Forty-five percent of villages in Indonesia are classed as underdeveloped or "left behind".
32379 villages in Indonesia, out of a total of 70611, are underdeveloped, according to Syaifulah Yusuf, the Underdeveloped Regions minister, speaking  at a seminar called "Strategi Pembangunan Desa", Village Development Strategy, at the Hotel Bidakara in Jakarta on the 12th.
The number of left behind villages is 45% or almost half of the total number of villages in Indonesia, 70611.
(Jumlah desa tertinggal sebanyak 45 persen atau hampir separuh dari jumlah desa di Indonesia yang mencapai 70.611 desa.)
A village is considered backward if basic services are lacking. Some of the factors include no main road through the village, no area for business activities, and lack of schools, health facilities, tele-communications services, water supply, and fuel supplies. The amount of space per m2 for each resident is also taken into account as is the level of access to electricity and the proportion of citizens who are engaged in farming.
The majority of these communities are to be found in the central and eastern parts of the country. In Nusa Tenggara Timur (NTT) for example, 1.886 villages are considered to be in a backward state. The worst affected regency in NTT is Manggarai in which 229 of the 254 villages are affected.
In the central part of the country, for example, of the 1530 villages in West Kalimantan 944 are poor. In Central Kalimantan 1005 of 1531 villages are backward, with the worst situation being in Murung Raya regency in which all but nine of the 118 villages are problem areas.
The west of the country tends to be less problematic with South Sumatra being one exception. Out 2778 villages there 1535, or 55%, are poor.
In densely populated East Java Sampang regency on Madura island has 143 villages of 186 counted as underdeveloped. Bondowoso regency also sees more than 50% of villages affected.
March 23rd 2007.
Professor Tresna P. Soemardi of the Management Faculty of the University of Indonesia advises that education programs in villages should focus on practical, vocational training, provided for free, rather than be focused on gaining entrance to academically oriented education institutions.
Sickness and ill health in villagers was a major cause of poverty, he went on, because virtually nobody in rural areas had access to medical insurance. Using the latest technology in water sanitation and learning to live a healthy lifestyle was needed to combat poverty. Previously he had said that the poverty rate in villages was 53%, assuming the one-dollar earnings per day measure.