Paul Wolfowitz, the World Bank President, come to Aceh (5 April) and visit Pidie (6 April). The exact place is Tiro, the core of ‘home of the rebel’. We may call him now: Polem Wolfowitz di Tiro (Acehnese sometime put village name in their name, examples include Hasan Meutareum, Surya Paloh, and as my nick name is Rizali Pidie).
Polem Wolfowitz visited the zinc-sheet-made school (a temporary class after the burning down of the real school) and talked with the villagers in public gathering. I have a chance to attend the public gathering in Dayah Cot village.
As usual, villagers ask:
- what is your intention to come to Aceh?
- What World Bank could give to Aceh?
- Could you give capital to start our live after conflict?
So I decide to speak out my own and take the time for couple minutes from the villagers. Anyway, I was born here in Pidie too, so I do feel the right to say something about the area.
The following is my statement like.
If donor (World Bank, UN, ADB) want to have important role in Eastern Coast of Aceh, please pay attention to POST CONFLICT program, especially how the economic development can strengthen the peace process.
In this case, I propose for better public goods concerning poor people such as:
1. Education facility, both building and teacher welfare.
Aceh province is rich country, yet the education quality rank is among the worst in Indonesia.
2. Health facility, both building and health staff welfare.
During conflict, many health clinic programs in halt and many health officers leave their posts.
3. Infrastructure for economic activity (livelihood): road & bridge (for access to market), irrigation, and revival unused farm/ plantation.
Capital for individual will be more useful if we put it in the context of larger village/ kecamantan (sub-district) infrastructure investment. At the same time, the infrastructure will attract private/manufacture investment.
4. Support for village level government.
Without proper office, keuchiek (head of village) cannot keep village information properly. We need this institutional village structure to facilitate the development better.
5. Increasing capacity in public participatory development, as has been done in Kecamatan Development Program. My experience from building house for tsunami victim using public participatory approach result: lower cost for each house, faster construction, better quality, increasing community solidarity, and economic livelihood revival.
So I hope that World Bank and other donor soon implement their post-conflict development program. Especially since the community begins tired with all the never ending assessment, yet the program is not there. And if the donors do their program, hopefully they will not only waste the money with all overcrowd revolving and microfinance program, while ignoring a better public good provision.
Polem Wolfowitz also accompanied by World Bank team such as: Adrew Steer (Country director, Indonesia), Jeffrey Gutman (Regional Vice President, East Asia & Pacific Region), Herwidayatmo (Executive Director Southeast Asia), and Scoot Gugenheim (Operation manager, Decentralization Support Facility), and many others.