It was a joyful day for Darno and Tursinah, a couple from Brebes. Their two children, M Zainurrosikin and Hamimah, who were born in 2005 and 2009, respectively, finally obtained their birth certificates for free. The birth certificate makes it easier for the couple, residents of Cipanas Hamlet, Kedungoleng Village, Paguyangan Sub-District, Brebes, to apply for school, Social Insurance, and Smart Indonesia Card (KIP).
Previously, the couple did not understand the importance of birth certificate and were very reluctant to obtained birth certificates for their children as it cost them money. To reach the Population and Civil Registration Office (Dinas Dukcapil) of Brebes District, 100 kilometres away from their village, the family have to spend as much as AUD 20 to AUD 30 in transportation cost.
However, obtaining birth certificate for children 0 – 18 years of age has become much easier since the Brebes District Government, with the support from KOMPAK, launched a program to expedite ownership of birth and death certificate. Through this program, residents only need to submit the required documents to the appointed village representative. In Kedungoleng Village, the Selapanan Group is in charge of birth certificate application.
"During 2021, we have assisted 80 children in Kedungoleng Village in obtaining their birth certificates. The villagers only need to submit the required documents, and we will process them in the Dukcapil Office," said Nur Khasanah, Head of Selapanan Group. Nur added that Selapanan Group does not charge any fee for this service. “Everything is free, because this is a district government’s program,” Nur explained.
Meanwhile, in Wanatirta Village, Paguyangan Sub-District, application for civil registration documents such as birth certificate is assisted by Village Civil Registration Facilitator (FAD). "FAD was established in early 2020 to help the public in civil documents application and was able to improve the quality of civil registration service,” said Lukman Hakim, Village Head of Wanatirta, Paguyangan Sub-District.
In 2017, only 56.94% children 0-18 years of age in Brebes District owned birth certificate. This number was far below the National Medium-Term Development Plan (RPJMN) 2015-2019 target of 85%. One of the challenges faced by the civil registration officers is the vast area of Brebes District, which covers the north coast of Java to the mountainous area in the south. The significant distance to the civil registration office in the district capital has made the residents reluctant to apply for civil documents.
To overcome this challenge, the Brebes District Government tried to make civil registration service more accessible to people through the establishment of additional service points, based on the District Head Regulation Number 116 of 2017 on Acceleration of Birth Certificate and Death Certificate Ownership.
Drs. Mayang Sri Herbimo, Head of Dukcapil Office of Brebes District, admitted to the low number of birth certificate ownership in this region. "In addition to low public awareness on the importance of civil documents, we were passively waiting for the people to come to us, and this strategy has proved to be ineffective. This is the reason for the low ownership of birth certificate in Brebes District,” he explained.
Through various innovations, Dukcapil Office has now changed its service pattern. “We have to exist in the midst of the community. We serve them at their front door. We reach out to them,” said Mayang.
Mayang explained that in 2017, KOMPAK, in partnership with Centre on Child Protection and Wellbeing (PUSKAPA) University of Indonesia and the Institute for Review and Improvement of Development Resources (LPPSP), has assisted regional government to improve service governance and civil registration outreach in Brebes District. “The innovations include Layanan Bangkit, Jempol Kalih, Saba Desa, and Laka Asi,” Mayang added.
Layanan Bangkit is an instant birth certificate and family card issuance service for newborn baby. This service is a result of partnership between Dukcapil Office and Public Health Office of Brebes District, which involves Regional General Hospitals, private hospitals, and health clinics.
Jempol Kalih is a birth certificate issuance service in schools, a collaboration between Dukcapil Office and Education, Youth, and Sport Office. Saba Desa is a birth certificate service in villages as a partnership between Dukcapil Office and the Community and Village Empowerment Office. While, Laka Asi is a birth certificate service through social channel, a partnership between Dukcapil Office and the Social Office that involves Sub-District Social Welfare Manpower (TKSK), orphanages, and Program Keluarga Harapan or Conditional Cash Transfer (PKH) facilitators at sub-districts.
Himawan Fuady, KOMPAK District Coordinator of Brebes District, explained that KOMPAK and its partners have provided the Dukcapil Office with feedbacks on strategies to improve service and governance.
"We asked for the issuance of Brebes District Head Regulation concerning acceleration of birth certificate and death certificate ownership, which also regulates the revocation of late application penalty for birth certificate, although this penalty has already become part of regional income as stipulated in the Regional Budget (APBD),” he said.
Late application penalty was eventually revoked with the issuance of the Brebes District Head Regulation Number 470/458 of 2017 on the Revocation of Administrative Penalty for Late Birth Reporting of Residents 0 to 18 Years of Age in order to Accelerate Birth Certification Ownership.
KOMPAK also supported the efforts to improve service and has conducted various outreach activities through cross-sector partnership, and encouraged sub-districts to become the front liners in civil registration service.
In addition to developing various innovations, the Dukcapil Office is currently striving for online recording of birth certificate. Nunung Widyastuti, Section Head of Service Innovation and Partnership, Dukcapil Office Brebes District, explained that there were unregistered birth certificates that cannot be found in the online database of Civil Registration Information System (SIAK).
"We were a bit late in maintaining our online databases. We found birth certificates that have not been registered in SIAK. Currently, there are six operators from KOMPAK that are helping us with the data entry," said Nunung.
Population growth in Brebes District is very high, at 30,000 births per year. Various innovations in civil registration service are focused on residents living in villages.
"Due to the high population growth in Brebes District, we cannot let this issue left unattended. Hence, we work with hospitals, health clinics, and sub-district operators to maintain online records of birth certificates. This will reduce the workload of Dukcapil Office significantly,” she explained.
In addition, Dukcapil Office also disseminated the importance of owning birth certificate as the first identifier for every resident. By having a birth certificate, the existence of the person is acknowledged by the state, and therefore the person can access other basic services.
In providing civil registration service, Brebes District Government also considered the needs of vulnerable groups.
"There are various types of vulnerable groups in terms of civil registration, such as the technological illiterate people and people with disability. Although they are not many in numbers, but they are also important. We have to help everjustifyy resident to claim their right in having an identity," Mayang explained.
Timbul Hadi Pramono, staff in Paguyangan Sub-District Office, experienced this in-person when facilitating community data recording for the issuance of electronic Identity Cards. “One resident suffered from serious illness and could not come to the sub-district office, and therefore, we visited his house. Another time, there was a mentally disabled person who frequently throw tantrums. The sub-district staff has to spent five hours persuading him to let them took his fingerprint, scanned his iris, and took picture of him,” he recounted his experience.
“It’s not easy. We have to be extra patient. However, we make the efforts to ensure that each resident can have their own personal ID. We have to serve everyone. This is my personal mission,” Timbul concluded.
Brebes District, which consists of 17 sub-districts, 292 villages, and 5 urban wards, continued to make progress. Its civil registration management has become more organised. All of its residents were given their rights to have legally valid IDs. Slowly but surely, the result of their hard works can be seen. Dukcapil Office recorded an increase of birth certificate ownership in Brebes District, from 56.94% in 2017 to 60% in 2018. This number kept increasing and finally, in 2021, birth certificate ownership in Brebes District has reached 96%, which exceeded the national target.