Can Decentralization Affect Public Service Delivery? A Preliminay Study of Local Government’s Innovation and Responsiveness in Indonesia.

Firda Hidayati


Decentralization has helped to increase quality of public service to be more responsive and accountable to its local people, but many still question its effectiveness especially in developing coutries. Since 1998, Indonesia has applied decentralization to manage the government, the drastic shift from strong centralization to decentralization has brought question on its effectiveness. This paper presents normative and empirical evidence on decentralization to public service delivery in Indonesia. It analyzes of curent theories and application that support the scheme on how decentralization may reduce ineficiency and ineffeciveness in public service provision. Drawing from articles, the researcher found that efficiency can be increased by providing institutional change to improve accountablity of public service provision. It is recommended that local government should assign specific local bureaucrats to hold reponsible for certain public service that will lead to strong involvement of society and bureaucrats in improving public service provision. The quick bureaucrat response and proper innovation should create strong public service demand on better public service provision and therefore, put high pressure on elite and bureacrats to be more responsive and accountable in managing this service.


governmnet response, visioner, public service, local government, participation, local’s need

Full Text:



Adsera A, Boix C, Payne M. 2003. Are you being served? Political accountability and quality of government. The Journal of Law, Economics, and Organization, 19 (2): 445–490.

Agrawal A, Ribot J. 1999. Accountability in Decentralization: A Framework with South Asian and West African Cases. The Journal of Developing Areas, 33, (4): 473-502.

Ahmad R. 2006. The role of public administration in building a harmonious society: selected proceedings from the Annual Conference of the Network of Asia-Pacific Schools and Institutes of Public Administration and Governance (NAPSIPAG). Asian Development Bank: Network of Asia-Pacific Schools and Institutes of Public Administration and Governance (NAPSIPAG).

Andrew R, Boyne GA, Law J, Walker RM. 2007. Centralization, Organizational Strategy, and Public Service Performance. Journal of Public Administration Research and Theory, 19 (1): 57–80.

Antunes P, Karadzic V, Santos R, Beça P, Osann A. 2011. Participatory multi-criteria analysis of irrigation management alternatives: the case of the Caia irrigation district, Portugal. International Journal of Agricultural Sustainability, 9 (2): 334-349.

Antlöv H, Wetterberg A. 2016. Village Governance, Community Life, and the 2014 Village Law in Indonesia. Bulletin of Indonesian Economic Studies, 52 (2): 161-183.

Auriol, E., Straub, S. & Flochel T. 2016. Public Procurement and Rent-Seeking: The Case of Paraguay. World Development, 77 : 395-407.

Besley T, & Burgess R. 2002. The political economy of government responsiveness: Theory and evidence from India. The Quarterly Journal of Economics, 117 (4): 1415–1451.

Bertot JC, Jaeger PT, Grimes JM. 2010. Using ICTs to create a culture of transparency: E-government and social media as openness and anti-corruption tools for societies. Government information quarterly, 27 (3): 264-271.

Boin A, Hart P. 2003. Public leadership in times of crisis: mission impossible? Public Administration Review, 63 (5): 544–553DOI: 10.1111/1540-6210.00318

Borins S. 2001. Encouraging innovation in the public sector. Journal of intellectual capital, 2 (3): 310-319.

Boyne GA. 2003. Sources of public service improvement: A critical review and research agenda. Journal of public administration research and theory, 13 (3): 367–394.

Brinkerhoff DW, Wetterberg A. 2013. Performance-based public management reforms: experience and emerging lessons from service delivery improvement in Indonesia. International Review of Administrative Sciences, 79 (3): 433-457. DOI:

Carina J.2017. Simpang Susun Semanggi yang Dimulai Ahok, Diselesaikan Djarot, dan Akan Diresmikan Jokowi... Kompas, 31 Juli.

