Appropriating decentralization: how urban poverty project triggers advocacy

Research output: Book/ReportBook


"This exploratory research was designed to understand how poor communities appropriate decentralization policies to raise their expectations of the state and consequently press their own agenda in development and poverty alleviation projects.""Appropriating decentralization"" is conceptualized as the evolution of marginalized communities into empowered and self-advocating ones, capable of influencing the way the government operates in strategic planning processes for pro-poor policy by using the resources provided by state-sponsored, decentralized programs. Using a combination of methods including in-depth interviews, focus group discussions, field observations and documents reviews, this research explores Indonesia’s Urban Poverty Project’s implementation in two kelurahans (sub-districts) in the city of Pekalongan, Central Java, Indonesia. This research discusses how a community organization can strategically plan movements to put its agents in the government and influences the governmental operation toward more democratic and accountable governance culture. It also highlights stories and perspectives to understand the complex process of planning negotiation where poverty and economic interdependence plays important roles in the “give and take” between community organization and external parties. This research suggests that communities can actively appropriate decentralization policy to further their own agendas within the decentralizing State’s frameworks and do not require a different planning process exclusive of governmental agents or the State’s influence. The communities studied, however, demonstrate that engagement with the State-run planning processes is very contested and multi-layered. A thin, fine line exists between community-government strategic alliance and the State co-opting civil society."
Original languageEnglish
PublisherUniversity of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Number of pages131
Publication statusPublished - 21 Jul 2010


Dive into the research topics of 'Appropriating decentralization: how urban poverty project triggers advocacy'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this