Satu Tahunku

Hi There!

it has been a long time since my last post in May 2015, what a bad website owner I am leaving this blog old and dusty 😛

anyway, as year 2015 draws to close, I just want to recap the things happened throughout the year. I consider this year as an amazing year full of fun, exciting, playful, stressful, cold, hot, and on the top of that, beautiful collaboration with so many wonderful people. I therefore do not want to let this memory go astray and prefer to write it in this blog to make it last forever.

January,2015:  Remaining UK Trip and First Heavy Snow

Actually we (I, Yangie, Emily, and Kak Ratih) began our UK trip right after the boxing day in December. we departed from Buchanan Bus Station with London as our main destination. Originally, we want to enjoy the new year celebration near the London Eye whereby the glorious fireworks were lighted up. Before reaching London, we traveled to several beautiful cities in UK: Newcastle, Durham, York, Manchester, and Oxford. From this journey I began to understand the characteristics of my travel-mates. They are absolutely the most amazing people I’ve ever met. Yangie is a tough and bold  woman, full of initiative, a self-starter, and would not let even a second in her life is wasted. I’ve learnt a lot from her of how to make life more meaningful to others. Emily is a cute girl which is very humble, so much selfless and sincere, always talk to her mom every day on the phone and don’t ever try to disturb her when it is her time to call her mom. Kak Ratih is the most easy going person I’ve ever met, very straightforward, and have so many experiences. I love being their company and now I miss them so much 😦

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from left to right: Kak Ratih, Emily, Me, and Yangie; Location in Warner Bross Harry Potter Studio

First Snow

maybe it is the dream of everyone live in tropical region to touch and feel the snow. For me it came true in January 2015 when the snow fell all over the UK, including Glasgow. I forget the exact date, but it was in Friday when we were going to gather for ISC putri. I started to record the video of the falling snow and sent it to my family and friends in Indonesia. overly excited, we also headed to Kelvingrove Park and University of Glasgow main building to play with the snow *oh my God it sounds so childish*. The facts are the snow was very cold and made your hand sore by touching it too often. The temperature in Glasgow was as low as -7 C  when the snow was first falling  and it did not exceed 5 degrees in the following days. what is more, when the snow rain stopped, the road became very slippery by the black ice and it, of course and very often, injured many people. The snow was still frequently falling until the mid of March and the temperature was reasonably low that you have to wear “a complete set of war suits” every time you need to go out.

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I want to build a snowmaann~ Location: University of Glasgow Main Building

February-March: Flat-Campus-Library and Repeat

The second term was actually began in the mid of January, however, in January my brain was still as freeze as the winter air. Therefore I started to back on the studying rhytm in February. In the second semester, the subjects taught were totally different from the first semester. for the first time I’ve felt like I’ve became the real social science student. the subjects I’ve learnt, the journal articles I’ve read, and the coursework I’ve did made me realize that accounting was not as narrow as preparing the financial statement. my brain was completely twisted, accounting could be the part of social development, and financial term was not a mere measure of one’s prosperity.

it was, of course, quite difficult for me to think for every phenomena in a critical way, to read the journal articles that applied very sophisticated language (I’ve ever read a journal for the whole week just to understand its content), even to write in a proper academic manner was still very difficult for me. I have to admit the second semester was totally challenging for me. I know it was difficult, but I hopefully believe that, directly or indirectly, these situations could affect the way I deal with problems.

By the end of march, the second term was ended, I’ve submitted my dissertation proposal, and it was the end of the lecture process; no more coming in a rush to class, no more never ending debate in group discussion, no more pretending to pay attention in statistic class, no more intriguing and engaging SEA lecture (the only class I have which only consists of 20 students). and today I miss every second of these activities, I am  in love with the learning process University of Glasgow provided me (except statistic class of course). Thank Allah for giving me opportunity to experience this process, You are indeed The Most Gracious :’)

*sorry I have no picture for this part :(*

Celebrating the submission of dissertation proposal, I’ve took a two days trip to Stirling. A small city located 1 hour of train journey from Glasgow. Actually it was for Kibar Glasgow pengajian bulanan but I decided to stay for a night there. quite refreshing and made me ready for exam preparation (tapi bohooong :P)

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All those vigorous time made me want to back-bend by the Stirling’s river

April: The Dark Age

It was actually spring holiday, but for me there was no holiday in April. I have to prepare for the exam in May. I realized that I am not a bright student that could easily understand the subjects. I hence forced my self to stay at least 8 hours in the library to summarize the journal articles and book chapters. Actually this time is not good to be remembered and told. at this time I honestly just wanted to go home and meet my mom. However, every time I felt so devastated,  I just remembered that I’ve carried the responsibility to finish this study, Indonesian people financed my study, hence I need to do my best to paid it. Moreover, Allah will not give a burden more than you could carry.

May: The Third World War: Me Against The Exam

and here came the exams! I had three exams to be taken on May: Social and Environmental Reporting, Advanced International Corporate Reporting, and Issues in Accounting Research. Even though SER was my favorite subject, from all of the other subjects, I obtained lowest score in here. Honestly, I did not take this exam seriously as I opt out last chapters when preparing the exam, and you know what, every questions addressed in the exam were the chapters I did not study so seriously, so congratulations and poor me.

initially, after exams finished I was planning to go to Indonesia for the purpose of regaining the energy by meeting my family. Unfortunately, the dissertation supervision schedule started earlier for me that hence I had to withdraw my intention to go home.

June-July : Dissertation, Ramadhan, and Lebaran!

These two months were regarded as my favorite time of the year. There were no more classes and no more studying for exams that I could set my time more freely. As this was the summer time, the sun rose earlier, in 3 or 4 am and down very late (around 10 pm). It made the Ramadhan fasting really challenging. I usually slept after Fajr, woke up in 9 am, went to the library to work on the dissertation, I started working in 10 am and finished around 5 pm. went home, sleep, and cook for dinner. we usually did not slept until the Fajr, hence we could use this time to pray tarawih and continued to work on the dissertation.

