The Basic Education Capacity Trust Fund (BEC-TF) aims to help the Government of Indonesia (GOI) to achieve the Millennium Development and Education for All Goals by supporting good governance in education. BEC-TF assists local government partners to increase their skills in using information in the planning, management, and monitoring of educational governance and service delivery. It does this by working with national and local governments to improve the way finances and information are managed, so that both funds and information flow through the system more efficiently and allow better decisions to be made at all levels in this decentralized system, in line with national plans and policies. The BEC-TF also supports national level dialog on education policy and conducts analytical work to support it.
Local government expenditures have doubled over the past five years and today the education sector represents almost one-third of Indonesia’s local government spending (in 2001: IDR 26 trillion and in 2006: IDR 52 trillion).
Under decentralization, local governments have new responsibilities for achieving national education goals. Additional funds and authority come with these responsibilities, and in order to make sure that the education sector is well governed and can achieve its goals, local government education officers, parliament members, education board members, representatives of school committees, and head teachers all need to acquire new skills.
The BEC-TF uses a combination of tools and approaches, such as Local Government Capacity Assessments (LGCA), Capacity Development Plans (CDPs), Local Basic Education (L-BEC) Grants, Education Public Expenditure Analysis (EPEA) to:
- identify, prioritize, and make local budget, physical, and personnel allocation decisions;
- improve local governance and efficient resource use through increased transparency, accountability, improved budget processes and performance-based financing, improved financial management and accounting; and
- strengthen capacity of existing information and performance assessment systems to improve stakeholders’ access to accurate and timely information.
Fifty local government partners will each receive a Local Basic Education Capacity (L-BEC) grant totaling Rp 2,5 billion over three years to help them implement their Capacity Development Plan (CDP) for the Education Sector. The first 25 local governments will receive grants starting in 2009, and the second 25 local governments will start to receive grant funding in early 2010.
CDPs enable local governments to better allocate human and financial resources to improve capacity in governing the education sector. CDPs also provide valuable information to external partners (i.e. donors, Central and Provincial Governments) to improve the quality of budget support provided to local governments.
Based on the Local Government Capacity Assessment (LGCA) results, local governments were categorized into three groups, indicating differing performance capacity across education sector performance across five strategic areas:
- Transparency and accountability
- Education Minimum Service Standards
- Management Control Systems
- Information Management Systems
- Efficient use of Resource
Local governments scoring more than 60% will receive annual grant funds in larger sums and over a shorter period of time relative to those scoring between 40 – 60% and those scoring below 20%. All 50 local governments will initially receive an L-BEC grant to conduct a participatory education public expenditure analysis, which will serve as an entry point to increase transparency, participation, and accountability in education budgeting.
The BEC-TF focuses on three main areas, supporting capacity development through a combination of technical assistance, training, and grants to local governments.
- Supporting the Government-led Thematic Education Dialogue forum to conduct policy analysis, engage in policy dialogue with stakeholders and development partners, and maintain an overview of the education sector as a whole.
- Improving governance and efficient resource use through increased transparency, accountability, improved budget processes and performance-based financing, improved financial management and accounting, especially in local governments;
- Strengthening capacity of the existing information and performance assessment system so that better, timelier information can be used by stakeholders at all levels.
BEC works with local governments, their education offices, parliaments, education boards, and representatives of school committees and head teachers who will all have improved access to the information they need to be able to perform their duties better.