Strengthening mutual accountability and partnerships for WASH, Country Brief, Indonesia

Sunday, September 12, 2021

Source: Cunningham R; Al'Afghani, MM; Qowamuna NA; Winterford, K; Willetts, J (2021)

This study identified five main findings, as follows:

  1. There are various multi-stakeholder platforms in the national level in Indonesia which have varied characteristics, functions and membership, and some overlaps, and include five main platforms (Pokja, Jejaring, Sanitation Partners Group, Pokja PKP, Pokja Sanitasi). These platforms primarily serve as communication and coordination platforms between WASH stakeholders rather than serving to support accountability. 
  2. The social network analysis demonstrated high fragmentation and low cohesion across WASH stakeholders, with some WASH organisations having unique networks that they operate within, but which are not shared by other organisations. Donor and aid organisations had more frequent interactions with government compared to local NGOs and research organisations. 
  3. Currently there is no mutual accountability mechanism in place between national WASH stakeholders. Rather, there is evidence of accountability occurring internally within organisations or institutions. There is also evidence of accountability from development partner/NGO to the national government, and there are traditional vertical accountability mechanisms, a medium-term development plan to guide overall direction of the sector and mechanisms such as the Ombudsman and regular reporting. However, these do not constitute mutual accountability between WASH stakeholders. The existing multi-stakeholder platforms do not explicitly enable mutual accountability between WASH stakeholders. 
  4. COVID-19 did not change the existing accountability mechanisms. However, it changed the way WASH stakeholders communicate. The method of communication shifted from the traditional face-to-face communication to online communication. Online communication was considered to be more flexible, as well as cost and time effective. As such, by utilizing online platform, there is a potential to enhance participation of WASH  stakeholders in WASH discussion. 
  5. 5. Most WASH stakeholders had heard about SWA as a global partnership, but they were not aware of its specific activities in Indonesia. This is due to Indonesia’s relatively recent participation in SWA (Indonesia joined SWA in 2017) - as such most non-SWA partner organisations had no or little knowledge about SWA activities – and there was an absence of a multi stakeholder forum to facilitate Indonesia’s commitment in SWA. To increase accountability between WASH stakeholders, a forum that enables mutual accountability mechanism is needed. There is no need to establish a completely new forum as the existing multi-stakeholder forum can be optimized to accommodate this need – it is, however, important to redesign and improve the quality and effectiveness of the existing forum for it to function well. In line with the MAM, Pokja and Jejaring AMPL, which primarily function as a communication and coordination platform, can be redesigned to enable a process to hold stakeholders accountable for their commitments – allowing assessment, reviews, and necessary adjustments to the stakeholders’ performance. The MAM will have the potential to bind its members and enforce commitment implementation provided that there is a high-level support from the President as a reflection of political will as well as SWA’s strong support in the national and global level are essential to achieve this goal.

Download the full report here