Bridging Local Government to Achieve an Inclusive Community: Affirmative Good Practices from NTT

Posted on February 27, 2023 by superadmin_inklusi

Jakarta -– The Strengthening Diversity and Inclusivity to Realize a Resilient and Harmonious Indonesia conference was held in Jakarta from 19-20 October 2022, with a focus on mainstreaming human rights at the regency/city level in Indonesia.

The conference which took place at the Royal Kuningan Hotel and focused on one of the core principles of mainstreaming human rights a cooperative relationship between the government as a stakeholder and local organiszations and communities. Efforts to respect, promote, protect and fulfil the rights of persons with disabilities cannot be seen as the sole responsibility of the central government; it is a responsibility that lies at all levels of government including local governments.

Conference participants explored the application of ‘affirmative practice’ across all parties which promoted acceptance and openness to achieve common goals. Considered good practice, the formal application of affirmative practice is currently being pursued by the Provincial Government of East Nusa Tenggara (NTT).

According to data from the NTT Social Services Office, around 0.15% (8,081 people) of the NTT population are persons with disabilities, with varying distribution per district/city. The highest distribution of persons with disabilities, namely 973 people in Kupang District and North Central Timor District recorded the highest number of people with disabilities, with 973 and 1,053 people living in these areas respectively. Almost Based on these data, almost half (around 3,378) of the persons with disabilities lived with multiple disabilities.

Learning Affirmative Good Practices from NTT

The NTT Provincial government provides a good example of disability-inclusive development in action. They are , applying their affirmative action with initiatives such as: employing persons with disabilities, providing opportunities for persons with disabilities to work as civil servants. The Province also has, the the Governor Regulation no. 68 concerning the Protection and Fulfilment of the Rights of Persons with Disabilities in place, and involved persons with disabilities in the 2021 and 2022 Development Planning Meetings (Musrenbang). It has published a , the preparation and publication of the Disability Profile Book and prepared , Regional Regulations (Perda) for the Empowerment of Disabilities in NTT, which are currently in the process of numbering at the Ministry of Home Affairs Country.

The disability inclusive policy for NTT Province also targets disaster management and the sports sectors. Relevant department (dinas/OPD) and the Disaster Risk Reduction Forum (FPRB) are involved in disaster response during, pre- and post- disasters They are also involved in the; establishment of a Disaster Resilient Village (DESTANA); and the formation of the Disability Service Unit at the NTT Provincial BPBD. Moreover, the NTT government also supports athletes with disabilities who are members of the National Paralympic Committee.

Nina Hendarwati, Partnership Coordinator of the Australia-Indonesia Partnership Program Towards an Inclusive Society (INKLUSI), explained that the NTT Provincial Government had provided evidence of good practice extended beyond slogans, and was actively respecting, promoting, protecting and fulfilling the rights of persons with disabilities.

“The (NTT Provincial Government has demonstrated) concrete action by appointing Special Staff with disabilities and this is a step forward and proves that people with disabilities are capable and equal to those without disabilities,” explained Nina.

Nina continued that the NTT Provincial Government was open to suggestions and recommendations from the disabled community and used the recommendations as their reference in every planning and development decision.

Dina Noach gives an explanation of government policy in NTT

Dina Novista Noach, a person with a disability appointed as the Special Staff to the Governor of NTT, said that these disability-inclusive policies were initiated by the Governor. She shared that her role as Special Staff to the Governor for disability was crucial in providing insights for the public service.

“The policies in NTT are initiated directly by the Governor […] We have a regular meeting to provide insights of what needs to be provided as a public service,” said Dina.

The NTT Provincial Government’s efforts need to be supported by other stakeholders, including CSOs. One CSO, also an INKLUSI partner, supports inclusive policy programs is the Institute for Inclusion and Advocacy Movement of Persons with Disability (Sasana Inklusi dan Gerakan Advokasi Difabel/SIGAB).

SIGAB Director, Suharto, explained that NTT has done a lot to improve disability-related issues, including improved support from the provincial government and disability organisations, such as Gerakan Advokasi Transformasi Disabilitas untuk Inklusi (GARAMIN). SIGAB’s partnership with GARAMIN is supported by INKLUSI and is designed to guide the works of local government within NTT to fulfill the rights of people with disability, and to initiate various interventions to ensure people with disability understand their rights.

“So far, we notice that the support from NTT is great. We’ve built a good relationship with CSOs and the government. This is an example of a harmonious relationship, and it’s expected that this can be implemented in other regions,” Suharto said.

Further activities are being carried out by GARMIN and SIGAB through the SOLIDER (Strengthening Social Inclusion for Disability Equity and Rights) Program, including disability perspective training for village facilitators and paralegals, inclusive village mentoring, problem identification, drafting improvements for basic rights fulfilment services and establishing Village Disability Groups (Kelompok Difabel Desa/KDD). The NTT Provincial Government and GARAMIN have been indirectly implementing the principles of Human Rights Cities through the work that they have done.

Alfonsus Theodorus, the Executive Officer of the NTT’s Regional Research and Development Planning Agency (Bappelitbangda), said that involving people with disability in development in NTT was crucial to realising inclusive action plans and programs.

“The development schemes in NTT, which involve disability groups in local government strategies, are crucial for the success of inclusive action plans and programs”.

Alfonsus Theodorus’ presentation on the regulation of disability-inclusive policies

Absalom Seo, the Head of Besmarak Village, said that through GARAMIN’s program, Besmarak Village was involved as a partner in developing an inclusive village through capacity training programs with a disability perspective. Some examples included village facilitator training and a workshop on providing disability-friendly public facilities.

The Besmarak Village disability group was also established to function as a space for the Village Government Work Plan (Rencana Kerja Pemerintah Desa) team to support the fulfillment of rights for people with disability, which will be voiced through the Deliberation of Development Planning (Musyawarah Perencanaan Pembangunan) and Village Deliberation of Development Planning (Musyawarah Perencanaan Pembangunan Desa).

NTT Province is an example of good practice in the implementation of disability-inclusive policies. Through the support of stakeholders and the community, it is hoped that this good practice can be adopted by other regions to encourage a more inclusive Indonesia.

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