Weaknesses in Indonesian water sector management by central and local authorities lead to significant financial and economic costs to the community, concerning droughts, floods, environmental problems and reduced achievement of the Millennium Development Goals (MDG).
The Indonesian water sector is facing serious personnel capacity challenges. The current problems are mainly the result of the new paradigms in water management and spatial planning reflected in new water laws and policies. Further, a decade-long policy of zero growth in the number of civil servants has led to an aging staff population, of which a significant percentage (about 3000) will retire in the next five years. Finally, the decentralization of public responsibilities presents a problem, as the provincial/district organizations have been assigned tasks for which their staff has not been trained.
The capacity gaps have made it problematic for the Directorate-General for Water Resources (DGWR) to produce adequate and timely regulations, policies, standards, technical guidelines, support and regulations, and to give technical instructions to provinces and districts.
The project provided the DGWR with outlines of programmes which it can implement to start reducing the vast deficiencies in knowledge and skills that were revealed by the training needs assessment, which was also carried out as part of the project. The project also provides recommendations on what the DGWR could do to mitigate the impact of the brain drain that has been taking place and continues to take place and on the way to organize human resources management (HRM) at the DGWR in order to ensure that the proposed training programmes are being implemented professionally and effectively. The project prepares the DGWR for further specification and implementation of tangible HRM steps.
The project concluded that approximately 2,500 positions in the Indonesian water sector were inadequately filled, and an additional 3,600 training courses were required to ensure that the staff of the water organizations could provide the necessary capacity. In order to address these gaps, UNESCO-IHE developed an advisory report proposing a range of measures to improve the current situation on a long-term basis.