4. Improving awareness on gender equity should start from the central level and reach out to provincial and district governments. Simultaneously, however, promoting more decentralised models of social protection programming and budgeting is also critical.