Public Service Delivery - Asia and the Pacific

Improving Citizens’ Confidence in the Government with a Public Complaints Platform

Indonesia / March 31, 2022


Indonesia’s LAPOR! platform offers a centralized place for gathering citizen feedback and reporting on government services.

Indonesia’s Integrated Complaints Service

If the road outside your home is so damaged you can no longer drive down it, who do you tell? If someone that works for the state demands a bribe from you, where do you turn? The sheer scale of Indonesia and its diverse population has made the effective management of public service complaints a significant challenge. Because of that, people didn’t know what kinds of issues they can report, who they should file these reports to, or when they could expect a response, if at all.

To counter the lack of trust in public services, the Indonesian government established a working group to integrate all management systems for public reports and complaints into a unified and integrated system. The ultimate goal was to have one national channel for reports and complaints that was easy to use and accessible to all.

As a result, Indonesia launched LAPOR! in 2012. LAPOR! is an acronym for Layanan Aspirasi dan Pengaduan Online Rakyat or “People’s Online Aspiration and Complaints Service” in English. LAPOR! can be accessed through browsers, text messaging and mobile apps. Citizens can report on any public services – from bribery to damaged bridges to teacher absenteeism. The platform even allows users to upload pictures or videos as proof of the reported issues.

The LAPOR! team carries out socialization to the community, including to the campus of the University of North Sumatra.

Maintaining LAPOR!’s Momentum by Plugging the Gaps

Included in Indonesia’s 2020-2022 OGP action plan is the commitment to build on the success of LAPOR! to improve its efficacy and reliability. The goal is to increase the number of reports that are processed and resolved appropriately.

To reduce bureaucratic delays, avoid confusion over who the relevant authorities are, and provide clear guidelines on when people should hear back on their reports, the focus has been to engage the public and improve the responsiveness of the platform. LAPOR! has brought together professionals from different sectors, for example through the OpenGovJam, and involved the public throughout the development to ensure it is as functional as possible.

Spreading awareness of LAPOR! and its goal of making the government more accountable, transparent, and participative builds trust and a sense of shared responsibility within the community. If you feel like the government listens to citizens’ inputs and reports, you are more likely to offer feedback to the government. Designing the system in an easy and accessible way, ensures that anyone submitting a report can trust that their report will be received by the right authorities and that they can expect a response in a clear timeframe.

Open gov reformers discuss ways to improve public services in Indonesia, including through the LAPOR! System, at the OpenGovJam in 2017. Credit: Open Government Indonesia

When the Public Speaks, Does the Government Reply?

The reception of LAPOR! among Indonesian citizens has been highly successful. There have been more than 1.7 million reports submitted since it launched in 2012. Stories of overcoming delays, bureaucratic blockages, and corruption have been flooding in. A two-month delay in a simple change to ownership certification details was resolved in 50 minutes. When a woman lodged a complaint about a public official who extorted her for money to process her identity card, she obtained her money back within a day. These are just few of the many examples which prove that when the platform works the way it should, it can make a significant and rapid difference in the lives of Indonesians.

That said, although many agencies are connected to LAPOR!, only 56% of them can follow up with at least 50% of the total number of incoming complaints. And this does not even take into account how quickly those agencies respond. Thus, while many citizens use the platform to submit complaints, too many of them are still not given a response or have to wait a long time to receive it.

Moving forward, the goal should be to build on the strong uptake of the program by improving the conclusion rate of the reports submitted to LAPOR! while continuing to encourage more submissions. By increasing the speed at which the participating agencies respond, public confidence in the platform and in Indonesian public service as a whole could be increased even further. Now that Indonesian citizens know where to turn to, it is essential that the government bodies are responding to them quickly enough for them to feel that their voices are being heard.

Last updated: April 08, 2022

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