Kinerja Service Improvement Program

Until 2012, infant mortality in Indonesia was 32 deaths for every 1,000 births, while maternal mortality was 359 deaths for every 100,000 live births. Despite improved access to medical care, the threat of mortality was influenced in some areas by cultural norms that compelled women to seek out non-medically trained traditional birth attendants rather than medically trained midwives.

In 2010, USAID launched a program known as Kinerja to improve government service delivery in three critical areas: health, education, and business licensing. As the lead implementing partner of Kinerja, RTI managed all aspects of the program.

For example, we initiated a program in the province Aceh Singkil that built partnerships between traditional birth attendants and midwives to provide pregnant women with childbirth services that were both safe and culturally appropriate. The two-year intervention achieved remarkable results in that all births that took place in the villages were attended by medically trained midwives. More importantly, all mothers who gave birth in the villages during the intervention survived.

Recognizing the significance of this success in changing behaviors around pregnancy and childbirth, in May 2015 the United Nations named Aceh Singkil as a second-place winner in the Asia-Pacific region at the UN Public Service Awards.

Kinerja has helped improve public service delivery in other sectors across Indonesia. For instance, we helped District Education Offices to distribute teachers more proportionally, providing badly needed resources to understaffed rural schools. We also helped local governments simplify business-licensing processes.

Other accomplishments include:

  • 216 new district-level regulations were passed to improve governance and services in the health, education and business sectors.

  • 781 schools and community health centers adopted good governance practices.

  • 371 Kinerja-trained citizen journalists reported on the performance of local governments in Indonesia, directly contributing to public service improvements in health centers, schools, and One-Stop Shops (institutions providing business registration services).

  • 257 multi-stakeholder forums were established at district level and at schools/health centers in Kinerja’s original 20 core districts.

  • More than 600 teachers in four districts were reassigned to under-served schools.

  • In cooperation with the provincial government, the program held a mass business-licensing event in South Sulawesi that resulted in the successful distribution of more than 40,000 business permits in just one day.

In total, Kinerja reached more than 70 districts, 500 schools, and 250 health centers—building the capacity of local governments to meet the needs of citizens. Under the Kinerja model of fostering innovation, an increasing number of Indonesian local governments are able to deliver services that are both more accountable and responsive to local needs.