EISA Madagascar met with the Senate President, Rivo Rakotovao, on 11 April 2018 to assess achievements and discuss further support to Senate members in performing their duties (pictured right).
Following the success of the Parliament Open House held in June in Antananarivo, a second Open House took place in Tulear, the capital of Atsimo Andrefana region, on the 3rd and 4th of October jointly organised between EISA, the UNDP and the Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung Foundation. During the two days of the Open House, exhibitions on both houses of parliament were displayed at the city hall. At the same time conferences open to the public on the topic of the DINA, (a legal framework put in place by local authorities in the south of Madagascar to protect people against insecurity from the "dahalo" (bandits who steal livestock) and MPs accountability also took place at the city hall where all the MPs and senators from the region were present. This gave citizens a unique opportunity to exchange ideas, raise issue and share concerns with their elected representatives that affect the region. A follow-up social dialogue meeting held in Atsimo Andrefana in July also took place on October 3rd. Since the social dialogue series has been introduced by EISA, the focus is now on identifying issues of concern in communities and constituencies so that common solutions can be found
At the beginning of the parliamentary session in May 2017, EISA held two information sessions for both houses of parliament's Committé Local de Development (CLD) (ie Local Development Committee), a committee composed of mayors and heads of regions and districts, led by MPs that manage development projects for each of their respective constituencies. This information session has contributed to clarifying some misunderstanding around the management of the committee as well as the funds allocated to the committee. Following the session the senate decided to conduct a regional participative evaluation to get feedback on the effectiveness of the committee with a view to later submitting recommendations and improvements to the government.
From May 29th to 30th, a training workshop on parliament's role in evaluating public policies was held in Antananarivo for members of the senate and some of the technical staff of the upper house. The workshop aimed to improve MPs 'role in evaluating public policies as a part of their oversight function. A second workshop on the same topic was held at the National Assembly. The recently voted for government education policy was specifically discussed during the meeting along with the different evaluation tools that MPs will need to evaluate this policy.
Requested by the senate a capacity building training was held from April 5th to 7th in Antananarivo for their staff to strengthen their skills in developing and writing parliamentary documents and resources such as session reports and meeting minutes
EISA's first workshop in 2017 for parliamentary staff was jointly organised with the National Assembly and held on March 20th and 21st . The workshop was an orientation for all the newly recruited staff of the Assembly on the organisation and structures of parliament along with some a look at staff work ethics and moral obligations. The second capacity building training held from March 23rd to 25th March in Antsirabe was for new technical staff working with the parliamentary committees. The focus of the training was to initiate and familiarise new recruits on the legislative preparatory work that will assist them to effectively perform their job.
A parliament open house day was held on June 9th in Antananarivo, EISA took part in the exhibition by showcasing its parliamentary strengthening program since 2014.
The intention of the event was to bring parliament closer to citizens and to promote MPs accountability. The two day activity included an exhibition on the history, role and responsibilities of Malagasy Parliament, a conference focussing on MPs accountability facilitated by EISA, and parliamentary debates with youth and students from Toliary University. A total of 3360 visitors attended the Open House session.
The Interior and Decentralization Committee of the National Assembly benefited from a capacity building workshop organized by EISA in partnership with the Friedrich Ebert Stiftung (FES), on June 3 2016.
The workshop consisted in a knowledge update on the decentralization system in Madagascar, its stakes and challenges. The topics of gender and decentralization, as well as the roles and functions of the Committee were also addressed.
Decentralization is an important issue in Madagascar, as many barriers have made its implementation unsuccessful. Moreover, decentralization is an entry point to development and a vector of local democracy.
EISA Madagascar, in partnership with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the French Embassy, is holding an induction workshop for newly elected and appointed senators from May 25th to May 17th. During the three-day workshop, presentations on the roles and functions of senators decentralization, as well as on gender issues includig women's political participation, gender mainstreaming in the legislative process and the role of the senate in the creation of a gender sensitive parliament - will be provided by different experts. The workshop will also give attendees an opportunity to share knowledge and experiences.
This workshop addresses a need for capacity-building for the senate expressed by the President of the institution, and will help senators fulfil their mandate effectively. The opening ceremony will be chaired by the President of the Senate, Mr Honoré Rakotomanana.
A capacity-building workshop for senators' assistants will also be held from May 30th until June 1st 2016. The new Senate was in place in February 2016 and its inception represents an important step in the process of democratic reconstruction in Madagascar.