International Development Law Organization

Adopting a Fair Treatment Approach in Indonesia’s Ombudsman Offices

The Ombudsman of the Republic of Indonesia handles citizens’ complaints about public service delivery and maladministration. Often, similar complaints are filed, or citizens return with additional grievances, leading to the refiling of cases and extra legal and administrative costs. The Ombudsman of Indonesia seeks to improve its service delivery, its effectiveness when handling complaints and its relationship with citizens and other stakeholders.

Vrije Universiteit, Amsterdam University, the Dutch National Ombudsman, the Van Vollenhoven Institute from Leiden University, the Centre for Conflict Resolution and Mediation and the Walisongo Mediation Centre are implementing a project that aims to enhance citizens’ trust in the government by introducing the Fair Treatment Approach in Indonesia’s Office of the Ombudsman. Over the last ten years, the Dutch National Ombudsman has adopted the Fair Treatment Approach, which focuses on improving the attitude of civil servants towards citizens, from one of suspicion into one of empathy and shared interests. The approach aims to reduce litigation and administration costs through direct and informal contact between public authorities and citizens to find alternative solutions. Complaints are handled in a shorter period of time and with a higher level of satisfaction and trust in democracy. The project will set up a road map to introduce the Fair Treatment Approach in Indonesia, while taking into account regional differences and gender.

The project is funded through the Indonesia-Netherlands Rule of Law Fund of the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in Jakarta, which is managed by IDLO.