Indonesia

Indonesia

More than two decades since the 1998 reforms that brought an end to the New Order regime and returned the power to vote in direct elections to the people, Indonesia is often called a beacon of democracy in the Southeast Asia region. However, challenges to inclusive and accountable politics across the different levels of Indonesia’s complex democracy remain.

Since 2016, WFD has worked with national and subnational legislatures as well as civil society and thought leaders in Indonesia. WFD’s mission in the country has emphasised incorporating human rights principles in both policymaking and its implementation. An important landmark in this effort was the introduction of post-legislative scrutiny mechanism in the Indonesian Parliament, a process which WFD supported extensively.

WFD Indonesia also supports the parliament’s efforts to enhance its transparency and accountability through the Open Parliament initiative. In 2020, WFD’s environmental democracy project began to aid the parliament in responding to growing concerns over environmental sustainability, in line with the country’s green economy commitment.

2016: year of first WFD programme
Open parliament

The House of Representatives (Dewan Perwakilan Rakyat or DPR), the lower house of Indonesia’s parliament, declared its open parliament initiative in 2018. Indonesia was the first country in Asia to join the global initiative. In December 2018, the DPR published its first Open Parliament Indonesia National Action Plan (OPI NAP); co-created with WFD and local civil society stakeholders spearheaded by the Indonesian Parliamentary Center (IPC).

WFD has also facilitated the sharing of knowledge and experience of open parliament between MPs and civil society leaders from Indonesia, Malaysia, Myanmar, Nepal, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka. Following this support, in December 2020, the second open parliament national action plan was published with wider civil society participation in the process. The plan sets out how open legislation and open data principles would enhance transparency and public participation in parliamentary processes.

WFD supports the open parliament initiative through the Inclusive and Accountable Politics (IAP) programme funded by the UK FCDO.

Financial oversight

WFD works closely with the Indonesian parliament’s Public Accounts Committee (Badan Akuntabilitas Keuangan Negara or BAKN) to continually improve parliament’s oversight of government budget and expenditure. Through the Inclusive and Accountable Politics (IAP) programme, WFD has provided extensive learning opportunities for the BAKN by facilitating study visits to the Public Accounts Committee of the UK House of Commons as well as the UK National Audit Office, holding thematic workshops, and training the committee’s staff and leadership. WFD continues to be a partner to the committee in upholding its mandate and carrying out its role in scrutinising public finances.

Protecting human rights

WFD has played a central role in introducing methods to review the application, effectiveness and consequences of laws to the Indonesian Parliament at both national and subnational levels. This practice is known as post-legislative scrutiny. An amendment to the 2011 Law on Formation of Legislation in 2019 established the procedure for legislative scrutiny in the legislation cycle. With support from the British and Canadian Embassies in Jakarta, WFD ran a string of post-legislative scrutiny pilot projects in subnational parliaments focusing on local regulations that discriminate against women, religious minorities, LGBT+ people, and people with disabilities.

Environmental democracy

WFD has led  successful focus group discussions on environmental issues involving MPs from relevant committees through a partnership with the Indonesian Parliament’s Inter-Parliamentary Cooperation Committee (Badan Kerja Sama Antarparlemen or BKSAP). The discussions have garnered much-needed attention on environmental sustainability with an emphasis on how the parliament can play an instrumental role in helping Indonesia achieve its nationally determined commitments under the Global Green Growth programme. WFD’s work in this area emphasises the need to enhance access to information, public participation, and accountability in environmental programming as well as the need to include marginalised groups – particularly indigenous peoples – in the process.

Country Data

Population:

Population:

268.5
Million (2020)
GDP:

GDP:

$1.088
Trillion (USD)
GNI per capita:

GNI per capita:

$4,050
(USD)
Media freedom:

Media freedom:

119/179
World Press Freedom Index
Democracy index:

Democracy index:

65/179
Liberal Democracy Index

Key Results

Provided legislative scrutiny workshops for over 40 MPs and local council members across four regions, leading to reviews of laws that discriminate against women, the LGBT+, religious minorities, and people with disabilities.
Trained over 50 legal drafters, 40 analysts and researchers, 35 staff members, and 20 auditors from 17 parliamentary secretariat bodies, 15 parliamentary committees, and 6 ministries on financial oversight, public participation, and accountability mechanisms.
Facilitated the engagement of over 70 academic researchers, 60 experts, and 40 civil society leaders in parliamentary processes with over 40% women participants, developing studies on narcotics law reform, introducing legislative scrutiny into law-making mechanism, and co-creating two open parliament national action plans.

Implementation

Supporting the development of an open parliament action plan
Completed
Protecting human rights through legislative scrutiny
Completed
Supporting the development of an open parliament road map
Underway
Planned end: March 2021
Enhancing parliament's oversight function
Underway
Planned end: March 2021

News

men and women sitting around table

It’s complicated: Parliament’s relationship with anti-corruption agencies in Indonesia, Pakistan, and the Maldives

Corruption has a negative effect on development, economic growth, and democracy. Independent Anti-Corruption Agencies (ACAs) are often recommended as the tool to curb corruption. However, the creation of such agencies is not a panacea to the scourge of corruption. In some instances, ACAs have been a disappointment and their effectiveness has been questioned. Their efficiency […]

Reconciliation statue at Stormont

Supporters, spoilers or sidelined: the role of parliaments in peacebuilding

  Parliaments are likely to play a crucial role when states transition from war towards peace. Yet this role is often overlooked and very little research exists on the role of parliaments in peace processes and peacebuilding. Parliaments are an important arena for the inclusion of warring parties, and the resulting interactions could either aid […]

people sitting at a social distance in a meeting

Redefining collaboration and healing public trust through open parliament reforms    

There is a disconnect between citizens and the parliament in Indonesia. At least that is what the Westminster Foundation for Democracy (WFD) and the Indonesian Parliament (DPR RI) found from a public perception survey conducted between July and August 2020. An overwhelming majority of the respondents agreed that public participation is “very important” in supporting […]