Building State Capacity at Scale: Impacts of Training Village Officials in Indonesia
We evaluate a large-scale training program aiming to build capacity within Indonesia’s village governments. In 2014, the Government of Indonesia passed the Village Law, significantly increasing fiscal resources for the country’s 74,954 villages. However, limited capacity constrains villages from translating their fiscal resources into better development outcomes. Village heads and secretaries often lack the ability to implement complex tasks such as managing village budgets, designing effective development projects, and involving citizens in village governance. To address these constraints, the Ministry of Home Affairs in collaboration with the World Bank will roll out a novel Learning Management System (LMS) that is adaptable to the varied needs of village governments. The LMS combines an e-learning platform with in-person and peer-to-peer learning and mentoring to facilitate knowledge diffusion within and across village governments. The randomized rollout of the LMS will allow for a rigorous evaluation of the program’s impacts on the capacity of local leaders as well as village governance, public goods, and development.