Griffith University, South East Queensland, East Coast of Australia



BACKGROUND - Urbanization is a major issue that faced by all countries around the world. More than a half of global population living in urban areas, especially in developing countries which are five times faster than developed countries. This phenomenon also occurs in Indonesia, where is about 45 % of Indonesian population living in urban regions. Makassar city is one of the biggest cities in Indonesia which is also facing urbanization. This phenomenon has some drawbacks for health status of community such as overcrowding, crime pollution, physical and mental illness, and social deprivation.


OBJECTIVE - The aim of this study is to investigate the extent of community participationin the Makassar Healthy City Program (MHCP) and the barriers to that participation, and to present the strategies which could be used to increase community participation in Makassar.


METHODS - Qualitative research in the form of action research methodology has been employed as the design framework for this study. Data was collected through in-depth interviews, a focus group discussion, and literature review. A total of 7 informants were interviewed (5 men and 2 women, all local government representative of the MHCP), and 10 participants were involved in a focus group discussion. Themes, patterns, interesting points, terminologies, phrases, use of language, emotions, and surprises, have been analysed.


RESULTS - The role of local people in planning stage of the MHCP are identifying the issues among them, participating in planning the implementation of activities, proposing some activities in the program, and as facilitator between the community and local government or other agencies. While, in the implementation phase of the MHCP, local people should participate actively in the Healthy City Projects, conduct coordination and collaboration with government and other stakeholders, maintain communication with the government or other stakeholders, record the process in the implementation of a Healthy City Project, and involve education or training in enhancing community capacity. Finally, the community have not involved in the evaluation process of the MHCP. The barriers in improving community participation in the MHCP identified include lack of understanding of the Healthy City Program process, lack of equipment, lack of coordination, cultural issue, and structural issue.


CONCLUSION - Therefore some strategies undertaken by the government of Makassar to increase community participation in this program including; providing knowledge for the community, removing subsidies on certain sectors, and empowering local people to participate in the MHCP.It is recommended that the government of Makassar should enhance community participation in MHCP by proving training and education for local people, improving coordination with them, adding community representative numbers in the Healthy City Forum, and increasing funding in health sector.