Members of village council in Wanatirta Village, Central Java discuss follow-up on feedback from the community regarding the distribution of cash assistance (Photo: KOMPAK)
Since 2019, KOMPAK and SEKNAS FITRA have been piloting a community feedback mechanism, known as ‘Posko Aspirasi’ in 33 villages to help village governments getting a better understanding of the key issues facing their communities. The results from Tangkil village in Trenggalek district, East Java, show promising improvements.
“In each of our eight sub-villages, we set up two suggestion boxes. The village council members and sub-village officials hand out the suggestion forms and encourage community members to list their aspirations and complaints.
We held an ‘Aspiration Week’, where the village council collects community suggestions from all community members. After this, we have a village meeting to discuss and prioritise,” explained Kasno, the Head of Tangkil Village. Kasno estimates that about 30-40 percent of aspirations will be included in the plan and budget.
The community also pointed to improvements in village government responsiveness. A focus group discussion with 22 community members provided some insight into the types of projects adopted by the Tangkil Village Government. One female community member noted “It used to be very difficult to give feedback to the local government. But it’s easy now and the government is more responsive.”
During the COVID-19 pandemic, the village council through the 'Posko Aspirasi' accommodated feedback from the community regarding the distribution of cash assistance. "In addition to the Posko Aspirasi, village council also facilitates village meeting to determine beneficiaries of social assistance and monitors the process of cash distribution," explained Kasno.