Integrated Service Unit on Poverty Relief

A. Problem Analysis

 1. What was the problem before the implementation of the initiative?
In the past, the poverty in Sragen Regency is identified as follows: a. Poor families are 17.59% of its total population based on the National Social and Economy Survey (Susenas) 2011. These are the family whose monthly spending is less than IDR280.488 (USD 25) with very low quality of living places, sanitations and educations. b. 62.109 families lived in with poor housing. Regency Government did not have proper solution for this problem. c. Although Indonesia Government has provided subsidized health insurance (Jamkesmas) for its poor population, there are 30 to 40% errors in the database that caused a significant portion of its abled population to be included in the coverage and left many poor people uninsured. There were no special attention given to the poor who suffer special medical condition such as kidney failure, mental conditions and disability. Even for the funerals, which in some society may require their family to spend extra money, the government had not yet give their hands. d. Sragen Regency had not provided special supports for the education of children from poor family. True, the central government has provided scholarship for poor student, but we identified that 1.500 of them don’t have access to it. Not to mention, no special supports existed to allow children from poor family to obtain university education. In the past, poor community did not have access to certainty of information regarding the institutions that was obliged to take care of their problems. Socializations deliver only fragments of information rendering their knowledge regarding such institutions incomplete or completely non-existence. Another problem is the fact they know the kind of support that they will get from government without full knowledge on what are the procedures to obtain it. Bureaucracy was still long and complicated and uncoordinated. As example, one must visit 8 different offices to get the recommendation letter for free health service or medication grants or to be included in Local Health Insurance managed the Health Affairs Office. Students who wish to get education grants must come to 6 different offices to get recommendation letter. There are actually many institutions that distribute government grants to poor people; from national, provincial, regency and district or even village level. The problem is, what do they have to do to qualify for receiving the grants. This is the kind of information that we failed to provide. The third problem is the fact that database is rarely integrated nor can be accessed easily. Many government agencies have their own standard for qualifying a family or a person poor. Adding complication to the problem was the fact that the databases were not well maintained. All this problems prevented any attempt to alleviate the poverty reaching its targets, and made the planning very difficult.

B. Strategic Approach

 2. What was the solution?
The solution for this problem initiated by Sragen Regent, which were later reviewed in Focus Group Discussion that was formed to facilitate individual ideas to form a systematic working scheme. The group considered it was important to formalized a special institution to administer complaints, channel their voice, provide an integrated solution for their problems and facilitate one government unit, with each other and private institutions, in any attempts to provide helps for the poor community. The new institution would consolidate meetings and further discussion between service providers and service users. The institution is Integrated Service Unit on Poverty Relief (ISUPR). The formation of ISUPR had its strong logical basis considering the fact that poverty is fundamentally a daily disaster that lies in the plain sight. The proper analog is with various ad-hoc disaster relief institution formalized by the government in response to natural disasters. Such institution coordinates efforts from various government and private institutions to help communities in areas impacted by natural disaster. The same principle has been implemented in the formation of Corruption Eradication Commission despite the fact that other institutions, such as National Police, Department of Justice and Attorneys were also equipped with the ability to deal with the problem. ISUPR becomes the perfect channel for the poor to seek helps without the need to the need for the poor to go through long government bureaucracy. Under the new institution, services delivery regarding poverty relief is made unified, equipped with valid survey instruments and “poverty single database” that is frequently up-dated and has wide access coverage. Efforts to relief the society of it poverty can be done more coordinated and well targeted. The strategic approach to achieve ISUPR’s goal are 1) directing the poor community to seek relief to ISUPR as the coordinating body in handling poverty; 2) trimming bureaucratic procedures by integrating efforts from various business entities, state owned and private corporate in one coordinating institution; 3) forming the single database containing the details of poor individuals thus in need of government’s helps. The first approach allows the society to report their economic problems while the employees in ISUPR will provide immediate respond. This approach is accompanied by socializing the services through vertical bureaucratic lines and electronic media. The second approach, the trimming of procedure for the poor to register themselves, they are only required to bring with them Family Identification and Residents Identification when reporting to our unit. As a sort of One Stop Service for poverty relief ISUPR is authorized to take over part of other service unit’s roles and responsibility for example in verifying the complaints filed by to poor people. Financial consequences of the actions taken are still the responsibility of the technical units. The key factor is that our unit takes up the responsibility to forward the kinds on helps they required –health, shelter, education- to other units in Sragen Regency Government. This approach also includes coordination with business entities that wish to execute their Corporate Social Responsibilities. Such coordination is needed to avoid ineffective distribution of the CSR funds. In the third approach, technical government units and private entities that involved in poverty relief efforts in Sragen Regency are obliged to refer to the database. The said database is uploaded to web based Poverty Relief Information Management System ( and is linked to other similar system managed by other government’s technical units, national or local zakaat amil, Society Welfare Partner (MATRA) and Corporate Forum for Community Development. They are all given access to the database with certain level of authority depending on the type of their responsibility.

