Information brought Social Protection Programmes to another level

Thursday, January 11, 2018


The implementation of social protection programmes often deviates from its targeted measure and recipients. Government and experts have been making efforts to improving the programme effectiveness. For instance, the Indonesian Government has reformed the distribution pattern of subsidized rice for the poor (Raskin) by utilizing identification card as an access to Raskin. Additionally, information is considered as one of the essential tools to raise citizen awareness about their rights to public service.

The Journal of Political Economy included a comprehensive study by Abhijit Banerjee, Rema Hanna, Jordan Kyle, Benjamin Olken and Sudarno Sumarto observing the changes made after adding more information to the eligible citizens. An experiment was conducted on the beneficiaries in 378 villages that were randomly selected among 572 villages over three provinces. The Government sent out the identification cards added with information about the beneficiaries’ eligibility and their quantity rights to subsidized rice. The researcher also distributed surveys across 11,000 households for 18 months to see the effect of additional information on the benefits received by Raskin programme beneficiaries.

The result shows that identification cards increased the subsidy obtained by eligible households by 26 per cent. Since the unofficial recipients still did not get any reduction of subsidized rice, the study defines that the rise in programme benefits derived from less corruption (quantity increase and copay-price decrease) instead of from benefits redistribution within the village. The information printed on identification cards and the recipient lists announced through public speaker play a considerable role in raising outcomes for the eligible households. Apart from that, it did not lead to a social dispute between recipients and non-recipients in the villages. Therefore, the Indonesian Government developed the validity of identification card not only for Raskin but also for other unconditional and conditional cash transfers.


This article was prepared by Dwi Fitriah Arrisandi, Junior Research Consultant, CAPSA


Kyle, J. (2018). Information empowers citizens to demand public services. IFPRI Research Blog. Available from