I have been very grateful as Allah gave me so many helps in doing my dissertation. one of His blessing is through Kak Murniati Mukhlisin’s help. She is the PhD graduate from University of Glasgow and now becoming an accounting lecturer in the University of Essex, very amazing isn’t she. She helped me to build the solid theoretical ground in my dissertation, taught me on how to write a good academic writing, and advised me on how to rigorously arranged the time schedule. May Allah grant her a very good rewards :’). Allah also gave me with a bunch of nice neighbors and friends: Hillhead Sisterhood  (Yangie, Emily, Eva, Abeth, Mba Lila, Kak Ratih), Bang Asra and Teh Iim’s Family, Kelvinhaugh Neighborhood (Bu Yuyuk, Aghnaa, Zaki, Gulfano), Teh Siska’s family, Mba Desita and Bang Yassa, Kak Ani’s Family, and everyone in ISC putri. every time I felt too bored with the routine I could come to their places or they could comes to ours in Bank Street. Alhamdulillah for the Ramadhan month that we could strengthen the ties of kinship through break fasting and tarawih together. they of course,  turn a difficult day into its brightest and be my closest family when I was away from my parents 🙂

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Idul Fitr in Glasgow

August: Dissertation Submission and Farewell

As we entered August, my heart started to unrest. I’ve had the mix feeling of happy and sad at the same time. Happy as I would finished the study and met my family again. On one hand I felt so sad as I should left all of the comfort I’ve had in Glasgow. However, I decided to cherish every last moment in Glasgow that I could remember it for the rest of my life. I went to Oban with Emily before the dissertation submission deadline just to ate a full plate of seafood, had a fine afternoon tea with the girls, and made any effort to gather with friends in any occasion.

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Afternoon Tea with The Girls; Location in Willow Tearoom Buchanan Street (From left-to-right, clockwise: Bu Yuyuk, Abeth, Mba Lila, Yangie, Mba Desita, Emily, Teh Siska, Teh Iim and Bian, Me)

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With Lovely Emily in Oban

as it comes to the dissertation submission, I realize that my responsibility as a student had finished. However, it made my self anxious about everything that would came after it. At that time, I decided to not take it too much until I would arrived in Jakarta. I thought that I should be grateful instead of sad as Allah allowed me to experienced one marvelous year in Glasgow.

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My Submitted Dissertation

By the end of August, the Hillhead sisterhood initiated a farewell for UofG Indonesian family. We prepared a video, awards, and games for this event that hence everyone could embrace our togetherness. the event was held on Eva and Karisa’s flat, a very comfy place for gathering. What I remembered from that night was it was very full of laugh and joy that it literally made my head spinning. oh how much I miss that moment :’)

September: The Most Uncertain Period of The Year

No matter how hard I’ve told to myself to not took everything too much, it was not working quite good at that time. My heart was broken as I saw my friends went for the Europe Trip or for good. At one night I cried in Eva’s arm regretting why I have to left Glasgow when everything was felt very comfortable and lovely.  However, the main purpose of me being in Glasgow was to study for a year and back again to Indonesia to fulfill my promise to this country. It was very hard yet I should back to Indonesia.September 8th was the day I went back to Indonesia from Glasgow. Fortunately, I had Yangie with me in this journey hence it could lessen my sorrow.

Couple of days of my first arrival in Jakarta is absolutely uneasy. I used to compare the situation in Glasgow with everything in Jakarta. Honestly, I was also afraid of loosing the habit I have attained during a year of my stay in Glasgow. After reading a friend’s article on a blog, I start to think that the real challenge was just about to begin. the real life starts as I accomplished my study in Glasgow. Life is about moving from one situation to another new situation, leaving your comfort zone to move to another difficult zone and make it your new kind of comfort zone. this thought made me realize that I had to make up my intention and to reset my goals. I spent the whole September just to figure out what I have to do in this life, I honestly experienced a life crisis period in this time. At the end I realize that my main goal is to give as many benefit as I can to this country and religion. If  I think that this country is still left behind than It became my duty to fix this. I’ve already received so much blessing, Allah provided me an opportunity to pursue my study, both in undergraduate and graduate, with the help of scholarship. I thought it was my responsibility to pay everything back that I wish in the judgement day I could answer the question regarding this blessing. Therefore, I decided to end this life crisis stage by the end of September.

October: I Have to Start!

Finish with the uncertainty period I decided to do anything essential for life. Alhamdulillah, Bu Sylvia Veronica provided me an opportunity to be her research assistant. Fortunately, the topics she addressed was very fit with my passion: CSR reporting and IFRS full adoption in Indonesia.

November: The New Beginning

Alhamdulillah, at the beginning of November I’ve got a job. I hope in this place I could do my best to contribute to this country. May Allah give me strength to continue on my dreams.

December: Graduation!

Since the mid year of 2015 I’ve decided to attend the graduation just to motivate me to study harder. Alhamdulillah I’ve got an opportunity to finally attend the graduation ceremony. My office allowed me to take a week leave for this event. I arrived in Edinburgh on December 1st, took the bus to Glasgow, and took the subway from Buchanan Bus Station and headed to 59 Bank Street. I had an indescribeable  feeling of happiness as I breathe the air of Glasgow.

during my short stay in Glasgow, alhamdulillah I could attend ISC putri and met my beloved Indonesian sisters, I could also attend Abeth graduation (although unfortunately I could not catch up Bu Yuyuk and Yangie graduation ). Even though my parents could not attend my graduation alhamdulillah Eva and Okky agreed to accompany me in my graduation and some friends also came to our graduation day.

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ISC Putri in Teh Siska’s Flat, December 2nd 2015

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My Graduation Day, December 3rd 2015

As it was only a short stay, I left Glasgow on December 5th and arrived on Jakarta the following day. I wish someday I could back to Glasgow again. Now the most important thing is to apply every experience and knowledge I have obtained. Ya Allah please give us strength to remain steadfast in Islam that every thing we do is only for you..

