Raising Her Voice

Empowering poor women to engage effectively in governance

Raising Her Voice Abstract DRAFT-2 for Global Health Conference 2009 (Format: POLICY)

Raising Her Voice: Promoting Poor Women’s participation in government to fulfil women’s right includes essential health right in Papua

Author: Sushanty and Rochimah Susana Dewi, Oxfam GB

Email: sushanty@oxfam.org.uk

Learning Objectives:
By the end of my presentation, the participants will be able to understand on:
• poor women access to development resource in Papua context
• how to develop strong partnership between poor communities and other stakeholder for policy changes

I. Background
Paniai Regency, the area of the Raising Her Voice project in Papua province, Indonesia, was newly established in 1998. Of the 137 kampung (villages) in Paniai Regency, 135 are categorized as “backward villages,” and only two are categorized as non-backward (Paniai BAPPEDA and BPS, 2007). Like other regencies in the central mountain area, Paniai Regency has the financial arrangements and political will to reduce poverty and promote development, includes health sector. However, many challenges and obstacles are faced, such as very minimal infrastructure, limited availability of skilled personnel, limited public access to services and development resources and a poor system of public services, includes health services as part of human basic right.

II. Strategy to changing policy
Raising Her Voice project addressed good governance from both; supply and also demand sides. Oxfam GB and partners with support from DFID works with civil society groups and local government institutions in order to strengthening the working relationships between women and women’s groups with those in positions of power and influence.

Beside that, the government of Papua has introduced an innovation in development funding by allocating village block grants, with at least 15% targeting projects that benefit women exclusively. RHV programme building on this opportunity to ensure that poor women in villages receive the benefits of this new policy, to fulfil women’s right includes essential health right.

RHV programme also take a places an emphasis on using media as a triangular tool to: translate and distribute information; raise the awareness of women in rural areas, and; monitor and document women’s participation in local development planning and government service delivery.


III. Results/Outcome
• Poor women access to development resource is increased
• Community demand, male and female, for appropriate health services is enhanced
• Awareness on women’s right and health right in community, and local leaders is demonstrate to raise as an impact of gender mainstreaming and continuing capacity building
• The awareness in government level; facilitator Respek Program, head of village, and head of sub district, is shows positively increase, especially after receipt the gender mainstreaming and participatory planning and budgeting training.


III. Current Effort and Implications
• MoU has been signed between Paniai Regent, OGB, and Yapkema - Raising Her Voice partner, during stakeholder meeting for regency level in Paniai, 11 June 2009. The MoU would carry juridical and psychological impact to the local government offices to ensure the practice of the Respek policy.
• Communication space between local government and women groups is established as channel for women aspiration in development.
• Raising Her Voice is receiving commitment and positive support and feed back from government official in paniai, in particular regent of Paniai regency and head of regional development planning board.


IV. Conclusions
Key learning form the Raising Her Voice Program to change the policy practice are as follows:
1. Strong partnership was build in the first place, with government (regent, head of regional development planning board, and others) as well as with local leader (tribal’s head, priest and others)
2. Mapping of stakeholder and actor for lobby and negotiation
3. Support the local leader become the triggers, speakers, or actor in the advocacy


V. Partners
1. Yayasan Pengembangan Kesejahteraan Masyarakat (YAPKEMA)
Jalan Uwatawogi Bapouda, Kabupaten Paniai, Propinsi Papua

2. The Institute for Civil Society Strengthening (ICS) PAPUA
Jalan Arwana Gang II No.1 (Samping PTUN), Kelurahan Waena
Kota Jayapura, Propinsi Papua

3. Lembaga Pengkajian Pemberdayaan Perempuan dan Anak Papua (LP3AP), Jalan Perumahan Uncen Kotaraja, No.136RT 03/RW 08, Kota Jayapura, Propinsi Papua

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