In this interview, Herman Haeruman of Indonesia discusses the origins and evolution of the Kecamatan Development Program in Indonesia. The KDP was a joint effort between the World Bank and the Indonesian Ministry of National Development Planning (BAPPENAS) with an overarching goal of poverty alleviation in Indonesia’s poorest and generally rural areas. Haeruman explains how decentralization of power from central to local governments played an important role in the success and inherent value of the KDP, and touches on topics such as the empowerment and autonomy that resulted from the program’s sub-national scale. Haeruman delves into the monetary and executive relationship between the World Bank and BAPPENAS, and describes how an independent monitoring system for money allocations was created to guarantee transparency and prevent corruption in allowing villages to choose how to spend their grant money. Haeruman concludes by discussing the difficulties in scaling up KDP from a local, pilot-based program to a nation-wide agenda, as well as other obstacles faced along the way.
Herman Haeruman is a native of Indonesia. Having graduated with a Master of Forestry and Doctor of Forestry from Duke University, he has worked on environmental issues in both the academic and political realms of Indonesia. He was a principle expert in the development of the National Action Plan for Climate Change, and remains a key environmental point-person for the Government of Indonesia. His expertise in the environment had a particular role in implementation of the KDP as an advisor to rural communities on sustainable development and planning. He served as a professor of environmental planning at Universitas Indonesia, was the director of the Graduate School at University Mathla’ul Anwar in Banten, Java, and is currently a professor of forest management at Bogor Agricultural University’s graduate school.