The government of Indonesia announced that 320 out of 514 cities/regencies in Indonesia have applied the idea of child-friendly cities (CFC). This study describes and analyses the interactions and processes in the development of Child-Friendly Cities in Indonesia as a case study of policy translation. The guiding research question is: How is a successful policy of CFC model made through the interplay between global and local relations and through a particular assemblage of actors, ideas, and forces?. The questions are addressed through document analyses and interviews with a range of key stakeholders, including government officials and experts from NGOs. The main findings of the study are that CFC in Indonesia is not directly comparable to CFC from UNICEF but, rather, corresponds to the Convention of the Rights of the Child (CRC) articles. Moreover, it was found that the CFC policy components were assembled from pre-existing policies from various sectors to ‘made’ coherent, and this has contributed to the wide adoption of CFC across the country. The emergence and rise CFC in Indonesia happened through a translation process of multi-actor and multi-factor that can capture in three phases; 1) efforts from CSO actors and the interest of the government to fulfil the national agenda; 2) Then, the internal dynamics within MoWECP and the global status have influenced the changed CFC substance ; 3) Phase three is a snowball effect phase in which actors from local governments and non-local governments were enthusiastic about the idea of CFC. This is due to the political construction that the accomplishment of a CFC award by a local government will boost the public image of the regional leader, and it is also related to the patron gaze to children. The study also shows that in the Indonesian context, a ‘carrot’ in policy will encourage local-level governments to take up centrally launched policy ideas.

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Roy Huijsmans
Social Policy for Development (SPD)
International Institute of Social Studies

Nahla Jovial Nisa. (2022, December 16). The emergence and rise of Indonesia’s child-friendly cities through the lens of policy translation. Social Policy for Development (SPD). Retrieved from