 3. How did the initiative solve the problem and improve people’s lives?
Sragen Regency’s Integrated Service Unit on Poverty Relief is an original innovation and at the moment is the only one in Indonesia. Indonesia Ministry of Social Affairs appointed ISUPR as the model for City/Regency Oriented Integrated Service Initiative. As an example of One Stop Service in poverty relief, Sragen Regency’s Integrated Service Unit on Poverty Relief serve the public with the new paradigm for its effectiveness and efficiency. In the past, poor patients must attend verification and administration process in 8 different government units. Our unit provides Saraswati identification card that will serve as legal document for them to obtain services. Poor students were required to go through various bureaucratic processes before obtaining scholarship. The new mechanism, throug Sintawati identification card eliminate that requirement completely. With Poverty Relief Management Information System, the previously dispersed databases are now consolidated. With the common database, all government units are now connected to one and another and allow them to identify which group of the poor community that have received helps and which group that haven’t.

C. Execution and Implementation

 4. In which ways is the initiative creative and innovative?
a. January 2nd 2012, Sragen Regency formalized the Integrated Service Unit on Poverty Relief. b. May 1st 2012, the employees of the unit were assigned by the Regent c. May 27th 2012, the web based Poverty Relief Management Information System was formed. All government units were given access to the database with various security levels. d. May 27th 2012, ISUPI’s dedicated office building was inaugurated. The new building is equipped with appropriate infrastructures, operational vehicles, ambulances and computer units with online connectivity. Ambulance is needed to provide free immediate respond for the poor in need of medical attention. The new office is also equipped with receptionist tables and service counters for four major sections: health, education, social economy and report and complaints data. After all administration requirements are completed, service users are received in one respective table or if they require more information they can come another table. ISUPI’s Health Section cooperates with Regency Health Service, Public Hospitals and Community Health Center to provide free health care. Education Section cooperates with Regency’s Education Agency to distribute scholarship for all education level. Social Economy Section of the Unit cooperates with Labor Affairs Agency in an internship programs to Japan. Training Centers provide accommodates them in training and workshops; Industry Affairs Agency and Trade Agency provide business grants; Social Affairs Agency provides housing supports and Funeral Funds; Farming Agency and Husbandry Agency provide seeds and ducklings for farming in household scale. e. August 12th 2012, we formed Service Standard and Standard Operating Procedure based on a Regent’s decree. f. November 15th, we started the formulation of single database for poverty related statistic. The sources are the data obtained by The National Team for the Acceleration of Poverty Relief, National Bureau of Statistic, surveys and data validation. With the consolidation of those databases, the classification of poor family will be cleared. In the past, poverty relief efforts relied on national databases from 2012 and 2011, which excluded a number of poor families. In response, the Unit performs its own survey and hands out identification card to those deemed poor. This survey utilized a set of indicator that are valid and calculated. Inclusion error in the old database is dealt with in the same fashion as the exclusion errors: those deemed economically abled are excluded from the new database. The steps in this survey are scoring, listing, interviews and consolidation meetings with municipal heads. g. December 8th 2012, the issuance of Saraswati and Sintawati identification cards. The identification cards eliminate the need for complicated documents filing.

