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Strengthening security sector governance and the rule of law in Madagascar

For more than 40 years, Madagascar has been embroiled in one political crisis after another, which has greatly undermined the nation's social fabric and institutions. As the country emerged from the 2009 crisis, it faced a number of governance challenges, including institutional deficiencies in the justice and security sectors; a highly politicised environment and interference of defence and security forces (DSF) in political life; increased distrust from the general public towards law enforcement agencies; and absence of effective oversight of the justice and security sectors by parliament, civil society and the media.

In 2014, with the support of the international community, Madagascar drew up plans to implement security sector reform (SSR). In 2016, the President's Office approved a “General SSR Policy Paper”, which identified eight sectors involved in the reform process (army, national police force, national gendarmerie, justice, territorial administration, intelligence services, parliament and non-state actors).

In 2015, Madagascar became a member state of DCAF’s Foundation Council and has since received our support in the implementation of the SSR process.

Objectives & DCAF approach
Since 2016, DCAF has supported the SSR process by engaging in initiatives whose long-term aim is to increase the general public's trust in DSF.

With that in mind, DCAF is actively involved in projects which set out, on the one hand, to improve the internal and external accountability of security forces and, on the other hand, to implement community policing initiatives.

So far our intervention in Madagascar has enabled the launch of:

  • a project to improve accountability of the National Police force by providing targeted support to the National Police Inspectorate-General (IGPN) - financed by the Ministry for Europe and Foreign Affairs of the French Republic (2017-2018). See policy paper (EN, FR) under Key Resources, top right-hand side
  • a project to incorporate the concept of "community policing" into police and gendarmerie academies - financed by the UN Development Programme (2018)
  • a project to promote a culture of ethical behaviour within the National Police and Gendarmerie forces, and to implement community policing initiatives - ongoing since late 2019

We are grateful for the support of:

  • The International Organisation of Francophonie (OIF)
  • The Ministry for Europe and Foreign Affairs of the French Republic (MEAE)
  • The United Nations Development Fund