Poverty-oriented communal development and decentralisation

Project description

Title: Communal development and decentralisation (ProDéCID II)
Commissioned by: German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ)
Country: Madagascar
Lead executing agency: Ministry of the Interior and Decentralization (MID)
Overall term: 2019 to 2022

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Context

Madagascar is one of the world’s poorest countries. Poverty is particularly widespread in rural regions, where the state has little, if any, presence. This impacts local development and access to public services, education, health care and poverty reduction measures. The World Bank estimates that 1.38 million people fell below the poverty line in 2020 due to the economic consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic. As a result, the proportion of the population living in extreme poverty increased to 77 per cent in 2020.

For many people living in these precarious conditions a number of human rights remain unfulfilled, such as the right to education. Women and children are particularly affected by the limited development opportunities. The state is barely able to invest in infrastructure and provide basic services. In addition, measures to combat the pandemic in Madagascar led to a 4.2 per cent decline in the gross national product in 2020. In large parts of the country, the state is also unable to offer protection against crime, natural disasters, epidemics and the consequences of climate change. High levels of social inequality and dissatisfaction with the government are frequently leading to political and social unrest.

One important instrument used by the government to combat poverty is decentralisation and the promotion of municipalities. Up to now, the municipalities have not been able to work to their full capacity due to their precarious financial situation. Moreover, they often lack the technology and expertise required to make full use of the revenues due to them and provide efficient public services. At the same time, the municipalities rarely work together with civil society and the private sector to improve access to basic services and to promote poverty-oriented local economic development.

Objective

Selected communities contribute to poverty-oriented local development, for which they cooperate with civil society and governmental institutions.

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Approach

The project uses digital solutions to increase municipal revenues and create budget transparency.

To improve municipal services, it also promotes local partnerships between municipalities, civil society and the private sector. These partners advise municipalities and improve basic and administrative services, for example by setting new standards.

The project also advises national institutions and regions with a view to improving the funding structures for municipalities.

In addition, several donors have joined forces to support civil society organisations with advisory services, funding and structuring.

The project reaches approximately 800,000 people in 150 partner municipalities, in particular in rural parts of the pilot regions of Analamanga, Boeny and Diana. The aim is to increase the municipalities’ financial resources by boosting state and municipal revenues and improving the financial transfer system for the municipalities. The project also advocates good governance and effective, transparent financial management in the municipalities and cooperates with the private sector and civil society to promote municipal services. This is giving rise to dynamic local development.

The project’s activities support the Madagascan state in implementing the 2030 Agenda. 

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Results

  • The project is contributing to poverty-oriented communal development and decentralisation in several ways:
  • The revenues from taxes, payments and fees collected by 110 of the 150 partner municipalities have risen by 15 per cent.
  • A total of 2,000 people in 60 municipalities have increased their income by 15 per cent, including 500 women and 200 young people.
  • 110 municipalities have improved their rating in the Local Governance Performance Index by two points. The Index assesses criteria such as administrative performance, participation and development promotion.
  • Initiatives and associations have drawn up 15 position papers on local development in collaboration with municipalities. These have been presented to the government as part of national consultations. The issues include, for example, gender equality, national standards for service provision and the reform of the national financial transfer system.

Last update: May 2021

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