Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed above are those of the authors.
About the P/CVE NAP
The Indonesian government is making enormous efforts to stop and combat extremism in the nation. The endeavour is described in Presidential Decree (Perpres) Number 7 of 2021 concerning the National Action Plan for the Prevention and Countering Violent-Based Extremism Leading to Terrorism.
On January 7, 2021, the Presidential Decree was formally promulgated after being signed by President Joko Widodo. The P/CVE NAP is a set of initiatives put in place by several relevant ministries and organisations to lessen extremism motivated by violence, according to Chapter 1 of the Presidential Decree.
Several planned and systematic actions are taken as part of the P/CVE NAP to combat and prevent the extremism that gives rise to terrorism. In addition, the National Counterterrorism Agency (BNPT) collaborates with Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) in implementing P/CVE NAP.
Major General Dedi Sambowo, the BNPT’s first secretary, claims that the public has responded favourably to the provisions of Presidential Regulation Number 7 of 2021. The P/CVE NAP Presidential Regulation’s implementation is anticipated to increase early detection and public involvement in stopping the spread of extremism that results in violence.
The P/CVE NAP was met with scepticism since many believed that dealing with terrorism directly, as Detachment 88 did, had a more significant impact. The issue is that deterring crime necessitates having organised, directed, and guided policies available. At the same time, the policies’ contents consider feedback from those who could be harmed by violent extremist acts that turn into terrorism. As a result, the BNPT and community organisations, particularly those run by women, have been a crucial part of the P/CVE NAP policy formation from the start, including when it comes to creating the program. Considering the history of violent actors’ participation in P/CVE NAP preparation, gender sensitivity is a recommendation. This article looks at the implementation instruments of the P/CVE NAP and how civil society works with it.
Collaboration of the State and Non-State Actors
This Action Plan’s implementation is typically assumed as heavily reliant on government entities. However, civil society groups are always engaged, especially those familiar with topics related to promoting peace. The BNPT and many ministries conducted several internal coordination in 2022 to determine how far the initiatives within the four pillars of the NAP had progressed and what the challenges were. Additionally, under IKhub’s Joint Secretariat framework, civil society groups are getting ready to organise themed working groups to prepare for the local P/CVE NAP.
Meanwhile, to implement BNPT Regulation 5 of 2021 about Procedures for Coordination, Monitoring, Evaluation, and Reporting of the Implementation of the 2020–2024 P/CVE NAP, establishing thematic working groups is one of the crucial contributions from civil society.
Under the direction of the NAP’s joint secretariat, this working group comprises the representatives of civil society organisations who seek to prevent extremism that results in terrorism.
The consolidated results of the P/CVE NAP Thematic Working Group’s preparation were handed over in July 2022 by the handing over of the minutes. In this respect, the government is being coordinated by the Joint Secretariat. Hence this thematic working group is a place to “establish a framework for civil society engagement in coordinating activities with the government.”
Thematic Working Groups function voluntarily, which means that civil society members who want to contribute to the actions outlined in the P/CVE Action can submit reports and engage with the government. The Joint Secretariat of P/CVE NAP comprises many structural members, according to the Decree of the Head of BNPT Number 129 of 2021.
Furthermore, there are other compelling grounds for forming the Thematic Working Groups, including establishing a formal mechanism to include civil society in coordinating activities with the government, which in this case is coordinated by the BNPT. Second, as a formal reporting system for the activities of civil society, which actively participates in implementing the P/CVE NAP’s pillars. Third, as a vehicle to encourage cooperative reporting to the government on implementing the P/CVE NAP.
This Thematic Working Group could assist in addressing its terrorism problem by organising the input of ideas and solutions, as well as monitoring and assessing the implementation of the P/CVE NAP.
Current Activities of P/CVE NAP
Apart from the government, civil society is heavily engaged in interventions in various sectors, including assisting local governments in creating policies relevant to the P/CVE NAP and expanding CSO networks to facilitate regional implementation. Furthermore, the program’s execution considers the aspects of open and democratic participation in human rights under the guise of the Whole of Government and Whole of Society Approach.
As an example of the collaboration action, The Ministry of Women’s Empowerment and Child Protection is carrying out activities linked to Women’s Peace Activists in West Java, Central Java, East Java, and Central Sulawesi as part of the joint efforts.
Organisations from the civil society sector proceed with institutionalised prevention measures. The Working Group on Women and Preventing/Countering Violent Extremism (WGWC), among others, plays a crucial role as an alliance that continues to support the creation of regional action plans. For example, the said working group, partners in the regions, and one of the motors, AMAN Indonesia, were instrumental in bringing Central Sulawesi, Aceh, and East Java Provinces to issue Governor Regulations on the Local P/CVE working groups.
Studies identified prior participation of civil society organisations in preventing extremism after the launch of the P/CVE NAP. For example, The Wahid Foundation, INFID, CSave, AIDA, and Peace Generation, are led by civil society actors with historical involvements in Indonesia’s democratisation and experience in peacebuilding and advocating intercultural communication/interreligious dialogue. Therefore, in the context of P/CVE NAP formation and implementation, their existence is critical to being a government partner. Currently, on the eve of returning former ISIS Combatants and sympathisers, the cooperation of civil society organisations, including the leading-based organisations like NU and the woman’s wing, Fatayat, and also the local religious leaders, is crucial. Moreover, other prevention initiatives include improving moderation in religious practices and cultivating tolerance in schools. Furthermore, civil society organisations are also increasing their targeted initiatives in online platforms to distribute positive narrations by credible voices.
Collaboration with civil society is crucial to improve P/CVE NAP implementation and effect. This is strengthened by the independence of civil society groups, which are often not overly bureaucratic in their decision-making, despite being frequently “stigmatised” as part of a foreign power plot to carry out agendas in Indonesia.
In a democratic and vibrant society like Indonesia, where religious extremism could be one of the daily features, the adage says prevention is better than cure. However, given the large number of past terrorist actions and victims of criminal acts by transnational terrorist groups, both must be resolved thoroughly. This creates a solid foundation to facilitate close cooperation between state and non-state actors to articulate the whole government and whole society approach. Nevertheless, such cooperation does not imply co-optation by the state actors to the civil society groups. Indonesia’s democratic traditions in policy-making have shown a degree of dynamic interactions, particularly about security issues commonly regarded as non-civilian domains. The P/CVE NAP policy formulation and implementation have shown the changing paradigm where security (freedom from threat) is understood as the rights of the people, which is also seen under gender-sensitive lenses, which reflect the gendered nature of VE as a threat.