More than 3.000 universities and high institutions in Indonesia carry out KKN (Community Service Program or similar programs) as a potential resource that can contribute and have a major impact on poor villages. But in its implementation, it requires the support and collaboration of various parties to maximize the positive contribution and impact. The goals and achievements of a more strategic KKN need to be built to provide clear direction so that KKN activities can be more efficient in developing villages.
The University Building Village (UMD) program initiated by KOMPAK with support from the Australian Government, is intended to optimize the potential and available resources, to produce better impacts for villages, communities and local governments where the Community Service Program (KKN) is carried out. The UMD program is expected to be an innovative model (platform) in order to optimize existing resources, namely KKN or similar programs in developing villages by involving various parties, especially universities, local governments and communities.
The UMD program has been going on since 2016. Four universities namely Parahyangan Catholic University, University of Jember, UIN Ar Raniry Aceh, and UIN Alauddin Makassar have been selected through an open competition. The involvement of university in community development is not new, but how to optimize the KKN program and other similar program that have long-term impacts is a challenge to be answered through this UMD model.
The thematic KKN model is expected to have a positive and strategic contribution in the effort to improve basic services, develop a village information and data system, and create employment opportunities in the community. Some universities specifically select students for the implementation of this program. This UMD has involved 18 villages, 4 districts, 4 provinces and 614 students in implementing the UMD Program. KOMPAK assisted in the design of programs at each University, helped access local governments to collaborate during the program, and periodic evaluations made sure the program went well according to the plan.