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ICT Village project in Madagascar

Dominican Republic

Memorias COPDES 2005 (Spanish)


Implementation of UN Public-Private Alliance
 for Rural Development

Progress in Partnerships


The High-Level Segment of the Economic and Social Council in 2003 took up the theme “Promoting an integrated approach to rural development in developing countries for poverty eradication and sustainable development.”  Building upon a key recommendation in the related report of the Secretary-General (E/2003/51), the Council in its Ministerial Declaration (A58/3/Rev1) highlighted the importance of alliances among all stakeholders to achieve the aims of rural development.  As was stated:

“We underline the importance of partnerships at the national and international levels in order to foster collaboration in different sectors. At the national and local levels, we will encourage local authorities, civil society, the private sector and local communities to launch partnerships that support and promote rural development. At the international level, we will facilitate and nurture alliances of governments, donors, non-governmental organizations, civil society organizations and the private sector for promoting integrated rural development.”

The United Nations Public-Private Alliance for Rural Development responds to this mandate, and the recognition that reducing rural poverty is a key to achieving the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) in many developing countries, because of their heavy dependence on agriculture and the fact that most of their populations are rural.  

The UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs (DESA), in cooperation with other UN entities, most notably IFAD, FAO, WFP and UNDP, and members of civil society, created the UNPPA, with Madagascar as the first pilot country, owing to the interest of the Government and the leadership of its Permanent Representative to the UN in New York. 

At its substantive session of 2004, the Council adopted a resolution which specifically endorsed the UN Alliance (2004/49), and welcomed the initiative of Madagascar, placing this statement of support into both its c own Ministerial Declaration and of the General Assembly resolution “Towards global partnerships” (resolution 58/129 of 19 December 2003).

At its substantive session of 2005, the Council approved a second pilot county of the UNPPA- the Dominican Republic. Initial steps for implementation of the resolution are being currently formulated. The Presidential Commission on Millennium Development Goals and Sustainable Development, the Ministries of Agriculture and Foreign Affairs, and the Permanent Mission of the Dominican Republic to the United Nations in New York are working together as key partners.

The first report (E/2007/61) of the Secretary General on the work of the United Nations Public-Private Alliance for Rural Development (UNPPA) will be presented on 23 July 2007 in the substantive session of the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) in Geneva (General Segment Item (13 (a) Sustainable Development). The report points out that the work of the Alliances in the ECOSOC pilot countries, Madagascar and Dominican Republic has reached a critical juncture in the enhancement of partnership initiatives. Assistance for capacity-development is required to strengthen the effectives of the Alliance. The report recommended the following actions to improve the effectiveness of the Alliances:

  • The capacities of national mechanisms in Madagascar and the Dominican Republic should be enhanced through the provision of skills and knowledge aimed at promoting and sustaining effective vehicles for partnership development. An evaluation should be conducted of the existing capacities and gaps of the relevant national mechanisms to ensure that they perform as effective platforms in the promotion and fast-tracking of public-private partnerships;
  • At the national lever, Alliance Madagascar and the Presidential Commission should forge closer ties with development partners to ensure more coherent, demand-driven support. Partners involved in Alliance projects should be encouraged to share their success stories and best practices, including those in the framework of the annual ministerial review of the Economic and Social Council;
  • Global advocacy should be further strengthened to disseminate information to promote partnerships in Madagascar and the Dominican Republic. The partnership offices in United Nations system organizations, such as in UNDP, UNICEF, the United Nations Population Fund and UNESCO, should also assist in advocacy and facilitate partnerships in their respective thematic areas linked to rural development.


The UN Alliance is part of a growing family of efforts within and outside the United Nations system that focuses on the positive role business can play in promoting development.  It promotes pro-poor business, stimulates entrepreneurial capacity-building and encourages investments, commerce and related activities for sustainable rural development.  Important related efforts within the UN System include initiatives such as the Global Compact (UN), Growing Sustainable Business (UNDP), and the International Alliance Against Hunger (FAO).

The mission of the UN Alliance is to identify, highlight and promote replication of successful business policies and practices that are both profitable and promote social and economic advancement of poor people in rural areas.  Results of this win-win approach are brought to the attention of the international community through the UN Economic and Social Council

By engaging government entities, the business sector, civil society, UN Member State delegations, and agencies of the UN System, the UN   Alliance develops multi-stakeholder partnerships, and helps to address the Millennium Development Goals.  The purpose of the UN Alliance is to bring together different actors and interests, so as to accomplish more together than what can be done separately. 

The objectives of the UN Alliance are fourfold:

  • To work principally as a catalyst and facilitator for the creation of partnerships;
  • To identify and promote business and commercial relations in various identified opportunities activities;
  • To provide a platform for collaboration between the public sector and other rural development actors; and
  • To bring the results of these efforts to the attention of the international community, especially through the UN Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC).
Internationally and locally the UN Alliance encourages networking and matchmaking. Priorities include agribusiness, microfinance, value-added exports, rural investments, computer technology, and protection of biodiversity through sustainable enterprise.  Innovative and collaborative efforts range from large to small – from encouragement of market-oriented rural development plans and investments to helping channel a company-matched personal donation to a community business. 

