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The Governance of Indonesian Overseas Employment in the Context of Decentralization

Palmira Bachtiar

No DP 2011-25, Discussion Papers from Philippine Institute for Development Studies

Abstract: This study looks at emigration governance in the context of decentralized Indonesia. It examines various local initiatives that have evolved following the onset of decentralization in Indonesia a decade ago. These initiatives materialized in the form of local regulations (perda). First, we perform a literature review which particularly addresses the issue of perda related to overseas employment. Prior to the mapping analysis, a typology of four possible types of classification is constructed. Out of the 127 collected perda, 81% fall in type-1 perda (perda on general employment which are extractive); 14.2% in type-2 perda (perda on general kabupaten (district) revenue which are extractive); 2.4% in type-3 perda (perda on placement procedure which are nonextractive); and 2.4% in type-4 perda (perda on migrant worker protection which are nonextractive). We find that migrant-source kabupaten issue both higher numbers and varieties of perda related to overseas employment with type-1 and type-2 perda being the majority, while only three kabupaten (3.7% of 82 kabupaten) issue type-4 perda. Interestingly, our typology is not necessarily mutually exclusive, as kabupaten that pass protection perda do pass extractive perda as well. Second, we conduct fieldwork in four migrant-source kabupaten which have received technical assistance from donor agencies to formulate protection perda. In order to understand why Kabupaten Blitar and Lombok Barat were able to pass protection perda, while Kabupaten Ponorogo and Lombok Tengah could not, we look at the internal factors: stakeholders and the relationships between them; and the external factors which are beyond the control of the stakeholders. Our field research shows that the policy process in each kabupaten is unique and cannot be explained in a standard model. The duration of the policy process, substance of the perda, position of the advocating nongovernmental organizations (NGOs), intervention of the private recruitment agencies (PPTKIS), and the timing of election are the factors the outcomes of which are different in each kabupaten. Other factors such as the trust and commitment of the local government and parliament, strong capacity of NGOs, and strong support of donors also positively influence the success of the process.

Keywords: migrant workers; governance; decentralization; local government; local regulation (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Pages: 60
Date: 2011
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-sea
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