Combating poverty with communal development and decentrali-sation
Title: Communal development and decentralisation (ProDéCID II)
Commissioned by: German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ)
Co-funded by: Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs
Lead executing agency: Ministry of the Interior and Decentralization (MID)
Overall term: 2019 to 2022
Madagascar is one of the world’s poorest countries. Levels of poverty are particularly high in rural regions, where the state has little, if any, representation, with a direct impact on local development and access to public services, education, health care and poverty reduction measures. In 2017, more than 90 per cent of the population of the country was living on less than USD 2 per day.
In these precarious living conditions, many people cannot assert their human rights, such as the right to education. Women and children in particular have restricted development opportunities. The state is largely unable to invest in infrastructure and provide basic services. The tax ratio in 2017 was just 5 per cent of the country’s gross domestic product. In large parts of the country, the state is also unable to protect the population against crime, natural disasters, epidemics and the consequences of climate change. Around 70 per cent of Madagascans live in rural areas. The high level of social inequality and dissatisfaction with the government lead to repeated political and social conflict.
One important instrument used by the Government to combat poverty is decentralisation and the promotion of local development within municipalities. One reason for municipalities’ limited ability to act is their precarious financial situation. Local communities also often lack the necessary technology and expertise to make full use of the revenues due to them and provide good services for the population.
Municipalities currently have inadequate cooperation arrangements with civil society and the private sector to improve access to basic services and promote poverty-oriented local economic development.
The selected communities contribute to poverty-oriented local development and cooperate with civil society and governmental institutions.
The project is using digital solutions to increase municipal revenues and establish transparent budgeting.
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 implementing 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 financial transfers to 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.
With its activities, the project is supporting the Madagascan state in implementing the 2030 Agenda. GFA Consulting Group GmbH is providing support in implementing the project.
The project is contributing to poverty-oriented communal development and decentralisation in several ways:
- The revenues from tax, contributions and fees collected by 110 of the 150 partner municipalities in the pilot regions 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.
- The assessment of local governance (effectiveness of administration, participation and development promotion) as measured by the Local Governance Performance Index has risen by two points in 110 municipalities.
- 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 national financial transfers.