Proportional Teacher Distribution
District Administration of Luwu Utara

A. Problem Analysis

 1. What was the problem before the implementation of the initiative?
Following Indonesia’s transition to democracy and its monumental decentralization process in 2001, many local governments continue to struggle to meet public service standards. Sixty years of authoritarian rule and systemic levels of corruption have stunted the development of a strong culture of public participation and undermined trust in public services. Just over a decade ago, the public’s role in the development of government policy was that of the passive recipient rather than the active participant. The idea of seeking public input on new policies remains novel in many local governments, as does the implementation of genuine levels of transparency. However, among Indonesia’s more than 500 districts, encouraging progress is being made in overcoming the legacy of authoritarianism and substandard public services. The district of Luwu Utara in the Indonesian province of South Sulawesi faced a serious problem in terms of inequality in the quality of educational services offered in its schools. Primarily, this inequality was due to an uneven distribution of teachers among urban and rural schools. Although student-to-teacher ratios in Indonesia remain lower than in many developed countries, the recruitment and placement of teachers were primarily influenced by political factors rather than school needs. As a short-term measure to address this deficiency, many schools hired short-term contract teachers (guru honorer) whose salaries were paid for directly by the schools without sufficient attention to their qualifications or competence. Data on teacher distribution in Luwu Utara collected and analyzed by (Lembaga Pelatihan dan Konsultasi Inovasi Pendidikan (LPKIPI) ‘Ketersediaan Guru Kelas & Mata Pelajaran’) showed that only 47.76% of the district’s elementary schools had an adequate number of government classroom teachers. Furthermore, analysis revealed severe imbalances in the allocation of subject- and grade-specific teachers. The data demonstrated that only 33.62% of elementary schools had government-appointed physical education teachers and only 46.5% had sufficient numbers of government-appointed religion teachers. As a result, a significant gap emerged in the quality of education provided between schools and between sub-districts. Ironically, teachers placed in urban areas with a surplus of teachers experienced adverse effects on their career path because they were unable to report enough teaching hours for advancement opportunities or even continued certification. As a result, the teachers were forced to choose between forgoing future promotions and picking up additional teaching hours after school. The impact for communities in more rural or remote parts of the district was clear – they were kept from accessing high quality educational services. Any teachers who were transferred under previous initiatives felt as though their reassignment was a punishment for poor performance or disciplinary problems, rather than an opportunity to make a difference – a view simultaneously shared by many members of the community.

B. Strategic Approach

 2. What was the solution?
In order to address the challenges with teacher distribution, the district administration of Luwu Utara cooperated with the NGO Lembaga Pelatihan dan Konsultasi Inovasi Pendidikan (LPKIPI) to undertake a thorough update and validation of teacher data stored in a national teacher database managed by the Ministry of Education and Culture, and to conduct an in-depth analysis of the resulting data on teacher distribution. Based on LPKIPI’s analysis of the situation, a multi-stakeholder forum consisting of government officials and community members led advocacy efforts to pass a new regulation to ensure proportional teacher distribution was put into place and effectively implemented. Through an intense series of discussions and negotiations between the government and community representatives, the regulation was passed on Oct. 23, 2013, formalizing local government policy to address the problem of uneven teacher distribution. The implementation of this district head regulation was monitored by the multi-stakeholder forum and they were proud to report that the regulation was finally implemented and as many as 128 teachers were redistributed to underserved schools. This is a formidable accomplishment given than many districts in Indonesia had previously conducted similar analyses of teacher distribution and had even passed regulations regarding teacher distribution but lacked the political will to implement and enforce the regulation. Since education is a basic right of the pubic, it was important to involve a wide range of stakeholders in the push for improved basic education from the planning phase until the monitoring and evaluation phase. In addition, Luwu Utara, as a pilot district for bureaucratic reform, made a special effort to emphasize an open and transparent process and encourage public participation. Members of the multi-stakeholder forum, called the “Forum for the Promotion of Education in Luwu Utara” included directors of NGOs such as LPERAK and PMI Luwu Utara, the vice president of the Indonesian Teachers Association and active teachers, activists involved in improving village infrastructure, the head of the Luwu Utara Education Council and local journalists. To complement the efforts of the multi-stakeholder forum mentioned above, local organization Fakta facilitated a regular discussions in a lively “democracy café” (warung demokrasi , literally “democracy food stall”). Provocative speakers such as journalists for national newspapers, members of the election commission, head of the teachers associations, owners of local radio stations, contract teachers and members of humanitarian organizations met to drink coffee, eat local snacks and passionately debate teacher distribution and issues of basic education. The live broadcast of these dialogues on a local radio station also improved access to information for people living in remote areas, and contributed to the success of these debates and dialogues in promoting the issue and raising awareness among influential society members to support change. Another complementary effort that built momentum even further was the contribution of citizen journalists who wrote about their experiences with basic education. Many of their human interest stories were picked up by mainstream media outlets or influential local media, raising the issue before broader audiences and getting people talking about teachers and schools. The local education department, the local government spokespeople and representatives of the teachers associations also responded to citizen journalist stories with additional information or calls for change. Media outlets that ran stories from citizen journalists included print media (Palopo Pos, Seputar Indonesia, Ujungpandang Ekpres, Berita Kota Semangat Pagi, and the online news portal run by media organization JURnal Celebes. In addition to engaging civil society, the local administration also provided incentives for the teachers reassigned to remote areas, such as houses and monthly stipends in addition to their salary. With these incentives, the government expected that teachers felt more comfortable about living and working in the isolated areas.

