Bottom-Up Development: Indonesian villages reap benefits of trainings Order of Malta - Permanent Observer Mission


Bottom-Up Development: Indonesian villages reap benefits of trainings

Residents learned to organize, create projects, apply for government funding

A kindergarten, a road, a sewer, a marketplace, and even a microcredit fund – these are just some of the many improvements that citizen groups from 10 Indonesian villages were able to bring about in their communities over the past two years. The reason for their success: thanks to Malteser International’s capacity building project, these residents learned how to properly identify their villages’ needs, create projects, and apply for government funding.

Residents from the village of Nibong are developing agriculture through trainings and the implementation of rice intensification methods.

Malteser International helped the residents of ten rural communities located in Aceh Utara, in western Indonesia, form Village Development Committees (VDCs), whose goal was to identify their community’s development needs and represent them towards the local authorities. These committees, elected by the residents, were responsible for creating village development plans – together with the population, they determined the villages’ most pressing issues and problems as well as their existing capacities, using this information to create a five-year strategy on improving their living conditions. To help the VDCs achieve their development goals, Malteser International trained the elected members so they would be able to create, manage and fund their own local projects. Their newly acquired skills in the areas of finance, monitoring and administration allowed them to apply for government funding for their own projects.

The results exceeded all expectations: the villages applied for funding for a total of 27 projects – more than two-thirds of which were approved – amounting to a total of nearly 110,000 euros. The projects allowed for improvements in infrastructure, education, agriculture and sanitation, among others. Three of the villages even created funds that provide microloans for women who want to start small businesses or diversify their income.

“The high number of project applications directed at a variety of government agencies, both on the local and regional levels, shows a high level of commitment from the VDCs”, says Julia Brunner, senior desk officer for Indonesia at Malteser International. “We are positive that they will continue maintaining these contacts and establishing new ones in order to fulfill the needs of their communities step by step”. The project received funding from the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ).