The Nature Conservancy works with communities in Indonesian Borneo to help them protect their traditional forest-based livelihoods.
Women in Indonesia The Nature Conservancy works with communities in Indonesian Borneo to help them protect their traditional forest-based livelihoods. © Nick Hall

Stories in Indonesia

Communities Inspiring Action for Change

Communities Inspiring Action for Change, or SIGAP, is an approach to community empowerment developed by TNC based on its more than two decades of experience and best practices in several locations in Indonesia. As the name implies, this approach encourages villagers to empower themselves and take inspirational actions towards creating extraordinary lives in the midst of sustainable natural resources.

SIGAP believes that a prosperous, thriving, and independent village can only be built through the efforts of its villagers as the agent of change and prime mover of development. To achieve this, they need to consciously make use of their strengths – be it knowledge, skills, energy, collective spirit, social network, etc. These strengths are often neglected or forgotten, which results in lack of confidence and dependency on outside resources. Thanks to SIGAP, however, it is possible to build a village with good governance, clear boundaries and management rights, and prosperous society.

Learn to use the SIGAP app for forest conservation.
SIGAP particpants Learn to use the SIGAP app for forest conservation. © The Nature Conservancy

SIGAP app was developed as a tool for participating villages to share experiences and achievements. The villagers can post pictures and brief narrations on the app, which will automatically upload to the village website for everybody to read. They are also welcome to promote their village’s local products. Besides villagers, village facilitators can also use the app to report on the progress of the villages under their guidance, and local governments to monitor and support the villages within their jurisdiction.

To date, SIGAP has been implemented by TNC and partners at 26 villages in Berau District, East Kalimantan Province. Within three months, the approach will be introduced to 125 other villages in East Kalimantan. With the help of Nethope Inc., TNC plans to distribute 1,700 smartphones installed with SIGAP 2.0 to villagers, village facilitators, and regional governments within the next few months. Going forward, more villagers will be inspired to succeed in creating extraordinary lives and building extraordinary villages. Just as expressed in the lyrics of “Surat Cinta untuk SIGAP” (A Love Letter to SIGAP), a song composed by villagers in Berau Distict who have been using SIGAP and are now promoting the app: “Takkan pernah habis raga ini, tuk capai impian dan perubahan. Karena dengan SIGAP, keberhasilan pasti tercapai(We’ll never run out of zeal to achieve dreams and changes. With SIGAP, success is surely possible).”