OPSI COVID-19 Innovative Response Tracker

Faster and More Accurate Cash Support for Families in Bali during COVID-19

Innovative response

A significant proportion of Bali’s residents rely on domestic and international tourism for income. With the COVID-19 pandemic all but bringing an end to tourism for now, many people’s livelihoods have been significantly negatively affected in Bali. Thousands of tourism workers have lost their jobs or have seen their businesses collapse.

In response, the Badung District Industry and Workforce Office decided to provide financial support to workers who have lost their jobs, been told to stay at home, or seen their working hours reduced. With support from the District Communication and Information Office, and in order to fulfill social distancing requirements to avoid the spread of COVID-19, the District Industry and Workforce Office launched an online registration form for affected workers to request financial assistance. Only individuals who had not previously received government support were selected. All data was verified through cross-checks with other district government offices to ensure no doubling-up of welfare support, before payments were made in three stages in June 2020.

Specific issues addressed and anticipated impact

It is hoped that this financial assistance is able to support families affected by the economic impacts of COVID-19. There are many forms of social welfare for Indonesian families, but administrative issues mean that often people are accidentally left off official lists, leaving them unassisted. This is especially the case during an unexpected situation like a pandemic, especially when face-to-face registration and verification is difficult or impossible to conduct.

Through Badung’s online system, over 12,000 workers registered for financial assistance, and after data filtering and cleaning, the District Industry and Workforce Office was able to identify over 1,500 individuals who had not received any government support so far during the pandemic. They received three months of financial support beginning in June 2020.

Organisations/institutions involved

Badung District Industry and Workforce Office
Badung District Communication and Information Office
Badung District Citizenship and Civil Documentation Office
Badung District Finance and Asset Management Office
All sub-district and village offices across Badung District
Bank DPD Bali

Potential issues

Verifying workers’ applications for financial support required significant focus and attention to detail, so there is a chance that some data entry and verification staff may not be as dedicated as others, leading to oversight and/or errors.

Online registration may mean that some workers who need financial assistance may not be able to register because they cannot access the internet or are not aware of the online registration.

  1. I have been contacted by a Taxi driver in the Nusa Dua area that we used last summer a couple of times to bring us to the airport. Last November he sent me a text asking if I would give him some money, €40. I was fine with this, I gave some more at Christmas €30, again I was okay with this. There is no doubt times are hard for a lot of people in Bali and I’m certain as a taxi driver he has been hit hard, again he is seeking money and again I’ve no problem giving some money but I would appreciate if you could provide clarification about the level of assistance that would be available for the taxi drivers from the state? I presume he was officially employed by a company but if I’m not mistaken this can be a grey area in Bali. Are all citizens entitled to social assistance to ensure they do not go hungry? He needs the money to buy rice for his family. Just trying to get a clear picture of the reality, thank you for the assistance.

    • Hi Eric, thanks for commenting and sharing your experience. We will get in touch by email to try to connect you directly with the case study’s submitter and provide you with more information.

      • Thanks for sharing your experience Eric and asking this question. I’d be interested in finding this out myself if that’s possible. My partner has been providing fortnightly financial assistance of around AU $50 directly to a family in Bali since September 2020. He never intended this to be a long term arrangement and recently ceased the money transfers but is concerned this family will go hungry without the support.

        • I also had this same type of situation recently. A driver I used once sent me a message that he was going to starve with the new lockdown. Wasn’t sure if it was real or just him trying to get some extra money.
          I then contacted a friend there I can trust and he told me the government is not doing a whole lot to help out in this situation. People have been very disappointed in the government. He was able to get 600,000 per month (about $40) for 4 months to learn a new skill but that was all. Bali tourism’s has been closed for over a year now so they are struggling to find ways to make money. If you can afford it, continuing to send a little can help a lot.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Level(s) of government:
  • Local government

Issues being addressed:

  • Information and practice sharing (with public and/or internal)
  • Resource management and mobilisation
  • Governance responses
  • Public service delivery under new circumstances
  • Social effects of the crisis