 3. How did the initiative solve the problem and improve people’s lives?
This approach was unique in its involvement of both the supply and demand sides of the issue in order to develop a common solution. On the supply side, the initiative strengthened the local government to: • Pay increased attention to the effects of teacher shortages on the quality education services • Be able to map teacher distribution and understand reasons behind the results • Make better, more informed decisions about the distribution of teachers • Effectively implement policies on teacher distribution in a programmatic cycle, considering the needs of each school during the monitoring and evaluation phases. On the demand side, the initiative strengthened the voice of community members so they would: • Understand their rights to quality education services • Actively engage in decision-making processes and the development of district policies that affected their communities • Perform oversight roles and hold the local government accountable for implementing the teacher distribution policies effectively and on a continuous basis. The use of mass media, including the “democracy café” mentioned above and citizen journalism, provided genuine opportunities for public participation. This open approach promoted awareness of the need for urgent action and highlighted the “common good” the policy aimed to address. In the past, teacher distribution is the government’s right. However, Lutra involves community to implement the distribution – considering the supply and demand side, standard teaching hours. From the community side, education is adequately provided.

C. Execution and Implementation

 4. In which ways is the initiative creative and innovative?
The chronology for implementation of the main activities includes the following: • Workshop for dissemination of the ministerial decree between five ministries (Ministry of Education and Culture, Ministry of Religion, Ministry of Home Affairs, Ministry for Administrative and Bureaucratic Reform, and Ministry of Finance) with attendance from local government, schools, community and mass media. • Based on the initiative from a number of NGOs and professional associations of teachers with approval from the local government, a multi-stakeholder forum called the Communication Forum for Education Promotion (Forum Komunikasi Peduli Pendidikan or FKPP) was formed. • Monthly discussions held by the MSF in the media centre café and the Teras Adira coffee shop • Collection and verification of teacher distribution data • Calculation and analysis of teacher distribution data • Drafting of district head regulation on teacher distribution, based on problem analysis • District officials conducted a study tour to Purworejo in Central Java on Dec 3 – 7, 2011 to learn from its success in proportional teacher distribution. • Public consultation on draft district head regulation • Hearing on draft district head regulation with the district legislative council • Formation of the Implementation Procedures Team for the district head regulation • Dissemination of the district head regulation and the implementing procedures conducted in-person and through radio • Formation of the Implementation Team • Monitoring and evaluation of teacher distribution regulations and procedures through the MSF, in cooperation with citizen journalists As the chronology above suggests, the strategy for introducing and successfully implementing teacher distribution incorporated the following elements: 1. Strengthening of civil society organizations The local government of Luwu Utara strengthened civil society organizations by involving them in analysis, planning, and monitoring and evaluation. In addition, the local government and civil society organizations collaborated during the democracy café dialogues and were referenced jointly in print media. 2. Formation and strengthening of a multi-stakeholder forum (MSF) The local government also recognized and supported the Forum for the Promotion of Education in Luwu Utara, which involved community members, village development workers, education council members, and journalists. This forum conducted an advocacy campaign specifically on the teacher distribution policy. 3. Formation of a technical team within the local government to address the issue The Luwu Utara administration set up a technical team involving several departments and working units, including the department of education, local development planning agency, government training center, department of revenue, department of regional finance and asset management, legal bureau, organizational management department, and the Forum for the Promotion of Education in Luwu Utara to compile, analyze, and verify teacher distribution data, and to draft the district head regulation and the accompanying implementing guidelines. After the technical team finished the draft regulation and implementing guidelines, District Head Regulation No.28/2012 on Proportional Teacher Distribution was issued. 4. Policy advocacy by the technical team The Luwu Utara department of education disseminated the District Head Regulation on Proportional Teacher Distribution in cooperation with the multi-stakeholder forum through discussions in coffee shops, articles in online media ( and, and regional and local newspapers (Palopo Pos, Upeks, Seputar Indonesia, Tribun Timur), in addition to the live discussions and interactive format of the “Good Morning” program on local radio station Adira FM. 5. Monitoring and evaluation of policy implementation by the MSF Following the issuance of the new teacher distribution decree (No.821.29/31/BKDD) on 31 October 2013, the multi-stakeholder forum and citizen journalist monitored whether the 128 teachers selected for reassignment had in fact moved to their new schools, which was a significant breakthrough. The multi-stakeholder forum plans to conduct a satisfaction survey, involving teachers who were redistributed, the original schools, their new schools, students, and parents.

