Decentralization and Public Service Provision: A Case Study of the Education Sector in Jayawijaya District, Papua, Indonesia
- Contemporary Southeast Asia: A Journal of International and Strategic Affairs
- ISEAS–Yusof Ishak Institute
- Volume 41, Number 3, December 2019
- pp. 364-389
- View Citation
- Additional Information
For decades, Indonesia's sovereignty over Papua has been contested, resulting in violent conflicts. In 2001, the introduction of Papua's special autonomy emerged as an integrative approach both to resolve conflicts and to accelerate development in the province. One of the key problems to be addressed was the improvement of the education sector. However, after more than a decade following its implementation, and despite increased financial support from the central government, the educational development in Papua has been disappointing. This article analyses the factors that have shaped the development of primary education in Jayawijaya, a highland district in Papua. By gathering qualitative data from policy studies and in-depth interviews, this article identifies and examines three major challenges that have affected the development of primary education in Jayawijaya after decentralization: the uniformity of policy, the problem with incentives, and poor monitoring due to the misalignment of territorial and functional structures. These findings demonstrate that the lack of awareness to recognize the variety of local contexts is counterproductive and could lead to policy failures. Papua's special autonomy as an instrument of asymmetric decentralization has been attenuated by the continuation of "one-size-fits-all" top-down policies at the national level.