Earlier this month, the United States, through the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), joined Indonesia’s Ministry of National Development Planning (Bappenas) to visit the provinces of Papua, West Papua, and Highland Papua for the launch of a new initiative to accelerate development in the region.
The Papua Collaborative Governance Indonesia Project (USAID Kolaborasi) is a five-year, $10 million program to support Indonesia’s Master Plan for the Acceleration of Development for Papua. USAID Kolaborasi will work with the government to strengthen its cooperation with development partners, businesses, and other stakeholders, while assisting the provinces of Papua and West Papua to use their Special Autonomy Funds in a way that maximizes the benefit to local citizens. Together with Bappenas and provincial and district governments, USAID will improve the quality of public service delivery and improve the skills of local agencies to oversee budget allocation and execution, as well as engagement with local citizens.
“This joint visit demonstrates our commitment to supporting the Indonesian government in realizing its goal of a prosperous Papua region,” said USAID Indonesia Mission Director Jeff Cohen. “This trip will also allow USAID and the Government of Indonesia to better understand the development challenges and needs of Papua Indigenous People (OAP) in local development.”
“From the previous discussion with local governments, we captured development challenges in Papua, particularly those related to the implementation of Special Autonomy,” said Himawan Hariyoga, Deputy for Regional Development at Bappenas. Himawan further added that these challenges can be answered through the existence of the Master Plan for the Acceleration of Development in Papua based on community needs.
The United States is committed to partnering with the government of Indonesia to address important development challenges. USAID looks forward to expanding its close relationship with Bappenas and working with other local partners such as Kitong Bisa, the International NGO Forum on Indonesian Development (INFID), Cendrawasih University, and the University of Papua to improve the functioning and accountability of governance in Papua and West Papua.