 5. Who implemented the initiative and what is the size of the population affected by this initiative?
There were a number of key stakeholders involved in the implementation of the initiative from local government, community, and mass media. A comprehensive list is included below: Local government: • District Head and Vice-District Head • District Council/Parliament • District Secretary • District Education Office • District Planning Agency • District Human Resources and Training Agency • Head of Legal Bureau • Head of Organizational Management Department • Head of Public Relations • Technical Implementation Unit from the District Education Office The local government officials who comprised the technical team that drafted the district head regulation and implementing guidelines for proportional teacher distribution were also responsible for collecting, analyzing, and verifying the data used to calculate the teacher redistribution needs. Community members: • Professional Teachers Associations: National Teachers Association (PGRI) and the Indonesian Teachers Association (IGI) • Education Council • NGOs: Forum Lingkar Masyarakat Luwu Utara (FAKTA), Lembaga Pemerhati Masyarakat (L-PERAK) The aforementioned groups participated in the Forum for the Promotion of Education in Luwu Utara (FKPP), which was involved in the initiative from the preliminary planning stages all the way through to monitoring and evaluation. Mass Media: • Palopo Pos (local print newspaper) • Ujungpandang Express (local print newspaper) • Semangat Pagi (local radio station) • Radio Adira (local radio station) • Jurnal Celebes (online media site) Community members and local government officials actively participated in dissemination and promotion activities such as interactive dialogues at the democracy café, live radio shows on Adira radio stations, and in print media. Citizen Journalists (community members from across the district) • Citizen journalists documented their reactions to efforts made by the local government to address teacher absenteeism. Local government public relations officers Melki and Aldi as well as Hasra Abbas, a journalist from, were particularly interested in promoting articles from citizen journalists.
 6. How was the strategy implemented and what resources were mobilized?
The main source of funding for this initiative came from the local government with contributions of time and labor from community members through the multi-stakeholder forum and mass media. Government contributions were mobilized by the district head, whereas civil society mobilized out of concern for a common issue. Technical assistance for the initiative was supported by funds from the local government budget, community contributions. During the implementation of the initiative, Luwu Utara allocated funds in the amount of IDR 148 million ($14,800) in 2012 and IDR 160 million ($16,000) in 2013 which were disbursed to the district education office and planning agency for outreach and awareness activities on the new policy. In addition, the local government also provided IDR 24 million ($2,400) to Fakta to gather input on the initiative through a series of public discussions. It also provided the Indonesian Teachers Association IDR 110 million ($11,000) to support teachers’ professional development. Once the regulation was issued and the implementing guidelines finalized, the government allocated IDR 35 million ($3,000) within its education budget to pay for teacher relocation. The district administration also set aside IDR 600 million ($60,000) to build new houses as an incentive for teachers reassigned to remote areas. In addition, the local government provides a monthly incentive in the amount of IDR 500,000 ($50) for the teachers in the remote areas. To assure the sustainability of the initiative, Luwu Utara awarded a contract worth of IDR 18 million ($1,800) to local NGO Lembaga Pelatihan dan Konsultasi Inovasi Pendidikan (LPKIPI) to train the staff of the district education office on data collection, verification and analysis. In addition, the government will fund community group FAKTA in the amount of IDR 50 million ($5,000) to conduct a satisfaction survey among reassigned teachers. Due to the cost efficiency of this initiative it is replicable again in Luwu Utara as needed, in other districts in South Sulawesi, and throughout the country. The local government commitment through human resources, technical resources, and financial resources led to effective implementation in a short period of time and succeeded where other initiatives failed.

