Since 1998, UNICEF has been supporting Child Protection Institutions (LPAs) at national and provincial levels in Indonesia. They had been established through the Ministerial Decree No.81/1997 of the Ministry of Social Affairs in 1997. In the beginning of 1998, Indonesia faced a deep political crisis when former President Suharto stepped down after 32 years of non-democratic rule. At that time, little knowledge was available in the country regarding democratic organizational structures. NGOs were not well looked upon and government agencies were reluctant to work with them. The LPA at national level was named “Komnas Anak”, whereas other LPAs were referred to as “Provincial LPAs”. In 2002, the Indonesian administration was decentralized and, consequently, some district-based LPAs have been created, either with or without UNICEF’s direct involvement. LPAs' mandate is defined as: influencing policy makers to take greater account of children’s rights; promoting the participation of children; raising awareness of child rights among children and adults; ensuring that children have effective means of redress when their rights are violated. In 1997, UNICEF signed a grant agreement with USAID for a three-year programme. The following funding was then provided by the Netherlands Embassy for the period October 2000 to September 2004. The programme title was “Institution Building & Mainstreaming Child Protection”.
The objectives of this external evaluation as stated in the terms of reference are: to assess the progress achieved by the LPAs in realization of their mandate; to evaluate the situation-specific relevance of the child protection activities initiated by the LPAs, and their strategic plans; to evaluate the impact of the child protection activities initiated by the LPAs; to review the strengths and weaknesses of the LPAs at the provincial and national levels; to develop recommendations for the strengthening and sustainability of Child Protection Institutions (LPAs and Komnas PA); to develop recommendations for UNICEF’s future collaboration with the LPAs/Komnas PA, including formulation of an exit strategy. Through these objectives, it becomes clear that the review of LPAs consists of: evaluating the impact of LPAs’ programme activities and evaluating LPAs’ organisational structure besides evaluating the effectiveness of the UNICEF programme itself in order to specify lessons learned for UNICEF.
In the course of this evaluation, four out of six LPAs, supported both operationally and programmatically by UNICEF, have been visited between 28 January and 14 February 2004. More than 140 people, including 20 children, have been interviewed in four provinces and in Jakarta in order to assess the long-term sustainability of LPAs, draw conclusions and specify recommendations for LPAs and UNICEF. Discussions took place on an individual basis and in groups of 2-3 or up to 15 participants. Board members and members of the executive staff were met, as much as government and NGO partners, those critical as well as those in favour of the LPA approach. International NGO partners were equally included in the evaluation and, of course, UNICEF staff on all levels, in Jakarta Central Office and in the Field Offices. Questions asked were semi-structured and interviews targeted an in-depth analysis of specific organisational and programmatic aspects. Special attention was given to children involved in, and benefiting from, LPA activities. Only focus group discussions were applied with children. Relevant documents were analysed in Jakarta and in the Provinces, the majority of the English language material. Translation was very well done even though some issues had to be dealt with in a very detailed way and topics might not always have been easy to talk about to a foreign evaluator. The criteria for selecting the four LPAs include: structure, system of governance, period of establishment and geographic location. The LPAs chosen differ according to five criteria: different provinces, period of establishment, organisational structure, differences in UNICEF’s supervision, geographical characteristics and general perception of performance (by their funding partners). The selected provinces were North Sumatra, South Sulawesi, NTB, and Central Java.
Findings and Conclusions:
Four out of six LPAs have been evaluated in terms of their programme activities and their organizational structure. They are representative for the six LPAs that UNICEF has supported since 1998. Nevertheless, they do not represent LPAs in Indonesia in general. The main achievements of LPAs are analyzed in relation to the progress made towards their mandate discussed above. All LPAs have promoted the creation of children’s Fora in their province. Some are, at present, better established than others. The most recent Children’s Forum has been elected in Mataram, representing children from the capital of the province of NTB. Whereas the Children’s Forum in Medan, North Sumatra is well structured, it has several sub-divisions and at least seven partner organizations other than LPAs supporting them. All LPAs are implementing these type of activities, some with staff paid (North Sumatra), some with volunteers (South Sulawesi). Newspaper clippings are up to date and used on a daily basis for advocacy (NTB) or are less accessible and less used (Central Java). Research is particularly important in NTB in setting baseline; LPA has been restructured recently and University employees are part of the Board. Data is easily accessible and used for awareness raising and influencing policies. Data and information are being published, like in South Sulawesi, in form of a book printed locally. The information is shared with other organizations, used for advocacy and awareness raising also among the media and journalists. Especially the hotline service has proven to be difficult to carry out effectively (North Sumatra). Legal defense of children in need has been either assured directly by LPA staff (North Sumatra) or through member organizations (NTB).
The long-term sustainability of LPAs will essentially depend on four areas: the commitment of Board and Executive staff to the organization and its goals; a clear organizational structure and mandate; the level of transparent accountability; increased professionalism in monitoring, evaluation and fund raising. It is highly recommendable that LPAs use a logical framework approach and operational plan for their planning over a time period of at least one year. This approach would imply impact indicators and should be seen as a management tool for the LPAs and not as an instrument used by donor agencies. As to Komnas Anak, the study recommends to create a clear image of an NGO that focuses mainly on advocacy towards the Government and awareness raising towards the public, improving the internal structure and the image as a transparent and accountable organization. On the other side, UNICEF would look at addressing particularly weak aspects in each of the six LPAs, a tailor-made support might be needed and, where necessary, with external consultancy expertise instead of a training programme that suits all the LPAs. At this stage, LPAs have specific constraints that have to be dealt with.
PDF files require Acrobat Reader.