Crewson PE. 1997. Public-service motivation: Building empirical evidence of incidence and effect. Journal Of Public Administration Research And Theory, 7 (4): 499–518,

Dasgupta A, Beard VA. 2007. Community driven development, collective action and elite capture in Indonesia. Development and change, 38 (2): 229–249. DOI: 10.1111/j.1467-7660.2007.00410.x

Davis J. 2004 Corruption in public service delivery: experience from South Asia’s water and sanitation sector. World development, 32 (1): 53-71.

Durand, C. & Fournier S. 2017. Can Geographical Indications Modernize Indonesian and Vietnamese Agriculture? Analyzing the Role of National and Local Governments and Producers’ Strategies. World Development, Volume 98, , Pages 93-104.

Falloon and Betts, 2010. Climate impacts on European agriculture and water management in the context of adaptation and mitigation—the importance of an integrated approach. Science of the total environment, 408 (23):5667-5687.

Fanani A. 2017a. Tiga Inovasi Pelayanan Publik Banyuwangi Ikuti Kompetisi Dunia. Detik, 24 Februari.

Fanani A. 2017b. Program Jemput Bola Pasien Banyuwangi Tangani 1.641 Warga. Detik, 24 Februari.

Gibson CC, McKean MA, Ostrom E.2000. People and forests: Communities, institutions, and governance. MIT Press.

Grimsey, Lewis. 2002. Evaluating the risks of public private partnerships for infrastructure projects. International Journal of Project Management, 20 (2): 107-118.

Guess GM. 2005. Comparative Decentralization Lessons from Pakistan, Indonesia, and the Philippines. Public Administration Review, 65 (2): 217–230. DOI: 10.1111/j.1540-6210.2005.00446.x

Kahkonen S, Lanyi, A. 2001. Decentralization and Governance : Does Decentralization Improve Public Service Delivery? World bank notes, No 55. Retrieved at https//

Khaleghian P. 2004, Decentralization and public services: the case of immunization. Social Science & Medicine, 59, Issue 1, Pages 163-183.

Kingsley GT. 1996. Perspectives on Devolution. Journal of the American Planning Association, 62 (4): 419-426.

Kis-Katos K, Sjahrir BS. 2017. The impact of fiscal and political decentralization on local public investment in Indonesia. Journal of Comparative Economics, 45 (2): 344-365.

Lewis BD, McCulloch N, Sacks A. 2016. Measuring local government service delivery performance: Challenges and (partial) solutions in Indonesia. Journal of International development, 28 (5): 808–817. DOI: 10.1002/jid.3106

Manor J. 1999. The political economy of democratic decentralization. Washingthon DC: The World Bank.

Ostorm E. 1990. Governing the commons : The evolution of institutions for collective action. Cambridge, Cambridge University

Perry JL, Wise LR. 1990. The motivational bases of public service. Public Administration Review, 50 (3): 367-373. DOI: 10.2307/976618.

Przeworski A, Stokes SC, Manin B. 1999. Democracy, accountability, and representation. New York: Cambridge University Press

Ramesh M. 2013. Decentralization in Asia: survey. Policy and Society, 32 (1):1-5.

Ricart S, Clarimont S. 2016. Modelling the links between irrigation, ecosystem services and rural development in pursuit of social legitimacy: Results from a territorial analysis of the Neste System (Hautes-Pyrénées, France). Journal of Rural Studies, 43: 1-12.

Ricks JI. 2016. Building Participatory Organizations for Common Pool Resource Management: Water User Group Promotion in Indonesia. World Development, 77: 34-47.

Roberts A. 2006. Blacked out: Government secrecy in the information age. Cambridge University Press.

Smoke P. 2015. Rethinking decentralization: Assessing challenges to a popular public sector reform. Public Administration and Development, 35 (2): 97–112. DOI: 10.1002/pad.1703

Widianingsih I. 2014. Decentralized Governance and Delivery of Services: Lessons Learned from Jembrana District. Retrieved from

Winters MS, Karim AG, Martawardaya B. 2014. Public service provision under conditions of insufficient citizen demand: Insights from the urban sanitation sector in Indonesia. World development, 60: 31-42.


  • There are currently no refbacks.