Equitable Distribution of Community Welfare: Alignment of Local Government Capacity and Territorial Challenges

 

*Moh. Said, Bambang Supriyono, M. R. Khairul Muluk, Bambang Santoso Haryono

Introduction

The decentralization policy aims at the effectiveness of governance in all regions of Indonesia. The essence of decentralization is increasing authority for regional governments to manage their territories. The ministry of regional government is expected to be able to improve the quality of public services and facilitate public access to public services. In addition, it can also improve the quality of participation, democracy and regional equality. The effectiveness of the government administration leads to the realization of public welfare. In accordance with the objectives of the formation of the regional government launched by State Administration Agency (LAN) (1960:1) that the purpose of establishing regional governments is to facilitate and guarantee the success of government administration to the regions so that public welfare can be realized throughout the territory of Indonesia. 

The success of the implementation of regional government depends on two factors, namely the support of the central government and the independence of the regional government. Said (2008) explained that the success of regional autonomy implementation began with proper regulation. In addition, the capacity of the regional government is needed to carry out its authority. The capacity of the regional government cannot be separated from the support of the central government and the condition of the region. Central government support can be in the form of: political support, administrative support and financial support. While factors that influence the capacity of regional governments for the success of regional autonomy, namely: regional and administrative capacity, political support, technical and financial support, and environmental constraints. 

The capacity of the Regional Government is related to the ability to manage its territory. The effectiveness of the management of the region is strongly influenced by its geographical conditions. Geographical conditions determine the characteristics and degree of capacity needed by regional governments. Geographical problems in decentralization must be a serious concern related to how people will be served (Weimer and Vining (1989)). Certainly, different institutions are needed for the success of public services (Bo, 2010). 

Sumenep Regency is one of the regional governments that faces geographical challenges, where the area is very broad and divided into land and archipelago areas. The regency has 126 islands spread across nine subdistrict in the archipelago. Viewed from the area of Sumenep Regency, 45.21% of 1,146.93 km2 is an archipelago, which is inhabited by as many as 300,601 people or 28% of 1,114,949 inhabitants - the total population of Sumenep Regency. Geographical conditions have caused the Sumenep Regency Government to experience development gap issues between the mainland and the archipelago, the underdeveloped archipelago. Accessibility of the archipelago is a barrier, the distance from the central government and the limitations of inter island transportation modes result in long travel times and expensive costs.

 The problem of managing the archipelago of Sumenep Regency is related to the efficiency and effectiveness of territorial management (Norton, 1994). If there is a dis catchment area in the management of the area it can cause financial losses, environmental damage, social problems, and trigger community dissatisfaction with the regional government. Therefore, an in-depth research of the problems of regional government administration is needed so that it can find the best solution for the realization of community welfare in the archipelago of Sumenep Regency.

Theory

As we know, the research on the implementation of decentralization, the welfare of the community associated with the challenges of the theoretical conditions of a regional government is still not widely practiced. Therefore, to find the theoretical framework, we must begin by linking decentralization with regional affordability. The establishment of autonomous regions must consider the affordability of management of all regions (Hussein, 2000; Muluk, 2009). Madubun et al. (2017) stated that administrative regions consisting of many islands have a negative impact on government dynamics. These conditions disrupt the implementation of government affairs, development, and public services. While Zainuri, et al. (2016) stated that there must be a development orientation which has been more inclined to development in the mainland, which must be shifted to be oriented to the development of the archipelago area  because the majority of Indonesia’s territory is an archipelago. In fact, the archipelago area became a remote area, which is left behind, and its condition is isolated. 

The territorial determination of regional government must be based on the catchment area as stated by Huessein (2000) and Muluk (2009), that the area must consider the occurrence of optimal processes for service, development, resources utilization, and community participation. While MacCallum (2009) explicitly explained the importance of territorial conditions for the dynamics of economic welfare, fragmentation of social capital, and quality barriers to public policy delivery systems. In addition, territorial determination are related to geographical conditions and the effectiveness of public services (Mutallib and Khan; 1982). 

Literature that discusses the affordability of the region in the implementation of regional government is associated with capacity, both financial and institutional capacity. Said (2008) said that the success of decentralization requires several conditions, one of which is the capacity of regional governments. Then related to the discussion of the capacity of regional governments, (Grindle, 1997) explained that capacity can be built by three dimensions, namely human resources dimension, organizational dimension, and systems or policies dimension. 

The financial capacity of the regional government must be pursued independently (PAD/Locally-Generated Revenue), in addition, it also requires support from the central government (Said, 2008) in the form of general allocation funds (DAU) and special allocation funds (DAK). This is in line with the opinion of Cheema and Rondinelli (1983), who stated that decentralization is the transfer of authority and resources to regional governments. That is, it is not only authority that is being expanded, but there must be support from the central government to regional governments in the form of support for resources, such as finance and human resources, as well as the transfer of management of natural resources in the regions

Research Methods

This research used system archetype to explore the impact of the implementation of decentralization and equitable distribution of community welfare as a whole (Haines, 1998). System archetype make it easy to structure the problems faced by an organization or a system (Kim & Lannon, 1997). Each archetype has theme characteristics, special experiences, performance behavior patterns over time, structure, mental models, and interventions. There are four ways to use system archetype, which can be used as: a) a lens, b) structure pattern templates, c) dynamic theory, and d) tools for predicting behavior. Existing archetype can be used as a tool to capture problems faced by organizations, then the right solution can be formulated. 

