Credits UN Women | Ryan Brown
Published on August 10, 2021

Locally Led Social Protection Programme in West Nusa Tenggara: Shock-Responsive Social Protection

As a disaster-prone country, Indonesia needs a social protection system that is adaptive and responsive to disasters. Adaptive Social Protection aims to bring together the concepts of social protection, disaster management, and climate change adaptation, to build the resilience of poor and vulnerable households to prepare for, cope with, and adapt to shocks, such that they do not fall (deeper) into poverty.

In Indonesia, ASP is one of the national priorities listed in the National Medium-Term Development Plan 2020–2024 and is part of the country’s strategy to reform social protection. Following this plan, the Government plans to launch the ASP Roadmap by the end of 2021. This Roadmap is part of the COVID-19 response, as various sub-national governments are introducing programs to reduce the socioeconomic impacts of COVID-19.

In West Nusa Tenggara (NTB), the provincial government introduced a specific locally-led social protection in response to COVID-19. The social safety net programme, Jaring Pengaman Sosial or JPS Gemilang, is an initiative of the NTB provincial government to help fulfill the basic needs of the poor, as the population is most affected by the pandemic. It was financed through the NTB provincial budget, and was implemented for three months starting in April 2020. It complements the regular social protection programmes from the national government such as Family Hope Programme (Program Keluarga Harapan/PKH), Food Packages (Sembako), Direct Cash Transfer, and Cash for Work Programme, whose main aim is to reduce the socioeconomic impacts of the pandemic on the communities.

As a form of in-kind assistance, it provides packages of food, supplements, masks and targets groups of people categorized as poor based on the official government data as well as other communities most affected by the COVID-19 disaster. These groups comprise of health workers, People Under Monitoring (ODP) & Patients Under Supervision (PDP), as well as those who are vulnerable to poverty including tourism sector workers, migrant workers, Small and Medium Industries (IKM), breeders, street vendors/hawkers, fishermen, and others. Further, the goods provided were purchased from the local producers (Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises/MSMEs).

Food packages provided were practical for families and included basic need items such as rice, eggs, cooking oil, soy milk/ginger sherbet, liquid soap/bar soap, eucalyptus oil/cloves, and moringa tea. The value per package was Rp250,000 per family. As an added value to the local economy, the products were produced by MSMEs in NTB.

To support the growth of MSMEs as well as to spur the local economy, the program bought items from local vendors. Further, mobilizing local MSMEs at an early stage as well as supporting mapping of MSMEs in the province, form part of the JPS Gemilang principles. This means the programme simultaneously addressed two issues: disaster management and economic resilience.

“We feel very supported by UNICEF throughout the handling of the earthquake impacts and management of the pandemic. We faced a challenge in implementing a fundamental aspect of this process namely educating the public about social assistance. However, since UNICEF has vast experience regarding this matter, it helped us disseminate information and educate people about social assistance programmes. We will continue this effort and we are grateful for UNICEF’s support and assistance; we look forward to continuing our collaboration for a long-term period,” said Suryadi, Head of Research and Development, Bappeda of NTB.

The JPS Gemilang programme proves that the NTB provincial government has the capacity to implement shock-responsive social protection. Considering the results and the similarity of the goals of the JPS Gemilang Programme and Adaptive Social Protection – both target poor groups and groups vulnerable to disasters – it is evident that the NTB provincial government is ready to pioneer an Adaptive Social Protection programme.