Cibubur, December 2015 – January 2016

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Accounting and rural rehabilitation in New Deal America: A Critical Review

picturesque of American great depression in 1930: people were queuing for free food

picturesque of American great depression in 1930: people were queuing for free food

Walker’s (2014) paper about Accounting and Rural Rehabilitation in New Deal USA draws on ‘new historical accounting’ approach elucidating of how accounting could change social behaviour and facilitate social betterment. He points out that through the supervisory accounting program and the disciplined of the farmer, USA economic condition was gradually increased after the terrible great depression in 1930. Walker’s research is not the first one in historical research stream. As Napier (2006) suggests new historical accounting research comprises the explanation of how accounting could mobilized social change and how it interacts with various stream of knowledge and also various social actors, some research might be included in the vein of historical accounting research including Neu (2000) who demonstrates of how British government used accounting as a technology to change the behaviour of indigenous people as the government had a conflict with them regarding the acquisition of indigenous land and also Graham (2010) who explained the role played by accounting in the social safety net for the prosperity of elderly people in Canada. Walker’s (2014) research, is however, different from the previous research as his research considered the active participation of the subject (farmer) in the technical process of accounting. Even though it is clear that Walker’s research suggests the role of accounting in improving the farmer quality of life, this research still have some limitations that leave the room for improvement for future research. I will start discussing the paper from the literature review and finding, then from the methodological aspect, and finally from the conclusion and research implication part.

Literature Review and Findings

Walker (2014) derives his research based on the supervision theory, which he states in his abstract, is from Foucault’s and Giddens’ theory . He suggests two types of supervision are needed in order to enhance farmers’ quality of life, administrative-managerial and educative supportive type of supervision. Supervision theory according to Foucault is related to the administrative-managerial type of supervision whereby ‘the supervisor watches over the supervisee to ensure the adherence to prescription’. Giddens supervison theory is also closely related with the administrative-managerial type, as it is cited in Walker (2014) “surveillance represents an authoritative resource of time-space distanciation which generates administrative power”. Nevertheless, the literature review about supportive-educative type of supervision was derived from other researcher other than Foucault or Giddens. Walker (2014) cited the explanation of Johns (2001) about supportive-educative type of research “…when the intention is to create a liberated practitioner supervisory processes are facilitative, empowering, and enabling”. Furthermore, Walker (2014) argued that through the monitoring the supervisee performance (administrative-managerial type) the information of people who need supervision could be obtained that later on it promotes the supportive-educative type of supervision. It could be inferred that administrative-managerial supervision comes first before the educative-supportive supervision.

After expalining about the theory of supervision, Walker (2014) explained the rural rehabilitation program conducted by the government. The program commenced in 1934 and was initially be the responsibility of Federal Emergency Relief Administration (FERA), however as FERA program was insufficient to solve the rural poverty, the rural rehabiliation responsibility was moved to Resettlement Administration (RA) in 1935. RA rehabilitation program was aiming at improving the condition of the farmer and, from 1937 until its abolition in 1946, the work of RA was transferred to Farm Security Administration (FSA). FSA has a very broad concept about rehabilitiation which is to permanently increased the quality of life of the farmers.

Walker (2014) continues to describes the programme conducted by FSA which was supervised credit and accounting prescription programme. In supervised credit programme the government gave the loan with low interest rate for farmers to purchase farming tools and household needs while they also supervised the consumption of the loan. Meanwhile, the accounting prescription programme was created in order to assure the proper use of the loan that therefore farmers’ quality of life increased and they were able to pay the loan. The accounting prescription programme comprised of ‘farm and home planning’, which contained the assessment of financial position of the farm and home, the budget and the amount of the loan required to achieve self-sufficiency, and also the ‘farm family record books’ in which were inscribed individual transactions, production data, assets and liabilities, and cash flows relating to business and domestic operation.

Supervision process played a substantial role in achieving the succeed of the rehabilitation program. In the first instance, Walker (2014) explains the supportive-educative type of supervision whereby the supervisor act like an educator for the farm families. They taught how to plan a budget and how to record their daily transaction. Afterward, he explained the implementation of administrative-managerial type of supervision in which the supervisor made a periodic visit to the farmer families home to assure if the plan had been carried out through assessing families’ accounting record books. The supervisor also assessed whether the key data had been recorded in a complete, timely, and accurate manner hence it could be inferred whether the government security has been used properly and also suggested the level of improvement of the families. During the home visit the supervisors also collect the data from accounting record book for the purpose of evaluation of the programme.

Afterward, Walker (2014) explains the impact of the rural rehabilitation programme. Based on Giddens theory the intrution of the state through the collection of information could exercised the state’s capacity to regulate human behaviour. In Walker’s essay context, this theory appears as the government used the information obtained from the farmers to assess their improvement. If there is any deviances from the prescribed rule, the government will take further action, including tighten the supervision mode or reassessing the budget. Moreover, it is interesting that in the implication part of the essay, Walker also explains the theory from Foucault as he uses the notions of ‘new pastoral’ power by modern state to disciplined the farmers in maintaining the accounting records. The evidence he gives suggest that the accounting record kept by clients revealed a positive impact. Many of the farmers have change their method and practices that they turn to have the most profitable farm in the state. He also gives evidence thay by the end of February 1943, 86% of the principal due on rehabilitation loans had been repaid. From the educative-supportive type of supervision he gives evident of Negro families who made ‘a great educational stride’ that it improves their standard of living. All in all he suggests that rural rehabilitation programmes brought a permanent impact as it was not only giving the loan to the clients but also giving them the necessary skill to survive through disciplined record keeping.

