SDO-Government Relations, SDO Management & Leadership

Building a Partnership for Social Service Delivery in Indonesia: State and Faith‑based Organisations

Minako Sakai (Australian Journal of Social Issues)

Abstract: Contrary to the secularisation processes in modernisation theory, religions and faith-based organisations (FBOs) are thriving in contemporary Indonesia. Strongly supported by community members, religious organisations have begun to extend their services beyond the traditional areas of education and health to operate in disaster relief and poverty alleviation programmes. These FBOs have been offering assistance to the disadvantaged whose needs have not been adequately met by the state. Social programmes run by the FBOs are an important safety net at the grass-roots level in Indonesia; how to effectively coordinate and offer such services are important social policy issues. This paper will show that the Indonesian Government is keen to remain the key provider of social services and often perceives the services of FBOs as a threat. Some recent state policies to regulate the funding sources of Islamic organisations have posed a significant logistical challenge for their future operation. In addition, theological differences across various religious groups have made it difficult to form inclusive and extensive partnerships among the FBOs, who tend to compete with each another resulting in rivalry. These socio-political contexts have limited the formation of effective partnerships for offering coordinated social services.

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