Project News

The purpose of this page is to provide results orientated narrative information on implementation of projects recent and current, progress, expected outcomes, problems encountered in the field, solutions sought and found, and briefly introduce the main players and stakeholders who will provide relevant information “from the field”.

The Most Recents (2019-2024)

From 2019-2022, Inno-Change International Consultants, Inc. (lead firm) and Pugajinou International Consulting (associate firm) have implemented the Support to the Association of Southeast Asian Nations Economic Community – Labor Market Activation Program (Indonesia).

A major accomplishment of this project was the construction of a dedicated pilot website ( to deliver 1) online training for staff of the participating provincial offices of the Ministry of Manpower (Disnaker) in Makassar and Bandung Barat to enable them to later provide training for jobseekers, and 2) training and career guidance for jobseekers from these two districts. This began in 2021 with a range of online training sessions and continued through 2022. In the later phase of this effort training was again delivered face-to-face. The overall purpose of this effort is to prepare for a national rollout of JobStart Indonesia.

Currently, the Southeast Asia Pacific Management, Financial Sector, and Trade Policy (Phase II) – Labor Market Activation/ Skills Development (2023-2024) has begun. JobStart Indonesia will continue and be expanded to include three new districts. It is expected that the JobStart Indonesia website wil continue to play a role in training of and career guidance for jobseekers. Mr. Agung Webe will continue lifeskills training for jobseekers while Mr. Arya Bagus Byandani will be responsible for career guidance activities. Trainings will be carried out in Makassar and Bandung Barat (the original districts) and in three additional districts – it is not known yet which districts these wil be. 

More news to follow once availabe.

A Recent Project: 2013-2017

From December 2013 until December 2017 Pugajinou in association with Multi area Desentralisasi Pembangunan (MADEP) implemented the European Union funded and ADB managed “Minimum Service Standards Capacity Development Program” (ADB TA-8358 INO). Pugajinou was contracted by ADB to manage Region III activities, comprising of 19 districts in Sulawesi and Maluku provinces. The overall project is managed and guided by a central management team based in Jakarta, while project work in the field is done in 4 regions with a total of 108 districts, each with its own team of consultants (District Advisory Team/ DAT): Region I, Sumatra and Kalimantan, Region II, East Java, NTB and NTT, Region III, Sulawesi and Maluku, and Region IV, Papua and West Papua.

Pugajinou and Madep’s team of District Advisors consists of the following persons:

Supriadi Torro

Team Leader, based in Donggala but responsible for activities in all 19 districts

Sagaf Lamureke

Governance/ budgeting-planning specialist, responsible for Sigi, Donggala and Parigi Moutong


Education specialist, responsible for Parigi Moutong, Donggala, Banggai and Banggai Kepulauan

La Sunra Baharuddin

Education specialist, responsible for Donggala, Banggai and Banggai Kepulauan

Syamsuddin Awing

Governance/ budgeting-planning specialist, responsible for Morowali, Banggai and Banggai Kepulauan

Hamdan Hadenan

Education specialist, responsible for Gorontalo, Gorontalo Utara, Pohuwato and Boalemo

Mus Mualim

Governance/ budgeting-planning specialist, responsible for Gorontalo, Gorontalo Utara, Pohuwato and Boalemo

Slamet Tachjar

Education specialist, responsible for Polewali Mandar, Mamasa and Majene

Nasri Nurdin

Governance/ budgeting-planning specialist, responsible for Majene, Mamasa and Polewali Mandar

Mustamin Tewa

Education specialist, responsible for Mamasa, Polewali Mandar and Majene


Education specialist, responsible for Maluku Tengah, Seram Bagian Timur and Buru

Samsir Gamang

Governance/ budgeting-planning specialist, responsible for Tual, Maluku Barat Daya and Buru

Agustinus Maniyeni

Education specialist, responsible for Maluku Tenggara Barat and Maluku Barat Daya

Rustam Borahim

Governance/ budgeting-planning specialist, responsible for Majene and Morowali

The project maintains four project offices, in Gorontalo, Donggala, Maluku Tenggara Barat (Tanimbar), and Masohi, all operated by Pugajinou locally hired support staff; the offices are usually based within the compounds of the District Education Offices.


