Bakti Sustainability

Bakti sustainability is a service program of LINKS, to do the social education for the independent smallholder groups of palm oil in Indonesia. In this program, LINKS management and staff will work without payment to train the group manager and/or independent smallholder group administrators for carry out the visioning of the organization, Social Impact Assessment (SIA) and FPIC fulfillment on the development of new areas and replanting of palm oil plantations.

Each year LINKS provides opportunities for the independent smallholder groups to submit proposals of bakti sustainability program, of which 2 to 4 groups were selected to receive the cost-free social education packages from LINKS.

Proposals of bakti sustainability program could be submitted by supporting organizations (NGOs), farmer groups or group manager. The proposals should include the overview of farmer groups profile (name and address, the year of formation, vision and mission, organizational structure, number of members and the coverage area of palm oil plantations managed), plantation management programs according to the principles of sustainability that have been and will be developed, the type the proposed educational program, the contribution expected from LINKS social education toward the efforts to comply with the principle of sustainability planned by the farmer groups, estimation the implementation time and the number of participants who will be involved in LINKS social education.


LINKS believes that to create equality in a partnership between farmers and palm oil plantation companies, as well as social management in a sustainable manner in the palm oil industry needed new social practices. This means that habitus or habit in the old social practices, perspectives, organizing system, the interaction of power, and the old norms prevailing in a person, community or organization that has been formed earlier in accordance with the existing social structure, need to be changed. To change these things need to be found the knots of habitus changes in social interactions, and habitus changes can only be initiated through a process of education. Habitus changes presupposes the education will make many members of the community adopt the reflexive consciousness that forges the ability to open the knots binding the old social practices, so as to foster new social practices.

Therefore, further education activities developed by LINKS through FPIC Basics and Negotiation of Conflict Resolution Training, Social Communication Training, and Workshop Visioning CSR to change the mindset, and to build new action and reaction in the partnership between companies and palm oil farmers in villages around the location of their business.

Approaches Applied by LINKS in the Education Program:

Appreciative Inquiry (AI)

The experience of training implementation in several places indicates that the participants who attended the training are the ones who are in the saturated conditions for constantly dealing with different cases of land claims and social conflicts in the field. In addition, the long training time is also potentially creates new saturation for the participants.

Hence, LINKS implemented the Appreciative Inquiry approach in the technic of material delivery and plot design of the training. Practically, the work done in AI is to find and identify the best of "what in the present" to capture the dream and the possibility of "what might happen" or AI is an effort to dig up the strength, spirit and vitality that can be found in any participants work system, every factor within the participants that contains the potential for positive and inspiring change.

In the delivery of materials, the facilitators and co-facilitators will conduct the collaborative digging based on the assignments and affirmative questions to collect stories about the best achievements of the participants during the work on the plantations, and then selectively concentrating and "affirming" the participants to the best achievements in the system, the situation or the human personality that they recognize, henceforth serve as the basis for the trainers, facilitators and co-facilitators to conduct provocative propositions that challenged the participants to be re-motivated, to move forward, break the boredom and find the best of their ability in implementing the training materials in the field.


In addition to implementing AI in communicating with the participants and plot design of the training, delivery of the content in the training also aimed to involve the participants’ participation actively through the debriefing and group discussions.

Based on Case Studies and Problem Solving

The case studies presented in the delivery of training materials done by LINKS through documentary films, assignment sheets and group discussions, it was expected the participants will gain new knowledge that is required of them.

Pendampingan Mitra and GIS

Pendampingan Mitra and GIS program in LINKS developed in two main activity as follows:

  1. The Facilitation of Social Conflict Settlement.These activities promote dialogue efforts among companies, governments and communities affected by palm oil plantations so that among the participants awakened the understanding and alternative solutions that provide benefits to all participants based on the principles of justice, humanity and common welfare. The Facilitation of Conflict Settlement was developed through Social Engagement Facility Program, a program assisting the participants in social conflicts settlementin the palm oil sector.
  2. FPIC Fulfillment Assistance.This activity is designed for 12 until 18 months, where LINKS will accompany the plantation companies management and field staff to implement the principle of Free Prior Informed Consent on the new planting or replanting area of the palm oil plantations according to the Principles and Criteria of Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO), through the implementation of several activities such as participatory mapping and land tenure study, socialization and public consultation up to the negotiation and establishing the agreement with the society.

Social Research

Social research on the palm oil sector in Indonesia has been conducted by LINKS through Social Impact Assessment (SIA), Social Risk Scoping on Development of New Palm Oil Plantation and the other Thematic Social Researches.

Particularly for SIA, these activities are undertaken to map and analyze the social impact arising from the development of palm oil plantations to the employees and local communities in the vicinity.

In general, the mapping will be done in the following two main issues:

  1. The social conditions of the region and local communities including data population, religion and beliefs, culture, economy, education, and the availability of means of transportation, health, electricity and also information and communication media.
  2. Company Profile (related to the information of the company establishment and management structure).

While specifically the SIA activities will map the social issues which arise as the result of the existence and operation of palm oil plantation companies to the social conditions of the community and employees, which include:

  1. Efforts to fulfill the principle of transparency and legal compliance, Principle [1] [2] of RSPO which includes licensing and environmental management documents, documents of dissemination and land acquisition mainly the application of New Planting Procedure as the fulfillment of Principle [7] of RSPO,
  2. Social issues and relations between the management and the people around the area of operations and other affected parties [relevant but not limited to Criteria 6.1, 6.2, 6.3, 6.4 of RSPO; Criteria 2.1, 2.2, 2.3 of RSPO; Criterion 7.1 of RSPO],
  3. The employment issues [relevant but not limited to Criteria 6.5, 6.6, 6.7, 6.8, 6.9, 6.10; Criteria 4.6, 4.7, 4.8 of RSPO],
  4. The role of palm oil company to the local development [relevant but not limited to Criterion 6.11 of RSPO], and
  5. Commitment to conduct the continuous improvement in the key areas of the palm oil plantations activity.

Based on the mapping generally and specifically, it will be recognized and understood what are the impact sof the existence and operation of the palm oil plantations. These impacts include the description of the types of negative impacts (social problems), positive impacts (social benefits), and accumulative social impacts. Furthermore, based on those descriptions of social impacts it will be developed the studies and recommendations about the social management and relevant local stakeholders in the social management around the palm oil plantations.

As for the social risk scoping and social thematic research, the key issues mapped will adjust to the theme of the social research which wanted or will be implemented jointly by LINKS together with the plantation companies that became LINKS’ partners.