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KDP's Work in Conflict and Disaster Areas

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Women Meeting

"The communities in Ibu and Loloda came to realize that only they could develop their villages and kecamatan.  They began to understandthat KDP is different than other government projects. They (the community) decide on what project they need and are fully responsible for the implementation process. Now the different parties who were fighting before can sit together and plan for  their future.”

-Reconciliation Team in Ibu and Loloda

anchor linkKDP in Conflict Areas
anchor linkKDP in Disaster Areas

The Kecamatan Development Program (KDP) areas include locations which have experienced severe communal or separatist conflict such as Aceh, Central Kalimantan, Papua, Poso in Central Sulawesi, North Maluku and Maluku. 

Over the past three years, KDP has also played an active role in response to emergency situations when natural disasters occurred in the areas of Alor in Nusa Tenggara Barat, Aceh, Nias in North Sumatera, and Bali in response to the bombing of October 2002.

KDP in Conflict Areas

KDP began operations in Aceh in 1998 and remained active despite the civil strife in the province. In 2004, KDP was active in 2,923 or 50 percent of the villages in the province. Most of KDP’s funds in Aceh have supported small-scale rural infrastructure such as roads, bridges, clean water supply, irrigation and canals. KDP has also funded economic activities including revolving funds for women, and loans to groups for small businesses and agriculture. In education, the project has supported school building construction, scholarships and school materials.

After the signing of the Memorandum of Understanding between the Government and the GAM (Gerakan Aceh Merdeka) in September 2005, KDP assisted the Government in socialization efforts to publicize the peace agreement. Discussions are underway now regarding how KDP can assist in channeling peace reconstruction funds and activities to post-conflict areas. 

Maluku and North Maluku
The fighting in Maluku and North Maluku between Christian and Muslims has left thousands of people dead, and houses and properties destroyed. KDP has made a special effort to bring the conflicting parties together in non-violent forum and reach a broad consensus on the best interests of the community.

In North Maluku for example, the province formed a special Reconciliation Team to facilitate reconciliation among warring factions in two kecamatan, Ibu and Loloda. The team was composed of Christian and Muslim community leaders, traditional leaders, youth, university students, and KDP Kecamatan Facilitators. The team joined KDP meetings, as well as informal meetings at churches, mosques, and village gatherings to inform the community about KDP. KDP consultants also went door to door to socialize about the program.

With this special approach, communities in these two kecamatan succeeded in implementing their most needed projects.

Poso, Central Sulawesi
KDP also fostered reconciliation among conflicting parties in Poso Pesisir. There were fears that the first post-conflict, inter-village competition would reignite recent tensions if previous foes received funding or if leading villages involved in the conflict tried to dominate the process. Group discussions of village proposals were not segregated along religious lines, interaction was spontaneous and needed minimal facilitation. Apart from village representatives, village heads and local leaders were also present. Although Poso Pesisir is predominantly Muslim, Muslim village representatives voted for Christian village proposals demonstrating that for KDP activities, religious differences can be transcended.

Aside from the cases listed above, there is research from other parts of the country (e.g., NTT, East Java) showing that KDP is helping to improve inter-group and state-society relations, thus making areas less prone to violent conflict. The research found that across a range of different identity cleavages, KDP has helped contribute to improvements in inter-group relations and provided a space for different groups to come together to discuss collectively their needs and priorities. Furthermore, those areas which had received KDP over a longer period of time experienced the greatest improvements.

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KDP in Disaster Areas

Over the years, KDP has adjusted its operations significantly to address emergency disaster situations.  Below are some examples of how KDP responded in the face of these national emergencies:

As a wealthy region, Bali was not considered eligible for KDP. However, the Bali bombings in October 2002 had a devastating and immediate impact resulting in massive unemployment and increased poverty. KDP was able to respond promptly by deploying project staff from other areas to establish a KDP office in Bali by November 2002. Two months after the bombing, KDP commenced   operations and within six months, KDP was disbursing funds to 610 villages in 47 out of Bali’s 55 kecamatan. Currently, KDP covers 49 kecamatan in eight kabupaten in Bali.

Alor District in Nusa Tenggara Timur
After the earthquake in Alor in November 2002, KDP responded to the emergency situation by adjusting grant allocations and scaling up the project coverage to cover all nine affected kecamatan. Most of KDP funds were used for rehabilitation and reconstruction of public facilities such as health posts, water and sanitation facilities, school construction and provision of teaching aids and school furniture.

Post-Tsunami Aceh and Nias
After the Tsunami in December 2004, KDP fielded rapidly a damage needs assessment which was used for overall government planning. As a response to the Tsunami, in 2005, KDP expanded its operations to the entire province in order to meet the challenges of rehabilitation and reconstruction. Most of KDP’s post-tsunami funds and technical assistance have continued to support small-scale rural infrastructure such as roads, bridges, clean water supply, and sanitation. Because of the emergency situation, KDP released special, quick funds to its areas in order to meet urgent community relief and rehabilitation needs.

KDP is able to work in conflict and disaster areas due to several important factors: the support and commitment of local governments, leaders, and communities to KDP activities; regular and open communications between all parties; and the provision of KDP financial and technical assistance to meet urgent needs.

Related Information:
blye arrow Indonesia Kecamatan Development Program
blye arrow Conflict and Community Development in Indonesia
blye arrow Conflict in East Asia and Pacific
blye arrow East Asia Tsunami Recovery

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