Under the project, all participating districts will receive a European Union grant of 2.5 billion rupiah. The recipient districts had to sign a letter of agreement according to which the districts committed themselves to pay up front 10% of the grant money from their local budgets (APBD), in other words the districts pre-finance part of the grant activities. It has been made clear to all stakeholders that the funds of the European Union can only be used to fund activities that deal with capacity building, training, workshops, surveys, etc. The funds cannot be used in any way for physical items such as constructing new schools, repairing leaking roofs of school buildings, buying equipment for laboratories, furniture, books, etc. It took quite some time to get the message through to the local stakeholders – they had thought and hoped that physical items could be funded as well. The European Union has a clear stance on this: “we, the European Union, will pay for non-physical items while it is expected that you, the district governments, through your commitment to the program pay for physical items from your local budgets.”

Of course, the issue is two-sided: it is very well to have capable educators but what if there are no funds for buying the necessary school books, laboratory equipment, repairing school buildings, building new schools, and so on? Another issue is that In our opinion school/ madrasah teachers in view of the very important and crucial role as educators of the future generation are underpaid. Even though teaching is an idealist profession, a teacher,  who earns barely enough for subsistence may loose his/ her spirit for teaching and improving the quality of education. It is therefore very important that for the grant funded activities to have a lasting impact the local governments turn their written commitment to the program into real action by allocating sufficient funds for upgrading facilities, salaries and infrastructure.

  • Socialization

The project started off with wide-spread initial socialization activities about “what are minimum service standards in basic education?” It appeared that only few people are aware of these standards in spite of the fact that there is a multitude of government regulations dealing with these standards. The first quarter of 2014 saw a massive socialization campaign in all participating districts. The following video is a sample of the opening of such a socialization event in Sigi, Central Sulawesi (click here). Achievement of the minimum service standards can be measured by looking at the 27 indicators – how well did the schools do in respect to each indicator (read the list of the 27 indicators by clicking here or download the full Regulation of the Minister of National Education Number 15 of Year 2010).

  • Status Quo Assessment

After the socialization phase a status quo assessment was carried out in all 19 districts. This implied visiting offices of education, schools and madrasah in selected sub-districts in each district. Prior to this, the DAT consultants had trained note takers and staff of the education offices on how to collect data following a questionnaire system, enter and verify the data. All 27 indicators of the minimum service standards were covered, and the data were analyzed. The scorecards for each district thus obtained showed that overall the achievement of the indicators/ minimum service standards in basic education lies at around 50%, for a few districts around 60% and in most Maluku districts far below 50%. Most educators were surprised by the not so good achievements, and it became clear to all parties involved that achievement of the minimum service standards must be improved, and that is what the district education offices through EU grant funded activities are working on. During data collection many discussions were held with teachers, school and madrasah heads, school committees, etc. These guided discussions brought some interesting opinions and concerns to the front  A few examples: cooperation between the local office of the Ministry of Education and Culture and the Ministry of Religious Affairs is not always smooth; school committees are not always fully involved in school management; we have not enough classified teachers; we do not have funds for purchase of books and repairs of school buildings, we do not know what the minimum service standards in basic education are, etc.

  • Proposals and Activities

In order to begin training activities to enhance the capabilities of local staff in education, the districts put together proposals including budgets for implementation of these activities. After the submitted proposals were reviewed and approved, the districts started to implement a range of activities in the first quarter of 2015. These activities were in general facilitated and monitored by DAT consultants while experienced national and local trainers served as resource persons for these activities. Activities included socialization and later training of stakeholders at the district and sub-district level, for local staff of education offices, teachers, school and madrasah heads, school inspectors, technical teams, the local business community. and the public. Up to the end of 2015 a total of 249 activities was carried out.

  • Problems encountered

A major problem encountered in the field is transport. That holds not only for consultants but also for school-going kids (see the video The Road to School. The video was posted by Tribunnews on Face Book).  Many sub-districts in Maluku province are located on outlying islands that are hard to reach – dependent on the goodwill and benevolence of winds and seas. In mountain areas there is the problem of bad roads and the danger of landslides is real. The human side also often shows shortcomings: too much bureaucracy, too much time (and money) is spent on coordination meetings, and inexperience in dealing with budgets and financial administration. An additional problem is that there are only 14 consultants available for 19 districts so that some consultants are responsible for more than one district, and that the consultants are only contracted for a period of 28-30 months under a project duration of 39 months. This means that they have intermittent periods during which they are away from the districts. During this time of absence, activities in most cases come to a halt, that is, the local players rely on the consultant to move forward, without consultant presence, not much happens.

