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Indonesian gov't officials in PH to study DSWD's anti-poverty program

Manila, Philippines – Representatives from the Indonesian government recently visited the Philippines to study the implementation of Kapit-Bisig Laban sa Kahirapan-Comprehensive and Integrated Delivery of Social Services (Kalahi-CIDSS), one of the three main poverty alleviation programs implemented by the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD).

Aunur Rofiq Hadi, the Head of the Policy Working Group of the National Community Empowerment Program, discusses Indonesia’s community-driven development program

The learning visit, which ran from March 17 to 21, was the second information exchange between the two countries this year.

Last January, a video conference was held between Kalahi-CIDSS officials and staff with key individuals from the Indonesia team. The purpose of the video conference was for the Philippines to study how community-driven development (CDD) was used in disaster response by Indonesia following the Aceh tsunami.

The 2004 Aceh tsunami resulted in over 10,000 casualties. Last November, the Philippines was devastated by Typhoon Yolanda (international name: Haiyan).

The learning visit picked up where the video conference left off. The purpose was to look into how CDD, through Kalahi-CIDSS, is being utilized in communities, particularly in light of the aftermath of TS Yolanda.

DSWD Kalahi-CIDSS’ Amante Sabangan discusses the role of Kalahi-CIDSS in the post-disaster relief and recovery operations in Region 8 following TS Yolanda

 

Specifically, it explored the engagement between citizens and their local governments through CDD, particularly in the context of post-disaster recovery and rehabilitation.

Both exchanges were facilitated in partnership with the Asian Development Bank (ADB).

CDD is a development strategy that focuses on empowering and building up the capacities of citizens and local government units so they will be able to lift their own communities out of poverty. It is the approach utilized by Kalahi-CIDSS in its over 10 years of implementation, during which it has covered 364 municipalities in 12 regions nationwide.

According to Aunur Rofiq Hadi, the Head of the Policy Working Group of the National Community Empowerment Program, Indonesia pays particular focus on its citizens because they believe in the capacity of the residents to push for local development.

He said, “We see villages as commodities,” describing how their CDD program, the Program Nasional Pemberdayaan Masyarakat (PNPM) Mandiri, invests in human capital by capacitating residents of poor communities and providing them the resources and the skills needed to help them implement sub-projects that can address their most pressing needs, similar to Kalahi-CIDSS.

Interestingly, Indonesia’s premier CDD program, the Kecamatan Development Program (KDP), was the parent program of the Kalahi-CIDSS, as the latter’s design was based on the former.

KDP has since evolved into the PNPM Mandiri, which has a broader coverage and scope. Similarly, the DSWD is now preparing for the National Community-Driven Development Program (NCDDP), the scaling up of Kalahi-CIDSS’ CDD operations nationwide.

NCDDP pays special attention to disaster risk reduction and management (DRRM). Part of its coverage specifically involves municipalities that were affected by Typhoon Yolanda.

Aside from ‘Yolanda’-affected areas, NCDDP will target the poorest municipalities in the country. Its total target coverage is 847 municipalities in 58 provinces of 14 regions in the Philippines.

The NCDDP will also look into other thematic areas, including gender, conflict, environment protection, and the participation of Indigenous Peoples (IPs), to ensure coverage of the vulnerable sectors in communities. ###