From the literature review and finding parts, I observed some limitations in his study. Napier (2006) suggests that accounting historical research could not just simply explaining that A cause B but it should explains of why A cause B. Walker (2014) explains the derivation of Foucault and Giddens theory in his analysis of how the state exercised its power to change the behaviour of society through the implementation of supervision and accounting prescription programmes, however he does not considered other factors that could affect the succeed of the supervision and accounting prescription programme. First of all, even though he explains Foucault and Giddens theory that the improvement of societies become the responsibility of the governments that therefore the government implemented tight monitoring towards the populations, he does not explain why American farmer, with their individualistic way of life could accept such state intervention. Fortunately, in 2015 Walker issues his subsequent paper, still using the same New Deal case, explaining that farmers’ way of life is subject to change as the structure that underpin them alter. In this case, farmers’ way of life was changing due to the economic crisis then the government had to preserve the family farm by its intrusive supervision and accounting prescription programmes. Second, Napier (2006) suggests, the accounting history research should also consider other knowledge that could support the impact of one action towards another. Walker (2014) paper missed the explanation of the supervisory style that could affect the successful implementation of the programmes. Hopwood as discussed in Briers and Hirst (1990) explains that supervisory style towards the budget could affected the behaviour of supervisee. In Walker’s (2014) paper it is unclear whether the supervisor style was the budget-constrain, whereby the supervisor is totally intolerate about the budget deviances, or profit conscious in which the supervisor is reasonably flexible toward supervisee budget performance, or may be the combination between them. This factor is important to explain why the supervision program could succeed amidst the laissez-faire culture of American farmers. Third, Walker (2014) does not explain the difficulty experienced by farmers in supervising the farmers, even though later on 2015 he explains that it is difficult for the supervisor to taught accounting for the farmers due to farmers’ illiteracy problems, he fails to explain how the supervisor could combat with their difficulties as in Walker (2015) there are photograhpic evidences suggest the farmers made accounting recording as their daily habit that they could conduct with a sense of tranquility. Finally, it is uncertain whether the rural rehabilitation programme could bring the permanent improvement to the farmers as the evidence of improvement he gives is skirt around the year 1939 until 1941.

Methodology

Walker (2014) does not explicitly stated the method he applies in his paper, but it appears that he employs the Foucauldian genealogy approach, which describes by Graham (2010) as the historical tracing by putting up together the discontinuities between knowledge, power, and human subject to shape some arrangements of things. Walker (2014) obtain his data from official archive (e.g, Hearings Before the Select Committee of the House, Supervisors’ Guidebook); newsletter; and historical academic article. The absence of oral evidence in this research could diminished the robustness of the research as the researcher merely use his subjectivity to interprete the historical archive. Moreover, this research also exposed to the threat of internal validity, as I mentioned before, there might be some variables influenced the state’s power toward farmers’ behaviour that Walker fails to explained. Hence, the relationship between the rural rehabilitation programmes to society life improvement could be confounded. Finally, Napier (2006) points out historical research also face the problem of generalizability from a single case study. Consequently, it could not be assured that the study’s result could be implemented in another time or place dimension.

Implications

Walker (2014) paper contributes to the new historical research vein as he exposes the relationship between state, farmers’ families and economic. However, the conclusion he derives is a bit normative as everyone might understand that supervised accounting and loan could change behaviour thus further improve the economic conditions. It will be better if further research also consider other factors that might influence the succeed of the programme such as supervision style and cultural implication. Moreover, it will also be useful if the research could obtain the data not only from the historical archive but also from the direct witnesses.

References:

Briers, M., and Hirst, M. (1990). The role of budgetary information in performance evaluation. Accounting, Organizations, and Society, 15, p.373-398.

Graham, C. (2010). Accounting and the construction of the retired person. Accounting, Organizations, and Society, 35, p.23-46.

Napier, C.J. (2006). Accounts of change: 30 years of historical accounting research. Accounting, Organizations, and Society, 31, p.445-507.

Neu, D. (2000). “Presents” for the “Indians”: land, colonialism, and accounting in Canada. Accounting, Organizations, and Society, 25, p.163-184.

Walker, S.P. (2104). Accounting and rural rehabilitation in New Deal America. Accounting, Organizations, and Society, 39, p.208-235.

Walker, S.P. (2015). Accounting and preserving the American way of life. Contemporary Accounting Research, 20, p.1-38.

Materialism at its worst

Malam itu saya sedang berbincang hangat dengan teman saya untuk melepas kejenuhan di reading weeks, seperti biasa kalau kami ngobrol hal yang dibicarakan ga jauh-jauh dari gosip :D. bermula dari curhatan saya tentang pelajaran social and environmental accounting  yang reading listnya ada 83 biji, tiba-tiba kami nyangkut ke permasalahan terkini bangsa Indonesia *hazek* teman saya ini kebetulan memiliki background ekonomi pembangunan, jadi kalau bergosip tentang Indonesia pasti semangat banget. saya yang curhat pertama kalau saya punya cita-cita kerja di NGO, mengingat dan menimbang kayanya permasalahan yang ada di Indonesia ini sulit kalau 100% harus ditangani pemerintah. Teman saya ini bilang, di Indonesia ini, NGO yang berkembang itu adalah NGO yang dimiliki asing, misalnya NGO-NGO yang menangani masalah Tsunami , predominantly dijalankan oleh orang luar negeri dan menerima dana dari luar negeri juga, sementara untuk NGO lokal, sumber dananya terbatas, kebanyakan hanya mengandalkan dari donatur lokal. Faktanya, kemampuan donasi masyarakat Indonesia tentu jauh-jauh lebih rendah dibandingkan kemampuan donatur-donatur asing. Sehingga tak heran, NGO lokal kurang berkembang (dalam artian: program yang dilakukan terbatas hingga pada akhirnya berusaha sekuat tenaga untuk me-maintain donatur ketimbang membuat program yang inovatif untuk mengatasi permasalahan sosial).

Sangat jelas, kemampuan ekonomi masyarakat Indonesia yang sangat rendah dan sikap konsumerisme sebagian orang mendisentif penyelesaian masalah sosial itu sendiri. pandangan saya pribadi, bagi masyarakat yang makan saja tidak cukup, tentunya tidak terpikir untuk menyelesaikan permasalahan lingkungan sekitarnya. Jangankan, untuk masyarakat yang tidak mempunyai pekerjaan, untuk masyarakat kelas menengah saja, ditengah-tengah inflasi yang terus meningkat seperti saat ini, tentu juga masih berfikir untuk kebutuhan sendiri. Hal yang memperburuk keadaan adalah, bagi mereka yang berlebih, sebagian mengedepankan pola hidup konsumerismenya, seperti belanja baju-baju mahal, fancy dinner setiap weekend, atau gonta-ganti tiap ada gadget terbaru keluar. meskipun saya belum pernah melakukan riset empiris, tapi saya yakin, sangat sedikit yang memiliki kepedulian terhadap permasalahan sosial. disatu sisi, saya salut dengan beberapa teman saya yang sudah berinisiatif untuk melakukan perubahan sosial melalui aktivitas-aktivitas voluntir mereka. Kak Risma dengan BeriBuku, Pipit dkk dengan gerakan sedekah brutal, Isni dengan Sekolah Bermain Matahari. Meskipun skop dari gerakan-gerakan voluntir tersebut saat ini masih sangat terbatas, tapi saya percaya gerakan ini akan menggurita se0820e747fc00767dec100fba5e5f4142af773c3bcadf04aaba75ef6631be669eiring dengan timbulnya kepedulian masyarakat Indonesia terhadap permasalahan bangsanya.

