NDI has worked in Indonesia since 1996, when it supported domestic efforts to monitor the 1997 parliamentary elections. NDI also engaged political parties and domestic election monitoring organizations in preparation for the 1999, 2004, and 2014 elections, and partnered with local civil society organizations to conduct parallel vote tabulations (PVT) or “quick counts” in 2004 and 2009. NDI has also conducted wide-ranging programs to strengthen political parties, elected bodies and civil society organizations; these have included helping local civic groups conduct independent observation of Indonesia’s local and national elections by using methods such as sample-based observations, voter attitude surveys and voter registry assessments. The Institute has been especially active in Aceh, helping civil society and political parties establish democratic governance and free and fair elections in the province since the signing of the 2005 Aceh Peace Agreement.
In 2009, NDI’s programs focused on providing electoral assistance, strengthening political parties’ ability to compete in elections, and increasing women’s political participation. That year, women’s representation in the national legislature rose by seven percent — the biggest increase in Indonesian history. Following the 2009 elections, the Institute worked with political parties to support party caucuses (fraksi) in the legislature as they generated and reviewed new legislation, conducted government oversight and reached out to constituents. In addition, NDI has provided advice and comparative examples from experts around the world, along with information, mentoring and training to party representatives and parliamentary staff at the national and local levels. NDI has also partnered with local institutions, such as the Indonesian Parliamentary Center, to organize a series of issue-based forums to bolster communication between legislators and policy-focused civil society organizations on issues of mutual concern.
NDI has conducted focus groups with political party caucuses (fraksi) and the Women’s Parliamentary Caucus of Indonesia to show how qualitative research can be used to develop policy. NDI has also partnered with the Women’s Political Caucus of Indonesia (KPPI) to increase women’s leadership within political parties and elected bodies. In 2005, KPPI received NDI’s inaugural Madeleine K. Albright grant, which supports organizations that create greater roles for women in political and civic life. NDI provided technical assistance to KPPI to broaden its membership base, fundraise for and train women candidates, and sharpen its advocacy on behalf of women’s rights. In addition, NDI has worked with women’s wings of political parties at the national level to support women leaders.
NDI, together with the Institute for Peace and Democracy and the Centre for Democratic Institutions, an Australian democracy development organization, initiated the Asian Political Leadership Program, a regional hub for experience-sharing among political party leaders. The inaugural program involved 15 emerging political party leaders from 10 countries in Asia and the Pacific region. The partnership emphasized regional expertise, in particular Indonesian experience and leadership, to impart democratic leadership skills and organizational techniques among peers in the region.
Most recently, NDI’s work in Indonesia has focused on civil society-led voter education and election monitoring in four target provinces: North Sumatra, Central Java, Maluku and Papua. In advance of the 2014 legislative and presidential elections, NDI partnered with the Institute for Social and Economic Research, Education and Information (LP3ES) to conduct an independent, systematic voter registry assessment in North Sumatra, Central Java and Maluku, and voter registration process monitoring in Papua. For the 2014 polls, NDI supported the Partnership for Governance Reform (Kemitraan) in conducting nonpartisan citizen election observation, and partnered with the Society for Elections and Democracy (Perludem) and KPPI to organize voter education and information campaigns targeting key constituencies – including women, youth and underrepresented ethnic groups.
NDI's programs in Indonesia have been funded by the National Endowment for Democracy, United States Agency for International Development, Australian Agency for International Development, British Embassy in Jakarta, Canadian Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade, World Bank and Japan Social Development Fund, Citigroup Foundation, Liz Claiborne Foundation and United Nations Development Programme.
For more information about these programs, use our contact form or contact:
Adam Nelson, senior program manager