Indonesia’s poor people declined from 32.53 million in March 2009 to 31.02 million in March 2010. Nevertheless, rural poverty remained high, partly because of continuing limited access to basic services and poor transport. In the urban areas where about half of the country’s 250 million people lived, only about 1% of had access to sewerage. The adverse consequences on health of the inadequate sanitation services fell mostly on the poor who had the least ability to cope with the situation.
Against this backdrop, the Asian Development Bank (ADB ) in August 2011 a $100 million loan for the Urban Sanitation and Rural Infrastructure Support to the PNPM Mandiri, The project was part of Indonesia’s National Program for Community Empowerment (PNPM) Mandiri Project and was designed to help reduce poverty by enhancing rural access to basic infrastructure and services and improving sanitation facilities for the urban poor living in slum areas. Its intended impact was reduced poverty. Its expected outcome was improved access to services and healthy living conditions for the poor, near−poor, and women in the project communities. Focusing on rural infrastructure and urban sanitation, it had 3 planned outputs: (i) strengthened capacity for community planning and development, (ii) improved rural basic infrastructure, and (iii) improved sanitation services.
Under output 1, the project organized 67% more community implementation organizations (CIOs) than its target 600 CIOs in the villages; and 4% more of the 1,350 CIOs it targeted in the urban areas. These CIOs helped communities in formulating development and investment plans, designing and implementing of civil works, and preparing operation and maintenance (O&M) plans for completed facilities. User groups, responsible for O&M, were also established.
Under output 2, 3 cycles of development block grants provided to 1,141 villages financed the construction or rehabilitation of more than 1,400 kilometers (km) of rural roads, 1,900 bridges, numerous water supply and sanitation facilities, irrigation and drainage channels, and boat landing facilities. Construction works provided about 143,180 person-months of short-term jobs, about 20% of which went to women.
Under output 3, 1,438 sanitation facilities, comprising communal waste water treatment plants (IPALs), public bathing, washing and toilet facilities (MCKs), and mixed systems (MCKs+IPALs), were constructed in 34 cities in 5 provinces. At government’s request, ADB also provided a technical assistance grant to support the institutionalization of community-driven sanitation advocacy, training, and awareness programs in local governance.
Substantial delivery of the planned outputs enabled the project to achieve most of its outcome targets, overachieving in some. Community participation in the formulation of development and investment plans, infrastructure construction, and O&M of facilities helped strengthen understanding of the poverty dynamics and local capacity in development planning and good governance. Rural infrastructure investments improved the mobility, access to markets and vital services, and income opportunities of about 3.3 million people in the villages, 50% of whom were poor. In urban areas, 327,967 persons, 51% of whom were women, and 55% were poor, gained access to improved sanitation facilities. While short of the 500,000 target beneficiaries, improved urban sanitation had a palpable impact in improving community health through reduced open defecation and better well water quality.
Rated successful by ADB’s Southeast Asia Department, the project was executed by the Directorate General of Human Settlements of the Ministry of Public Works and Housing.