Indonesia’s democratisation process has achieved significant successes, but further challenges lie ahead.
WFD believes its parliament is part of the solution – and is keen to explore opportunities for deepening our engagement with its work.
The parliament’s role has transformed since multiparty elections first took place in 1999. The establishment of democratic institutions, limiting of the military’s size and embarkation on the process of decentralisation all helped Indonesia transition to become the third-largest democracy in the world. But issues like youth unemployment, fallout from the global economic downturn and widespread perceptions of pervasive corruption continue to undermine confidence in the new system. The parliament can help tackle the concerns resulting from these areas. By sharing best practice from around the globe with its leadership, Westminster Foundation for Democracy aims to support this critical work.
Our relationships with key organisations and actors in Indonesia rest on foundations laid by the collaborative approach which has underpinned all our past programming in the country. The British Labour Party’s sister-party work, which since 2008 has trained women candidates and built their campaigning capacity, preceded a programme supporting the upper chamber in 2012 and 2013. We believe sharing best practice wherever it is found is the key to success, as shown by the 2015 exchange between the Kurdistan Parliament in Iraq’s Anti-Corruption Commission and its Indonesian counterparts.
From 2016 to 2018 our work in Indonesia will focus on improving the lower house’s capacity to conduct financial scrutiny – rebuilding citizens’ trust in the parliament’s transparency and accountability in the process. We will draw on best practice principles shared by both the House of Commons’ Public Accounts Committee and the Scottish Parliament’s Financial Scrutiny Unit. Both have already contributed to the establishment of WFD-funded financial scrutiny bodies in countries including Ukraine, Serbia, Tunisia and Morocco.
Our programme also aims to increase the effectiveness of the parliament in producing good and timely legislation, by broadening its participatory approach and by strengthening its research capacities. Doing so will support the parliament’s accountability and oversight processes, both important capabilities for an institution at the heart of Indonesia’s drive towards better governance.
WFD is committed to strengthening the parliament to improve the lives of all of Indonesia’s citizens – and is open to further opportunities to contribute as opportunities arise.