Proportional Teacher Distribution
District Administration of Luwu Utara

A. Problem Analysis

 1. What was the problem before the implementation of the initiative?
Since Indonesia shifted to monumental decentralization in 2001, many sub-national governments have strived to meet public service standards. Sixty years of authoritarian rule and systemic levels of corruption have stunted a strong culture of public participation and undermined trust in public services. The idea of seeking public input on new policies remains novel in many local governments, as does the implementation of genuine levels of transparency. The district of Luwu Utara in the Indonesian province of South Sulawesi faces a serious problem in terms of inequality in the educational services offered in its schools. Historically, this inequality was, in part, due to an uneven distribution of teachers. As a short-term solution to this problem, the schools hired contract teachers without paying sufficient attention to their competencies and background. This practical solution has compromised the quality of education services. Ironically, teachers placed in schools 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. 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. Subsequently 128 teachers were transferred to the previously underserved schools. Taking the success of the teacher distribution at primary schools, the district decided to extend the program to secondary schools. Based on the district education office’s analysis on the current teacher distribution, four secondary schools have surplus government teachers of core subjects and 23 schools were underserved. The impact of teacher insufficiency for communities in more 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 shared by many members of the community. As the first step to address this issue, the district administration is transferring 37 teachers from the schools with surplus teachers to the schools in need while it is considering other options to fill in the vacancy. The district administration follows closely the procedures of the proportional teacher distribution at primary schools. They run dialogues with various community members to garner public feedback and assure that the program is responsive to the public needs.

B. Strategic Approach

 2. What was the solution?
In order to address the uneven teacher distribution in secondary schools in Luwu Utara, the district education office analyzed the gap in teacher distribution using the nationally managed education data. Based on this situation analysis, a multi-stakeholder forum consisting of government officials and community members urged the district administration to implement a proportional teacher distribution program to address the problem of uneven teacher distribution in secondary schools. To support implementation, the district administration established the program based on the existing district regulations on which the proportional teacher distribution program for primary education was based. This is a formidable accomplishment given than many districts in Indonesia have 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 public, it was important to involve a wide range of stakeholders in the push for improved basic education from the planning phase through to 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 to 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. In addition, the community and the local government regularly meet in a ‘Tudansipulung, a town-hall meeting adapted from a traditional event in Luwu Utara. In this meeting, the local government involves traditional and community leaders in education-related discussions. 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, 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, many teachers were happy to relocate and begin teaching in more isolated areas.

 3. How did the initiative solve the problem and improve people’s lives?
The approach taken to implement this initiative 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 of education services • Be able to map teacher distribution, analyse the results, and hypothesize reasons for 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, provides genuine opportunities for public participation. This open approach promotes awareness of the need for urgent action and highlights the “common good” the policy aims to address. In the past, teacher distribution was at the discretion of the government. However, Luwu Utara now involves the community to implement the distribution.

C. Execution and Implementation

 4. In which ways is the initiative creative and innovative?
The redistribution of teachers in Luwu Utara included the following activities: • Workshop to raise awareness 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 by local government, schools, community and mass media. • Based on suggestions from 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. This forum worked together with the district education office to evaluate the proportional teacher distribution program. • Collection and verification of teacher distribution data • Calculation and analysis of teacher distribution data using the nationally managed education database. • Monthly discussions held by the MSF in the media centre café and the Teras Adira coffee shop and regular discussions in Tudansipulung. • Drafting of district head regulation on teacher distribution, based on problem analysis • Public consultation on draft district head regulation • Awareness raising of the district head regulation and the implementing procedures conducted in-person and through radio • 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. 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. The district administration also utilizes Tudansipulung (Luwu Utara traditional town hall meeting) to gather public inputs, including traditional leaders, on the improvements of education services. 4. 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 37 secondary school teachers selected for reassignment had in fact moved to their new schools (they had – a major success in itself). The multi-stakeholder forum now 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 Deputy 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) • Traditional leaders These 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. To support the program implementation, the district education office allocated funds to the amount of IDR 50 million ($5,000) in 2014. These funds were used to support the data analysis, outreach and awareness activities, as well as teacher relocation. The district administration provided IDR 21.5 million ($2,150) for Fakta to conduct monitoring and evaluation. It also set aside IDR 267 million ($26,700) to provide incentives for the teachers relocated to remote areas. In addition, the district administration provided the Indonesian Teachers Association with IDR 120 million ($12,000) to support teachers’ professional development. 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. 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.

 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 primary school teachers and 37 secondary school 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, and are currently being reviewed.

 8. What were the most successful outputs and why was the initiative effective?
As primary school teachers have already been transferred, future monitoring efforts will focus on the 37 secondary school identified for redistribution. 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. 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 two-way dialogue with teachers about the importance of the initiative for their career development and welfare as well as reminding them that they are an integral part of success in providing basic education services • Careful validation and verification of data collection from the schools by analysts • Strengthening of NGO capacity through training and workshops on policy advocacy.

D. Impact and Sustainability

 10. What were the key benefits resulting from this initiative?
Redistributing primary and secondary school teachers in Luwu Utara has made a significant difference in the delivery of public education in the district. Each stakeholder has benefitted in different ways: Benefits for Local Government: • Availability of data and analysis on teacher distribution In the past, the local government did not have validated data to develop work plans. Through the gap analysis on teacher distribution, the government has more detail information on the teachers needs, which helps to develop evidence-based work plans. • Enhanced capacity of the district education office in data management and analysis. LPKIPI trained district education office staff on data collection, verification and analysis for three months prior to the redistribution of teachers. 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 are now able to conduct their own data collection and analysis to support the initiative into the future. • Increased effectiveness of teacher management • In the past, the district education office did not have quality information on teacher status, including teaching hours and the schools they work for, which prevented the government from providing promotions and improve professional capacities. With the better information on the district’s teachers, the government is now able to make evidence based decisions on the 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 opportunities for career development • 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. This means that teachers gain national certification status, a key professional achievement which qualifies them for further promotions. 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 stipends for their achievements. In addition, the Luwu Utara administration has 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: • Schools can now fully implement the curriculum with competent teachers for all classes Luwu Utara’s primary and secondary schools have improved their capacities to achieve the nationally mandated service standards related to the minimum number of teaching and learning sessions. This improves the school’s standing in the eyes of the government and the public. Benefits for the Community and Students: • Quality education services are now more accessible by more students in more areas. • Through the multi-stakeholder forum, community members are more easily 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 Indriani
Title:   Ms  
Telephone/ Fax:  
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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