Village Governance and Community Empowerment Study (Sentinel Villages)

Team Member: Palmira Permata Bachtiar, Rendy Adriyan Diningrat, Gema Satria Mayang Sedyadi, Ulfah Alifia , Kartawijaya
Completion Year:
Jawa Tengah, Nusa Tenggara Timur, Jambi
Community-Driven Development, Governance & Decentralization

Collaborating Partners

Funding Body :

World Bank


Description & Progress

The study will observe how the first two years of the implementation affects village governance—whether the embodiment of good governance principles (participation, transparency, and accountability) can be translated into managing the village resources in an accountable manner to benefit the general community; how various groups in the community respond to the VL implementation; and what the key contributing factors are that influence implementation (including roles of different institutions and experience with CDD/PNPM). 



The passage of Law 6/2014 on Villages (Village Law, VL) provides opportunities to improve village governance in Indonesia by incorporating good governance principles of community participation, transparency, and downward accountability, and providing more resources and autonomy to villages. Despite the Law’s  multiple accountability mechanisms, such as giving back power to the village council (Badan Permusyawaratan Desa, BPD) as community representatives, instituting village deliberation forum (Musyawarah Desa, Musdes) to enhance general community participation and provide transparency on government operations, and reporting to district government, given that many village governments will be managing large resources with limited practices in such good governance measures, concerns have been raised about potential misuse of funds, misalignment of priority development needs between village government and the community at large, and increased exclusion of marginalized groups from development processes.  Hence, it is important to observe how these good governance principles are practiced, especially in the early years of the VL implementation.

Responding to the implementation of the new Village Law, SMERU – with the support from the World Bank - initiated a study to monitor the implementation of the Village Law in five districts in three provinces, namely Jambi, Central Java and East Nusa Tenggara. The study comprise of three components: a baseline and endline study; a mini case study; and field monitoring activities. The takes place over 23 months, from August 2015 to June 2017. 



The study will track the VL implementation progress in the next two years with the objectives to:

  1. Examine whether VL implementation is following the stipulated principles of participation, transparency, and accountability in village governance processes. 
  2. Observe whether VL implementation is leading to more responsive village government as reflected in the decisions that correspond to community priorities.
  3. Examine whether the existence of local institutions (such as BPD and/or 'adat' council) and village activists (such as ex PNPM actors) influence the implementation of VL.  


The preliminary findings was presented to the World Bank Team and a draft issue brief was prepared. The team has also submitted the baseline report and currently working on the quarter 2 report scheduled to be sent to the World Bank second week of June. In May, SMERU researchers have also conducted field work in the three provinces. 



The study will be longitudinal (22 months) using both qualitative and quantitative methods. The quantitative component will be handle by a team of experienced enumerators in PSF. SMERU will thus be responsible for the qualitative component only.


Sources of Data

Interview with key actors in the community, review various documents (plans, budget documents, minutes of meetings and village regulations).  In addition, the study will use focus group discussions to get general views from women, the poor and marginalized groups, to be followed up with in-depth interviews. The study would also collect information from related actors at the kabupaten level, such as kabupaten officials (Bappeda, PMD), DPRD members, and NGOs/CSOs.