In partnership with the U.S. Embassy in Madagascar and the European Center for Electoral Support (ECES), CCL will play a supporting role in a new civil-society initiative to improve peace, stability, and accountability.
A series of trainings this week kicks off the new project called “Accountability in Madagascar: From Theory to Practice,” building off of recent peace and stability work in the southeast African nation funded by the European Union.
The new, yearlong project is a continuation of CCL and ECES’ work to build local capacity around good governance, anti-corruption, and accountability efforts. To that end, both organizations will take a step back from primary leadership to make way for local civic education and anti-corruption organizations to lead the initiative. By playing supportive and advisory roles, CCL and ECES aim to empower the local organizations and to strengthen the non-governmental organizations’ relationships with international donors.
CCL’s Hughes Van Stichel is designing, preparing and delivering train-the-trainers sessions with the local NGO volunteers, who in turn will support similar groups in 5 different regions throughout Madagascar. The trainings begin this week in Madagascar.
As part of the longer initiative, discussions involving local authorities and civil-society representatives will be held with the aim of fostering greater collaboration based on transparency, good governance, and accountability. Youth representatives of local NGOs in the 5 regions involved will also generate ideas for accountability projects. The best ones will receive funding for implementation.
ECES and members of CCL’s Ethiopia office have been working together since 2011. In the past 5 years, the partnership has led to a variety of significant efforts, including a flagship Leadership for Electoral Administrators training that works with elections committees in numerous African countries, preparing them to organize fully transparent and democratic elections.
The partnership took on a new dimension in late 2014 as the 2 organizations embarked on elections-related work in Madagascar with the backing of the European Union. INCIPALS — an acronym that, translated from the original French, stands for Citizen Initiative for the Strengthening of Peace, Leadership & Stability — ran from May 2015 through this fall. Among INCIPALS’ numerous accomplishments:
- Leadership for Electoral Administrators Training: In all, trainings were held in 6 regions of the country, directly reaching 130 people and impacting countless others.
- Media Monitoring Unit: The project helped create and support a Media Mentoring Unit, designed to assist journalists and media in Madagascar in providing fair, honest, and transparent information relevant, local events. The unit is still active and is now self-sufficient.
- Women Leadership and Mentoring Program: In Antananarivo, 2 trainings were held to help activate women in the local civil society and to support women helping other women enter politics to address underrepresentation in Madagascar’s political institutions.
- Youth Voices for Peace Training: Trainings for university students were held in 3 different cities, with the objective of transforming them into agents of peace and change instead of conflict. In Madagascar, youth are often manipulated and paid by political parties to riot in order to discredit the opposing party. These student trainings led to the creation of young civic organizations, which are now active in trying to transcend past violence.
These are just some of the successes that the “Accountability in Madagascar: From Theory to Practice” project will use as a foundation for its continued work in the coming year.
Following this week’s train-the-trainers session, CCL will be playing more of a background role, but we remain committed to the mission and outcomes of this important peace-building work in Africa — and around the world.