Articles of Covid-19 Response

Village Data for Social Assistance Program

Author: Philip Hulcome, Paulus Enggal Sulaksono
Published: 13/06/2020

The operator of the village information system of Kalikuning Village, Pacitan, updates the cash assistance recipients based on village data collected (Photo: KOMPAK).


The widespread impact of COVID-19 and the movement of people pose special challenges for the government in ensuring social assistance, such as the Village Fund Cash Assistance (BLT-Dana Desa), is received by those who need it. A key challenge is synchronising population data between different information systems and social assistance programs and ensuring that data is regularly updated and accurate.

The Pacitan District Government answered this challenge through the use of Village Information Systems (SID). Village information systems consolidate individual records on citizens, allowing for accurate macro and micro statistics. It gives insights on population and high-poverty areas, and the ability to identify individuals without legal identity documents or children who are out-of-school. It enables the aggregation of data, linkages with other systems (such as civil registration and social protection databases) and automated updates.

In 2016, the Pacitan District Government, supported by KOMPAK, developed the SID in two subdistricts: Tulakan and Tegalombo. The success of the pilot led the district government to expand it to all 166 villages in the district.

One of these is Bubakan Village. Agus Hartanto, the village’s SID operator, explained how data is collected for the SID, “Every year, we conduct a survey of people in the village. This provides information on the status of marriage; their job and income levels; whether they have different types of documents, such as a birth certificate or Family Card; or if they are disabled or have a chronic disease. We also collect information on their housing situation, if they have children and whether they are in school, and much more.”

This information helped the village government identify poor and vulnerable families most likely to be affected by COVID-19 and who would be entitled to receive social assistance. “We verified the proposed data for cash assistance recipients from the hamlet heads with data on poor families in the village information system. This data in the village information system meets the criteria for poor families that have been defined in the Pacitan district head’s regulations regarding verification guidelines for poor families,” Agus added.

“The SID generates data that helps us ensure the accuracy of the target recipients of the assistance. We use it to find out whether a person meets the criteria of the aid recipient and whether he/she has received any assistance or not. The data presented assists us in identifying the people who are the most eligible to receive the assistance,” Agus concluded.

By the end of July 2020, the village reported that all 54 poor families who met the criteria had received the second tranche of the cash assistance.

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