Developing A Comprehensive, Inclusive, and Adaptive Social Protection System for All in Indonesia

10 February 2023


Social protection system is one of the most significant instruments to reduce poverty, risks, and vulnerability among others,
including as a result of disasters and climate change.

In parallel with various systems and programs, social protection has been part of the significant instruments to develop quality, healthy, and productive human resources. A comprehensive, inclusive, and adaptive social protection system is an important element of Indonesia development agenda and priority that need to be implemented in establishing developed and sustainable Indonesia.


Conceptually, social protection is defined to prevent, mitigate, and tackle lifecycle risks and issues arising from social disruption and vulnerabilities. However, to realize an inclusive social protection faces numerous challenges. 

Operationally, there are three primary schemes of the Indonesian social protection system. The first is non-contributory social assistance where the budget is financed by the government through cash, non-cash, and in-kind benefit in a targeted manner. The beneficiaries comprise poor and vulnerable individuals, households, as well as families. The second component is contributory social insurance that requires contributions from its members. The Social Insurance is provided through social insurance for health (Jaminan Kesehatan Nasional/JKN) and social insurance for employment. The third component is the livelihood programs which can either be funded by the government and/or private parties, with the objectives   at improving access to more stable and decent works. This is provided through access to job trainings or job matching.

The non-contributory social assistance programs among others include Family Hope Program (Program Keluarga Harapan/PKH), Smart Indonesia Program (Progam Indonesia Pintar/PIP), Non-Cash Food Assistance/Staple Food (Bantuan Pangan Non-Tunai/BPNT/Sembako), and ATENSI Program aimed for the elderly and people with disabilities. The contributory social insurance programs consist of National Health Security Program (JKN), and Social Insurance for Employment programs. The social insurance for employment programs consist of 5 main programs, namely Work Injury Compensation Insurance (JKK), Survivor’s Benefit Insurance (JKM), Old-Age Savings (JHT), Pension Insurance (JP), and Unemployment Benefit Insurance (JKP).

With these diverse social protection programs, Indonesia already has all the basic components needed to ensure for comprehensive, inclusive, and adaptive social protection system. Unfortunately, the beneficiaries coverage for the elderly, people with disabilities, children aged up to 6 years, and informal and at-risk workers are still limited. This limitation also occurs in the missing middle group, particularly the vulnerable ones. The current social assistance programs only target poor population, while the wealthier groups already have access to the social insurance. 



Based on the 2018 National Socioeconomic Survey (Susenas) and Program Administration Data for 2018, there were 38 percent children aged up to 6 years who are members and receive the benefit of the National Health Insurance/JKN.  However, only 26 percent of children from the bottom 40 percent that were covered by the program through the fully subsidized members of JKN (PBI-JK). In addition, around 74 percent of the elderly in the bottom 40 percent have received the benefit of National Health Security Program through the fully subsidized premium membership (PBI). Unfortunately, there were only about 4 percent of the elderly who receive the social assistance program. Whereas, 86 percent of this group do not have sufficient access to old age savings/pension/retirement benefit. Ideally, every individual in the population should have access to pension/old-age savings, regardless of their economic status. For people with disabilities, more than 90 percent do not have sufficient access to protection, both the social assistance as well as the social insurance for employment.  However, 74 percent already have access to JKN. 

Moreover, there are still several unfulfilled homework’s in expanding the social insurance for employment membership. The primary challenge is the suboptimal distribution of information and knowledge about such a program, particularly to the non-wage earners (PBPU) members. Furthermore, the pension insurance program is also inaccessible by several workers categories, among others PBPU, temporary workers in construction, and migrant workers. There are still lack of efforts to reach out in the informal sectors workers despite their numbers that exceed the formal sectors workers. 

The implementation of JKN also faces challenges in the disparity of access to the health services between rural and urban areas. The gap is also present in terms of health care professional and facilities availability. 

Whereas it is evident that social protection for the entitled people can reduce the poverty rate. Based on the TNP2K analysis by 2020 Susenas (with 9.8 percent poverty rate in March 2020 as the baseline), the poverty rate was 11.3 percent or 1.5 percent higher without PKH, 10.2 percent or 0.4 percent higher without BPNT, and 10.1 percent or 0.3 percent higher without PIP. Similarly, the poverty rate based on age groups increased 1-2 percent in average without those three social protection programs.

Therefore, the accuracy of the program beneficiary’s selection is paramount to ensure protection for the poor and vulnerable groups. It is also the key to expand the coverage, specifically to the elderly and people with disabilities. This will maintain and promote a wider participation for both the social insurance for health and employment programs. The government needs to maintain its commitment to investing in a more optimal human resource development, particularly in education and health. The establishment and provision of comprehension and inclusive social protection will fill the access gap for the elderly and people with disabilities. This is possible through the contributory and non-contributory schemes as well as concession.

Specifically for social insurance (employment and health) as part of social protection, the membership of both programs can be further encouraged through simplified regulations. This can be initiated with the judicial review of the Law on National Social Security System (UU SJSN).  The government also needs to increase the compliance of the employers and members with the regulation on social insurance for employment. Lastly, it is also essential to improve the regulations on and the scheme of both social insurance programs to be more gender-responsive or gender-sensitive.

Ensuring for comprehensive, inclusive, and adaptive through expansion of social protection system is a mandate of the national development agenda outlined in the 2020 - 2024 National Medium-Term Development Plan (RPJMN). It serves to guarantee productive, healthy, and empowered human resource towards developed and sustainable Indonesia.