Indonesia has been mainstreaming gender in its national budget processes since the early 2000s. The Government has been using several public financial management (PFM) tools to understand the impact of budget policies on different groups of beneficiaries but wanted to have an evidence-based assessment of its gender responsive budgeting (GRB) efforts. In cooperation with the World Bank, Indonesia therefore undertook an assessment using the draft PEFA supplementary framework for assessing GRB and plans to use findings to further strengthen gender mainstreaming. 

Indonesia started introducing gender mainstreaming in 2000. In 2012, the Government adopted the National Strategy on the Acceleration of Gender Mainstreaming through Implementation of Gender Responsive Budgeting. The National Strategy was jointly issued by four ministries which have been key drivers of GRB: Ministry of Finance, Ministry of Women Empowerment and Child Protection, Ministry of Home Affairs, and Ministry of National Development.

However, despite the solid framework underpinning the implementation of GRB and requirement for relevant ministries to select their outputs relevant for gender equality, analyze them from gender perspective and develop a gender responsive budget statement, its GRB efforts have had mixed impacts on closing gender gaps. 

The PEFA GRB assessment was therefore conducted to evaluate the degree to which Indonesia’s PFM institutions, processes, and systems are gender responsive using an objective and evidence-based methodology and to identify areas of PFM that could be further strengthened, from a GRB perspective, and have a bigger impact on gender equality.

The assessment found that Indonesia has a strong legal framework for GRB and uses several tools to mainstream gender in the budget process: gender responsive budget circular and budget documentation, ex post gender impact assessments, and tracking of budget expenditure for gender equality. 

However, the assessment established that despite having gender responsive budget circulars and documentation in place, there is a need for clear top-down direction from both the Ministry Finance and Ministry of Women Empowerment to ensure compliance with instructions as well as to provide more guidance on how to design gender equality focused policies.

The assessment also revealed the need to strengthen the capacities of ministries to carry out gender analyses of budget policies and monitor their impact on gender equality and the need to collect more sex disaggregated data and use them as a basis to inform budget decisions.

The findings of the assessment are planned to feed the Gender Responsive Planning and Budgeting Roadmap that will be designed by the Indonesian government in close cooperation with the World Bank. The Government is currently also revising the National Strategy on the Acceleration of Gender Mainstreaming and wants to ensure a stronger legal framework for the implementation of GRB.
The GRB assessment in Indonesia was led by Romawaty Sinaga, and the mission team comprised of Arun Arya, Hari Purnomo, and Corry Huntangadi, all from the World Bank, as well as Maja Bosnić, international expert on GRB. The team also benefitted from technical support from Cut Dian Agustina from the World Bank. The assessment was funded through the World Bank-managed PFM multi-donor trust fund (MDTF), financed by the European Union, and governments of Canada and Switzerland. The GRB Roadmap that will be developed and implemented following the PEFA GRB assessment, will also be funded through the MDTF and its new phase, starting from March 2020.

The PEFA GRB supplementary framework was designed to determine the extent to which gender considerations are mainstreamed throughout the budget cycle: from planning and design of budgetary policies that facilitate gender equality in service delivery; the allocation of resources to implement them; tracking resources to ensure that policies are implemented as intended; to monitoring and evaluation of the appropriateness, efficiency and effectiveness of policies including their impacts on gender and gender equality. 

The assessment of GRB in Indonesia was the fourth pilot of the draft PEFA framework for assessing GRB, after Antigua and Barbuda, St Lucia, and Ukraine. The assessments in Antigua and Barbuda and St Lucia were carried out as part of the Canada-Caribbean Resilience Facility (2019–2024), funded by the Government of Canada and implemented by the World Bank. The assessment in Ukraine was conducted as part of a regular PEFA assessment in Ukraine, led by the World Bank and funded by the Delegation of the European Union to Ukraine. The draft framework has also been piloted in Haiti and is soon to be piloted in Anguilla and Tonga in cooperation with the International Monetary Fund regional centers.