South-South Cooperation

SSC (23)


Country Program Action Plan Output:

Strengthened national capacity to advocate ICPD principles, MDGs and South-South Cooperation.


South-South Cooperation (SSC) is a term historically used by policymakers and academics to describe the exchange of resources, technology and knowledge between developing countries, also known as countries of the “Global South”. Indonesia, as an emerging middle-income country and a member of the G20 (a group of finance ministers and central bank governors from 20 major economies), has an important role in leading international development cooperation.


The Government of Indonesia has a vision to further expand its influence and role, both regionally and globally, and it recognizes that one of the ways to do this is through the exchange of experiences and knowledge via SSC. The SSC framework is seen as complementary to the Indonesian policy of self-reliance and partnership among all nations. SSC efforts are included in the National Medium-Term Development Plan (RPJMN) 2009-2014 and will continue to be a component of the next RPJMN (2015-2019).


UNFPA is working to strengthen the capacity of the Government of Indonesia in global and bilateral South-South Cooperation on population, reproductive health and gender issues.


UNFPA is the sole UN agency working with the Government of Indonesia on SSC and ICPD. UNFPA and the National Population and Family Planning Board (BKKBN) have worked together to develop SSC programmes on population and family planning since the early 1990s (with a short break between 2011 and 2013). In 2013, BKKBN with the support of UNFPA developed and conducted the SSC programme on Developing Strategic Partnerships with Faith-Based Organizations (FBOs) and Muslim Leaders in Family Planning (FP). BKKBN and UNFPA have also commenced work on developing the SSC programme on Comprehensive FP Training. 


Indonesia is interested in conducting more SSC programmes in partnership with countries with similar characteristics and needs. In this context, BKKBN currently runs a bilateral SSC programme with the Government of the Philippines, having signed a Memorandum of Understanding for a period of five years in 2012. Under this programme, Indonesia is sharing its experience in working with faith-based organizations to advise on a role for Muslim leaders in family planning, reproductive health and gender in the Autonomous Region of Muslim Mindanao (ARMM).


The SSC initiative aims to generate low-cost and effective practices, which are applicable and could be scaled up to contribute to the achievement of the MDGs and the ICPD Programme of Action.


SSC Bilateral Partnership Between the Philippines and Indonesia


Since 2012 the UNFPA Indonesia and Philippine Country Offices have been working together in a bilateral South-South Cooperation partnership to strengthen the two countries’ family planning, reproductive health and gender mainstreaming programmes, and to contribute towards the attainment of the MDGs and the ICPD Programme of Action. The SSC partnership was first sealed with the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding in Manila on 30 August 2012 between the two lead SCC Partners, the National Population and Family Planning Board (BKKBN) and the Commission on Population (PopCom). The MoU is effective for five years (2012 – 2017) and can be extended should the two institutions wish to continue. The UNFPA Country Offices in Indonesia and the Philippines, and BKKBN and PopCom are the main funding sources of the bilateral SSC.


To carry out its SCC commitment, BKKBN partners with the Nahdlatul Ulama (NU) and Muhammadiyah (the two largest Islamic-based organizations in Indonesia), the Ministry of Religious Affairs, the Ministry of Health and the Perkumpulan Keluarga Berencana Indonesia (PKBI) or the Indonesian Family Planning Association.


PopCom has partnered with organizations in the Autonomous Region of Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) – as this is the main focus of SCC in the Philippines due to its similarities in culture and religion with Indonesia. PopCom has partnered with ARMM’s Department of Health, Daru lIfta Assembly (the MRL House of Opinion), Noorus Salam (a network of female Muslim religious leaders and non-Muslim women leaders from the civil society and government agencies), and the ARMM Governor’s Office. BKKBN and PopCom have created their own National Steering Committees (NSC) and Technical Working Groups (TWG) to manage, monitor and evaluate the SSC activities and projects in their respective countries. They hold mid-year and annual meetings to assess their performance and plan their future directions.


In 2012, Indonesian parliamentarian participants visited the Philippine Legislators Committee on Population and Development Foundation (PLCPD) and the Congress of the Philippines to learn about Philippine strategies in advocating for the passage of the Magna Carta of Women.


In November 2012, 22 participants from five ARMM municipal teams visited Indonesia for a training by BKKBN-CITC on Strategic leadership training for FP and RH.


In August 2014 Indonesian participants attended a seminar on decentralization in family planning in ARMM, and in October 2014 Indonesia hosted a seminar on decentralization that was attended by representatives from the Philippines. In November 2014, five ARMM members took part in a pilot internship on family planning in Indonesia. 


