This reminded me of how important planning is in an organisation. Sir Winston Curchill said “Those who fail to learn from the past are doomed to repeat it”. This was an unequivocal assertion about the importance of past lessons to avoid making te same mistakes in the future. With this in mind, I coud see how evaluation becomes importat in the life of an organisation in order to become better in the future.
People in Babo somehow got the same idea about evaluation. "Evaluation is an attempt to become a better person" said Lek Kapri, the manager of BUMK "Ingin Jaya" in Babo when we had a change to talk. BUMK stands for Badan Usaha Milik Kampung (Kampung is aa term for village in Bandar Pusaka Subdistrict, Aceh Tamiang). The equivalent in English for BUMK would be Village Business Unit. On WEdnesday, 5 September 2018, BUMK "Ingin Jaya" in Babo invited all business unit heads, managers, advisors, supervisors, and people representatives to participate in a first-semester evaluation for 2018 (at Babo Village Hall).
YSI was there to give inputs to make sure that evaluation proceeded as planned, to assess achievements. The process allowed each business units to conduct evaluation of their respective unit. Discussion ensued after each presentation by repective units, to elicit further information about key issues and solutions as well as lessons. Then, the BUMK managers presented general information and what happened internally within BUMK “Ingin Jaya” in Babo. This presentation led to a number of findings that caught the attention of advisor (Datuk Paimin), people representative (Village chief Zainal), and SHEEP staff (Masturido and Junaidi).
The final part of evaluation was a discussion on recommendation, as follows.
- Regulation or policy about business units need to be clarified in terms of how they could be translated into operational guidelines.
- BUMK did not have a permanent treasurer, and this had effects on financial management. Hence there needs to be urgent solution on the issue.
- Communication mechanism must be written so that it can become reference for all business units to allow for common perception and understanding.
- Planning must be based on needs for respective units and must be in line with the vision of BUMK.
- The advisory function must be promoted in order to maintain trust and accountability of managers.
- There must be written regulation for the profit distribution mechanism of BUMK and this should apply to all business units.
- Review and analysis of business feasibility must be done periodically (updated, not just once), particularly to critically examine business units that are in decline or facing internal turmoils.
- Apply for land certificate in the village; to ensure legality of plantation land owned by BUMK (to be transfered into village land, and not personal ownership) but this has to be done through dialogues.
- Opportunity to set up new units in order to maximise profits, welfare and sustainable contribution to village development.
The evaluation recommendation have been jointly approved and become starting points for future planning. Planning is based on needs (per recommendation) and this is expected to improve performance of BUMK in the future, to enable it to fulfill its role to promote local economy in Babo. Importantly, BUMK can provide more employment opportunities for villagers and at the same time improve human resources. Good management will likely result in improved contribution to village income which in turn gives the village flexibility to design programs that really meet the needs of its people.
It is not easy to promote local economy as this requires participation of all stakeholders in the village. There are challenges in terms of potential internal and external conflicts. During evaluation, the desire to serve people is a shared starting point. Careful attention needs to be given on internal relations within BUMK and between BUMK and villagers to ensure that BUMK is not just focusing on economic development, but village development overall.
By: Masturido, Field Coordinator for Aceh