Yayasan Plan International Indonesia (Plan Indonesia) has responded to multiple emergencies in 2021, namely Ile Lewolotok volcano eruption and tropical cyclone response in Lembata (East Nusa Tenggara/NTT province), earthquake in Mamuju (West Sulawesi province), and Mt. Semeru eruption in Lumajang (East Java province). In responding to these emergencies, Plan Indonesia has been working closely with subnational Community Engagement and Accountability Working Groups (CEA-WGs). This case study aims to provide an analysis of the implementation of the three pillars of CEA in the recent three emergencies in Lembata, Mamuju, and Lumajang to which Plan Indonesia had responded. The experience and lessons learned are expected to positively contribute to improvement in accountability and effectiveness of future humanitarian response in Indonesia.
The first case study in Lembata showed how resources were allocated specifically for promoting CEA and initiating feedback mechanisms in an emergency to the long-term social accountability through the call centre 112. Learning from earlier responses to volcano eruption, Plan Indonesia dedicated resources (budget and human resources) to set up initiation process through multi-stakeholder engagement CEA workshop and training. Communication channels were made available and various IEC materials were developed for wider outreach. Sharing feedback analysis with other humanitarian actors, including governments, was aimed to influence collective commitment for improved assistance. Some invaluable feedback including the preference of family kit over distributed construction toolkit, dignity kits for adolescent boys (not only girls), and feedback for priority needs and eligible families for the CVA program. This feedback was received, followed up, and closed once successfully responded.
The second case study highlighted the establishment of CEA-WG in Mamuju through technical facilitation to strengthen the local leadership.
Plan Indonesia supported a deployable technical consultant who assist to convene and facilitate coordinated meetings before definitive leadership was in place. Supported by Plan Indonesia’s partner, Yayasan Karampuang, the establishment of Displacement and Protection Cluster and CEA-WG were fruitfully facilitated, including pilot implementation of feedback mechanisms in 3 villages. Despite some. political dynamics and coordination challenges due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the pilot provided key lessons on what communication mechanisms worked better with the rural community whose connectivity and ICT infrastructure are limited.
The third case study emphasised the integration of the existing social accountability platform, LAPOR Lumajang for AAP purposes. At the initial stage, Plan Indonesia team supported the response lead with a summary report in the cluster meetings as an entry point for discussing the needs of CEA. Technical training for Community Information Group (KIM) was agreed to be a strategic step to leverage the public information outreach and proactively collect feedback from the community. Since the platform was designed for general feedback to public services, the platform is not suited for handling sensitive issues/reports, especially because of its requirement for personal identification, timeliness issues, the lack of integration with the nongovernmental feedback mechanisms, and accessibility issues (web-based platform). On the other hand, the platform offers the potential for a scalable model for promoting commitment to nexus.
Throughout responses in three regions, it is concluded that effective CEA requires the right mindset and commitment, quality coordination, the right resources for the right cause, local leadership, and strategic community capacity building. On the other hand, the presence of COVID-19 has stretched local resources and capacity to respond to feedback in regards to requests for assistance. As such, some key recommendations include investment in evidence-based advocacy messages and inclusive engagement, increasing wider visibility of CEA-WG and maintaining its regular engagement, improving cross-cutting issues understanding in CEA, addressing capacity gaps of humanitarian organisations at the subnational level, and setting up coordinated and accountable responses to coping with multiple emergencies.