Self-management is one of the ways for procuring government goods/services that ministries, institutions, regional apparatuses manage on their own in partnership with other government units or involving community groups. This method has long been used by the government, but the type of self-management that involves civil society organizations (CSOs) is new. In the procurement of goods/services, CSOs have a unique advantage compared to government and private providers. The advantage is their approach to communities and the ability to do activities that are not attractive to businesses. In the field of research, many CSOs have provided their services since decades ago, producing quality academic studies and policy recommendations.
“CSOs are not new players in the development sector. There are many CSOs in Indonesia that have had a long experience in various fields. So the involvement of CSOs through this scheme can help the government improve the quality and reach of its services," said Isono Sadoko from AKATIGA Social Analysis Center.
Until 2018, there was no legal umbrella that allowed CSOs to participate in the procurement of government goods/services. Presidential Regulation Number 54 of 2010 concerning the Procurement of Goods/Services provides for self-management, but not with CSOs. As a result, CSOs, including non-profit research institutions, cannot participate except by establishing business entities. This condition shows that government procurement of goods/services has yet to have an effect on research and community empowerment directly.
In light of the above, Knowledge Sector Initiative (KSI) facilitated efforts to improve regulations by bringing together the Government Goods/Services Procurement Policy Agency (LKPP) with research and advocacy organizations, including AKATIGA, the Center for Law and Policy Studies (PSHK) and the Institute for Public Advocacy and Research (ELSAM). Conducted since mid-2014, this effort resulted in the issuance of Presidential Regulation Number 16 of 2018 concerning Procurement of Government Goods/Services. This regulation serves as the solution and legal basis for self-management policies that can involve CSOs incorporated as a foundation or association and are registered with the Ministry of Law and Human Rights. In the Presidential Regulation, the method for procuring goods/services involving CSOs is referred to as Type III Self-Management.
“Type III Self-management provides the opportunity for CSOs to engage in goods/services procurement activities in areas that cannot be served by business actors. The hope is that the community will also become a part and not mere objects of development. They also have to be involved in the procurement process,” said Roni Dwi Susanto, Head of the Government Goods/Services Procurement Policy Institute (LKPP).
Promoting Development Inclusiveness
After Presidential Regulation Number 16 of 2018 was issued, KSI together with one of the partner institutions, AKATIGA, returned to work with LKPP to promote the implementation of Type III Self-Management. In addition to providing input to LKPP regarding research that requires collaboration between the government and CSOs, a series of socialization activities at various forums were also carried out. This was complemented by the production of videos and handbooks to facilitate the socialization of the use of Type III Self-Management.
KSI encourages the implementation of Type III Self-Management because this model has the potential to widen the reach and improve the quality of services for community groups that are often overlooked by commercial businesses. Evidently, a year after the regulation was issued, two KSI partners who participated in the Type III Self-management procurement mechanism helped the government formulate policies targeting the poor and marginalized groups.
The research institute focusing on pro-poor policies, SMERU, conducted two studies: the Open Junior High School (SMPT) Study and the School for Coastal Children Study. Meanwhile. Another research institute for social change, Article 33 Indonesia, assessed the Early Childhood Education (PAUD) Unit Cost Calculation and the Development of the Regional Education Public Service Agency (BLUD). The three studies were funded by the DKI Jakarta Provincial Government through the Education Service Office under Type III Self-Management mechanism.
The study prepared by SMERU and Article 33 Indonesia serves as the basis for the DKI Jakarta Provincial government to determine solutions to the problems addressed in the studies. In the case of running schools for coastal children, for example, the main problem identified was the gap in the quality of education between coastal and non-coastal areas. Coastal communities have a relatively lower quality of education compared to non-coastal communities. This can be explained by several factors, including lack of facilities and infrastructure, and local culture that affect the mindset, attitudes, and behavior of children.
To minimize the disparity in the quality of education, SMERU in its study evaluated the availability and access of schools for coastal children. They then identified the needs and level of education of children in these coastal communities to prepare a school management concept that addresses the needs of coastal children. This study the laid out recommendations for DKI Jakarta Education Service to provide equitable and non-discriminatory education in accordance with the mandate of the law.
The same is true of the Open Middle School (SMPT). SMPT is an alternative education unit that aims to expand access to graduates of Elementary School and its equivalents who did not have the opportunity to continue their education to the higher level. In Jakarta, only public schools can be accessed for free and they have limited capacity, necessitating a selection by academic grades. Meanwhile, many students who finished elementary school do not have the passing grades for public schools and cannot afford to continue to private schools. For this group, the SMPT becomes an important alternative to ensure that they can continue their education.
The SMPT concept in DKI Jakarta has actually been introduced since the 1990s. However, there have been many obstacles in running such schools, especially issues related to institutional arrangement, implementation, mechanism for new student admission, as well as coordination and supervision. Therefore, the DKI Jakarta Education Office sought to cooperate with research institutions to conduct a study to inform policymaking, improving the quality of SMPT and expanding access for communities to meet their needs. Following the study recommendations, DKI Jakarta province hopes to improve the quality and management of SMPT throughout Jakarta.
Regarding the PAUD unit cost study, the results provided a strong basis for DKI Jakarta to rationalize the operational costs of PAUD. Meanwhile, the study on Regional Education Service Units (BLUD) provided alternatives in the management of educational institutions in DKI Jakarta, especially at the high school level.
Type III Self-management mechanism has several advantages over other types of self-management, both for government agencies as contract providers and non-profit organizations as contract implementers. From the point of view of government agencies, Type III Self-Management provides a better alternative to procure quality research and outputs as it can reach institutions that have specific specializations in the field that they want to study. Before Type III Self-Management was available, this was not possible through other self-management schemes. Nonprofit research institutions are also regarded to be more efficient as they can leverage past experience, compared with commercial entities that lack the experience in this field.
For nonprofit research institutions, Type III Self-Management scheme provides for alternative funding of activities and creates opportunities to influence policies to be more equitable for the poor and marginalized. SMERU notes that this mechanism allows them to work more closely with local governments and has influenced policies at the local level. Concurring with this, Article 33 Indonesia believes that this mechanism is more accountable and efficient in working with the government. Thus, if research institutions and governments can optimize the use of Type III Self-Management, they can contribute more in supporting development and formulating evidence-based policies.