Author: Agus Irwanto Wibowo & Isnanto Solihin Yugo Pratomo

There are three fundamental objectives of developing community participation; first, participation will enable the people to organize themselves independently (autonomously), making it easier for people to face difficult situations and resist various adverse tendencies. Second, participation is a concrete mirror of opportunities to express aspirations and ways to fight for them. However, more importantly, participation becomes a guarantee for the community’s interests not to be neglected. Third, the problems in the dynamics of development will be overcome with the participation of the community 1.

Various literature also shows that participation means community involvement in planning, implementing, and evaluating development programs, but the real substantive meanings are voicing, access, and control. Voicing is the rights and actions of citizens in conveying their aspirations related to ideas, needs, interests, and demands of their closest community and government policies. Access to influence and determines policies and actively manages public policies, including citizens’ access to public services. Meanwhile, control is how people are willing and able to oversee the policy and government’s tasks so that a transparent, accountable, and responsive government to the various needs of its people is formed.

Based on the ideas above, we can conclude that active and meaningful community participation in the mining sector requires at least four aspects, specifically (1) availability of room or space to express opinions, (2) availability of information channels to influence and manage policies, (3) awareness and (4) the ability to exercise oversight.

In fulfilling the four aspects above, an enabling environment is needed in the form of a side-by-side development perspective – which is manifested in the form of policies – as well as commitments from various parties, particularly the community itself, the state (executive, legislative and judicial), business actors and other groups including academics and non-governmental organization.

Meanwhile, from the source, the support for realizing the four aspects above is divided into external and internal components. External components are visible in supporting facilities and infrastructure for the opportunity to participate, while internal is something that exists and grows from within the community itself.

The space for aspirations and public information channels is an external component provided by outside parties in the form of space for expression and information media, including channels for complaints, demands, and corrections to public policies.

Space for aspirations and information disclosure is still a gray area in mining operations so far; This section is allegedly “protecting” various fraudulent practices and violations committed by mining operators who are essentially parties in facilitating the aspirations and information needs of the community.2

While the aspect of awareness and ability is a component that grows from the internal processes of the community itself, public awareness involved in the implementation of development is strongly influenced by their perceptions and expectations on the benefit of mining activity 3. In mining activities, we likely find the pessimistic attitude of the community driven by the state’s insensitivity to their complaints and demands so far. There is also the problem of a lack of knowledge that hinders their critical awareness in positioning themselves in mining activities in their environment.

This condition has built the attitude of the community in viewing mining activities only from short-term benefits. In addition, the issue of the company’s commitment to responding to community demands has also contributed to their perspective. For example, the momentum for distributing corporate aid funds often seems reactive and responds directly to demands by some communities, which has indirectly built an understanding that the only communication mechanism to gain sympathy from the company is through the same method. This is not good education for the community and stakeholder in solving the root of the problem, while it just perpetuates the problem.
In other cases, companies’ corporate social responsibility (CSR) programs are still interpreted as compensation to the community for the impacts received, so it is not uncommon for CSR implementation to be solely a company program. The community is the object of CSR.4

The aspect of capability is a fundamental factor that concerns the readiness of the community to carry out supervision and control related to policies concerning their interests. This aspect is very influential on the bargaining value of the community in the planning and decision-making process by outsiders (government or companies) 5.

Their success is manifested through development of an inclusive community institution that represents common interests that function as a voice equalizer to policymakers 6.

In line with the spirit of realizing dignified public participation in development, the government has issued several policies. Particularly, Law number 14 of 2008 concerning Openness of Public Information (KIP), which generally aims to guarantee the right of citizens to know about public policy-making plans, public policy programs, and the public decision-making process, as well as the reasons for making a public decision 7. In addition, as proof of the government’s seriousness in encouraging the empowerment and independence of communities around mining, the government issued Ministerial Regulation (Permen) Energy and Mineral Resources (ESDM) number 41 of 2016, which regulates the implementation of Community Development and Empowerment (PPM) by mining business entities as their social responsibility obligation 8.

Those policy tools above demonstrate the government’s commitment to providing room for participation and information channels, also strategies to promote awareness and capacity as a foundation for community participation around the mine in particular. The task that needs to be monitored is how the policies can be implemented effectively and efficiently. It is common knowledge that government policies cannot be immediately effectively implemented without the support and commitment of all parties 9.

In line with this idea, Publish What You Pay (PWYP) Indonesia, AWRAGO, and three civil society organizations in Aceh, East Kalimantan, and Southeast Sulawesi (GeRAK Aceh, POKJA-30, and LePMIL) conducted training for communities around the mines in the three provinces above to understand the complaint instrument; complaints are placed as a form of community participation in the mining sector. This training focuses on the use of SP4N-LAPOR, which is a complaint channel developed by the government to facilitate the public in submitting demands and complaints in an easy and timely manner to state officials.

The training activities for using the SP4N-LAPOR instrument are part of a series of social accountability program activities for the mining sector carried out by PWYP Indonesia and partners with the support of the Global Partnership for Social Accountability (GPSA)-World Bank.

Other activities at the community level include direct mentoring and assistance by provincial partners in the selected villages. The mentoring agenda is primarily aimed at increasing the capacity and ability of the community to participate in the policy process in the mining sector.


  1. Dadang, Juliantara. 2002. Pembaruan Desa: Bertumpu pada Apa yang Terbawa.
  2. Gaventa, John. 2002. Kewargaan, Partisipasi dan Akuntabilitas (Sebuah Pengantar).
  3. Carr, Stephen. 1992. Public Space.
  4. PWYP,
  5. Hatifah Sj. Sumarto. 2004. Inovasi, Partisipasi dan Good Governance, 20 Prakarsa Inovatif dan Partisipatif di Indonesia.
  6. Adi, Isbandi Rukminto (2008). Perencanaan Partisipatoris Berbasis Aset Komunitas: dari Pemikiran Menuju Penerapan.
  7. Republik Indonesia, Undang Undang No 14 tahun 2008 tentang Keterbukaan Informasi Publik (KIP)
  8. Kementrian ESDM, Permen No 41 tahun 2016 tentang Pengembangan dan Pemberdayaan Masyarakat (PPM)
  9. Thahir. Arifin, 2018. Kebijakan publik dan good governance.