 7. Who were the stakeholders involved in the design of the initiative and in its implementation?
Five concrete outputs that contributed to the success of the initiative can be summarized as follows: 1. District Head Regulation No. 28/2012 on Proportional Teacher Distribution 2. Implementing Procedures for Proportional Teacher Distribution 3. District Head Decree on Teacher Placement 4. Formation of Technical Team and Implementation team by local government 5. Formation of Multi-Stakeholder Forum Within a relatively short period of time, as many as 128 teachers were redistributed to schools with a shortage of qualified teachers, due to the active involvement of both local government and community members. The district head regulation served as an immediate mandate and government order to proportionally distribute teachers. The implementing guidelines served as a reference for the technical implementation of this mandate/order. The process for redistribution was codified in the Department of Education Head Decree No.47/2012. After the department of education head decree was issued, an additional decree was issued by the district head to fund the implementation team to oversee the implementation of the regulation throughout all sub-districts in Luwu Utara. In conjunction with the oversight responsibilities of the local government, the MSF also conducted monitoring and evaluation activities and cooperated with citizen journalists to document the process of redistribution and the changes in teacher absenteeism as a result of the initiative. The recommendations were submitted to the local government to complete its evaluation of the initiative.

 8. What were the most successful outputs and why was the initiative effective?
Monitoring efforts will focus on the 128 teachers identified for redistribution. Special attention will be given to those teachers who have been identified for relocation to new sub district according to the stipulations in the decree on the redistribution of teachers No. 821.29/31/31/BKDD on 31 October 2013. To monitor the progress and constraints of teacher distribution, the local government established an internal monitoring mechanism involving the local development planning agency and technical units of the district education office. Together, this joint team conducts quarterly evaluations through interviews with the staff of the technical offices, focusing on financial aspects of the initiative’s implementation. In addition, the technical office also conducted internal evaluation to assess the progress of the initiative. In addition to formal mechanisms, the deputy district head also responded personally to complaints she received during the implementation of the initiative. Using her authority, the deputy district head summoned the heads of the education technical offices to provide clarification and to address the issues immediately. As part of a comprehensive monitoring and evaluation effort, the multi-stakeholder forum is planning to conduct interviews with teachers that were redistributed and invitations to the public to participate in regularly scheduled dialogue. The MSF and citizen journalists will monitor the local government implementation of proportional teacher distribution initiative in accordance with the district head regulation and implementing guidelines.The MSF is also planning to conduct a satisfaction survey of teachers that relocated, their schools of origins, the schools that received new teachers, students, and parents to assess the perceived benefits of the implementation of these beneficiaries. The recommendations from this survey will be shared with the government of Luwu Utara as part of its ongoing evaluation of the initiative.