As with most development projects, there is the problem of sustainability. In many cases once the project is terminated, the beneficiaries return to the status quo ante, nothing appears to have changed. Especially in the case of a project like this, sustainability is a big problem: without strong (“spiritual” and financial) commitment and political will of the local governments the project is doomed to fail. With frequent changes and mutations of staff, new staff is either not well informed about what is going on or is not interested. A Bupati who committed himself to the program will disappear after his term has ended, a new Bupati may not be equally committed. Medium term government plans (RENSTRA, RENJA for example) come to an end, and will they be renewed in the same spirit? To counteract on this, it is a very good thing that most districts have started to draft regional regulations that regulate the achievement of the minimum service standards and, in some cases, the education sector in general. The advantage here is that regional regulations need the commitment and approval of both the executive and legislative arms of government, and are “timeless’, they are not dependent on changes in the political climate. Once a regional regulation is adopted it is there, and to change or dispose of it needs considerable efforts.

On a general note, it is the “way of doing things” (“work behavior”) that is detrimental to smooth and successful implementation in addition to the fact that many staff are not well trained in things such as proposal and report writing as well as proper budgeting. In our opinion, for the program to be sustainable our DAT consultants will need to work on bringing about a change of the mindset of education policy-makers and implementers.

Two quotes may illustrate this:

“The key word for improving the education sector and dealing with its problems is “mentality”. Even if facilities and infrastructure are excellent there will be no change if the mindset [of the players] remains out of line. Hopefully, the MSS CDP can provide a solution (Mentalitas merupakan pintu masuk untuk membenahi seluruh bengkalai pendidikan yang selama ini masih menjadi masalah, karena walaupun sarana dan prasarana sekolah dipenuhi jika mentalitas tidak dibenahi maka tidak akan ada perubahan, semoga program PKP SPM Dikdas bisa menjawab kedepannya)

Mr. Ismail, Coordinator of School Inspectors of Morowali: “In particular, the school head is not just a manager but he must be a leader who thinks about strategies to push the school forward. If the school head is not change-minded, progress in school quality will slow down” (Khususnya kepala sekolah bukan hanya sebagai manajer namun harus menempatkan diri sebagai leader yang senantiasa berpikir strategi jitu yang harus dilakukan demi pengembangan sekolah yang lebih maju. Jika kepala sekolah tidak memiliki jiwa-jiwa perubahan maka otomatis pengembangan mutu sekolah akan berjalan lamban)

A point of some concern is the following: we received a report from DAT consultant Rustam Borahim in Maluku Barat Daya. He pointed out that he was concerned about “slowness” of implementation of activities (no activities were carried out during the last quarter of 2015), and found that “they” (staff of local education office and government) are more interested in projects funded through the local budget (APBD), general and special allocation funds (DAU, General Allocation Funds, and DAK, Special Allocation Funds) than in grant funded activities where expenditures are under tight control. One can only speculate about the reasons for this. It is quite possible that similar views circulate in other districts as well. On the other hand, DAT consultant in Morowali, Syamsuddin Awing, reported as follows: a meeting with school inspectors was held to strengthen commitment to the program. This seemed to have been successful. The school inspectors expressed their hope that management of education in particular would be improved rather sooner than later. Our overall impression is that commitment needs to be “refreshed” from time to time.

