United States launches new five-year project to strengthen governance in Madagascar

U.S. Chargé d’Affaires Amy J. Hyatt, along with the government of Madagascar and the United Nations Development Program (UNDP), announced a new five-year, $15.5 million U.S. government-funded program that will strengthen governance, justice and civic engagement in Madagascar. The RINDRA project is funded by the American people through the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and will be implemented by and in partnership with UNDP.

“Democracies die in darkness. And we all share the responsibility of shedding light on government. A lack of transparency and accountability leads to financial losses and missed opportunities,” said US Chargé Amy Hyatt. “So today, I am pleased to announce that the United States is deepening its commitment to strengthening governance in Madagascar.”

There are three central objectives of the RINDRA programme:

Judicial reform: RINDRA will modernize Madagascar’s justice system and provide access to justice for vulnerable and marginalized people by improving the sharing of judicial information, simplifying processes and procedures, and reducing the current backlog of cases.

Improved management and governance capacity: RINDRA will work with 100 communes in five regions of Madagascar to increase public revenue, better manage local development resources and improve municipal services. The program will provide practical training and mentoring in management, finance and local development to civil servants from municipalities in urban and rural areas of Madagascar.

Citizen education and civic engagement: RINDRA will create new platforms to receive and process public feedback, introduce citizenship education and youth-led community action in over 200 schools in 20 districts across the country, and promote civic engagement among young people Malagasy.

RINDRA will be implemented in 100 communes in the Analanjirofo, SAVA, Atsinanana and Menabe regions, and in the Urban Commune of Antananarivo and its surroundings. The project will work in close collaboration with the main Malagasy institutions for training State employees, the Supreme Court and the Ministries of Economy and Finance, Justice, National Education, Interior and decentralization.

For nearly 40 years, the United States has worked side by side with the people of Madagascar as “mpirahalahy mianla” to advance health care, improve conservation and agricultural practices, grow the economy, strengthen democracy and governance and provide essential humanitarian assistance in response to drought, disease and cyclones.

Helen D. Jessen