Strengthening the participation of the Mentawai indigenous communities in public policy (2008-2012)

About the publication

  • Published: 2013
  • Series: --
  • Type: NGO reviews
  • Carried out by: Carol Yong and Giorgio B. Indrarto
  • Commissioned by: Rainforest Foundation Norway
  • Country: Indonesia
  • Theme: Civil society
  • Pages: --
  • Serial number: --
  • ISBN: --
  • ISSN: --
  • Organization: Rainforest Foundation Norway
  • Local partner: Yayasan Citra Mandiri Mentawai (YCMM)
  • Project number: QZA – 1210764 - 16
NB! The publication is ONLY available online and can not be ordered on paper.

This evaluation of the Yayasan Citra Mandiri Mentawai (hereafter, YCMM) covers the period between 1st January 2008 and 31st December, 2012. It has focused on YCMM’s project “Strengthening the participation of the Mentawai indigenous communities in public policy”, with the financial support of Rainforest Foundation Norway (hereafter, RFN). The project’s overall goal is “to promote the involvement of the indigenous people of the Mentawai islands in policy decisions related to political, social and cultural aspects, and that natural resource and forest management is fair and sustainable”.

1. To assess the relevance, effectiveness, efficiency, impact and sustainability of the RFN-supported project.
2. To provide an overview of the strengths, weaknesses, challenges and gaps in project implementation, and recommendations for how weaknesses can be addressed
3. To provide an overview of the strengths and weaknesses of organisational structure and internal management, and recommendations for how challenges can be addressed

Data was collected using a combination of tools including documentary review, interviews with different stakeholders and field visits to Padang and the Mentawai undertaken from 2nd to 26th April, 2013. The evaluation was conducted under challenging environments and unexpected serious flooding especially in Siberut island, which affected the timing and implementation of some village trips and interviews.

Key findings:
1. Internal capacity and processes
- New organisation structure with a new leadership since 2010
- Imbalance in decision-making processes in the Board
- Difficulty to expand the organisation’s activity because of limited human resources available in the Mentawai islands
- Poor communication and transport networks creating difficulties to connect the head office to the field
- Very good relationship between YCMM and external actors

2. Policy and advocacy
- Success of the anti palmoil campaign: existing permits have not been renewed. Strong mobilisation in the field thanks to YCMM’s good campaig outreach
- Anti-corruption campaign exposed hig-profile cases but this also results in tensions with the local government
- Need for better strategic planning in terms of campaigning and advocacy work, more human resources in the policy division and better coordination between YCMM’s media tools (radio and magazine) in relation to advocacy work

3. YCMM and AMA-PM
- AMA-PM (Mentawai Indigenous Organisation) is no longer a main focus under YCMM’s program from is getting closer to AMAN (National Alliance of Indigenous Peoples in Indonesia) and therefore needs to get its own fuding and resources
- YCMM will continue building AMA-PM’s capacity in some of its projects in the field, and will continue cooperating with its members in the Mentawai

4. Alternative education and cultural identity
- Good results in the two jungle schools. But resources are lacking for teaching material, teaching staff, and YCMM’s alternative education project as a whole
- YCMM is still lobbying the local government for them to adopt the local curriculum on Mentawai culture they developed with communities and the jungle schools. But local authorities are still not interested in mainstreaming such local and cultural knowledge.

5. Media work
- YCMM’s mediaa work has been successful in impacting the public in the Mentawai and even in Sumatra. But there are still some communication failures and lack of media strategy. There is a lack of funding for YCMM’s media.

6. Main results of YCMM’s work over the project period
- Good work on a grassroots level and increased the participation of Mentawai people in public policy. Good quality documentation has been produced as well as campaigns that have impacted on its target groups

#     Gender baseline assessment
- There is an absence of consideration of gender issues in YCMM’s work: project planning, leadership, project implementation among others. High need for training on these issues and developing gender tools and methods applicable to their work

- Move the head office from Padang to the field for the leadership to be closer to the field activities
- Better communication between the divisions, and between the staff and the leadership (including the Board)
- Assess the current staff and their positions and evaluate their tasks and whether they fit their assignment. Possibility of changing this around internally
- Develop monitoring tools taking into account specific conditions in the Mentawai
- Continue working on campaigns with more strategic thinking beforehand
- Continue lobbying the district government on issues linked to alternative education in the Mentawai and ensure that it stays a priority
- Coordinate the media work of YCMM with its campaigning work in a more strategic way. Look for specific funding for YCMM’s magazine and radio
- Gender issues should be taught and mainstreamed in YCMM’s work and RFN should take these issues forward in the follow-up activities of this evaluation.

Comments from the organisation, if any:
The gender baseline (#) is not meant to evaluate the partner organisation on gender issues, because it was not previously part of it’s application. However as RFN is willing to work more and more on gender issues with its partners, this assessment will be used as a baseline for further work in YCMM and in Indonesia at a wider leve.

Published 02.12.2013
Last updated 16.02.2015