Note: Atma, working with USAID and FHI360, recently published compendiums of stories of impact from 32 Civil Society Organizations across Indonesia. We are proud to have helped each organization tell its remarkable story. Below is a summary of one such story. Download the stories of impact via the Atma eBook page.
From “Rogue Organization” to “Elegant Opposition”
The PRK-I (Indonesian Movement for Humanitarian Volunteers) is a civil society organization in Tasikmalaya, West Java, engaged in addressing humanitarian social issues. However, their criticisms led to a strained relationship with the local government. Indeed for 10 years, PRK-I had never received any support or cooperation from the Tasikmalaya government.
All that began to change in 2020 when PRK-I was selected as a partner of the USAID-facilitated MADANI program. Through MADANI, PRK-I members were introduced to tools such as the Organizational Performance Index (OPI), which assessed the organization’s conditions and helped identify areas for improvement.
Then, with the help of expert consultants, PRK-I strengthened its management competence, including organizational management, resource management, writing skills, and social media.
These capacity building efforts resulted in tangible changes for PRK-I. For instance, PRK-I used advocacy methods, including complaint surveys, to improve the quality of services at health centers in one region.
Others began to notice, and PRK-I’s strategic work and results gained them respect. For instance, the National Unity and Political Agency (Kesbangpol) of Tasikmalaya, impressed by PRK-I’s professionalism, asked them to introduce the OPI method to over 50 organizations in the area.
PRK-I Chairman, Luthfi Hizba Rusydia, acknowledges the organization’s major transformation. As he says, “Today PRK-I is more prepared to be an accountable organization. We are ready to help the government work, without losing our identity in criticizing the government. But now we are able to criticize the government in a more ‘elegant’ way – with clear data and facts, and also through various research and analysis.”
MADANI, incidentally, stands for “Maju dan Sejahtera Bersama Masyarakat dan Negeri” in Indonesian, which translates to Advancing and Prospering Together with Society and the Nation.