 5. Who implemented the initiative and what is the size of the population affected by this initiative?
The stakeholders are the following: a. Sragen Regent as the initiator of Integrated Service Unit on Poverty Relief. b. Focus Group Discussion that consist of Regency Secretary, Secretary Assistant, the Head of Planning and Development Agency, Investment and Integrated Service Agency, Social Affairs Agency, Head of Organization Affairs Division, Head of Legal Affairs Agency, Head of Electronic Data Processing Office and several service unit. Individual ideas are consolidated in this group. c. The employees of Integrated Service Unit on Poverty Relief that consist of: Unit Head, Head of General Affairs Sub Division, 4 Heads of Sections, and 18 staffs. d. The related Work Units of Sragen Regency Government which include: 1) Health Affairs Agency, Public Hospital, and Community Health Center execute Health Insurance program; 2) Social Affairs Agency distributes housing supports, funeral funds, and social security; 3) Education Agency delivers scholarships; 4) Labor Affairs Agency coordinates job internship and efforts in alleviation of child labor and school drop outs; 5) Training and Education Agency deals with providing community’s skill; 6) Electronic Data Processing Office provides the online contents of the information system; 7) Society Welfare Division is responsible for university scholarship; 8) Organization Division and Legal Affairs Division provides legal basis for the formation on the Unit. e. External organizations involved in the initiative are: 1) Corporate Forum for Community Development who channels CSR funds from banks; 2) State Owned Enterprises and Private Enterprise that are committed to relief the poverty; 3) Himaseta, a Non Government Organization that provides supervision and constructive inputs in our service; 4) Society Welfare Partner (MATRA) who gives non-budgeter support; 5) Zakat Amil Agency and other religious institutions. f. General public that consist of various organizations and individuals.
 6. How was the strategy implemented and what resources were mobilized?
Resources for the operation are from: a. Sragen Regency Annual Budget (Society’s Welfare Appropriation) for daily operations of the Unit, meetings, surveys and ambulance. b. National Annual Budget for Society Health Insurance, rice distribution, housing grants and scholarship; Provincial Annual Budget for Local Health Insurance, scholarship, and housing grants; Regency Annual Budget for Local Health Insurance, housing grants, scholarship and funeral funds; Promotional and CSR funds from business enterprises; the money managed by Society Welfare Partner that comes from Sragen Regency’s civil servant’s charity is specially allocated housing grants. c. Integrated Service Unit on Poverty Relief is also trusted to manage charities from member of the general public, be it organizational or individual that are sometimes not linked to poverty such as clean water, but very essential in helping the poor. The management of funds is transparent and organized well. The society is given access to monitor its distribution. As for the human resources, the Unit is run by 23 civil servants. The employees were previously worked in other units specialize in dealing social problems in Sragen Regency, and selected from a range of high performance civil servants. They all have the much-needed competence in their respective field of work and understand the basic principles of service delivery. In the district levels, the parties involved and becomes part of the Unit’s daily operation are District Heads, District Secretary, Section Heads, Society Welfare Teams, municipal heads and social volunteer. Non Government Organizations in Sragen Regency are the integrated part of our workforce in the initiative. Technical resources consist of data processing devices that rely heavily on web-base software. Beside conventional communication like telephones, we utilize electronic mails to communicate within and between units. Our employees master the basic techniques of surveying and data collection although further training would increase the performance even more. There are a set of government regulations and Standard Operating Procedure and Basic Service Standard to provide legality and certainty of our operations.

