Design and Implementation of Indonesian Social Safety Net Programs

At the onset of the Indonesian crisis, an important concern was raised over whether achievements that had been made in the social sectors and poverty reduction over the previous decades could be sustained. Furthermore, there were some warnings about the looming severe social impacts of the crisis. This prompted the Indone- sian government to react rapidly and instituted a number of interventions aimed at safeguarding real incomes as well as access to social services for the poor.

There were several new social safety net programs launched, widely known as the “JPS” programs. These programs were intended to help protect the traditional poor as well as the new crisis-created poor through four strategies: (i) ensuring the availability of food at affordable prices, (ii) supplementing purchasing power among poor households through employment creation, (iii) preserving access to critical social services, particularly health and education, and (iv) sustaining local eco- nomic activity through regional block grant programs and extension of small-scale credit.