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Research Report

Towards Wellbeing:: Monitoring poverty in Kutai Barat, Indonesia

Christian Gönner
Ade Cahyat
Michaela Haug
Godwin Limberg
Copyright Date: Jan. 1, 2007
Pages: 106
OPEN ACCESS
https://www.jstor.org/stable/resrep02089
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Table of Contents

  1. (pp. 1-4)

    In August 2006, the President of Indonesia announced that poverty had been reduced from 23.4% in 1999 to 16% in 2006 (Anon. 2006a). This announcement came on the heels of a year of hardship with fuel price increases, which logically was felt to have increased poverty. The result was a re-emergence of the discussion of poverty figures and definition of poverty (Anon. 2006a, b, c; Khomsan 2006; Ivanovich 2006; Lesmana 2006; Sugema 2006). Confusion over poverty figures arises from the use of at least five parallel information systems for determining who is poor (see also Cahyat 2004).

    1. BPS SUSENAS. The...

  2. (pp. 5-10)

    Kutai Barat is a district typical of many forested areas in the tropics. It is known for having ‘rich resources, but poor people’. With the formation of the new district, a semi-urban centre, Sendawar (comprising Melak and Barong Tongkok) has emerged with rapid economic and infrastructural development. Many new roads and bridges have been constructed, improving access throughout the areas close to Sendawar. On the other hand, the area above the Mahakam rapids (Hulu Riam⁴) is only accessible by subsidised planes and, depending on the water level, by longboats, while other areas (such as Bentian Besar and Long Hubung) are...

  3. (pp. 11-14)

    Understanding wellbeing and poverty is the first step to reducing poverty. Meaningful definitions are important in order to identify the causes of poverty, the objectives of poverty reduction, and the scope of what should be done.

    Declining poverty means increasing wellbeing. Both terms are interwoven and look at the same problem from two different sides. A broad definition of poverty comes very close to ‘a lack of wellbeing’. So both terms are used in this report almost interchangeably. For instance, if people completely lack wellbeing, they are in poverty. On the other hand, if they are in a state of...

  4. (pp. 15-18)

    The project team applied a participatory learning approach in developing and implementing the wellbeing monitoring tool. The various steps of this approach, as well as the field methods used, are summarised here together with the main lessons learnt.

    A special monitoring team was established at the beginning of the project, comprising five staff members of the local government and one representative of a local NGO. The monitoring team reported to the head of the community empowerment service (DPM), which also hosted a liaison person. Technical training, such as on statistics, various computer programs (SPSS, ArcView) and data assessment methods, was...

  5. (pp. 19-42)

    The monitoring results based on the survey of all villages in early 2006 allows us to draw a snapshot portrait of Kutai Barat’s households, 5 years after decentralisation. The overall picture is mixed. Economic and political opportunities had emerged and were used, but at the same time the condition of the forest environment suffered from overly extractive resource use. Benefits were also not shared equally. While there was some prosperity close to the district centre, most aspects of wellbeing declined with increasing distance from that centre. The surprising exception, however, is Kutai Barat’s most remote area—Hulu Riam: with the...

  6. (pp. 43-50)

    Statistical analysis of the wellbeing monitoring data revealed a number of interesting correlations between poverty and factors, such as ethnicity, forest dependency or remoteness.

    Although some ethnic groups, such as Javanese, Kutai or Bugis, do generally fairly well, while some Dayak groups like the Kayan, Kenyah and Bentian score much lower (the Benuaq and Tunjung majority scores in the middle), this cannot be linked to cultural traits. In villages with multiple ethnic groups, such as Tanjung Isuy, Barong Tongkok, Tering Seberang and Melak Ilir, there were very few significant differences (if any) in the respective wellbeing aspects. Other factors, such...

  7. (pp. 51-54)

    During the first 2 years of its existence, the new kabupaten Kutai Barat received its budget from the Province of East Kalimantan and the central government.⁴³ After 2001, the budget was made up by contributions from the centre, the provincial government, as well as from the kabupaten’s own revenues (Table 19).

    Under the local government’s GSM⁴⁴ programme, 194 projects have been initiated (174 run by the local government, 20 by NGOs), of which 163 have direct impacts on wellbeing (Table 20).

    According to the respective implementing agencies, 84% of these projects have been fully implemented. Unfortunately, the available data do...

  8. (pp. 55-60)

    As explained in the Introduction, we do not see any use in a single poverty index, such as the World Bank’s $1 poverty line. Instead, we examined the various core and context spheres of household wellbeing. This multidimensional approach allows a far more differentiated analysis. Figure 29 shows the distribution of households by wellbeing condition and sphere.

    The figure clearly shows that on average about one third of all households live in critical condition, one third in intermediate and one third in good condition. Bar diagrams of all 21 subdistricts are presented in Annex VI.

    Causes of poverty can be...

  9. (pp. 61-66)

    NESP as a multidimensional local poverty monitoring system provides comprehensive and relevant information important for district and subdistrict planning. The core and context information can help planning agencies like Bappeda to:

    Alert local government on poverty hotspots

    Alert responsible government sectors

    Identify needs for addressing acute poverty (basic needs)

    Anticipate future impoverishment caused by an unfavourable context

    Identify strategic entry points to reduce chronic poverty

    Identify strategic entry points to strengthen the enabling environment (context)

    Identify priority areas for regionally more balanced development

    Identify which poverty alleviation measures have worked and which have not

    Track changes of poverty data over...