Tuesday, 29 Apr 2014

Developing advocacy strategies in Indonesia

Muhammadiyah, one of Indonesia largest Muslim civil society organisations and member of Family for Every Child, gathered 21 representatives from Indonesia’s civil societies for a two day advocacy workshop on family strengthening and alternative care. The workshop took place just after the social work assessment tool workshop last week.

The workshop, led by Family for Every Child Technical Support team members Emily Delap and Kate Riordan, and social work professor Dr. Andy Bilson of University of Central Lancashire, explored foundations of developing advocacy strategies. Applying those principles against the current context of child care in Indonesia, workshop attendees, including representatives from some of Indonesia largest and most prominent civil society organisations, participated in a hands-on, collaborative assessment of the opportunities and challenges facing Indonesia’s care system and the role their respective organisations and collective partnership can play in mobilising reform nationally.

Participants agreed to formalise their collaboration into a joint advocacy task force to further their agreed upon agenda. The group agreed to prioritise two streams of advocacy: 1.) improve the legislative framework governing care systems in Indonesia by informing Parliament’s development and review of the national care regulations, and 2.) change societal attitudes through public campaigns on children’s right to family and the importance of reducing unnecessary use of institutions.

In the coming month, participants of the newly formed advocacy task force will formalise their organisational commitment through formal statements of intent. Additionally, the task force will reconvene on 7 February to develop action plans for the newly developed advocacy priorities.

In reflecting on the workshop, Herni Ramdlaningrum, Coordinator for Muhammadiyah’s Social Services Council and member of Family for Every Child, noted: “This is the biggest meeting among national civil society organisations to talk about child care. It was the first time for these organisations to talk together about this issue. They usually come together to talk about political issues but not to talk about children’s issues. This is a huge success. I feel inspired.”