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Making childbirth a village affair

How ‘Desa Siaga’ improves the health of mothers and babies in Indonesia

Karen Birdsall and Peter Hill

Peer reviewers
  • Dr Krystyna Makowiecka, LSHTM
  • Dr Martin Weber, WHO SEARO

Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH in cooperation with Community Health and Welfare Section, NTB Province, Indonesia, October 2011

1 Desa Siaga

Desa Siaga is designed to be ‘of and for the community’: villagers are guided in the process of becoming an Alert Village by a trained Village Facilitator who, with the backing of the village leadership and support from health facility personnel, leads the community members in a process of participatory reflection about actual cases of maternal or infant death which have happened in their community and the factors which have led to these situations. Villagers learn about the non-medical assistance they can provide to help reduce the number of deaths in their village and reach agreement on the rules and procedures which will govern their own alert systems.

Desa Siaga Toolkit


This toolkit is a resource for everyone who is committed to reducing maternal and neonatal death. It is designed to help program managers of Mother and Neonatal Health (MNH) and community empowerment programs in general. It can be used for advocacy to decision makers in raising awareness on reducing maternal death. It will also help the practitioner who works in increasing community participation such as those working in Non-Governmental Organizations.
Download: Desa-Siaga-Toolkit

Video: Ready to bring and to take care

The “Siap Antar Jaga” model (“Ready to bring and to take care”) is a Community Based Alert System approach, part of the national program of the Ministry of Health (MoH) for the development of the Health Sector in Indonesia.

This film describes the concept of community members owning their own resources and capacities for preventing and overcoming their own health problems, health emergencies and disasters based on the already existing Indonesian tradition of mutual support and in a spirit of togetherness. The overall goal is to reduce maternal death.

This short film (English subtitles – 26:33 Min.) is an integral part of the Community Empowerment in MNH Toolkit (see above).

It shows the experience of implementing this program and demonstrates the Community Empowerment in MNH (Maternal & Neonatal Health) concept from the viewpoint of villagers, health workers, community leaders and decision makers alike.

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