Empowerment of Civil Participation in the Context of Post-Conflict Urban Development Planning: A Case Study in Ambon

Dewi, Yustina Trihoni Nalesti and Pandiangan, Andreas Empowerment of Civil Participation in the Context of Post-Conflict Urban Development Planning: A Case Study in Ambon. In: he 7th Annual International and Comparative Urban Law Conference, 15-17 Juli 2021, Daring. (Unpublished)

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Ambon, the capital of the Indonesian province of Maluku, is unique in terms of how it exercises itsrights to regional autonomy. In general, municipalities in Indonesia are comprised of sub-districtscalledkelurahanordesa(‘villages’). In contrast, theGovernment of Ambon also administers special customarydistricts (desa adat), referred to locally asnegeri: at the time of writing, Ambon is dividedinto 20kelurahan, 8desaand 22negeri.Negeri are a special form ofadministrativeentitygovernedby Indonesia’s customary law,adat,andwhicheach have unique genealogical backgrounds, histories,and traditions.Eachnegeriis empowered to enact several competences autonomously based on theirown customary traditions. Both conceptually and practically, this structure makes Ambonesegovernance asymmetrical by nature,andone-of-a-kind among themanyexpressions of regionaldemocracy in Indonesia. Unfortunately, this asymmetrical autonomy through thenegeri has done little to repair the scars ofthe Ambonesesectarian conflict of 1999-2004. Post-conflict, redevelopment policies rarely placedmuch attention on rebuilding an urban environmentthat was robust and sensitive both to conflicttriggers and local needs. In practice, there is still minimal civic engagement and capacity-buildingatthe local level.Musrenbang(meetings wherein residentsdiscuss local issues and agree on solutionsand improvements) are also rarely used to facilitate the adoption of effective policies. Quite theopposite is happening: development at thenegeri level is heavilycontrolledby the interests of theAmbonese Government and municipal elite. In light of this, a strong need is felt to increase local participationfrom the bottom up and empowerthe local grass roots to have a meaningful voice in the development of their own communities.Returning autonomy to the community is the most straightforward way to realigndevelopmentpolicieswith the specific needs and interests of the local people. The unique structure of Ambonesegovernance provides an excellent medium to achieve this, through thenegeri. Members ofnegeristillhold strongly to traditional values which contain many positive elements such as civil participation,democratic process and reconciliation. Empowering thenegerinot only is an effective way toimproveurban health, but also isan effective peacebuilding tool, to decrease leftover tensions since theconflict, and increase local stability. This project aims to construct a model for civil participation based onadatin the 22negeriof Ambon,and ismeant to reconstruct traditional forms and dynamics of participation. The project wishes toreignite processes that have traditionally existed in the negeri, not to replace or uniformize them. Assuch, the focus will instead be placed on empowering and recontextualizingexisting frameworks inlight of principles of democratization, human rights, the rule of law, and accountability. Specifically,individuals should be empowered to articulate their aspirations effectively, into a system capable ofaccommodating and aggregating the various interests through both formal and informal institutionsavailable to the customary community.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Speech)
Subjects: 300 Social Sciences > 340 Law
Divisions: Faculty of Law and Communication
Depositing User: Ms Trihoni Nalesti
Date Deposited: 10 Aug 2021 07:34
Last Modified: 10 Aug 2021 07:34
URI: http://repository.unika.ac.id/id/eprint/26446

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