Global Expansion

KOSO NIPPON held its first overseas Residents Council in Indonesia.

Residents Councils were held in two Indonesian towns

In May 2022, KOSO NIPPON held its first Residents Councils outside Japan, conducting Public Spending Reviews in two towns within the Special Region of Yogyakarta. Responding to the Indonesian government’s desire to inform citizens of what the government is actually doing and to make government and community affairs the business of local residents, we conducted Public Spending Reviews in which randomly-selected citizens served as decision-makers.

We found that our method is universally applicable

Participants included local residents, university professors, and government employees. Using an outsider perspective, participants created a review sheet for government projects that listed budget amounts, project aims, performance targets, and other necessary information. Then, they evaluated the projects in a discussion session open to the public. The programs they discussed were subsidized housing and a nutrition assistance program for children.’ Many of the residents’ opinions came from their own lived experiences, and their discussions and motivations for participating were similar to those in Japan. We realized that our Residents Council approach would work in any country.

In both countries, a non-governmental initiative

One of the features of holding the Residents Councils in Indonesia was that a Japanese nonprofit (KOSO NIPPON) conducted them in partnership with an Indonesian nonprofit (TIFA Foundation). This was not a government-led initiative—rather, the two organizations took the lead to work on government affairs. This approach will continue to be important going forward, as a way for the public to mobilize the government for social change. KOSO NIPPON has achieved great results with its Residents Councils, and will continue bringing this approach that originates from Japan to other countries around the world.

Watch our documentary on the Residents Councils held in Indonesia