Community-driven Development in State Transition: Experience of Indonesian PNPM from project to Village Law

Anggun Susilo (University of Brunei Darussalam)
Irfani Darma


The year 2014 was critical for newly democratic country like Indonesia. For and foremost, the country hosted national free election aiming for successive national leadership. It was also critical, for some, as the country entered a period of transition. Large numbers of academic literature have warned that transition period is crucial as this can take a country into uncertainty. This is relevant, referring to the case of Indonesia, because all will depend on the result of national election including a nationwide community empowerment program entitled Program National Pemberdayaan Masyarakat (PNPM). The program ended in 2014 coincided with the election and leading to doubt whether the program would be continued or not. The evidence presented that PNPM was ‘continued’ under the new brand. This paper thus mainly argues that national political condition does not necessarily have significant impacts to institutionalized development program like PNPM. The way in which PNPM is being institutionalized has proven its resilience towards critical events that may influence it. However, as this paper also admits, degree of institutionalization very much depends on the context where PNPM is implemented. This paper is based on four case studies applied in districts namely Gianyar, Jombang, Bantaeng and Lombok Barat. It also benefits from varies of research techniques such as in-depth interview, field observation and FGDs.

Keywords: transition, community development, institutionalization