Balik lagi ke permasalahan kepedulian sosial masyarakat Indonesia, yang membuat saya tidak habis pikir adalah, kenapa bisa-bisanya materialisme ini merasuki jiwa masyarakat kita. kaum kapitalis berlomba-lomba untuk melanggengkan hegemoninya dengan melakukan segala cara, salah satunya adalah dengan beroperasi tanpa mempedulikan lingkungan sekitar. tanpa mempedulikan upah buruh yang tidak layak, tanpa peduli kalau pembangunan pabrik mereka dapat mencemari lingkungan, tanpa peduli kalau produk yang mereka hasilkan dapat merusak kesehatan. Pemerintah pun tampaknya silent as dead menyikapi tindak tanduk perusahaan yang seperti ini, bahkan mereka cenderung tidak berani menunjukan wibawanya mengingat ancaman perusahaan akan kabur dan kehilangan pemasukan pajak bila pemerintah mengeluarkan peraturan yang tidak menunjang bisnis mereka. Meskipun praktik CSR saat ini sedang ramai-ramainya digaungkan, sungguh, praktik CSR yang ada tidak lebih dari window dressing, membuat perusahaan tampak legitimate dihadapan publik tanpa memberikan aksi nyata (I have read so many papers on this). Sangat jelas bahwa baik pemerintah, bisnis, dan masyarakat Indonesia dibelenggu oleh materialisme, sehingga lingkaran setan yang ada saat ini tidak dapat terputus.

saya sangat sedih ketika membaca buku Psikologi Bersama pak Komaruddin Hidayat, bahwa salah satu unsur dari kebudayaan Indonesia adalah ampas kapitalisme sehingga menghasilkan perilaku konsumerisme. Ya, konsumerisme disegala elemen civil society, masyarakat, bisnis, dan pemerintah. Teman diskusi sayapun berkeras bahwa sangat sulit untuk mengabaikan permasalahan ekonomi. but I think that we have to go beyond so-called neo-classics economics to breakthrough the plethora of social problems. pada posting di website ini sebelumnya saya pernah bertutur tentang perlunya self-sufficiency, istilah yang saya dengar pada Program Kepemimpinan LPDP adalah, selesai dengan diri sendiri. dalam artian kita sudah bisa mengatasi permasalahan-permasalahan pribadi kita untuk selanjutnya turun untuk mengurai permasalahan sosial yang lebih kompleks. Tapi kapan saatnya? apakah saat ini saya telah merasa cukup dengan diri saya sendiri? mungkin yang dapat saya lakukan saat ini minimal adalah belajar dengan sungguh-sungguh agar tidak sia-sia apa yang telah difasilitasi negara saat ini. jika semangat saya sedang jatuh, mungkin inilah yang perlu saya ingat, bahwa permasalahan saya tidak ada apa-apanya dibandingkan dengan realita yang ada.

Terakhir, meskipun saat ini saya sering mendengar kecaman terhadap Pemerintahan saat ini atas naiknya harga bahan-bahan pokok dan tarif transportasi dan saya paham bahwa kritik dari masyarakat itu adalah penting sebagai dinamika dari kehidupan demokrasi, yang perlu saya sendiri evaluasi adalah, apakah saya sudah menunjukan usaha maksimum saya untuk negara ini dan apakah saya sudah pernah mendoakan pemerintah dalam sholat-sholat saya.

*harap maklum rada random*

UofG Main Library

A Brief Auto-Critics for Muslim in Muslim-Majority Countries

Having born in Muslim-majority country, Indonesia, becomes a blessing for me. Muslims are found everywhere in my country, my family is Muslim, my neighbour is Muslim, and my President is also Muslims. Mosque is just a few step from my front door and adzan is freely pronounced five times a day. Muslims in my country are, however, do not integrate the holistic Islamic values in daily life. It is sad as I read the article in the online newspaper (Kompas, 2015) stating that, according to research, the most Islamic country in the world is Ireland, followed by Denmark, Luxemburg, and New Zealand. Meanwhile, countries who claim that their government are based on Islamic law placed in the bottom rank. Plausibly, the taken for grantedness of Islam as an inborn religion make us lulled by our Islamic status.

It is quite clear that we are being indoctrinated that Islam means implementing the five basic principle1388329982111341508 of Islam: syahadah, shalat, fasting in Ramadhan, paying zakat, and conducting hajj. Nevertheless, for most of the Muslims, this principle is merely becomes something that we have to write in Islamic religion examination. For other, they do the five principles but they do not know why they do it. The plethora of social problems, however, are still exist even Muslim already performing the five principles. It is elusive whether the social problems arise due to the high poverty level or because Muslims performing the five principles only want to be perceived as the legitimate Muslim.

If we trace back to the era of Rasulullah (PBUH) and his sahaba, their life is not as glamorous as todays’ life, even many of them live under poverty but Allah give them His blessing that therefore they were regarded as the best ummah. It is apparent that, under the guidance of Rasulullah (PBUH) they perform the Islamic principle comprehensively and properly. Their closeness to Allah made the Islamic values integrate in their daily life. Unsurprisingly, at that time, Islam got its hegemony and flourished throughout the world. People embrace Islam because they saw the dignity of Muslims not simply because their parents were Muslims.

