Social services


Indonesian safety nets condemned

15 March 1999

The coordination, coverage and targetting of public works schemes in Indonesia, part of the Bank’s safety-net programme, has been poor, and resources have been diverted for other uses. This was admitted by Kathryn Marshall, the official responsible for the Bank’s safety-nets in the region, in a meeting with UK NGOs.

Concern about these problems prompted Indonesian NGOs – INFID, WALHI, UPC and YLKI – to write to the Bank President in February. They criticised the Bank for leaving efforts to plan, implement, and monitor the Social Safety Net program to the government bureaucracy which operates slowly, is ineffective, and is a part of and continuation of the Soeharto New Order regime. By December last year, only 30% of the safety net funds for the 1998 budget year had been used.

The NGOs called on the Bank to:

  • postpone the disbursement of the social safety-net fund until there is a change of safety-net concept, design, target and methodology;
  • urge the Indonesian government to reorganize and reform the planning, implementation, and monitoring of the Social Safety Net program; and
  • ensure that NGOs and civil society groups in Indonesia be actively involved in the required reorganization and reformation.
  • Copies of the letter available from