The elements in this research include: regional government capacity, community welfare, regional growth, regional development, the impact of limited development, accelerated development policies, and public hearings and consultations. Data collection was done through interviews, focus group discussions (FGD) and document data analysis. Data was constructed into a story line. The process of data analysis followed the steps as follows: 1) listen to the story line, 2) Briefly summarize the archetype theme in the story, 3) Identify key variables, 4) Graph the behavior of some of the variables over time, 5) Create a causal loop diagram that depicts the archetype, 6) Make systemic structure manifested by the story, 7) choose particular archetype in question (Kim and Anderson, 1998).

Results

Based on the results of the research, equitable distribution of community welfare in the archipelago of Sumenep Regency is illustrated in three system structures, namely: development of growth, harmonization of development, and harmonization of capacity to carry out development.

4.1.Development of growth

The Development of Growth Structure explains the strategy of developing growth in the archipelago to encourage the creation of community welfare. This structure is dynamically reinforced which contains archipelago area growth factors, and community welfare. The reinforcement pattern occurs because the relationship formed explains that an increase in the growth of the archipelago area will be followed by an increase in community welfare, and vice versa. 

The structure of the Development of Growth system consists of two causality relationships. The first structure of causality relationship is “The higher the growth, the higher community welfare in the archipelago.” The increase in the growth of the archipelago area can encourage the increasing health of the community. Improvement of inter-island transportation services, regional openness and information technology support fueled growth in the archipelago area. Thus, it created convenience for the community to interact with the outside world, the ease to access information, and spread information about the potential of the archipelago. The potential of the archipelago must be used as a basis for understanding the efforts to improve the welfare of the community. Then it must be integrated with the readiness of other adequate facilities and infrastructure. 

Based on the analysis of the structure above, it can be concluded that the increase in growth will improve community welfare in the archipelago. The creation of welfare improvement efforts can be carried out in various ways by utilizing both economic, cultural and environmental potential or abundant natural resources. 

On the other hand, the second structure of causality relationship is “The higher the community welfare, the higher the growth in the archipelago.” The structure means that if there is an expectation of increased growth, the welfare of the community must be increased. The archipelago area has good potential but has not been managed optimally. Therefore, if community welfare wants to be improved, growth must be made in the archipelago. Regarding the condition of community welfare in the archipelago at this time, it still requires serious handling in order to give good results.

 Increasing community welfare is the responsibility of the government, but that does not mean that only the government who must work on it. Realizing prosperity is joint work, it is a collaboration of all elements which consist of government, private sector and community. Consistent alignments from the government and the support of all stakeholders are needed.

4.2. Harmonization of development

The structure of the Harmonization of Development System (B1) explains the strong willingness of the regional government to maintain the sustainability of development in the archipelago. This structure contains factors in community welfare, and the impact of limited development. The pattern of causal relationships between factors in this structure is balancing. It means that the cycle of activity is complete if the desired standard is reached, or the cycle continues if there are still gaps found. The gap still occurs in the welfare of the community, because welfare standards have not been fulfilled due to the limited development of the archipelago area so that the results have not improved the welfare of the community. If community welfare has been achieved, the impact of limited development will not be meaningful anymore. 

Equitable welfare through Harmonization of Development includes efforts to harmonize community needs with development programs carried out by the Regional Government. The first structure of causality relationship is “The higher the welfare of community, the higher the impact of development limitations in the archipelago.” The meaning of this structure is that the more prosperous the community, the higher the standard of needs, so that the impact of development limitations is increasingly felt. 

On the other hand, the second structure of causality relationship is “The higher the impact of development limitations, the lower community welfare in the archipelago.” It means that the higher the impact of limited development, the lower the welfare of the community is. Efforts to improve community welfare must be carried out by reducing the impact of limited development. One of the impacts of limited development is the difficulty of access to the archipelago. Goods and human mobility is strongly influenced by the availability of transportation infrastructure. Limitations on transportation infrastructure and the basis of the high cost of living in the archipelago. In addition, it also causes the quality of health and education services become low. 

By seeing the description of the impact of limited development and the level of community welfare above, it can be understood that the impact of limited development has a negative effect on the level of community welfare in the archipelago of Sumenep Regency. Therefore, to realize public welfare, we must eliminate the impact of limited development in the archipelago.

4.3. Alignment of development capacity

The Structure of the Alignment of Development Capacity System (B2) contains the impact factors of limited regional development, acceleration policies for island development, public hearings and consultations, and development of the archipelago area. The trend pattern of causality between factors in this structure is balancing. The gap occurs in the development of the archipelago area which should be able to improve the welfare of the community. The accelerated development policy in the archipelago encourages the allocation of budgetary resources and human resources (apparatus) as well as accelerating the availability of infrastructure which simultaneously promotes acceleration of development in the archipelago. 