 9. What were the main obstacles encountered and how were they overcome?
This ambitious initiative required the dedication and commitment of a number of stakeholders to implement policies that had previously stalled. During the implementation process there were a number of challenges faced, such as: • Objections from teachers that were scheduled for redistribution due to their understanding that the redistribution was a form of punishment • Inconsistencies in the data collection and availability of data in various locations that complicated the problem analysis • Poor policy advocacy skills of civil society organizations The stakeholders involved in the initiative addressed and resolved these issues in the following ways: • Intense explanation and dialogue about the value, meaning, and importance of teacher distribution to improve public services with the public as a whole • Intensive explanation and dialogue with teachers about the importance of the initiative for their career development and welfare • Careful validation and verification of data collection from the schools by analysts • Strengthening of CSO capacity through training and workshops on policy advocacy. • Convince stakeholders, especially teachers, that they are an integral part of success in the education sector (basic education services)

D. Impact and Sustainability

 10. What were the key benefits resulting from this initiative?
Based on anecdotal evidence gathered from government officials, civil society organizations, and citizen journalists, the initiative offered a variety of benefits for a number of interest groups. Benefits for Local Government: • Availability of data and analysis on teacher distribution In the past, the local government faced data inconsistencies among the human resources agency, DEO and schools. Through LPKIPI’s assistance on data collection and analysis, the local government obtained clear and verified data that could be used as a source for better decision making. • Enhanced capacity of the DEO in data management and analysis. LPKIPI trained DEO staff on data collection, verification and analysis for three months prior to the PTD implementation. During the training, the staff showed better a understanding of how to analyze and produce quality data that supported the decision-making process. With the skills they gained and with continuous mentoring from LPKIPI, the staff will be more able to conduct their own data collection and analysis to support the local government’s plan to implement a follow-on initiative for the district’s junior high school teachers. • Increased effectiveness of teacher management In the past, the DEO did not have quality information on teacher status, including teaching hours, schools that they work for, which prevents the government to promote them and improve their professional capacity. With the better quality information of the teachers, the government is more able to make evidence based decision on human resource requirements of the education system. • Achieved nationally mandated minimum service standards This initiative increased the capacity of the districts’ elementary schools to achieve minimum service standards related to standard classroom sizes, student-teacher ratios by subject, teacher qualifications, required teaching hours and the required number of classroom sessions per year. • Improving public trust By respecting community input, and demonstrating a clear response to community needs, the government of Luwu Utara to increase its credibility among members of the public. Benefits for Teachers: • Fully engaged and number of teaching hours fulfilled This initiative offered greater opportunities for reassigned teachers to meet nationally mandated working hours, i.e. 37.5 hours/week, including 24 teaching hours/week. • Career development opportunities Achieving the nationally required working hours, the reassigned teachers are better able to meet certification standards and qualify for further promotion. In addition, the district administration of Luwu Utara plans to provide fast-track promotion opportunities for teachers reassigned to remote areas. • Improved welfare The teachers who fulfill standard working hour requirements are able to maintain their certifications and receive additional stipend for their achievements. In addition, the Luwu Utara administration provided monthly incentives for the teachers reassigned to remote areas. • Enhanced knowledge of education policies Teachers were able to engage with the policy making process as the local government was transparent and inclusive in the design of the initiative. Benefits for Schools: • Can fully implement the curriculum with competent teachers for all classes The district schools have improved capacity to achieve the nationally mandated service standards related to the minimum number of teaching and learning sessions. Benefits for the Community and Students: • Quality education services are more accessible by wider community. • Through the multi-stakeholder forum, more community members are able to voice their concerns and perform their public oversight roles.

