Decentralisation has provided the opportunity for the participatory model of development planning and budgeting to be applied in Indonesia. Through a participatory planning and budgeting system known as "Musrenbang" (Musyawarah Perencanaan Pembangunan), Indonesia attempts to enable local government to better engage citizens and discuss community aspirations and priorities in a formal forum.
This study compares the application of Musrenbang in six Indonesian cities: Solo, Makassar, Yogyakarta, Surabaya, Bandung and the Municipality of Kebumen. Through learning about experiences in each city, the research examines the ideal conditions for effective participatory budgeting to thrive in Indonesia. It also explores innovations and supporting policies that can be beneficial to improving the implementation of Musrenbang.
Though most cities follow a similar fundamental participatory approach, the exact enactment of participatory planning and budgeting has evolved into different practices of Musrenbang in each city. They have different dynamics in terms of implementation, innovation, community engagement and the execution of development programmes. For example, the growth of technology has enabled some cities to create an online Musrenbang. Some cities also build a different type of engagement to accommodate demands for participatory spaces in local development processes. This has allowed cities to develop their own mechanisms for enabling participation in the budgeting for or financing of urban projects.
The research report includes recommendations in the following areas:
- strengthening local facilitators for better Musrenbang
- fostering efficient processes of Musrenbang discussion
- revitalising the role of civil society
- budget devolution down to neighbourhood level
- encouraging the use of information technology to improve participatory budgeting, including youth participation
- fostering local capacity and community initiatives to induce participation
- providing information on urban issues to better inform Musrenbang discussion
- including marginalised communities for more inclusive legal city frameworks
- encouraging impact evaluation on urban projects.