This policy paper is based on a research conducted by IRE’s researchers in 7 districts of Indonesia, namely Ambon (Maluku), Buton Selatan (Sulawesi Tenggara), Musirawas (Sumatra Selatan), Sambas (KalimantanBarat), Timor Tengah Selatan (Nusa Tenggara Timur), Lombok Timur (Nusa Tenggara Barat) and Kulonprogro (Daerah Istimewa Yogyakarta), with a topic on organizing village. The research focused on the recruitment process of village facilitators and local NGOs’ experiences in organizing and empowering communities.
The research resulted in some important findings, namely (1) the policy pattern of organizing villages was exactly centralized, whereas several articles in the Village Law and the Government Regulation are providing a window of opportunity of an asymmetric approach, in accordance with the local context and typology of respective village and region in Indonesia. (2) Local NGOs have long experiences and mobility in empowering communities. The government should undertake affirmative actions to establish mutual partnership to strengthen the implementation of the Village Law. (3) It is necessary to have a model and approach of asymmetrical villages organizing, by paying close attention to the diversity of governance villages’ capacity in Indonesia, the peculiarities of the respective regions, especially the involvement of village institutions in developing the model of “organic” organizing, based on cadres living in the rural communities.
Thus, by this policy paper IRE is attempting to provide inputs to the government to improve some policies and models of organizing villages, from the centralized towards the asymmetrical one, to be relevant and contextual to the distinctiveness and diversity of regions and villages in Indonesia, be in terms of the villages’ capacity, potencies, assets and regional characters, such as islands and inland areas.