Since 1992, the ILO has been collaborating with several Agencies, UNDP (United Nations Development Programme), UNICEF (United Nations Childrens' Fund) , WHO (World Health Organization), EU/CARE, UNCDF (United Nations Capital Development Fund), etc., to implement a large scale rehabilitation reconstruction programme set up in the aftermath of several destructive cyclones on the East and South coasts of Madagascar. The ILO's contribution consists of (i) training and capacity building for small and medium-sized labour-based contractors of the building sector, and (ii) the promotion of contracting systems and procedures that ensure that contractors have better access to public markets and that workers benefit from better working conditions. The programme is likely to be expanded to the education sector, and possibly the health sector, with financial support from NORAD.

A community multisectoral investment programme, funded by UNDP, UNCDF and EU, was set up in the late 1980s as a "Social Dimension of Adjustment" component aiming at alleviating poverty and stabilising employment in defined areas of the country. Work has been carried out both by small contractors and by beneficiary communities, based on participatory approaches. The positive results achieved under this programme have led to the inclusion of an "investment for the poor" component in a forthcoming countrywide poverty alleviation programme of UNDP. The establishment of technical support units at decentralized level has proven to be very effective in promoting cost-effective productive and social investments and providing training to the private sector and to community-based organisations. UNDP support for the technical assistance team has however come to an end in June 1999.

The first phase of the NORAD supported demonstration project of labour-based road rehabilitation and maintenance in the Antsirabe Region was successfully completed. The project included elements of small contractor training, policy advice at central level, and maintenance by road users. Contractor personnel of more than 50 firms (chefs d'entreprise, chefs de chantier and chefs d'équipe) and core staff of the Ministère de Travaux Publics have received extensive practical and theoretical training in contract management and the effective running of labour-based road sector projects. In the present NORAD/EU/GTZ/World Bank funded phase that started in 1995, the project emphasizes in particular the development of training manuals and contract documentation suitable for labour-based road works. By the end of 1997 the labour-based road training centre in the Antsirabe Region has been transformed into a non-profit organization with the purpose of training small contractors in labour-based road works. In May 1997 an Association of Labour-Based Small and Medium Size Contractors was established. Furthermore, the ILO has initiated a study with the Ministry of Labour in developing appropriate working conditions of the labour force, in particular temporary village workers. A series of training manuals for labour-based SMEs was published in June 1999. A new phase of the programme has been prepared in 1999, covering the years 20002003. It is likely to be supported by NORAD.

Madagascar Urban Infrastructure Upgrading

In 1993/1994 a World Bank funded Social Fund was established, called SECALINE, consisting of four components: (i) an Investment Fund for Development (FID), (ii) an Urban labour-intensive poverty alleviation component (HIMO Urban), (iii) a nutrition and health component and (iv)a sensitisation/information component. At the request of the World Bank, the ILO prepared the objectives, principles, rules and regulations of the FID, which consists basically of private contractor’s execution of public works in the rural areas of two provinces. The FID is operating as a private sector agency; there is no further direct technical assistance from the ILO. However, FID is sending contractors and consulting engineers to the HIMO Routes Training Centre in Antsirabe.

The HIMO urban component has been directly executed by the ILO. The objective has been to reach directly those poverty groups which are too destitute to find employment through the private sector development strategy. HIMO urban has therefore been implemented by force account. However, community contracts (basically for maintenance works) have been promoted under the project. The project (two thirds of the project's employees are women) has had an important impact as a "safety net" for the poorest, both in terms of minimum income, food/nutrition and health. WB/SECALINE support came to an end in December 1998. A new programme proposal, covering 6 cities, has been prepared for submission to the EU. Moreover, WFP has programmed a food-for-work contribution for a HIMO urban programme in the South; however, no donor support is yet available for the technical assistance and operational costs.

The ongoing development of the "Madagascar Action Plan 2012" (MAP) and the simultaneous introduction of a system for programming and budgeting of government action by strategic objectives opens up real possibilities to bring the test creation jobs and greater use of local resources in the process of planning and budgeting. In particular, it is hoped that a more explicit link between the public investment program and employment policy can be implemented

Investment programs based on optimum use of manpower and local resources are operational in Madagascar in many sectors, particularly in the areas of rural roads, public buildings (schools, health centers), the hydro-agricultural, municipal facilities in urban and rural etc.

They have proven their technical feasibility and profitability on the microeconomic level (SMEs). They have produced results recognized by the Government and donors, particularly in terms of quality and costs, training of technicians and managers of SMEs, strengthening the partnership between the public and the private sector , support to decentralized and local communities for planning, implementation and maintenance of infrastructure created or rehabilitated the efficiency of contracting procedures, etc.

The HIMO Projects funded by the Norwegian Government and the Government of Madagascar are collaborating with several key ministries including: Public Works and Transport, Education and the Ministry in charge of Decentralization & Regional and municipal development.

Training is provided for staff of line agencies and municipalities for technicians and managers of SMEs and engineering consultants in the use of local resource based (LRB) approaches in the design, construction and maintenance of basic infrastructure, preparation and supervision of contracts and effective procurement procedures. Partnership arrangements in between the public sector, the private sector including local communities are also strengthened.

1. HIMO Urban projects 2006-2009

The goal of the Project is to Reduce Poverty in the Anosy region by contributing to the efforts of the government to Strengthen decentralized governance and employment creation by

Improving local governance and reinforcing the capacity of the municipalities located in the region Anosy as a platform for participatory economic and social development in the fields of local public revenues, contractual procedures, management of local development funds and inter-communal cooperation.

  • Reinforcing the capacity of local economic actors (including small-scale contractors, consulting engineers and community-based organizations) to develop basic social and economic infrastructure and creating local employment through LRB approaches
  • Building and / or rehabilitate tracks, irrigation canals, schools, urban roads public toilets and sinks.
  • Strengthen the capacities of operators in the region Anosy in the areas of design, monitoring and control and execution of construction/ rehabilitation of social and economic infrastructure.

2. HIMO Rural projects 2008-2012

This project helps implementing the "Education for All" program in collaboration with all national and international actors supporting this program using LRB approaches. It responds to several priority needs related to the provision of educational facilities and the Strengthening of private-sector capacity, of parents' associations in the management and routine maintenance of schools constructed, including the creation of jobs and the empowerment of local players in the regions Benefiting from the project.