 7. Who were the stakeholders involved in the design of the initiative and in its implementation?
The outputs of the initiative are: a. The integration of various poverty relief efforts with simple procedure and free of charge. The key component in the integration is the Poverty Relief Management Information System. It is a useful tool in managing and processing the database, and provides valuable supports in optimizing our service. With the system, the process of relief efforts, from receiving individuals requesting helps, field inspections, printing of the cards and the consolidation of services delivered by other units can be done electronically. b. Integrated Poverty Single Database. The database is essential in both action planning and execution. It is an important part of Poverty Relief Management Information System. c. Saraswati Identification Card. The poor use this identification to get free health care and to take part in social economy programs. We have served the treatments for 151.460 poor patients in Community Health Center, 17.590 poor patients in Public Hospital of Sragen, and 3.969 patients in major public hospitals in Surakarta, Semarang, Yogyakarta, Surabaya and Jakarta. With the identification card, we have managed to distribute free medications for 126 kidney failure patients in need of hemodialysis, and for 530 patients of mental illness. All patients are part of the 309.145 recipients of Saraswati Identification Card. For social economy programs, by 2014 we have distributed 6.718 housing grants, 5.062 funeral charities and sent 15 individuals for internship programs in Japan. d. Sintawati Identification Card. This identification card is used for the identification of poor children in need of education grants. We have recommended 1.041 children for high school scholarships, 102 university scholarships. Through Child Labor and School Drop-outs Reduction Program, we manage to put 301 children back to school. For basic level education, for which the central government has provided a large allocation of its budget, our unit has identified 111 children who, for various reasons, don’t have access to it. Overall, Sintawati identification card has been distributed to 87.810 students from poor families.

 8. What were the most successful outputs and why was the initiative effective?
Key components of modern bureaucratic institution is planning, implementation, funding, monitoring and evaluation. Integrated Service Unit on Poverty Relief conducts monitoring and evaluation in the following aspects: a. Time and Frequency. Integrated service in poverty relief is a new type of service for which references are hard to come by. Our unit has continuously sought for the best form and here lies the importance of monitoring and evaluation. Internally, monitoring on the service delivery is conducted daily and evaluation meeting is held every Thursday. Such gathering produces valuable ideas for further innovations such as incognito survey method, more practical survey form, etc. Those evaluations are discussed further in Focus Group Discussion. b. Program. We monitor and evaluate how well the combination of different programs has worked to provide helps for the poor community. Further analysis on the monitoring and evaluation’s report is done in Focus Group Discussion, which should boost the effectiveness of the program because the group consists of high rank government officials in Sragen Regency. c. Implementation. The monitoring and evaluation for the implementation of the initiative is focused on public surveying. It is done by first analyzing the documents and continued to field surveying. In this survey, our employee is equipped with survey forms that can ensure that the questions asked and its further analysis is standardized. Such forms are filled with number, instead of qualitative description that is prone to surveyor’s subjectivity. In general, monitoring and evaluation is backed up by Poverty Relief Management Information System, which is web-based and can be monitored online by stakeholders and general public. They can contribute to poverty relief efforts by submitting ideas and information while at the same time; they can monitor its implementation.

 9. What were the main obstacles encountered and how were they overcome?
Poverty database that is currently managed by the Integrated Service Unit on Poverty Relief is not recognized in National Poverty Database. The national database relies on the survey by the National Bureau of Statistics, which poses a risk that inclusion and exclusion errors will keep surfacing. The most recent case related to this problem is on the distribution of the subsidized rice; exclusion error was prevalent and causes major problem. To cope, our unit has been convincing the National Bureau of Statistics to verify and include our data and the data collected by Sragen Regency’s Planning and Development Agency, in their database. Problems are also raised from the fact that some part of the society is ignorant towards poverty relief efforts. Even some people, due to cultural shift, shamelessly call themselves poor while in fact their lifestyle is extravagant. This people consciously cover their economic capability by for example hiding their motorcycle during field inspection and purposefully wear unattractive clothing. The only solution for this problem is through socialization and enforcing a foolproof surveying system. Other service units in Sragen Regency sometimes failed to provide their full attention on the efforts. It is mostly due to the fact that those service units have their own distinctive job description. Poverty relief is only part of their work, and because of this, coordination is sometimes very difficult. The solution for this problem is through comprehensive and coordinated reprioritization of works in Sragen Regency Government.

