Press Release
Published on September 21, 2021

U-Report Reveals Youth Voices on Social Protection Programs during COVID-19 Pandemic in Indonesia

Jakarta, August 19, 2021 – The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) presented the result of U-Report poll on the knowledge of social protection amongst young people. Under the program of COVID-19 Multi-Partner Trust Fund (MPTF) and Joint SDG Fund for Adaptive Social Protection, the U-Report polls was funded to support the Government of Indonesia (GoI) in spreading knowledge around social protection.  

According to a U-Report poll launched in March 2021, out of 14,082 respondents, with age ranges from 15-19, 20-24 and 25 – 30 years old, the majority were aware of more than 1 type of social assistance program. The majority were aware of Cash-Based Assistance (Bantuan Langsung Tunai) (66%), whilst the Hope Family Program (Program Keluarga Harapan) was the second most known type of social protection (47% knew of this). Approximately 50% of responders were under 20 years old, displaying that there is a strong knowledge of social protection amongst youth. 

At UNICEF Indonesia, U-Report polls are produced to understand young people’s knowledge on specific topics. These are launched through digital chatbots that youths engage with. As a means of collecting data, it is an effective way of gaining a snapshot of how youths perceive certain topics. 

“For UNICEF, youth participation is essential. Youth have the right to be heard in all matters affecting them, in addition to rights and freedoms to appropriate information, thought, expression, association and peaceful assembly. For this, participation is a core principle of all UNICEF programming. We need to ensure youth voices are represented on the development process. Therefore, consultation with youth networks is a priority,” said Yoshimi Nishino, Chief Social Policy of UNICEF 

More than 50,000 young people have participated in U-report polls in 2020 and thousands more have shared engaging content on social media to help peers cope with the challenges of studying from home. In different parts of the country, young people have supported education initiatives on menstrual hygiene management in Papua, and continued to support nutrition initiatives in West Lombok, where these were initially stopped by the pandemic. 

“Considering the Indonesian situation, it is very important for the younger generation to also be involved in efforts to realize justice and social welfare. The results of the Indonesian population census in 2010 showed that our total population was 270.2 million, of which the millennial generation was 25.87% and Generation Z was 27.94%, where if these were added up, it reached 49. 8%. Therefore, it is important to encourage the participation of youth to encourage other forms of social protection development in Indonesia for the realization of the welfare of the Indonesian people.  

"We hope that the partnership of PSDK Department with UNICEF will also support in strengthening the social protection through further research for the realization of the Social Welfare of the people in Indonesia,” explained Dr Krisdyatmoko, Head of PSDK Youth Studies Center of University of Gadjah Mada. 

Young people have played an important role in leading initiatives and finding solutions to problems in their communities during the pandemic. In the pandemic situation, youth play crucial role as they are key partners to ensure social protection programs are responsive and effective to the needs of the public, including children and young people across the country.  

“U-Report aims to empower youth to share their opinions on issues that matter to them, strengthen voices for advocacy at local, national and global levels, and influence young people to make positive behavioral changes. Through this report, we support the government of Indonesia to better identify and learn what is the perception of social protection, especially among youth, how it is being used and how could the socialization and delivery improve.  

We are optimistic that this poll and report will show youth’s voice and their perception on social protection. With better understanding on social protection, youth can actively participate in supporting the fulfillment of children and young people needs during the pandemic,” closed Ratnawati Muyanto, Social Policy Specialist of UNICEF.   

Social protection or emergency government support is a key activity for poverty alleviation in crisis situations. These may come in the form of cash assistance or non-cash assistance (such as food vouchers) and are key activities to help families provide basic needs for their children. In response to the pandemic, the UN family rolled out the COVID-19 Multi-Partner Trust Fund (MPTF), as a mechanism to fight back against the impacts of the pandemic. The MPTF finances a global and regional effort to slow transmission as well as implement measures to mitigate the social and economic impacts of the pandemic on populations. UNICEF is a leading UN agency in Indonesia to implement MPTF on social protection.