Strengthening the culture of Results in government, Madagascar (2005)
RRI's work with the President’s Office in Madagascar proceeded in several phases. These were not pre-planned. Rather, they unfolded organically as we responded to opportunities that emerged and to local political developments in the country. The common thread in these was strong support from a group of young advocates at the President’s Office who continually found ways to deploy Rapid Results work against the most pressing priorities. We helped formalize this group into a Steering Committee, and we worked closely with the group between 2005 and 2007.
Rice Productivity – The initial results were uneven across the four regions. In the Boeny region, average rice productivity increased from 2.5 tons/hectare to 4 tons/hectare over a period of 150-days, surpassing the goal of 3.5 tons/hectare set by the team. By contrast, in the region of Vakinankaratra, there was little progress towards the goal that the team had set. Nevertheless, the intense activity, mobilization, and enthusiasm that were generated by this effort prompted the government to expand the program.
Rural Development -The second phase of Rapid Results work involved expanding the effort to 12 Regions, and shifting the focus to economic growth in rural areas.
There were varied results across the Regions. The results achieved in the Betsiboka Region are indicative of the more successful Regions:
16,000 small-scale gold prospectors (panhandlers) were formalized (from a base of zero), with official “prospector cards” issued by each commune for a small fee from the prospectors. This was a key step towards curbing the practice of illicit gold mining that plagued the Region.
For the first time in Madagascar, 12 kilograms of gold production from one commune (Antanimbary) was officially declared.
A number of participating communes began to collect taxes from gold prospectors and middlemen, and depositing these in a communal development fund. This was pre-cursor for the third phase of RRIs that focused on local taxation.
Implementing this tax reform policy required each commune to create its own system for assessing tax obligations and for collecting these taxes. Importantly, the mayor and his/her team in each commune needed to create awareness about this effort, and to convince commune members that a portion of the taxes they were paying would in fact be used for advancing the development agenda of their commune or district.
The President’s Office in Madagascar and the World Bank. For more details, click here to read about this in the Stanford Social Innovation Review.
The Rapid Results Steering group did not survive the upheaval in 2009 that brought down the government of President Marc Ravalomanana. However, Rapid Results work continued in Madagascar, even without a central point of coordination. Some local Rapid Results coaches began working with private sector multinationals in Madagascar, introducing the approach for example to accelerate Rio Tinto’s community development efforts. Others joined local offices of international development agencies such as UNICEF. And others have been spreading Rapid Results work in other countries in sub-Saharan Africa, including Burundi and Cameroon.
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