Rural EPICS Program (Rural Educational Program for Improving Civil Society) was developed to increase the capacity and ability of the community to be involved in bringing clean governance. In addition, to realize the role and participation of community groups in the planning process of development programs at the district level through the action research approach undertaken by the communities themselves and dialogue with District Government and Parliament.
Rural Epics program has been implemented from July 2002 to October 2003 in two districts ie Temanggung, Central Java Province and Lumajang, East Java Province. Selection is based on the experience of local cooperation between local partners with government organizations terrain. In each district, selected three districts and sub-districts selected in each of two villages
Community initiatives is the idea of the community for a variety of things that are considered essential for life. Because it involves the community, then it is become a collective interest, not just private. The scope can be very broad; the work, public infrastructure, information, security, and so forth. These are people’s needs. To realize these needs, there appears a “deal” to establish a State. From there made a rule of law and legislation. Then formed the government in charge of the realization of the desires of the community. However, when the “executor wishes” was given authority and power, is often the interests of the public become difficult to realize. In fact, it is often the personification of interest occurred, so that the distance between the reality of the problem with the community representatives to get very far. A situation like this is who people are often do not make the problem intractable, even tends to continue to grow.
Rural EPICS Program Activities include: Training for Community Organizer (Cos); Identification and Analysis of Issues in the village community level by the formation of CO and Public Sector Group; Training for scouting process for CO and Action Research Action Research Training for Sector Group By CO; research Actions by Sector Group; dialogue between the community and the District Government and parliament: Time for Hearing society, and the National Seminar
The results of the program were 36 members of the public from 2 districts have been trained as Community Organizers (CO); 900 villagers from two districts have conducted action research activities so that through this activity they already have the ability to identify problems faced by the community; Members of rural communities formed a groups action research to support the needs of society as well as carry out the necessary follow-up; Several local agencies and organizations involved and provide support for the implementation of the action research and dialogue with villagers; deputy regional governments and parliaments had discussions with village members conducting action research about the problems faced by the community as well as determine an alternative solution to the problem. In this dialogue, representatives of community members can communicate directly with representatives of Governments and policy makers in Parliament; Framework of the implementation programs can be implemented in the planning as well as evaluated directly by the people themselves, so the skill, ability and experience of the community and the community network can be formed through the implementation of these programs in different areas of the program; Member of action research in rural marginalized groups active in issuing his opinion during the execution of the program.
In the implementation of Rural EPICS programs, FIELD Indonesia in cooperation with Indonesian PHT Farmers Association (IPPHTI) local districts and get the support of the Partnership for Governance Reform in Indonesia.
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