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
contractors 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.