The Role of Government in Developing Madrasah in Indonesia


Bandung Institute of Governance Studies (BIGS)

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Basic Project Information

BIGS sought to improve education services through an assessment of the accountability, effectiveness, and efficiency of school operational funding for Islamic lower-secondary schools.


Project Summary


To encourage the development of Islamic lower-secondary schools (Madrasah tsanawiyah) for improved quality of services 


In order to identify and address problems with funding and delivery of the School Operational Assistance Program (BOS), BIGS tracked spending on private, Islamic lower-secondary schools, surveyed students to gauge their satisfaction with school services, and facilitated collaboration between communities and officials to address problems. The project had three phases:

  • Public Expenditure Tracking Surveys (PETS) involved surveys of school staff, as well as public officials and other community stakeholders, in order to identify any leakages, delays, or other irregularities in the delivery and management of school operational funding.
  • A Citizen Report Card (CRC) assessed the experiences and perceptions of lower secondary school students with regard to the availability, quality, and accessibility of education services.
  • A Social Audit brought together education officials, local authorities, and community members to achieve consensus on problems and identify solutions related to the performance of service providers and government officials.

According to the BOS, the project team found that funds allocated to Islamic lower secondary schools were inadequate based on the number of students. Limited funding also contributed to a lack of quality materials and infrastructure, as well as an insufficient number of teachers. To address these issues, BIGS shared their research findings during a series of focus group discussions to determine ways in which to improve the roles of the community, service providers, and officials in managing and delivering funds. The results of the multi-stakeholder social audit activities were then incorporated into BIGS’s broader efforts to advocate for policy improvements to ensure adequate funding and appropriate usage of school operational funds. 

Use of Information Communication Technology



PETS: 30 schools in 1 province

CRC and Social Audit: 2 districts across 2 provinces 

Target Population

Lower-secondary Islamic school students

Results Methodology

Self-reported results. Staff held discussions with Ministry of Religion officials, local authorities, and other stakeholders at the beginning and end of the project’s implementation.

Indicators Used

  • Quality of facilities/infrastructure and teachers
  • Quality of school management
  • Level of transparency and accountability in financial management
  • Activities and actions of the central government (Ministry of Religion), and the local authorities in response to BIGS’ advocacy activities
  • Changes made in regulation of service delivery that improve the state of madrasah

Reported Results

  • Improved transparency and accountability in the financial management of madrasah
  • Improved facilities/infrastructure of madrasah
  • Increased interest and awareness from provincial Ministry of Religion in BIGS’s work and findings
  • Improved cooperation and communication between local Ministry of Religion and local Ministry of Education (municipal/district level) to develop madrasah
  • Local parliament committed to increase municipal/district budget for madrasah
  • Local authorities proactively employed various means to ensure that private  madrasah can keep operating
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