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Indonesian Participatory Budgeting Efforts

By: Joe Fernandez

Five years after the financial crisis and three years into decentralization, participatory budgeting concept remains unclear in the practice of public finance transformation on macroeconomic stability, actual spending and the management of public resources. This concept is mostly assumed as an integral part of an Initiative for Public Engagement in Budgeting Process which has been recognized in 2000 in Jakarta with the establishment of Forum Indonesia untuk Transparansi Anggaran-FITRA or Indonesia Forum for Budget Transparency that consist of several research institutions and non-government organizations. Those Indonesia NGOs supported by the Ford Foundations- Jakarta are embarking on a multi-year exercise of public involvement in budgeting process at national as well as local level. This program has been established seven focal points of FITRA network around the country that include, Medan, Pekan Baru, Palembang, Jakarta, Tuban, Kendari, and Luwu. The program has also been driven more local research institutions and NGOs to engage in the public budgeting management.