Those interested in democracy and good governance should be alive to both the risks and the opportunities posed by the coronavirus pandemic – their voices could make the difference between setback and progress.
More than twenty years since Indonesia’s political transition started, the country stands as an example of democratic progress in the ASEAN region. However, there remain challenges to inclusive and accountable governance across the different levels of Indonesia’s still young democracy. Over the past five years, WFD has worked with Indonesia’s national and subnational legislatures as well as civil society from across the country to advance more open governance, robust parliamentary scrutiny, and better laws that protect citizens’ rights.
The Dewan Perwakilan Rakyat (DPR), or Lower House of Indonesia’s National Parliament, published its Open Parliament National Action Plan for the period 2018-2020. WFD was involved the process of developing the Action Plan and is named as one of the partners supporting its implementation. Through our Inclusive and Accountable Politics Programme supported by the UK Department for International Development, WFD has supported the DPR to form a dedicated Open Parliament team within the lower house secretariat and is currently working with that team on the development of an Open Parliament Road Map.
WFD is working with the Badan Akuntabilitas Keuangan Negara (BAKN), the public accounts committee of the lower house, to support the improvement of financial oversight by the national parliament. Through our Inclusive and Accountable Politics Programme supported by the UK Department for International Development, WFD has supported the BAKN to undertake an exchange visit to the United Kingdom to learn from the Public Accounts Committee of the House of Commons as well as the UK’s National Audit Office. Based on the findings of the visit, WFD has continued to provide ongoing technical assistance to the BAKN to develop recommended changes to the DPR’s rules of procedure that would strengthen the BAKN’s standing and mandate within the parliament and its role in the scrutiny of public finances.
Over the past three years, WFD has worked with Indonesia’s parliaments at provincial and district levels (subnational legislatures known as Dewan Perwakilan Rakyat Daerah or DPRDs) to strengthen their legislative scrutiny practices through programmes supported by the British and Canadian Embassies in Jakarta. Our technical assistance has focused on how legislative scrutiny can be applied to improve the compliance of local legislation with international human rights obligations. WFD has joined forces with the University of Jember’s Centre for Human Rights, Multiculturalism and Migration to develop modules on protecting human rights through legislative scrutiny and we are currently in the process of launching pilot legislative scrutiny inquiries with a select number of DPRDs.
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Following the law: Combatting discrimination and human rights violations through post-legislative scrutiny
WFD’s Senior Governance Advisor, Franklin de Vrieze, explains the importance of assessing the implementation, impact and unintended effects of legislation for the protection and promotion of human rights in Indonesia. “Public expectations of parliaments’ legislative success have evolved substantially, from getting laws on the statute book to ensuring that laws are brought into effect and […]