Getting Started: Identification
Upgrading Strategies

Abstract for:

“Indonesia’s Kampung Improvement Program: An Evaluative Case Study.”
Devas, Nick. 1981. Ekistics 286: pp 19-36.
Summary and Conclusions

This case study seeks to evaluate the experience of the Kampung Improvement Programme in Indonesia, focussing particularly on implementation and management issues. The case-study looks at four different models of the programme, one in Jakarta, three in Surabaya.

The Programmes

Kampungs are the informal, unplanned and, until recently, unserviced housing areas, which form a large part of most Indonesian cities. Some 11 years ago a start was made on the huge task of improving the kampungs in Jakarta, by providing a basic level of services and infrastructure. Since then, with help from the World Bank, the programme has had a major impact on the city’s housing conditions, having upgraded some 7700 hectares of kampung and improved conditions for some three million people. Since 1976, a similar programme has been operating in Surabaya.

These programmes are concerned with upgrading the physical infrastructure: roads, footpaths, drainage canals, water supply, sanitation, solid waste disposal, schools and clinics. For the first five years the programme in Jakarta operated through a committee which co-ordinated the functions of various departments concerned. With the World Bank’s support, a separate project unit was established with staff seconded from the various departments involved. This unit is responsible for planning, design and supervision of the construction work, which is carried out by contractors. Relations with the community are conducted through the Camat, who is the officer of the city government at Sub-District level, and who is made site-manager for the execution of projects in his area. He is assisted in this job by technical staff from the KIP Unit.

The programme is financed entirely by the city government (with loans from the World Bank since 1974). No charge is made to the residents for the infrastructure provided, although they are required to contribute (without compensation) the land required for access routes.

This case study reaches certain conclusions about the value of these improvement programmes:

    - whilst a wide range of income groups are represented in kampungs, it is reckoned that 70% of beneficiaries fall within the World Bank’s “Urban Poverty Target Group”;

    - the main programmes have given explicit priority to those kampungs with the worst conditions; however, the selection criteria and procedures can be criticized in a number of ways;

    - the requirement for a substantial community contribution under the Supratman project has tended to exclude the poorest kampungs from this programme;

    -the UNEP Project is, inevitably, mainly of benefit to those in the community who choose to participate in the activities promoted;

    - over the decade, the programme in Jakarta has shifted to relatively less dense areas; one of the results has been a disproportionately large share of expenditure on roads (over half, under Urban II);

    - there are certain groups which are excluded from the benefits of the programmes: in particular there are a number of “never-to-be-improved” kampungs which include some of the worst housing situations in the city; however, relatively few are excluded because their homes have to be cleared for roads or facilities under the programme;

    - the very limited data so far available shows no evidence of significant displacement of poor residents by higher income groups following improvement; this is, in part, due to the relatively high level of ownership of land and houses by kampung residents, and the relatively modest standards of infrastructure provided under the programmes;

    - the distribution of benefits within kampungs depends largely on which properties have to be cut back or removed for roads and other facilities, and which receive improved access; it seems likely that the poor within the kampungs benefit less than the better off;

    -the available data does not show the programme (in Jakarta) as having had any significant effect on such factors as residents’ incomes, health or employment, although it would appear to have stimulated house improvement/repair;

    - a cost benefit analysis using differential changes in property values indicated a rate of return for the programme of over 100% for Surabaya and 59% for Jakarta;

    - the programme would appear to be highly popular and to have a high degree of political support;

    - significant short-comings have included: a) the inadequacy of water provision, which as meant that the cost of water to residents has not been significantly reduced; b) the inadequacy of sanitation and solid waste disposal components; c) land acquisition procedures for schools and clinics (and for access routes in Surabaya), which have led to serious delays in these components; d) the inadequacy of subsequent maintenance of the infrastructure.

Implementation Issues

In terms of programme implementation, there is no doubt that in Jakarta, at least, a highly effective system has been created for carrying out a certain type of upgrading: by and large, work has been carried out on time and within cost budgets. The management approach is essentially a task and no special training is given. The same approach in Surabaya got off to a slow start because of difficulties in obtaining staff, and the programme there remains substantially behind schedule. The Supratman project also operates on a conventional public works basis, but incorporates a self-help component. The UNEP project, in seeking to adopt a much more comprehensive, socio-economic focus and an explicitly participatory approach, has encountered complex implementation problems; these, combined with organizational problems in relation to the donor and central control of the project, have led to serious delays, frustrations and limited results. The implications of this seem to be that any move away from the very conventional, contractor-executed, public works provision of infrastructure, carries with it (whatever the benefits may be) a significant cost in terms of the time, staff and management capacity required.

In financial terms, with the possible exception of Supratman, the programmes do not represent a burden to the residents, since capital costs are not recouped directly; the only costs to the residents are increased property taxes (which are low anyway) and certain contributions for operation and maintenance of the infrastructure. The size of the programmes implies a substantial charge on the budgets of the cities concerned, but, given the low per capita costs of upgrading as compared to alternative housing solutions, such a burden does not seem excessive; it is estimated that to upgrade all the kampungs in a typical city would absorb only about 5-15% of the city’s Development Budget over a 10-12 year period.

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