One might say that it will be easy for the first generation of Muslim to embrace the comprehensive Islamic value as they live under Rasulullah (PBUH) guidance. For today’s generation, on the other hand, one might claim such things become more troublesome since we have been far away from Rasulullah (PBUH). However, the aforementioned fact that the Continental European and the Anglo-Saxon countries who regarded as the most Islamic country, supposed to be a hard slap in the face for Muslim country. It is apparent that Ireland, Denmark, and New Zealand never claim themselves as the religious country, even Islam is the minority of religion in these countries, and however, they embrace the Islamic values in their life. Consequently, in these countries, people live in prosperity (with the low gap of income equality) and equity (whereby the heterogeneity of principle is respected and considered as cultural affluence). Meanwhile, in Islamic country, people live with the infusion of materialism value, thereby people are compete to gain wealth in many ways while neglecting the concern of society. We might see the luxurious sky-scraper in the centre of Jakarta, but paradoxically, we might also find the fact that many people live in their shack steps away from the train rail.

However, I believe, once people started to implement the Islamic values and principle properly, it might leads to the social problems breakthrough. Shalat that we perform has to be able to prevent the act of evil, thereby we should fully concentrate while doing shalat. The fasting we do in Ramadhan should be the touchstone of self-control therefore we will be more likely to resist the lure of materialism. The encouragement of zakat and shadaqah should allow the reducing of equality gap. Moreover, as Islamic value is applicable for all of the mankind, it is tenable that if the values is applied it will lead to common prosperity. Hence, it is unsurprising that Ireland, Denmark, Luxemburg, and Ireland is regarded as the most Islamic country. Muslim should learn that the innate their innate status of Muslim do not automatically allows them to be the righteous person, but the deep understanding of Islamic value and the comprehensive implementation of the principles will.

Challenges around NGO Accountability

Non-Governmental Organization (NGO) could be described as “any non-profit organizations that is independent from Government and they are typically service-based organizations which depend, fully or partially, on charitable donations and voluntary service” (Lehman, 2007, p.64ngos6). NGOs are established as not every society’s problem could be solved by the Government. Currently, there are various NGOs both local and international, for example in the UK there are: British Heart Foundation and Macmillan Cancer Research. In Indonesia we have Posko Keadilan Peduli Umat, Aksi Cepat Tanggap, and Action Relief. Meanwhile in the international level we might heard the Oxfam, Greenpeace, and WWF.

In terms of accountability, Grey et al., 2006, explained that NGOs’ accountability is somewhat complex and different from accountability in profit sector organizations. Firstly, as NGOs are typically a service organization, one who control the fund (donor) is different with one who receive the services. Consequently, it is elusive of to whom NGOs should express the accountability as there is no direct means that the beneficiaries could be put higher than the donor. Secondly, unlike the commercial organizations, NGOs do not have simple “bottom line” which stated in profit or loss, that, hence the NGOs have less obligation to perform financial accountability. Therefore, one might conclude that accountability in NGOs appeared to be under developed compared to the commercial organizations.

pkpu

PKPU Paramedic in The Mission

Eventhough the notion of NGO’s accountability is reasonably elusive, it does not means that NGOs do not have to perform accountability. NGOs are actually interact with their stakeholders, donors and beneficiaries, that therefore, the NGOs should discharge the accountability for them. Indeed, NGOs accountability is totally and should be different from commercial organizations in many ways and formal accountability might not fit with the Nature of NGO in many ways (Grey et al., 2006). First, NGOs can also be charities while not all countries have rigid charities law about accountability and performance. Second, NGOs are subject to public gaze and media scrutiny, as long as media and public keeping on monitoring NGOs activity, one might consider that NGOs accountability are already performed. Third, the key factor of NGOs accountability lies in the form of engagement with stakeholders, NGOs could performed the accountability through the disseminating of share values. As a result, NGO could be considered performing accountability if there are transparency and closeness with the stakeholders. Transparency could be addressed in answering the question such as: what is the NGO activity? How it is funded? And What the NGO does with the money received?. Meanwhile closeness could be identified as NGO performing its mission. One might consider that PKPU discharging its accountability as they sent the paramedics to earthquake victims, British Heart Foundation has discharge its accountability as it conducting a program involving the heart-attack patient.

The employment of formal accountability in NGO is somewhat improper that thereby might diminished the complex nature of NGOs accountability as NGOs should actively applied the non-formal mode of accountability through stakeholders engagement (Grey et al., 2006). Unerman and O’Dwyer (2008) further divided the type of NGOs accountability into two types. The formal type of accountability is closely related to hierarchical accountability or upward accountability, whereby NGOs are merely performed the accountability to the donor meanwhile the informal type of accountability is closely related to holistic accountability or downward accountability.

Unerman and O’Dwyer (2008) continue that hierarchical accountability is characterized by: narrowly functional, short term orientation, and favor accountability to donor. Agyemang et al., (2009) explain one of the mechanism of hierarchical accountability is through inflexible annual report. This type of accountability could diminish the learning and sharing aspect of NGO’s accountability that thus it has a damaging effect on the characteristic of NGO as agent of social change. The employment of hierarchical accountability also leads to the using of quantitative performance measurement. Apparently, this concept could derail the flexibility of the NGOs. In contrast, holistic accountability, encourage the participation of all stakeholders, including the beneficiaries, in term of performing NGO’s accountability (Agyemang et al., 2009 and Unerman and O’Dwyer, 2008). For instance, in ActionAid, instead of using annual review they use annual participatory review as mechanism of discharging the accountability in various engaging ways, including: story telling, theatre, people’s art and song.

Nevertheless, Grey et al., (2006) demonstrate that in Amnesty Ireland (Human Right NGO) the practice of hierarchical accountability has crowding out the holistic accountability. The competition amongst NGO is plausibly become a reason to retain powerful donor that therefore the accountability performed is mostly to the donor. Moreover, in order to assure that the performance of NGO is effective, the practice of performance measurement through mechanistic approach is also employed. Indeed, the use of mechanistic performance measurement could not assure the actual performance of the NGO. The actual performance of NGO should be visible through the engagement with every stakeholders including donors and beneficiaries. Moreover, although the managers of Amnesty Ireland have the intetion to practice the holistic accountability, It appears that they have no knowledge about practicing such type of accountability.

