What was the defining moment that led you to this innovation?
When I worked as the Coordinator of the Rural Program within an NGO, I participated in the support of 100 farmers in obtaining land titles in the context of land tenure security that was funded by the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Throughout the implementation phase, we came across multiple blocking factors, such as corruption at the level of land administration, expensive costs affiliated to applying for land titling (costs that are unaffordable for most of these farmers since beneficiaries were required to contribute as well). Thus, I participated in the implementation of a civil society platform pertaining to the land sector as means to advocate for the security of land tenure of these 100 farmers. This advocacy was translated by the organization of an open door that exposed all the problems pertaining to land tenure security in Madagascar and by presenting case studies. This open door was very successful and reached a greater media coverage, which led the Minister of Agriculture (the relevant authority at that time) to engage into a Land Reform in Madagascar. The first step was to close for an entire month all the land administration offices to make a huge clean up of the current land files and take stock of the then current situation for a better start-up of the Land Reform. In order to take a thorough monitoring on this Land Reform, I was the first Malagasy consultant that participated in the design of it with idea based on the demands from farmers in the NGO I worked for and other demands from other members from the civil society. This idea was essentially based on the Decentralization of Land Management (DLM). Although it is good to design a policy, it needs substantial financial means to implement it. This is why, I was appointed as the Director of the Land Project within the Millennium Challenge Account or MCA-Madagascar, as the main donor (up to 80% of all funding) for this Land Reform in Madagascar. With the funding made possible by MCA, the land reform has reached a greater scope and thus has done a much greater impact.
Tell us about the social innovator—the person—behind this idea.
The land reform is a result of series of intertwined events. Thus, the process of land reform involves actually several stakeholders behind this idea. These social innovators include the following persons or entities:
• The Civil Society represented by the « Solidarité des Intervenants sur le Foncier » (SIF) as the unique platform relevant to the land sector is behind the land reform in Madagascar: SIF is the sole civil society entity that engages in advocacy with the government in defending property rights in terms of securing land tenure or access to land. As mentioned earlier, it is via this platform that an open door was organized to present all the land problems that farmers are facing. During this open door, victims (farmers), NGOs, associations were able to expose to the media (newspapers, TV, radio.) their land insecurity, which led to a national uproar and triggered the relevant Ministry to take subsequent actions.
• Thus, a strong political will was necessary to lead to this land reform. So we can also attribute this initiative to the Minister of the Agriculture at that time.
• The Preparatory Technical Committee (Comité Technique de Préparation) had also greatly contributed in designing the land reform. The Committee gathered elected representatives, civil society, relevant ministries, people from land administrations and the private sector.
• Considering that the first concerned entities are land administration, the process of land reform could not have been possible unless the Director of land administration was willing to cooperate.
• Once the land reform had begun, financial means for its implementation was necessary. Therefore, Madagascar received support from donors (a total of 12 donors), among which, MCA-Madagascar, which funded for 80% of all total funding.
• Once the land reform had begun, financial means to implement it was necessary. Therefore, Madagascar received support from donors (a total of 12 donors), among which, MCA-Madagascar, which funded for 80% of all total funding.
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