D. Impact and Sustainability

 10. What were the key benefits resulting from this initiative?
The positive impacts are as the following: a. Through the initiative, the poor community can now obtain a certainty on what government unit is responsible for the administration of their problems. In the past, they must attend various verification process in 8 different units. To obtain a recommendation letter they must come to 1) residential coordinator; 2) municipal office; and 3) district offices. The recommendation letter is used to get medical attention in 4) community health centers, which must be verified latter by 5) Sragen Regency’s Health Affairs Agency. The recommendation letter would be forwarded to 6) Head of Family Planning Agency and 7) Head of Planning and Development Agency and finally from 8) Head of Health Affairs Agency. After the formation of ISUPR, every citizen in the database is given identification card and to get medical attention, all they need to do is showing the card to medical administrators in community health centers or hospitals. b. The initiative creates uniformity of poor citizen classification. It is of a special importance because a significant portion of the individuals is not receiving government’s attention due to subsidy overlapping or identification failure. The confusions in the past were the result of differences in both terminology and categorization. To illustrate the problem, lets say Supriyadi is categorized as poor citizen by Health Affairs Agency for his poor housing, but not included in Social Affair’s Housing Grants because they employ a different category. For each of those units, it is a minor problem because sometimes their priority lies in the overall volumes of grants or subsidy that they manage to distribute. In the other hand, such misidentification exempts a significant portion of the poor society from receiving helps. c. ISUPR gives room for higher variety of subsidy programs: 1) Housing grants. Prior to the enactment of ISUPR, housing grants were given sporadically. With the initiative, we’ve renovated 1.020 houses in Tangen District and 1.210 houses in Gemolong District in 2013. 1.500 house grants have been delivered in Sumberwalang District in 2014. The number of poor housing have been reduced from 62.109 in 2011 to 55.394 in 2014. 2) There were no university scholarships prior to ISUPR, except for Academic Scholarship given to high achieving students regardless their economic backgrounds. ISUPR allocate scholarship fund to specifically provide education for poor student. 3) Sragen Regency’s Labor Affairs Agency disregarded one’s economic condition when selecting them for Internship Programs. It now refers to our database to finalize the list of workers to be sent. 4) In Child Labor Reduction program, there was no special attention given to whether or not the children that were put back to school continue their education. ISUPR facilitates supervision programs on such students. d. Based on National Social Economy Survey 2013, poverty rate in Sragen Regency is reduced to 15.09%

