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IWC research: water governance improved through social contracts in Indonesia

An International WaterCentre (IWC) led review of piloted social contracts highlights opportunities to drive improvements in local water utility performance and urban water supply in Indonesia.
IWC research: water governance improved through social contracts in Indonesia

IWC research findings on social contracts in Eastern Indonesia

The government of Indonesia is committed to deliver universal access to clean water to all Indonesians by 2019. Water supply in Indonesia is decentralised to the local government level, where the capacity of local water utility companies (Perusahaan Daerah Air Minum, or PDAMs) to deliver an effective water supply service will be critical in achieving this target. While there is significant research investigating the internal operational space of water utilities, there is less understanding of how the external governance of water utilities might influence performance. 

Social contracts remain a new and evolving concept in Indonesia’s water supply sector and the key findings and recommendations of this research, published in the Journal of the Indonesia Infrastructure Initiative Prakarsa, offer important guidance in implementing and building the value of social contracts.

The research

In 2013 the IWC, in partnership with BAPPENAS and the Association of Indonesian Water Supply Companies, received an Australian Indonesia Infrastructure Research Award (AIIRA) grant to review the potential of piloted social contracts to stimulate trust for improved water governance and service delivery in Indonesia.

Completed in 2015 the research focused on two pilot sites in Nusa Tenggara Barat in Eastern Indonesia and revealed a positive correlation between social contracts and the improvement of governance and performance in water supply services. 

Findings and recommendations 

A summary of the key findings and a set of recommendations have been published in the January 2016 edition of Prakarsa (pp. 31).
 A PDF of the journal can be accessed online in English or Bahasa Indonesian.

More information

Please contact Senior Program Officer Declan Hearne  
Tel +61 7 3014 0200



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