Dhanani and Conolly (2011) mention another type of NGO’s accountability: strategic accountability, fiduciary accountability, financial accountability, and procedural accountability. Strategic accountability is associated with NGO core purpose: vision, mission, actions, etc. The decision to response specific social issue could also be a form of strategic accountability. Moreover, it would be complete as it follows by the awareness of the impact of NGO’s program. Financial accountability, as it name suggests, account for NGO’s financial position and it is very important for the donors to assess the viability of NGO. Fiduciary accountability relates with how professional NGOs govern their activities. While the procedural accountability means that NGO should account for how they achieve their missions. Evidence suggests that, 75 charities in UK are mainly concern with strategic and fiduciary accountability as these might indicate that the NGOs are professionally achieve the mission that therefore the donors will be satisfied. It also appears that there is a domination of positive image in NGOs annual report indicating that NGOs want to be perceived as legitimate.

Closing Remarks

From the existing evidence, one might conclude that current practice of NGOs accountability are primarily dominated by the desire to retain the donors. This practice is absolutely discourage the role of NGO as an agent for social change. Unerman and O’Dwyer (2008) suggest that NGO should focus to their core mission, which is social change, and try to neglect the pressure from donors. NGO should also be able to balance the tension between upward and downward accountability. Finally, for NGOs, accountability should be used as a mechanism for continous learning rather than only a mechanism as justification and control.

References:

Agemayang, G., Awumbila, M., Unerman, J., & O’Dwyer., B (2009) “NGO Accountability and Aid Delivery”, ACCA.

Dhanani, A., & Conolly, C. (2012). Discharging not-for-profit accountability: UK charities and public discourse. Accounting, Auditing, and Accountability Journal, Vol 25, No.7, p.1140-1169.

Gray, R., Bebbington, J., & Collison., D (2006). NGOs, civil society, and accountability: Making the people accountable to capital. Accounting, Auditing, and Accountability Journal, Vol 19, No.3, p.319-348.

O’Dwyer., B & Unerman., J (2008). The paradox of greater NGO accountability: A case study of Amnesty Ireland. Accounting, Organisation, and Society, Vol. 33, No 7/8, p.801-824

To Love is To Give

Matahari Jum’at hampir saja tenggelam ketika kami berangkat menuju kawasan Pollokshields, sebuah daerah dipinggiran kota Glasgow. saat itu adalah kali pertama saya mengikuti halaqah ilmiyyah dengan saudari-saudari penduduk Glasgow keturunan arab dan pakistan. meskipun itu adalah kali pertama saya mengikuti pengajian itu, tapi sebenarnya pengajian tersebut sudah berlangsung selama sekali (jadi alhamdulillah saya belum tertinggal banyak materi). pada hari itu kami membahas hadits dan sirah. pada posting kali ini saya hanya akan menguraikan topik pertama yaitu tentang hadits, adapun hadits yang kami bahas adalah:

none of you is a true believer until you love your brother what you love to yourself”

Sungguh hadits ini membuat saya banyak-banyak introspeksi, apakah selama ini saya sudah memberikan hal yang paling saya cintai kepada saudara saya? dan apakah saya telah mencurahkan sedikit waktu saya untuk memikirkan kebutuhan saudara-saudara saya sesama warga negara Indonesia dan sesama muslim?

dalam konteks kekinian , saat kehidupan kita didominasi oleh paham ekonomi neoclassical dimana maksimalisasi utilitas dan profit bertindak sebagai degup jantung dan materialime sebagai nafas kehidupan, sungguhlah berat untuk memikirkan orang lain. Manusia bertindak untuk kepuasannya sendiri seakan seluruh hal yang ada di dunia ini tidak akan dapat memenuhi kebutuhannya.

Padahal, Islam mengajarkan kita untuk bersikap selfless, bukan berarti diri kita sendiri nelongso karena kita juga tidak diperbolehkan untuk menyakiti diri sendiri, yang perlu kita terapkan adalah bersyukur dengan apa yang kita miliki dan berbagi dengan saudara kita. pada kesempatan diskusi Jum’at itu, sister pemateri mencontohkan Abu Bakar Radiyallahuanhu yang menggunakan waktu istirahatnya untuk membuat roti dan dibagikan dengan tetangganya. kemudian saya berfikir, saya masak aja ga pernah gimana mau bagi orang lain 😦 disitulah Islam mengajarkan kita untuk menjadi self-sufficient, menjadi kaya itu sangat dianjurkan, bahkan Rasulullah dan para sahabat adalah prominent rich person at that time, tapi mereka memanfaatkan kekayaan mereka untuk umat. lihatlah Utsman bin Affan yang membeli sumur dari seorang yahudi senilai 20,000 dirham untuk memenuhi kebutuhan kaum Muslim. Kemudian Abdurrahman bin Auf yang menyedekahkan 500 ekor kuda tempur lengkap dengan senjata dan selalu masih merasa apa yang diberikannya tidak seberapa dibandingkan amalan sahabat-sahabat lain.

things to put in mind, meskipun secara materi bisa dibilang kita belum mampu untuk berkontribusi besar untuk umat, tapi cobalah untuk selfless, pahami keadaan sekitar dan berikan apa yang kita miliki untuk saudara yang kita sayang terlebih lagi orangtua kita. to love is to give. jika tidak ada materi, kita dapat memberikan waktu kita untuk sekedar bersilaturahim kepada saudara kita, jika tidak sempat paling tidak kita dapat memberikan salam dan senyuman saat bertemu saudara kita. jika berbagi itu menjadi sebuah kebiasaan, saya merasa permasalahan kemiskinan yang terjadi di negara kita mungkin dapat terurai perlahan-lahan. disamping itu Allah pasti akan memberikan pahala yang besar jika kita mampu dengan ikhlas mencintai dan berbagi dengan saudara kita.

