Village Head Workshop: Progressive Change Should Start from the Village

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The Head of the Momi Waren District, Martinus Ainusi, opened the Village Head Workshop and Village School for Social Transformation in South Manokwari and Teluk Wondama, Monday, March 27, 2023. (EcoNusa Foundation/Nur Alfiyah).

Building village independence must start from a good village planning process. Detailed and thorough planning is very important. Then proceed with good program governance.

“When we plan wrong, it means we plan to fail,” said the Secretary of the South Manokwari Village and Community Empowerment Service (DPMK), I Gde Wisnu Wardhana, during his session at the Village Head Workshop (Workshop Kepala Kampung / WKK) in South Manokwari and Teluk Wondama (28/3).

Based on Article 39 of Law Number 6 of 2014 concerning Villages, the village head can serve for 6 years. For this reason, said Wisnu, the village head must have clear visions and missions to develop the village. “What do you want your village to be in the next 6 years, it depends on your vision and mission,” he said.

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According to Wisnu, development in the village includes physical development and the quality of human resources, for example building a healthy and intelligent society. Each program is then translated into several indicators. “For example, a healthy village means free of malaria, no people suffer from malnutrition, and no mothers die (during childbirth),” he added.

The village head, said Wisnu, has the authority to make sure all related facilities and support are available to implement these various programs, including regulations setting. For example, village heads can decide to provide mosquito nets to prevent malaria. “Then the village head can set a rule of mandatory mosquito nets use in all houses, if they don’t use them they will be given sanctions,” he explained.

He reminded us that all programs must be made based on the needs of the entire community, not only covering the village head or several groups’ needs. “Progressive change should start from the village. If your programs are good, the community will re-elect you for the next round of village head elections. You can serve for 3 terms, up to 18 years,” Wisnu explained.

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In a different session, Cucun Kuswara from the South Manokwari Food and Agriculture Defense Service said that development plans were no longer fully handed down from the central government. Conversely, development plans are directed to be initiated from the site level. “The needs of the community are collected from the neighborhood unit, urban village level, then the village level,” he said.

Currently, the preparation of the development plan has many challenges. Moreover, many village heads in South Manokwari have just been appointed and have no capacity and training in village budgeting. During the discussion session, the Head of Wama Village, Moses Iba, shared the challenges he faced. “I am trying to make the RPJMDes (Village Mid-Term Development Plan). But I don’t really understand because it’s my first time in the office,” he said.

Several village heads also don’t even have budgeting data because it was compiled by the previous village head. There are also those who cannot draw up a budget because the village officials they have chosen have not yet been appointed.

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However, some village heads have succeeded in compiling a budget according to the needs of the community. Devis Torey, Head of Uremi Village in Wondama Bay, is one of them. Since being inaugurated in 2020, he has had a vision of a  Cerdas, Maju, Mandiri, Aman, dan Sejahtera (CEMMAS). His village won second place in a village and sub-district competition at the West Papua Province level in 2022.

Devis provides tips for planning to run smoothly. “Three months after being inaugurated, I gathered the old officials, then formed a budgeting team to focus on the RPJM. After completing the new RPJM, I will replace the old village officials,” he said.

The Village Head Workshop is part of the Eco-Involvement School which is followed by the Social Transformation School. 12 villages from South Manokwari and 3 villages from Teluk Wondama participated in WKK and STS that were held in Kampung Siwi on 27-31 March 2023.

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