ILO to share its lessons learnt in rebuilding and reconstructing Aceh and Nias

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JAKARTA (ILO News): After more than seven years, the struggling economy of Aceh province has recovered from being shaken by a devastating earthquake and tsunami in 2004. This province at the farthest west of Indonesia has kept growing since then, with a rise in job opportunities and an improvement in the welfare of the people. Significant changes are taking place in Aceh.

Similar growth also occurs in Nias Island which is part of the North Sumatera province. Following the big earthquake in 2005, roads and bridges have been rebuilt, opening access and connecting Nias villages, thus facilitating transportation and improving the economy of the people.

As part of concerted international and national efforts to assist the rehabilitation and the reconstruction of Aceh and Nias, the International Labour Organization (ILO) and UNDP through “Creating Jobs: Capacity Building for Local Resource-based Road Works in Aceh and Nias” have been working in Aceh and Nias since March 2006. Funded by the Multi Donor Trust-Fund (MDF), the Project was designed to respond to the needs to increase implementation capacities in reconstructing essential infrastructure. The specific purposes of the project are to improve road connectivity, boost local employment, contribute to overall economic recovery and build institutional and technical capacities.

The Project applies an approach to road construction that is known as the Local Resource-Based (LRB) approach, which seeks to find the optimal balance between the use of local labour, local materials, and light equipments in order to generate high quality assets for communities. In doing so, the Project builds the capacity of local government offices, local contractors, and local communities in rehabilitating district and rural infrastructures using the LRB approach with trainings and on-site coaching.

The Project also develops tools and capacities for planning, budgeting, and programming for road infrastructure investment at district level—road management information system and its related Geographic Information System (GIS) tools, 5-year road master plan, and community based road routine maintenance guidelines.

Sharing its lessons learnt and experiences, the ILO is organizing a one-day seminar on Tuesday, 13 November, at the Borobudur Hotel, Jakarta. The seminar is aimed at showcasing and sharing the achievements of the Project and its implementation challenges. The seminar will also provide a forum for exchanging lessons learnt and best practices of the Project, to ensure that the LRB approaches will be sustained and that the lessons learned will be mainstreamed throughout Indonesia.

The seminar also marks the ending of the ILO LRB Road Project in Aceh and Nias, with the following outputs and impacts to the local communities in both areas:

・Rehabilitation of 170 kilometers of rural roads, 10 kilometers of bridges and three irrigation facilities applying the LRB approach:
・A substantial reduction in travel time to markets and other important local social and economic infrastructure facilities and services;
・An increase in the area under agricultural cultivation;
・A substantial increase in the value of agricultural land along the improved road; and
・Increased business opportunities for small business entrepreneurs along the roads.
・410,345 cumulative work-days were created, with an estimated of 30,000 more work-days being created during the last phase. Women constituted 28% of the total created work-days.
・189 local Public Works staff have improved capacity to rehabilitate district and rural roads using LRB approach and modalities;
・400 staff of small-scale local contractors received training on LRB approaches and technologies, as well as financial and management trainings;
・74 National Community Empowerment Program (PNPM) facilitators trained in the planning and implementation of community-based road maintenance;
・229 kilometers of rural roads received routine and periodic maintenance; and
・Road Management Information Systems (MIS) and related road Geographic Information System (GIS) developed by the Project. More than 400 trainee-days have been created for the Road MIS and GIS trainings (classroom and on-the-job trainings).

“The ILO is keen to continue to work with the Government of Indonesia to further see how the LRB approach could be replicated and adapted in other areas of Indonesia. As infrastructure is also one of the main priorities for Indonesia, we hope that the LRB approach could continue to provide local communities with better infrastructures for accelerating economic development, better access to social services, and a maximum protection for the environment through the maximum creation of job opportunities,” said Mr Peter van Rooij, Country Director of ILO in Indonesia.

The seminar will be attended by more than 100 participants from Ministry of Manpower and Transmigration, National Development Planning Agency (Bappenas), Ministry of Public Works, other relevant ministries and institutions, provincial and district governments from Aceh and North Sumatera, provincial from other provinces in Indonesia, and international and national organizations, including mass media.

For further information please contact:

Mr Emil Salim
National Project Coordinator
ILO LRB Road Project
Tel.: +6221 3913112 ext. 164

Mr Chandra Manalu
Programme and Reporting Officer
ILO LRB Road Project
Tel.: +6221 3913112 ext. 122

Ms Gita Lingga
Media Officer of ILO Jakarta
Tel.: +6221 3913112 ext. 115