The operator of village information system of Kalikuning Village, Pacitan, updates the cash assistance recipients based on village data collected (Photo: KOMPAK).
Since 2016, KOMPAK has been providing support to the Pacitan District Government in East Java to establish village information systems. KOMPAK initially set up the systems in Tulakan dan Tegalombo Sub-districts, and the success of this initiative in villages in these two sub-districts has led the district government to expand SID to all 166 villages in the district. Pacitan now has 100 percent coverage of village information systems, all funded by local governments.
According to Agus Hartanto, a Village Information System Operator in Bubakan village, the systems are proving an effective tool in strengthening poverty reduction programs and improving civil registration.
“The data we have we can use for planning more inclusive programs. For example, we can use the system to check if a person is living in poverty and whether they are getting any assistance. This can help us to identify those people who need our help the most,” explained Hartanto.
“Every year, we conduct a survey of people in the village. This provides information on status of marriage; their job and income levels; whether they have different types of documents, such as a birth certificate or Family Card; or if they are disabled or have a chronic disease. We also collect information on their housing situation, if they have children and whether they are in school, and much more.”
All of this information can and is used to improve development outcomes for the poorest. It gives local governments the data to be able to make informed decisions: about where to conduct more outreach visits for legal identity services, the identification of the poorest and most vulnerable populations for social protection programs, and how to better target out-of-school children.
The availability of such information helps the village government when they need to collect data on poor and vulnerable families who are affected by COVID-19 and are entitled to receive social assistance. “We verified the proposed data for cash assistance recipients from the hamlet heads with data on poor families in the village information system. This data has been aligned with the Pacitan district head’s regulations regarding verification guidelines for poor families,” he added.
On May 30, 2020 the village recorded that all 54 poor families who met the criteria finally received the first tranche of cash assistance.
Village information systems are one of KOMPAK’s six priority areas. The focus going forward is ensuring the systems are funded, regularly updated, and used effectively to improve planning, budgeting, and development activities.