REFLECTION

Education 14 September 2018 Yayasan SHEEP Indonesia

Workshop Experience and Understanding of Village Development

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The workshop proceeded on 14 August 2018 at Village Chief Office in Babo, involving representatives of 8 villages.

These included Gampong Tampur Bor, Gampong Tampur Paloh, Gampong Melidi and Gampong Pante Kera in Simpang Jernih Subdistrict, East Aceh; and Kampung Baling Karang and Pematang Durian in Sekrak Subdistrict; and Kampung Babo and Kampung Batu Bedulang in Bandar Pusaka Subdistrict, Aceh Tamiang (3 people). Representatives consisted of CBO and CSO members from IKAPEMAKSPJ (students in Simpang Jernih) and PESSAT (villagers) who have been involved in village development and who may have the most chance of engaging stakeholders outside of their respective village.
 
Representatives from Melidi, Tampur Bor and Tampur Paloh recounted interesting stories, about their struggle to come to the workshop. The journey across shallow rivers (where they had to push their large boat) was exhilarating and showcase their high spirit.  Boat was the only mean to travel in Simpang Jernih, and the journey became difficult when the water was too shallow for the boat to pass, because it drew a lot of physical strength to push the boat, and therefore took a lot more time to navigate the shallow water.

After an opening by an official from Babo about the objectives of the workshop, participants shared their perception of village development. They understood what village development meant, although they expressed their understanding in different words. What was most interesting was that village development was not just about infrastructure development, but also crucially important was the capacity development of the people.
"Village development is a process by which people build for better life, be it infrastructure or human resources as a whole in order to ascertain social welfare " (said iyep, a participant from Pessat). This was metaphorically drawn in symbols in meta-plan.

Another participant, Sabil from Pante Kera suggested that in drawing village development plan, there must be problem solving activity by making maximum use of local potentials. This showcased a change in understanding amongst villagers. They showed a change in paradigm about village development, that it was not just about physical projects but also the capacity of the people who managed those projects.

After sharing and discussions, participants watched a film about development models through partnership with external stakeholders. The film showcased village development, the policies that brought that development into focus, the planning process, and people participation. Most participants, particularly CBO representatives, never watched any documentary about mid-term village development planning or standard Government business plan. Even Erna (a participant from Pematang Durian) told that she had tried to obtain that kind of documents from her local village government but was never given any. In terms of transparency, participants identified a number of issues in particular with regards to public access to planning documents. People’s criticism was interesting in that it showed their understanding of their roles and rights in local development. They expected participation to start from the beginning – from planning, implementation, monitoring and accountability process.

The final session discussed strategic issues within respective village. For this, participants had critical review of local problems and potentials jointly completed with other CBO or CSO members. All villages focused on lack of understanding by village officials of their key responsibilities and roles which had effects on how they managed the village. Other issues of interests included village cooperative, health, education, and infrastructure. They insisted on further action plan on those issues to be developed within respective village. CSO played important role in monitoring of implementation to ensure that everybody played their part effectively. Mutual agreement and written regulation were important action plan to complete in order to ensure that synergy and partnership would not create troubles in the future.

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Last modified on 27 September 2018