The Government of Banda Aceh Municipality

A. Problem Analysis

 1. What was the problem before the implementation of the initiative?
In Indonesia public participation in development planning is mandated by the Law (Law No. 25/2004). Therefore in order to accommodate public aspiration in development planning, the government created Musrenbang. Musrenbang is an annual forum where the community discuss their local development needs and decide upon priorities for short term improvements. This participatory budgeting process makes it possible for residents to articulate their needs to local government. In practice, even though there were no significant gaps in the composition of women and men in the city of Banda Aceh, this meeting was often dominated by men. While women, as one of important stakeholders, were marginalized. Women, who are often passive, were left out when it came to decision-making due to their low participation (less than 20%). Consequently, the development plan only accommodated men needs. Taken this issue into consideration, the government of Banda Aceh together with GTZ-SLGSR then created a mechanism called Musrena. This mechanism aims to improve women participation in development planning and budgeting.

B. Strategic Approach

 2. What was the solution?
In 2007 the government of Banda Aceh supported by GTZ-SLGSR initiated an affirmative action for women, by developing a method of planning named MUSRENA (female action plan discussion). Musrena specifically accommodates the interest of women. This mechanism is expected to contribute to the planning and preparation of the regional budget, so that it can accommodate the needs of both men and women equally.

 3. How did the initiative solve the problem and improve people’s lives?
The initiative is unique because it accommodates the needs of gender mainstreaming in public sphere. In addition, it also promotes transparency and participatory principles in government decision making process. It enhances gender responsive planning and budgeting by taking into account setting that affected women behaviour. As in the case of Aceh it is not comfortable for women to speak freely in front of men. So, by providing a forum that is special for women, it is expected that women can speak freely and comfortable.

C. Execution and Implementation

 4. In which ways is the initiative creative and innovative?
Every year Musrena is started with a preparation at the village level. The women, with the instruction of the village head, hold a meeting at the village level and choose two representatives for musrena meeting at the district level. Based on this meeting, elected representatives gather aspiration/input/ideas of the women in the village to be brought to the district level. At the district level, the working groups are formed based on district. Each working group elects a leader and a secretary of the group. The leader of the group is responsible for the work, time and output of the group. The expected output of this meeting is a proposal containing priority of the group in upcoming development plan. In short, this initiative uses bottom up approach in its process. Since there are 9 sub-districts in Banda Aceh, Musrena at district level is conducted 3 times. Each meeting is attended by the representative from three sub-districts, with two representatives per district.

 5. Who implemented the initiative and what is the size of the population affected by this initiative?
This initiative was designed by the government of Banda Aceh and GTZ-SLGSR. Stakeholders who are involved in the implementation of Musrena are marginalized people such as women. Musrena is conducted by Banda Aceh Municipality Development Planning Agency (Bappeda) with the assistance of the local government working unit (SKPK) and other relevant stakeholders such as NGOs, which concern with gender mainstreaming issues.
 6. How was the strategy implemented and what resources were mobilized?
The budget for the implementation of Musrena and its output are provided by the government of Banda Aceh Municipality through local government budget. Besides government, this initiative is also funded by donor agencies such as the Rehabilitation and Reconstruction Agency (BRR), state owned enterprise (BUMN), international and local NGOs. Since there is a limitation in regional budget, the proposed activities derived from musrena need to be sorted according to development priority of the region. So, not all proposed activities can be accommodated in regional budget. Then, a meeting with international and local NGOs, donors and partners is conducted to decide which activity can be accommodated and funded next year.

 7. Who were the stakeholders involved in the design of the initiative and in its implementation?
1. The public understanding of the regional budget planning and monitoring mechanisms, especially women's increased. Gradually, the community especially women understand the meaning, function and mechanism of regional budget. 2. Women participation and capacity in regional development planning and budgeting increased. 3. Gender equality approach in planning and budgeting processes strengthened. 4. The accountability of local government increased.

 8. What were the most successful outputs and why was the initiative effective?
Bappeda is the agency that responsible in monitoring and evaluation process of Musrena. A results-based monitoring and evaluation system is utilized to monitor and evaluate the initiative. The monitoring and evaluation are conducted at planning and implementation stage. At the planning stage, proposed activities are noted as expected output of the program. While at the implementation stage, activities realization data from government working unit are collected and verified. Unfinished activities are listed and discussed whether it will be reconsidered or eliminated next year.

 9. What were the main obstacles encountered and how were they overcome?
Despite a media to accommodate the input of women has been provided, not every participant understands the importance of their participation. To solve this issue some steps were taken, i.e.: 1. Establishing a coordinating team for Women's Empowerment to increase the understanding of Gender Mainstream program in Banda Aceh, 2. Establishing gender mainstreaming working group to ensure that all government working units formulate gender responsive policy 3. Forming a focal point team to ensure that every program conducted by government working unit promotes gender equality. The lack of knowledge has made most of the people assumed that gender mainstreaming program was contrary to the teaching of Islam. To solve this issue the government improved gender knowledge of the community, especially women representatives, village representatives, women and children NGOs. Besides lacking of knowledge, lack of capacity in development planning is also constraining the initiative. Therefore to address that obstacle Musrena is conducted two days. The first day is allocated exclusively for a discussion session on development planning and budgeting. The aim of this session is to increase the participant capacity and understanding of national and regional development planning and budgeting process.

D. Impact and Sustainability

 10. What were the key benefits resulting from this initiative?
The impact of this initiative is the increase of women participation and capacity in politics. One of indicators used to measure the impact of musrena is the number of women in politics increased in the last five years. It is considered successful by looking the increasing number of women in politics so far. The number of women in politics increased can be seen in the number of women who run for legislature, the number of women joining a political party, and women in the position as decision maker in government, which are increased significantly.

 11. Did the initiative improve integrity and/or accountability in public service? (If applicable)
Since 2009 Musrena has already a sufficient legal basis (The regulation of Banda Aceh Mayor no. 52/2009 on the implementation of Musrena). While financially, the initiative is supported by the government of Banda Aceh through its regional budget. There is no longer a dichotomy towards a particular gender, especially women. Now, more people understand and accept the presence of women in various fields of life, both domestic and public sector, in Banda Aceh. More importantly, it has raised the awareness most of policy makers that the involvement of all groups equally in community, such as women and disable people, is important. Musrena is a simple mechanism that is very applicable. There are two institutions that have been promoting musrena i.e. the Ford Foundation and the City District Government Communication Forum (FKKKA) to other city and district all around Aceh province. Some regions even already replicated Musrena, such as Central Aceh, Sabang and Subulussalam.

 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)
The initiative not only has improved women participation but also has positive impact on many things, such as: 1. Human development index and human gender index 2. Public welfare, shown by the increasing number of women who have a business. 3. Public health, education and economic sectors 4. The number of women involved in politics, which is indicated by the increasing number of women run for legislature or join a political party. 5. More people realized that woman role in households, society and government is very important. 6. Women do have a good capacity and capable to be promoted as a policy or decision maker in government.

Contact Information

Institution Name:   The Government of Banda Aceh Municipality
Institution Type:   Government Agency  
Contact Person:   Illiza s
Title:   Vice Mayor of Banda Aceh Municipality  
Telephone/ Fax:  
Institution's / Project's Website:  
Postal Code:  
City:   Banda Aceh
State/Province:   Aceh Province

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