In February 2013, PopCom and its partners hosted 23 Indonesian participants aged 17-60 from Government, NGO and faith-based organizations for training on The Indonesian-Philippine Strategic Approaches in Mainstreaming Adolescent-Youth Reproductive Health (IPh-SAMA). In December 2014, Indonesian participants, including youth members, attended a training workshop on Adolescent Sexual and Reproductive Health and Youth Engagement in Humanitarian Settings in Tagaytay, Philippines, and a follow-up meeting was held in April 2015 in Indonesia for the Indonesian participants to adapt what they had learnt to the context in Indonesia.


Forty-eight ARMM Muslim Religious Leaders (MRLs) were provided training by Indonesian MRLs and a BKKBN official at the first training on Effective Advocacy for Family Planning in October 2013. A Training of Trainers for Effective Family Planning and Reproductive Health Advocacy was provided to 25 ARMM MRLs in May 2014 by Indonesian MRL.


The SSC-bilateral partnership activities have involved training, didactic and field studies, development of action plans, implementation of actions plans, monitoring and evaluation of action plan implementation, discussions of the implementation and results, and internships.


In 2015 – 2017 the SSC bilateral initiative intends to undertake more activities related to decentralization in family planning, adolescent reproductive health services in Islamic settings, youth involvement in humanitarian settings, and MRL trainings on effective advocacy for family planning and reproductive health.


Strategic Partnership with Muslim Religious Leaders (MRL) in Family Planning


Indonesia’s remarkable progress in family planning is associated with the Government’s strategic partnership with Muslim and other religious leaders. The involvement of influential Islamic leaders has resulted in several declarations of religious support that are vital to the acceptance of the family planning programme in Indonesian Muslim communities.


Drawing from successful engagement with Indonesian MRLs, the National Population and Family Planning Board (BKKBN) and UNFPA have jointly designed a SSC training course for other countries entitled Developing Strategic Partnership with Muslim Leaders in Family Planning. Since 2013, three successful training sessions have been conducted with participants from 15 countries. The training provides the participants with information and capacity building to develop strategic partnerships with Islamic-based organizations and Muslim leaders in supporting family planning, and it provides Indonesia with an opportunity to communicate its lessons learnt and best practices.


The training course has been designed to include a mix of lectures, workshops and presentations from grass-roots level resource persons and religious leaders, and each course has included a field observation visit throughout Yogyakarta. Training materials are provided on family planning in the context of Islam.


In May 2013 Indonesian trainers took part in a training of trainers on presentation and facilitation skills and simultaneous translation techniques. In November 2013 BKKBN and UNFPA held the first Training Course for Developing Strategic Partnership with Faith-based Organizations and Religious Leaders on Population, Family Planning, Reproductive Health and Gender Programmes. There were 22 participants from six countries including Bangladesh, India, Maldives, Nigeria, Philippines and Sudan. Over half of the participants were religious leaders while the rest were public health practitioners, legislators, and UNFPA key personnel. The training included an observation filed trip to Yogyakarta from 20 – 25 November.


A refresher training of trainers was held in May 2014 for enhancing facilitation skills, before the second Training on Strategic Partnership in Family Planning with Faith-based Organizations and Moslem Religious Leaders in June 2014, which was attended by 21 participants from Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Ethiopia, Ghana, Nepal, Niger, Pakistan, and Philippines.


In 2015, the Ministry of State Secretariat joined with UNFPA and BKKBN to support the third SSC Training on Developing Strategic Partnerships with Muslim, Religious Leaders in Family Planning, held in August 2015, and was attended by 19 participants from Afghanistan, Algeria, Chad, India, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan, and the Philippines.


The Ministry of State Secretariat, BKKBN and UNFPA signed an Implementing Agreement in 2015 to commit to providing SSC Trainings on Strategic Partnership with Muslim Religious Leaders in Family Planning until 2017.


The South-South Cooperation International Training on Comprehensive, Rights-Based Family Planning and the Center of Excellence for Comprehensive Family Planning Training


UNFPA together with the National Population and Family Planning Board (BKKBN) have collaborated with the Faculty of Medicine of Gadjah Mada University (FK UGM) to establish the Center for Excellence for International Training on Comprehensive, Right-Based Family Planning.  The center will provide a base to deliver high quality, rights-based family planning training that meets international standards. The center will enable Indonesia to share its experiences in delivering family planning information and services with health providers from other developing countries through an SCC training initiative.


Preparation for the South-South Cooperation International Training on Comprehensive, Rights-Based family planning began in 2013 through expert assessments and in October 2014, BKKBN, UGM and UNFPA signed an MoU to establish the Center of Excellence on Family Planning Training. Since then, UNFPA, BKKBN, MOH, UGM and a range of other experts, have worked in collaboration to develop both the center and the training module, and train the trainers.


The inaugural International Training on Comprehensive, Rights-Based family planning was held on 5 October 2015, and was attended by six participants from Afghanistan, Myanmar and Timor Leste.  The first international course successfully concluded on 24 October 2015.