 11. Did the initiative improve integrity and/or accountability in public service? (If applicable)
The initiative will always be developed and sustained based on the following factor: a. Financially, the resource for poverty relief is abundant and appropriated from the government’s budget thus ensuring its sustainability. The appropriation details are: 1) IDR5.750.000.000 in 2014 for Regional Health Insurance (IDR6billion and IDR14billion in both 2012 and 2013) 2) IDR668.800.000 for poor student scholarship program, an increase from the previous IDR200.000.000 and IDR447.000.000 in 2012 and 2013 3) IDR8.300.000.000 for housing grants from the previous IDR4.039.500.000 and IDR447.200.000 in 2012 and 2013 4) IDR453.000.000 for funeral grant from the previous IDR1.428.500.000 and IDR649.500.000 in 2012 and 2013 5) IDR32.000.000 for internship program b. In legal aspect, as the follow up of ISUPR’s enactment, Sragen Regent issued 2 regulations specifically for the unit’s daily operation and a total of 6 regulations initiated by other service units for the integration of ISUPR’s services in their own. c. In institutional aspect, the Regency Government has proposed the upgrade of ISUPR’s institutional level from the previous fourth echelon to third echelon. For it’s replication, ISUPR receives special attention from higher government institutions especially The Ministry of Government Apparatus Empowerment and Bureaucracy Reform, The Ministry of Internal Affairs, Ministry of Social Affairs, National Planning and Development Agency and state universities. We have receive visits from ILO, UNICEF, GTZ and local governments and Non Government Organizations. Sragen Regent and the Head of ISUPR have been invited multiple times to give speeches in various ministries and other government institutions. Haidar Bagir of Compassionate City offered cooperation with our unit. In total, we have received 100 visits since 2012. The Ministry of Government Apparatus Empowerment and Bureaucracy Reform recognize ISUPR in the national level by including it in Top 33 Public Service Innovator. Our poverty relief model is part of National Planning and Development Agency’s medium-term development plan, which means every region in Indonesia will replicate this initiative in one way or the other. Factually, ISUPR has been replicated by The Ministry of Social Affairs throu Pandu Gempita Program initiated in April 2013. The initiative encourages all cities and regencies in Indonesia to run its own poverty relief unit based on the model set by ISUPR. The Ministry recommended Sragen as the case study for any regency who plan to establish their own. An example of such unit is Payakumbuh Regency’s Integrated Service Unit on teh Welfare of Anak Nagari. The Minister of Social Affairs inaugurated ISUPR in 20 districts in Sragen.

 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 lessons learned are as the following: a. The philosophy of treating the poor properly. This initiative eliminates the practice of treating the poor as mere social, economy and political commodity. It is no longer time to manage them as side projects without proper budgeting, planning and policing. b. Good will and the supports of regional leaders. Public service delivery related to poverty relief is the obligation of all regional leaders and for that, creativity and bold decision-making is required. The enactment of Integrated Service Unit on Poverty Relief is the product of Sragen Regent’s commitment to improve it service to the public. c. Supports from legislative institution. All legal basis for the enactment of ISUPR, be it Regent’s Regulation or it budget appropriation, is approved by the House of Representative of Sragen Regency. d. Supports from all government units in Sragen Regency. The execution of the programs under ISUPR’s coordination will not be successful without the full support of other government units. Such projects are no longer supported for financial gains thanks to the fact that the authority for the verification of grant’s recipient. e. The importance of partnership between government and private institution. The partnership is important especially in terms of funding resources. The CSR funds from business enterprises have done a major contribution in backing up government’s budget in poverty relief efforts. Non Governmental Organizations that specialize in social issues have a tight cooperation with our unit. Their contribution is important in for example the distribution of grants and monitoring the identification surveys. Their presence helps maintaining our employee’s objectivity during the surveys. f. The support from and the mastery of information technology: our information system is the key factor in the integration of various efforts by different units in Sragen Regency. Our recommendations for the replication of the similar programs in other regions are: a. Improvements of Poverty Relief Management Information System. The oen owned by Sragen’s ISUPR is adequate but improvements are encouraged. b. Relief efforts are supposed to empower instead of helping them temporary. c. It is important to maintain and expand the network that the government has with private institutions, NGOs, and various community and individuals in the society. d. Any government that wish to replicate ISUPR needs to set up a proper action plans, and we will more than happy to share our experience in running the system.

Contact Information

Institution Name:   Integrated Service Unit on Poverty Relief
Institution Type:   Government Agency  
Contact Person:   SUYADI SUYADI
Title:   Head of Integrated Service Unit on Poverty Relief  
Telephone/ Fax:   (+62271) 8823700 / (+62271) 891297
Institution's / Project's Website:  
Address:   Jl.Raya Sukowati No.255 Sragen
Postal Code:   57211
City:   Sragen
State/Province:   Jawa Tengah

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