The policy of accelerating the development of the archipelago area is based on the results of the screening of people's aspirations. Disclosure of these expectations and needs can be done through various channels of aspiration such as development planning deliberations carried out at the village and sub-district level, the submission of demands made by community groups, NGOs, student organizations, and nets of aspirations of the people’s representatives. The more frequent audits and public consultations, the easier it is to handle the impact of limited development in the archipelago. 

Alignment of development capacity in the archipelago is done by allocating more resources, both financial and apparatus resources. It is also supported by the provision of basic infrastructure to encourage the improvement of community welfare. The first structure of the causal relationship is “The higher the impact of development limitations in the archipelago, the higher the development needs in the archipelago.” This causal relationship is positive, if the impact of limited development increases, it demands more development. Awareness of the behavior of this system must be used as the basis for formulating development programs to realize prosperity for people in the archipelago. 

The limited development in the archipelago has been realized by the Sumenep Regency Government. Therefore, special attention to handling the backwardness of the archipelago has been carried out since the beginning of the implementation of the regional autonomy in the reformation era. This concern is marked by policies that prioritize accelerating development in the archipelago. The impact of limited development has a positive effect on development needs in the archipelago. 

The second structure of the causality relationship is “The higher the development in the archipelago, the higher the public hearing and consultation in the archipelago.” A good development program must come from the aspirations of the community. Efforts to accelerate development in the archipelago must be followed by increasing community participation, so that it can maintain the suitability of development programs with community needs. That is the meaning that can be understood from the structure of this system. The openness of space for participation is in line with the expectations of the community to contribute to the development process. Development in the archipelago must be based on the needs of the local community. Public hearing and consultation processes must be managed systematically to capture development aspirations from below.

 Then, for the third structure of causality relationship is “The higher the frequency of public hearing and consultation, the better the quality of the policy of accelerating the development of the archipelago.” The process of bottom-up policy formulation can improve the quality of policies produced. In this case the quality of the accelerated development policy in the archipelago. Determination of the policy of accelerating the development of the archipelago area functions as a manifestation of the process of democratization of the implementation of regional government. The good will of the regional government is in accordance with the will of the people who want to improve the condition of the archipelago. The spirit of equitable development and welfare of the people in the archipelago of Sumenep Regency act as a positive response to the aspirations of the people of the archipelago. 

The fourth structure of the causality relationship is “The better the quality of the policy of accelerating the development of the archipelago area, the lesser the impact of development limitations in the archipelago.” This structure shows that the policies of accelerating development have positive impact on the limited development of archipelago area. The better the quality of development acceleration policies, the lower the impact of limited development in the archipelago.

 Policies that prioritize development acceleration in archipelago areas aim to overcome the impact of limited development in the archipelago. The development limitation in the archipelago include low regional accessibility, inadequate quality and quantity of basic infrastructure, and inter-island connectivity as a result of the limited capacity of regional governments. Therefore, development in the archipelago is a big challenge for the Government of Sumenep Regency. Adequate capacity is needed to do hard work with a relatively short span of time. To overcome the limited capacity, multi-level government and multi-actor collaboration is needed. Development is a dynamic process, sincerity of hard work, with a unity of commitment from various actors to create equitable welfare of the community is needed to realize the expected envelopment. 

4.5. Archetype growth and under investment of community welfare equitable in the archipelago parts

Archetypes of equitable of community welfare in the archipelago are obtained from the process of integrating  several subsystems. Based on the characteristics and patterns formed in the integration model, one of the most suitable archetypes is the archetype growth and under investment. In this model, the strengthening of the performance of equitable of welfare has experienced a delay. Delays occur due to limiting factors leading to a reduction in the performance of development.

 Figure 4 show that welfare of people in the archipelago will increase if development can be carried out properly. But, due to the capacity constraints of the local government, the development has experienced limitations. So that, an accelerated development policy is needed which is based on the results of hearings and public consultations. Community welfare affects each other with the growth of the archipelago.

Discussion and Conclusion

The quality of the implementation of decentralization in the archipelago of Sumenep Regency has been described as archetype of growth and under investment. The system structure contains three basic structures, namely: development of growth, harmonization of development, and harmonization of development capacity. The fact that community welfare in the archipelago is not yet realized is caused by the limited capacity of the regional government. This limited capacity leads to the low growth in the archipelago, slow development, and low quality of public service delivery. 

The limiting factor for these archetype is the capacity of local government. On the other hand, the leveraging factor is the policy of accelerating the development of the archipelago. A possible strategy to do is to accelerate development in the archipelago based on the management of growth potential systematically and sustainably. Harmonization of all dimensions of development must be carried out both in the economic, social and environmental dimensions. Then, to harmonize development capacity in the archipelago, regional governments must increase the participation of local communities, the private sector, and multi-level government collaboration. This is to strengthen the capacity of regional governments so that they can overcome the limitations of development in the archipelago.

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Sumber Jurnal: Journal of Public Administration Studies