The Role Of Subdistrict In the Improvement of Frontline Basic Services Deliveries

One of the strategies for reducing poverty and reducing inequality in the 2015-2019 RPJMN is the improvement and expansion of basic services for the poor and vulnerable. In 2016, BAPPENAS intended to implement this strategy in 10 districts. One focus of intervention in this effort was strengthening the role of the sub-district (through delegation) to coordinate the delivery of basic services at the sub-district level.

This study used qualitative approach with in-depth interview techniques and secondary data collection. In-depth interviews were conducted with relevant actors at 10 districts and at the national level as well as at the sub-district and village levels. Secondary data collection was analyzed to support information relating to funds, regulations, targets, and achievements of basic service delivery. The field research took two phases, first was in October-November 2015 with the Research Triangle Institute (RTI) and the second was in February-March 2016.

This study found three important realities that determine the success of the delegation of authority to coordinate the implementation of basic services to the Camat (head of subdistrict). The first aspect is that the authority becomes stronger if it is clearly supported by regulations. Second, authority is determined by the amount of the budget allocation. Third, the authority related to the norms of peer groups and stakeholders around the sub-district.

The results of this study illustrates five potential roles of the subdistrict. (1) Subdistrict may collect needs from below and monitor the performance of existing services; (2) Subdistrict can help disseminate government programs and act as an extension of the government to the lower levels; (3) Subdistrict can become a population and economic data center of villages; (4) subdistrict head synchronizes budget between village and sectors in the district; (5) subdistrict head can control land use and unequal land ownership.

Camat will find it difficult to play a role if the reality of delegating authority to the subdistrict is not well regulated. This research underlines the importance of the district head’s (Bupati) role as the main key to delegating authority to the sub-districts. In addition, at the village level, the leadership of the Village Head also has important role in implementing and improving basic services in the village.

AKATIGA provides information to BAPPENAS and other stakeholders regarding the real role of the Kecamatan in providing the above front line basic services. This information also includes the conditions and practices of health, education, and civil registration services provided to citizens and key actors who have a role to play in achieving these frontline service goals. This information can be used to formulate policies and programs to reduce the Maternal Mortality Rate / Infant Mortality Rate (MMR / IMR), quality junior high school education, and easy and simple birth certificate services. AKATIGA also provides baseline data for the BAPPENAS pilot program in 2016 and looks at the possibility of strengthening the role of Kecamatans in contributing to effective basic services.

Find out more

  • Year

    2015 – 2016

  • Activity


  • Location

    Brebes, Pekalongan, Pemalang, Bener Meriah, Aceh Barat, Biereun, Lombok Utara, Lombok Timur, Tupabbiring Utara, Bantaeng.

  • Coordinator

    Isono Sadoko.

  • Researchers

    Eka Chandra, Aprilia Ambarwati, Charina Chazali.