Employment-Intensive Investment in Madagascar

Web page | 10 December 2014

Current EIIP Involvement

The on-going 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 both open up real possibilities to test created jobs and to use a greater amount 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.

Historical Information

Since 1992, the ILO has been collaborating with several Agencies, the UNDP (United Nations Development Programme), UNICEF (United Nations Children’s Fund), the WHO (World Health Organization), EU/CARE, UNCDF (United Nations Capital Development Fund) and others to implement a large scale rehabilitation and reconstruction programme 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 multisectorial community investment programme, funded by UNDP, UNCDF and the EU was set up in the late 1980s as a "Social Dimension of Adjustment" component aimed 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 created by the UNDP. The establishment of technical support units at a decentralized level has proven to be very effective in promoting cost-effective, productive, and social investments and in providing training to the private sector and community-based organisations. The UNDP support for the technical assistance team came to an end however in June 1999.

The first phase of the NORAD-supported labour-based road rehabilitation and maintenance demonstration project in the Antsirabe Region was successfully completed. The project included elements of small contractor training, policy advice at a 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 in 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 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 had been transformed into a non-profit organization dedicated to training small contractors in labour-based road works. In May of that year, an Association of Labour-Based Small and Medium Size Contractors was established. Furthermore, the ILO initiated a study with the Ministry of Labour to develop 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 was been prepared in 1999, covering the years 2000 to 2003, supported by NORAD.

Madagascar Urban Infrastructure Upgrading
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 (such as schools and health centres), the hydro-agricultural sector, municipal facilities in urban and rural sectors, etc.

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

The HIMO Projects are funded by the Norwegian Government and the Government of Madagascar, and 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. Training involves the use of local resource based (LRB) approaches in the design, construction and maintenance of basic infrastructure as well as the 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 in this process.

These projects began in 1993-1994, when 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 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 of the project is to reach 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 contract maintenance works have been promoted under the project. The project has had an important impact as a "safety net" for the poorest, both in terms of minimum income, food/nutrition and health (two thirds of the project’s employees are women). WB/SECALINE support came to an end in December 1998. A new programme proposal, covering 6 cities, was been prepared for submission to the EU.

1. HIMO Urban projects 2006-2009
The goal of the newer HIMO Urban Project during this period was to Reduce Poverty in the Anosy region by aiding 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 (Local Resource Based) approaches;
• Building and / or rehabilitating tracks, irrigation canals, schools, urban roads public toilets and sinks;
• Strengthening the capacities of operators in the Anosy region in the areas of design, monitoring, controlling and executing the construction/ rehabilitation of social and economic infrastructure.

2. HIMO Rural projects 2008-2012
This latest stage of the HIMO project helped in 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 of routine maintenance of schools constructed, including the creation of jobs and the empowerment of local players in the regions benefiting from the project.

Under the framework of the “Education for All” programme, the EIIP, in partnership with UNICEF and funds from Norway, has provided technical assistance to the Government of Madagascar to optimize job creation in the building sector through the use of local resource-based construction technologies. The strategy of the project, “HIMO- Bâtiment”, is to increase the capacity of small and medium-size building contractors, consulting engineers, and government agencies in charge of contracting and to support the participation of local actors. In addition, the project is promoting decent working conditions through procurement procedures and contract documentation.

Between October 2001 and March 2011, three decentralized offices of the Ministry of National Education and twenty-two Local Government offices were trained in the contract management and implementation of school construction projects, in addition to 623 parents associations trained in the maintenance of schools building. 234 small-scale contractors and 96 supervisors were trained in the use of local resource-based techniques in the construction and maintenance of school building the capacity of local actors from the private sector. An additional benefit has been that 1590 classrooms were constructed and maintained, generating some 1,339,505 worker days.

The ILO has been actively involved in joint donor thematic consultations often led by the World Bank on the education sector. Because of the high quality of works achieved by the ILO-trained contractors, other donors are adopting the same approach using standard designs for primary school buildings developed by the Ministry of Education and the ILO.