The economic crisis of 1997 created an instantaneous social changes. In reality, this changes are unfavorable and have created disturbing conditions to all levels of society in terms of moral degradation. This situation, if not appropriately taken care of will result in national disintegration. Jakarta, as the nation’s capital, was also affected by these condition. Even though democratization process has happen in Jakarta, it has been mistakenly interpreted as freedom without boundaries and control. The challenge for Jakarta in solving the above-mentioned problem is to shift its development paradigm from economic-growth approach to one that is based on people centered development. One way to execute the latter is through community-based development approach. This approach, however, is complicated by the characteristics of the peoples of Jakarta.
Studies on the communities in Jakarta funded by Regional Development Planning Agency (BAPPEDA), Local Government of DKI Jakarta, have found that the population of Jakarta, including their leaders, do not have a sense of cultural orientation and an understanding of the goals as ‘Jakartans’. At the moment Jakarta does not have an effective instrument for building modern city culture and civilization to all its residents.
To this end, a mechanism to educate the people of Jakarta through modern institution, called the Institut Pemberdayaan Masyarakat (Community Empowerment Institute) is considered a necessity. Since most civil society organizations are yet to be fully developed, at the initial stage, the institute should be organized by the local government of Jakarta and should have a professional attitude in the sense that it should be problem-oriented as well as have a lot of flexibility. The institute itself should be supported more by functional professional staffs rather than government structural personnel.