  • Achievements so far

Awareness among stakeholders (including the community, the legislative arm of government and the private sector) has increased considerably;

In many districts, commitment towards the program has increased substantially, and the spirit to make the program successful with lasting impact is good, especially at the grass-root level;

We notice a distinct increase in transparency of District Offices of Education, an openness and a will in respect to achieving the best possible results of the project;

The fact that many districts have drafted a regional regulation concerning the achievement of the MSS shows that stakeholders are concerned about sustainability of the program after it is completed. In all cases the drafts were well received by the legislative;

Steps to integrate the achievement of the minimum service standards into local government policies, planning and budgets are materializing alongside the development of a road map for this;

Coverage of the district activities by the local media (TV, newspapers, magazines, radio) is good and stimulating;

All districts/ offices of education have either implemented a full census on achievement of the indicators for the minimum services standards in education or have planned to do so in the near future. It shows that the districts are concerned about the achievement of the minimum service standards. The results of the census will show the gaps in achievement, and the way to go (exemplified in a road map);

A very fortunate development is that in Seram Bagian Timur district the private sector (CITIC Energy) is interested in cooperating with the District Education Office on funding of education activities. This happened during a meeting after a socialization activity where representatives of this firm were present. 

Work on formulating a road map for education, a policy document, is progressing well in most districts.

The various training workshops and seminars that were held over the course of the project and in which also people from the districts (such as school inspectors, technical teams, government representatives) participated have shown to bear fruit.

  • Outlook

For 2016, another large number of district activities is planned. These will address specific capability and capacity issues in school planning and budgeting, further development of a road map for district education, the adoption of regional regulations and the integration of the minimum service standards into local government policies. Some time during 2016 there will be an assessment of the achievement of the minimum service standards and compare the data with those that were collected in 2014. We expect that there will be considerable improvement in the achievement of the indicators.

An early highlight in 2016 was a workshop held from 13-16 March 2016 in Luwuk, the capital of Banggai district in Central Sulawesi (follow this link for a story on the event). The purpose of the workshop was to train regional resource persons in formulating and putting together local (annual) school and madrasah work plans and budgets (RKS/ M, Rencana Kerja Sekolah/ Madrasah; RKT, Rencana Kerja Tahunan; and RKAS, Rencana Kegiatan dan Anggaran Sekolah). The training modules and other materials/ tools provided to the consultants in a previous workshop in Yogyakarta served as the basis for this workshop. It is expected that the local resource persons will serve as trainers/ facilitators at the district and/ or school level to ensure that these work plans and budgets are integrated into the road map reflecting objectives and expected outputs in respect to achieving the minimum service standards in basic education. The 26 enthusiastic participants originated from a variety of participating districts in Maluku and Central Sulawesi; they comprised mainly of local school inspectors, key players on the ground in promoting achievement of the service standards, and other staff of the district education offices as well as local universities.

Originally, the program was set to end by 27 February 2017. However, the European Union, the Ministry of Education and Culture and the Asian Development Bank decided to extend the program up to November 2017 in order to provide more time to the districts to formulate their “end product”, i.e. a road map with action plan for (acceleration of) achievement of the minimum service standards in basic education that will be integrated into local planning and budgeting documents (annual work plan, five-year strategic plan). By now (that is November 2017), almost all road maps are finalized and – as regional policy documents – signed by the executive and legislative branches of the local governments. Many of the signed road maps are integrated into the local budgets and work plans. Several districts have also issued a regional regulation (Perda) and/ or a regulation of the head of the district (Perbup) that provides legal support for the road map.

Follow this link for a selection of opinions, comments and quotations (most in Indonesian, some in English) from people in the districts.

Since November 2017, the project is terminated. Below is a summary of program achievements:

The key achievements or products of the program can be summarized as follows:

  1. The status quo assessment and focus group discussions opening the eyes of educators and other parties involved
  2. District proposals with budget preparation leading to the implementation of many socialization and training activities thereby transferring necessary skills in planning and budgeting to staff of the District Education Offices and others
  3. Follow-on school data collection (census)
  4. Formulation and issuance of regional regulations
  1. Formulation of a road map and action plan with integration into the local Strategic Plans (Renstra) and the Work Plans (Renja) as well as the Medium-term Development Plans (RPJMD).

The program’s key achievement are the road maps that in all districts are now completed. In several districts the road map serves as a good example of a real road map that, if implemented, will have positive impact. In one case (Buru), the road map was copied and distributed to other agencies in the district to serve as a model for replication in planning and budgeting. All districts have used census data to analyze gaps, and included these into the road map document(s) where the road map as such now is a local policy document that sets the direction of future education development, and will be taken as the basis of regional regulations. What remains to be done is the full and formal integration of the road maps into regional planning documents, and the detailed formulation of concrete action plans.