Have a nice weekend folks 🙂

fashion encyclopedia: Valentino resort 2013

What Issues Matters While Reporting on Employees

Employees are recognized as salient companies’ stakeholder as they provide years of service to companies. The relationship between companies and employees create the responsibility for companies to report about employment practice. In EU, the report about employment is mostly emphasize on payment and benefit, recruitment/redundancies, training, and breakdown of employment by gender, geographical, or locations. however, there are some limitations regarding the practice of employment reporting that therefore the accountability to employees is not satisfactorily discharge.

Firstly, Williams and Adams (2013), through the employment of discourse analysis method, asserted that National Westminster Bank (Natwest) employee reporting practice was lack of disclosure in terms of impact of technology and branch closure, training and career prospect, consultation and participation, and redundancies. Moreover, there was also a tendency to conceal the reality behind the flowery rhetoric. for instance, Natwest’s annual report disclosed the following:

“as part of our drive for profitable growth, we continue to look closely at means of cutting work and activities which do not add value to our services. we are streamlining our operations in order to release staff for more profitable activities….”

However, Natwest did not disclose what is the impact of cutting work for employees. In reality, many employees, predominantly female workers, experienced job-deskilling in which they have to undertake different routine task with low payment. However, men were not affected by job deskilling. Another evidence is Natwest disclosed in the annual report that the company was frequently engage with labor union. In fact, there were no indication that the voice of employees were heard and responded to in relation to any of employment issues. Natwest was merely engage with the employee in order to get the input of how to increase customer satisfaction.

According to the legitimacy theory, Natwest performed this symbolic management strategy in order to be perceived as value congruent with society. Furthermore, according to political-economic theory, this action was also performed in order to obtain reputation from government and capital owners. 

Secondly, current employee reporting practice indicate the discrimination of gender and race. Duff (2011) present an evidence that in Big 4 public accountant firms’ annual report, there were less portrayal of women and non-white while most of the portrait in the annual report was predominated by men. Moreover, both women and non-white were depicted as non-employees and portrait in the informal setting while the majority of men picture were depicted men as employees with formal attire. 

Hayness and Fearfull (2008) described that women were largely discriminated in the workplace not because they can not perform particular task but more likely because the persisting patriarchy paradigm in the society which relates women as the subservient of men. Moreover, the motherhood identity embedded to women makes them appeared to be less flexible in performing some task.

To conclude, the major issue in employment reporting was the use of symbolic management strategies to legitimate companies action that they will obtain legitimacy from public, government, and capital provider. Moreover, it is also evident that gender and racial discrimination is still appeared in companies’ employee report.

Challenges in Accounting for Human Right

It has been clear that business is the part of society, in doing business companies might work with regimes whose values they might consider offensive. It is quite often that companies have to deal with the local society who need to mine land that is ancestral home of indigenous people. (Gray, Adams, and Owen, 2013)

the illustration above is just a small example which portray that companies are actually deal with human right issue. Human Right is could be defined as the fundamentals principles allowing individuals the freedom to lead a dignified life, free from fear, and free to express independent beliefs (Gray and Gray, 2012). Companies have an obligation to ensure that they do not violate the human rights.

International initiative on human right has been emerged in 1948. As the World War II ceased, the United Nation declared the Universal Declaration on Human Rights (UDHR) for the purpose of protecting individual rights and freedom throughout the world. UN General principle emphasized in the importance role of State in protect against human right abuse within their territory  and jurisdiction by third parties, including business enterprises. Consequentially, this principle also obliged the businesses to respect human rights whereby they should address adverse human rights impact with which they are involved. Moreover, businesses are not only obliged to respect human rights but they also have to avoid infringing on the human rights.

Despite all these initiatives, Gray and Gray (2012) highlight that there are some challenges in articulating the notion of human right that it drives to the very basic question about what is to be human? and what each individuals owes to themselves and to each other?. Albeit this confusion, the notion of human right tend to use UDHR as its touchstone. Arguably, as UDHR is not legally binding and only form the basis of what nations are expected to follow, it has lead to the widespread acceptance of human rights as a basic tool of moral evaluations. 

Another problem arises as UDHR per se  having some disputes and the most substantial dispute is, UDHR is considerably  emerged on western idelogy. It leads to the essential conundrum over the extent to which the UDHR leans towards a privileging of western notions of individualism over the eastern sense of collectivism. 

Moreover, the non-legally binding nature of UDHR, is however, constitutes  no well-defined responsibilities
expected from the government and businesses. As the UDHR has asserted, initially and predominantly human right is a matter of state. Nevertheless, government is incapable in controlling the MNCs as MNCs have many subsidiaries outside its reign. Fortunately, the international initiatives, including UNGC and OECD guideline for MNEs, are developed in order to define how business might begin to understand human right. However, there is a growing resistance from business as human rights are considered to be outside the scope of business that therefore business will have little benefit from engaging corporations with human rights. 

The unclear responsibility of who should assert the human right, leads the NGOs to arbitrate this issue. There are several NGOs initiate in addressing the human right issue. For instance, The business and Human Right Resource Centre (Responses from companies to allegations of misconduct); Right and Accountability in Development (promotes corporate accountability, fair investment, and good governance). However, the complex nature of MNEs with the growing range of stakeholders in different places and the unabated capital mobility, creates a difficulty to small-funded NGOs in monitoring MNEs’ human right-related activities. Therefore, the social accounting and the mechanism of accountability is expected to tackle this issue. the social accounting might help companies to monitor and manage human right risk only and if only the social  accounting have a reporting framework and a clear mechanism of monitoring. Unfortunately, the beyond dispute notion of human right makes there is no clear reporting framework and measurement of human right. Even though, GRI has provide  a guideline in reporting human right, according to GRI (2008) survey there was only 7% of companies surveyed report using G3 guideline comply with the guideline

Closing Remarks

although it is not yet clear how the measurement and calculations to reflect the rights of humanity, some initiative arises in the area of finance through the development of Socially Responsible Investment index such as FTSE4Good, DJSI, KLD Domini and so forth to facilitate conscientious investor place their fund in companies with highest respect in human right. In term of human right practice monitoring, inevitably we still heavily rely on NGO or media. It is expected that this practice could prevent the human right abuses by business enterprises