Villages play a crucial role as catalyst units in development. Villages are the government units closest to the community and have distinct geographical characteristics and roles.
The Publicness Forum by the Master of Management and Public Policy Department at UGM invited Panggungharjo Village in Bantul Regency and Tepus Village in Gunungkidul Regency to share their best practices in optimizing fund management.
Tepus Village is one of 144 villages in Gunungkidul Regency, covering a total area of 2,851.22 hectares inhabited by 10,027 residents. Most of the population engages in seasonal farming, active during the rainy season and daily wage labor.
However, with prolonged dry seasons, farmers in Tepus earn less income. This became a challenge for the village. Still, with the strong commitment and solidarity of the villagers, the crisis was addressed through sustainable village potential development.
“Our area has 12 beaches along the southern coast. It then becomes an asset for the previously mentioned tourist village. Another potential is the customs and traditions. The people of Tepus Village are very attached to traditions, so many traditional activities are still preserved,” said Hendro Pratopo, the Head of Tepus Village.
These potentials were well-utilized, leading to Tepus Village receiving the Indonesian Tourism Village Award (ADWI) in 2022 and winning 2nd place in the 2022 ADWI Souvenir Category.
Head Pratopo explained that the key to village fund management lies in the orientation of development and solidarity among the villagers themselves.
The concept of development is not limited to physical construction but also includes community empowerment in line with the characteristics of Tepus Village.
The cultural, traditional, and MSME aspects are valuable assets that cannot be found elsewhere. These also have market value in the tourism sector.
“Village funds are proof that the government is present in the village. When these village funds are cut, there is no communication between the village government and the center. In essence, these village funds are still very much needed,” said the head.
While Tepus Village focuses on developing aspects of tourism villages, Panggungharjo Village in Bantul Regency has a different fund management strategy.
Hosni Bimo Wicaksono, the Head of the Service Section of Panggungharjo Village, mentioned that Panggungharjo is a village without a landfill.
“Since 2022, we have proclaimed that our village is a village without a landfill, so the waste is resolved in the village, and there is no need to dispose of it in the landfill. We have a waste separation system that receives household waste daily,” said Wicaksono.
In addition to waste management, village funds are also allocated to build Kampoeng Mataraman, a tourist attraction built on a 6-hectare land focusing on three aspects: clothing, food, and shelter.
Kampoeng Mataraman offers various culinary delights, MSME creations, and eye-catching architecture. Since 2017, Kampoeng Mataraman has become one of the primary sources of income for the village, significantly helping amidst land crises and drought.
Every region has different characteristics, cultures, skills, and traditions. Through effective fund management, all these assets can become sustainable sources of income that empower the village community.