Indonesia: Aceh and Nias tsunami response programme - Progress report Jan - Aug 2006



This Progress Report provides an overview of the ILO programme for the period January - August 2006. In the transition from crisis response and recovery to longer-term rehabilitation and development, the ILO's tsunami response programme and its implementation have undergone constant adjustments. This report is also designed to serve as the basis for further consultation with stakeholders regarding the specific directions that need to be taken by the ILO so as to ensure that its contribution to the reconstruction of Aceh and Nias will be of maximum efficacy.

The report consists of two sections. First, the "Changing nature of the response" section sets out the operational context of the ILO's activities and the overall employment challenges in Aceh and Nias. Meanwhile, the second section recounts the achievements made by the ILO Aceh Programme to date.

At the start of 2006, Aceh witnessed a major jobs boom in the construction sector. As a consequence, service delivery began to gradually improve. However, the institutional capacity of local government and the private sector, already weak in the pre-tsunami period and further diminished by the tsunami, has proven inadequate to address the livelihoods needs of Acehnese men and women. In response, the ILO is pursuing an implementation strategy that allows for the phasing out of direct implementation and the phasing in of institutional capacity-building and joint programming with BRR and the local government.

As regards Nias, its remote location and the ensuing logistical difficulties prevented the recovery and reconstruction efforts from properly commencing until the first quarter of 2006. The island's level of development is far below that of Aceh. The ILO started developing its programme capacity in early 2006. Substantive funding from the Local Resource-based Road Works and the UN Joint Programming initiatives in Teluk Dalam was secured in June 2006.


From the early emergency response stage, the ILO's Tsunami Response programme has grown into a fully fledged integrated development programme centred around the relevant parts of the ILO's core mandate. The focus is on "Getting people back to work, empowering the socially disadvantaged, and recovering the Acehnese and Nias economies". The programme is built on the principles of local ownership, sustainable and equitable socioeconomic development, and institutional capacity-building, with the starting point being the needs of the people and their communities. The ILO Programme aims to leave behind sustainable institutions and enhanced capacities among partners.

In partnership with the ILO's constituents (Ministry of Manpower and Transmigration and provincial and district manpower offices, trade unions and employers organizations), as well as a range of other partners, the ILO Programme is grounded on an analysis of the labour market and of community and individual employment needs. The programme's different components dovetail with one another, both at the planning and delivery stages, to create an enabling environment for economically reintegrating people and at the same time enhancing the manpower absorption capacity of local economies.

The programme components are: 1) employment services, 2) vocational and skills training, 3) enterprise development and microfinance, 4) local resource-based rural road rehabilitation, 5) child labour prevention, and 6) local economic development. Gender equality and the participation of the ILO's social partners are the primary cross-cutting issues.