Proceedings of the 9th International Symposium on Veterinary Epidemiology and Economics, 2000. Brickenridge, Colorado, U.S.A. Available at www.sciquest.org.nz
Hutabarat TSPN*, Gonzalez-Levassor D** and Young J**
* Directorate of Veterinary Services, Directorate General of Livestock Services, Department of Agriculture, Jl. Harsono R.M. No. 3, Pasar Minggu, Jakarta 12550, Indonesia
** Decentralisation of Livestock Services Project, DFID, Jl. Adiyaksa No. 17, Ujung Pandang 90001, South Sulawesi, Indonesia
As in many developing countries, most veterinary services in Indonesia are currently provided by the government. The effective delivery of veterinary services by the state in Indonesia has been heavily constrained by lack of sufficient veterinarians, poor infrastructure, inadequate budgets and a heavily centralized planning system which offers little flexibility for local managers to respond to local needs. Veterinary services, like many publicly provided livestock services to smallholder farmers in Indonesia, are economically inefficient, and in many cases may actually cost more to the government than they are worth to the farmer (Young, J. et al., 1998). The current economic and political climate, globally and in Indonesia, is forcing sharp reductions in government expenditure on state funded services and an increase in transparency and public accountability of government. In this new policy environment, the State Veterinary Services in Indonesia are currently exploring opportunities for more decentralized, client-oriented and cost-effective approaches to the delivery of animal health services.
Participatory approaches aim to give local people more influence and share of control over government initiatives and over their own development. Over the last few decades public sector agencies in developing countries are taking an increasing interest in adopting participatory approaches as an effective means to match government services and programmes with the needs, aspirations, conditions and capabilities of communities, to foster a sound and self-sustaining development dynamic (Chambers, R., 1994). This paper describes some of the experiences of the State Veterinary Services in South and North Sulawesi in using participatory approaches to develop community-based activities and to explore options for privatization as the foundation for more effective, sustainable, animal health services.
The approach includes empowering villagers to appraise and analyse their livestock situation and effect changes to it, increasing the availability of animal health services by training villagers to develop their own businesses providing basic veterinary services, and increasing the responsiveness and financial sustainability of Animal Health Posts by introducing cost recovery systems.
Community Livestock Action Planning; helping farmers to help themselves. Community Action Livestock Planning (CLAP) aims to make local communities the managers of their own livestock development, by helping them to identify their own needs, plan their own livestock projects and obtain the services they need from the Government District Livestock Services or the private sector.
In early 1997 in four districts of North and South Sulawesi, multidisciplinary teams of field workers from the district Livestock services – which included government appointed veterinarians and assistants - were trained to use Participatory rural Appraisal (PRA) techniques to learn more about the livestock production constraints and opportunities. After training they worked together with communities to undertake these studies through existing farmers groups. These subsequently transformed themselves into specialist livestock farmer groups as the studies began to focus on livestock issues.
By the time the studies were completed, the knowledge that government workers had of the animal health problems faced by farmers was dramatically improved and channels of communication between farmer groups and government workers were strengthened. This process also helped farmer groups to develop self-resourced and sustainable plans to tackle some of the main animal health constraints to livestock production, this included village chicken vaccination schemes, and, through nonlivestock activities, raising the capital necessary to establish livestock inputs stores. These village-based stores aim to ease the access of villagers to animal feed and to routine management drugs like wormers. As a result of these activities, in all locations, farmers felt more secure about developing small-scale livestock businesses.
Community-based Animal Health Workers; developing new service providers at village level
Community-based Animal Health Workers (CAHWs) are farmers trained to recognise and treat the common simple livestock diseases, administer vaccines and provide simple routine services such as castration, for their neighbours – for a fee.
This approach was developed in the District of Minahasa in North Sulawesi in response to the early findings of the PRA studies that indicated the poor availability of reliable and affordable veterinary services in the villages.
CAHWs have consolidated themselves as a widely known, accessible and highly valued service in villages all over the district of Minahasa. For most farmers it has become the preferred source of animal health provision. It is regarded as a good quality service, 72% of the farmers that use their service are satisfied with it, and farmers consider them cheaper and easier to access than other service providers such as poultry shops and veterinarians. Their work has substantially increased the availability of animal health services at village level. In less than two years they have dealt throughout the district with over 15000 cases for over 2200 clients, often in areas of poor access to livestock services (DELIVERI Internal Report, 1999).
CAHWs have established a good working partnership with the Animal Health Posts. They get advice from the better qualified government staff and refer more complicated cases to them including disease outbreaks. They also take part in government vaccination campaigns helping to distribute vaccines at village level. This has improved the ability of the District Veterinary Services to provide services to farmers: animals can be more easily vaccinated in the villages and information on disease outbreaks is more quickly available.
Introduction of cost recovery systems in Animal Health Posts; facilitating more responsive and financially sustainable rural clinical services
A network of Animal Health Posts (AHPs) was set up in the early 80’s by the central animal health services to address the supply of clinical veterinary services in rural areas. AHPs have been under-resourced and staffed with often unmotivated veterinarians, frequently leading to the provision of limited services. Further budgetary constraints resulting from reduction on government expenditure and the transfer of their management to local authorities produced a further decline in efficiency in the mid 90’s. It is estimated that only about 66 percent of these AHPs are currently functional (Odeyemi, I.A., 1999).
To address this, State Veterinary Services are currently implementing a series of institutional reforms including the introduction of cost recovery programmes and the use of revolving funds for AHPs. Cost recovery and revolving funds are one way of ensuring that AHP services are financially sustainable, transferring some of the costs of the services to the users. It is expected that AHP services will become less vulnerable to budget fluctuations and by introducing market-driven incentives improve efficiency and responsiveness to farmers demands.
Early results indicate that this approach can increase the efficiency and effectiveness of the delivery of veterinary services to smallholder farmers. Farmers have increased their ability respond to animal health problems themselves, farmers have a wider choice of providers for basic veterinary services in their communities and, for more complicated problems, animal health posts are more responsive in providing more
reliable services. Some of the lessons from this approach can contribute to the current debate in Indonesia and elsewhere on how to manage the transition towards privatized veterinary services. It is argued that for reasons of equity, efficiency and sustainability the privatization of veterinary services need to consider alternative approaches beyond market dependent privatization (Holden, S. et al, 1996).
The experiences in North and South Sulawesi show how useful the participation of local people can be in managing this change. It also suggests a model; the improvement of public sector performance with the introduction of market-driven incentives combined with the transfer of delivery of some services to community based organizations or paraprofessionals. This model could form the basis of sustainable private veterinary services, addressing the efficiency and equity issues, in the future.
Chambers, R. (1994) ‘Participatory rural appraisal (PRA): challenges, potential and paradigm’, World Development, 22 (10)
DELIVERI, (1999) Internal Report (unpublished)
Holden, S., Ashley, S. and Bazeley, P. (1996) ‘Improving the delivery of Animal Health Services in Developing Countries, A Literature Review’ Livestock in Development, P.O.Box 20, Crewkerne,Somerset, TA18 7YW, UK.
Odeyemi, I.A. Wirosaputro S.S. (1999) ‘Opportunities for privatized veterinary services in Eastern Indonesia’. DELIVERI report.
Young, J., Chilver, A., Natasukarya, A., Peeling, D. & Leksmono, C. (1998) ‘The future of livestock services in Eastern Indonesia’. Proceedings IVA Congress, Harare, November 1998.