 11. Did the initiative improve integrity and/or accountability in public service? (If applicable)
This initiative is being sustained through the codification of teacher distribution policy in the district head regulation and implementing procedures. It is also sustained through public engagement in civil society organizations and the multi-stakeholder forum to monitor the implementation of the teacher distribution initiative. As one of the few districts in Indonesia that has succeeded in overcoming the political and administrative resistance to teacher distribution, the need for teacher distribution reforms throughout the country is immense. Luwu Utara’s example is currently being replicated in the district of Barru in South Sulawesi and can inspire similar adoption in other districts throughout the country. Luwu Utara’s neighboring district, Luwu, and an isolated district on the western tip of Indonesia, Simeulue, have also shown an interest in adopting Luwu Utara’s model. The Ministry of Education and Culture and the Ministry of Home Affairs are interested in publicizing and promoting this good practice for national replication. The Ministry of Education and Culture in particular has identified Luwu Utara as a model district. In addition, for other countries struggling to meet minimum service standards in education and dealing with problems of access to education due to teacher absenteeism the governance approach to this sectoral issue is replicable on an international scale. It should be noted that proportional teacher distribution was originally focused on a limited number of districts fulfilling the 3T criteria of isolated, far flung, and remote (terpencil, terpencar, dan terpelosok) but after further consideration the local government decided to apply the proportional teacher distribution to all subdistricts in Luwu Utara. The government of Luwu Utara also has plans to replicate proportional teacher distribution at the middle school and high school level based on the preliminary success of the elementary school level initiative. To support this initiative, the government recruited LPKIPI to improve the capacity of the district education office staff in data collection, verification and analysis. Through this training and the continuous mentoring from the NGO, the district administration expected that the staff are more confident in conducting the data collection and analysis on their own. To assure that the teachers reassigned to the remote areas remain to stay in their new working place, the government provides regular incentives and is building new houses for the teachers. Also, as stipulated on the Implementing Procedure for Proportional Teacher Distribution, Article 13 (2), the government of Luwu Utara will cut all funding support for schools and/or technical offices that go against this initiative. This aggressive regulation provides firm legal support for the administration to implement and sustain the initiative.

 12. Were special measures put in place to ensure that the initiative benefits women and girls and improves the situation of the poorest and most vulnerable? (If applicable)
This initiative was inspirational to other districts that had conducted teacher distribution calculations but struggled to actually operationalize and fully implement the changes. A number of lessons learned can be drawn on the non-technical side of implementation including: • Local government commitment to implement the program of teacher distribution needs a stimulus, attention, and often technical assistance from external actors such as civil society. • It is also necessary to have an independent medium through which the community can raise its concerns and to perform its public oversight role. • Management of teacher distribution data needs further attention since the process of validating numbers of teachers required a significant investment of time (in the Indonesian context, other countries with more advance data collection and collation systems may not face the same problems). The data needs to stay updated regularly to maintain the data quality. • Teacher distribution can be effectively implemented if the teacher distribution data is shared in a transparent manner and discussions about teacher distribution policies are conducted in a participatory way involving a broad spectrum of public stakeholders. • To strengthen the process of teacher distribution, capacity building of the multi-stakeholder forum is important for continued oversight. • Commitment of the government leaders is crucial in assuring that proportional teacher distribution is sustainable, and that technical officers in the field continue to implement the initiative. A high-level government champion can help to ensure that essential inter-sectoral cooperation, such as between education, finance, human resources and development planning agencies, is continued. • Political support from the legislative is important in order to secure budgetary resources, and supportive regulations. The key to the success of this program was the effective two-way communication between local government and the public. Recommendations to ensure effective communication between the two entities include: • Each activity initiated by local government should include members of the public. • Support the institutionalization of public participation. • Local government should embrace transparent publication and sharing of information (open access to public information). • Minimize the “politicization of education” through the use of evidence-based policy making and transparent procedures. Previous initiatives to implement proportional teacher distribution in Indonesia failed due to lack of public awareness and support, politicization of decision-making regarding teacher distribution, and a lack of urgency to implement change. Luwu Utara found that by embracing public participation as widely as possible, it was able to achieve maximal results because the related stakeholders (teachers, parents, students, schools, local government) were aware of the issue, committed to tackling teacher absenteeism, and working together to make the initiative successful. As a result, no major instances of resistance have been reported since the first group of teachers was relocated.

Contact Information

Institution Name:   District Administration of Luwu Utara
Institution Type:   Government Agency  
Contact Person:   Indah Putri
Title:   Vice District Head of Luwu Utara  
Telephone/ Fax:   +62811427903
Institution's / Project's Website:  
Address:   Jl. Simpurusiang No. 27, Masamba
Postal Code:   92961
City:   Luwu Utara
State/Province:   South Sulawesi

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