Welfare programs still poorly delivered

Welfare programs still poorly delivered
According to the survey, the fertilizer subsidy programme was the least useful while the School Operational Assistance (BOS) was the most useful.

INDONESIA - The public is dissatisfied with the government's ability to implement its social-assistance programs, according to a recent survey.

Conducted by the International NGO Forum on Indonesian Development (INFID), the study revealed widespread dissatisfaction with the government's welfare programs, which the public said suffered from long delays and a lack of clarity.

The survey - which set the social barometer index at 5.56 (on a 1 to 10 scale) - was carried out from January to March, involving 2,500 respondents in 34 provinces.

Survey participants were questioned about the National Program for People Empowerment (PNPM), the Family Hope Program (PKH), the health insurance programme, the Maternity Insurance (Jampersal), the School Operational Assistance (BOS) and the fertilizer subsidy programme.

According to respondents, the BOS programme was the most satisfactory programme and the fertilizer subsidy programme the least satisfactory programme. Some 88 per cent of respondents viewed the BOS programme as beneficial, while only 58 per cent saw the fertilizer subsidy programme as useful.

INFID researcher Hamong Santono said that more than 50 per cent of respondents said social-assistance programs failed to reach the people who needed them. "Many people who need assistance through the programs are unable to receive it," Hamong said.

He added that most respondents said goods, money and services received through the programs did not cater to their actual needs.

The survey, which in the previous year set the public perception index at 5.3, also showed that over 50 per cent of respondents believed the pace of distributing the aid ran at a snail's pace.

Hamong said that such a perception had arisen due to the lengthy procedural process and burdensome qualification requirements. "The process is indeed time-consuming and complicated," he added.

On procedural matters, most respondents complained the government had yet to provide clear information on the programs, including information on objectives, targets, requirements and procedures.

The survey further revealed that problems surrounding the social-assistance programs had fostered an unequal distribution of resources for meeting the public's basic needs.

Alfindra Primaldhi, a researcher with the University of Indonesia who collaborated on the survey, said there was still deep inequality in the country.

"Income, wealth and housing are the three biggest social inequalities," Alfindra said.

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