Madagascar, First Pilot Country

In Madagascar, Alliance-Madagascar, a public-interest organization, has been created by government decree and statute. The Prime Minister chairs meetings of the high-level participants from the four stakeholder groups -- government, business, NGO and financial/technical communities -- who comprise the General Assembly and Board of Directors of “Alliance-Madagascar”.  Two members of the UN country team participate in this, namely the Resident Coordinator / UNDP Resident Representative and the FAO Representative.  A management team of stakeholders, with supporting staff, assure regular collaboration in the implementation of an annual work plan.  The work of Alliance-Madagascar fits within priorities already enunciated in the vision of the country’s President to stimulate economic activity and overcome poverty. 

Priority areas identified by the government of Madagascar for its development include:

  • Infrastructure building, such as roads, bridges, etc.
  • Safe water and hygiene
  • Agro-business
  • Mining
  • Textile, garments and handcrafts
  • Tourism
  • Development of SMEs and financial sectors
  • Technology
  • Information and Communication Technology (ICT)
Some projects that are underway include:

  • Mauritius-Madagascar: Development of cross-border public-private investments for agribusiness
  • Alliance Madagascar collaborated with MAEP and FAO in developing five bankable projects for income-generation through small-scale agribusiness
  • Development of several product lines: onions, potatoes, ginger, handicrafts, and others.
  • Promotion of micro-finance
  • Establish national and regional networks among the members of AMDG (Alliance Madagascar) for a better management of rural development
  • Project for production of honey and fruit from bee-keeping and orchid-growing
  • Updated and expanded the UNPPA website for disseminating information to the stakeholder
Plans are constantly being made to establish an advisory panel from the four stakeholder groups to help to assess and shape the socio-economic and environmental impacts of the undertaking, in order to promote maximum benefits for all through a combined focus on profitability, poverty reduction and sustainable development.

The UN/DESA Office for ECOSOC Support and Coordination (OESC) has been mobilizing new support for “Alliance-Madagascar” from several UN system entities.  This includes plans for cooperation from the Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD) Office of UNDP in two key areas: (i) to help set up a web-based AFRASIA Exchange desk to help promote business between companies in Madagascar and Asian countries, and (ii) to facilitate participation by entrepreneurs from Madagascar in the Asia Africa Business Forum that is scheduled for 2006. A consultant was sent to Madagascar by UNDP in December 2005 to prepare report for establishing AFRASIA Exchange Desk.

A team from UNDP/Africa and UN Millennium Project visited Madagascar in June 2006 to prepare the Needs Assessment Report for the country. The objective of the report is to review the current PRS and a macroeconomic framework in the context of scaling up to achieve the MDGs

Dominican Republic - Second Pilot Country

UN Alliance activities in the Dominican Republic will be based on locally-identified priorities and international cooperation. It receives guidance from the Presidential Commission on the MDGs and Sustainable Development (COPDES), and is implemented in association with that commission’s Working Group on Hunger and other collaborative bodies in the Government, the UN system and the private sector. The COPDES will use this UN Alliance as a catalyst.

The COPDES and some of the Ministries and Task Forces in the Dominican Republic will work with the UN Alliance in strengthening cooperation with the United Nations system organizations to expand partnership with the private sector as well as link with priorities in the ongoing national assessment of needs for meeting MDG targets. The work mainly of the Ministry of Agriculture is closely related to UN Alliance themes. The aim of the COPDES Task Force on Hunger, the "Comer es Primero" programme, is to work for poverty reduction through the implementation of Task Force strategies and recommendations, including through public-private partnership for rural development.

Some of the potential areas initially identified are: infrastructure building (roads, bridges, etc.), safe water and hygiene, agro-business, mining, textile, garments and handicrafts, tourism, development of SMEs and financial sectors, information and communication technology (ICT), energy and sanitation. Also, opportunities arise from the sizeable population of Dominicans in the U.S., particularly in attracting more remittances, foreign direct investments and foreign trade. The key element or strategy is to promote pro-poor business through the intersection of interests and capabilities of government, private sector, NGOs, and the local and international financial and technical communities, including the UN system. In this regard, international and national cooperation among government, private sector, NGOs, UN agencies and other organizations are important.

The Bureau for Development Policy (UNDP), Regional Bureau for Latin America and the Caribbean (UNDP), and Special Unit for Technical Cooperation among Developing Countries (UNDP) co-organized a meeting titled "Regional Consultation on Migration, Remittances, and Development in Latin America and the Caribbean" from 27-29 July 2006, in the Dominican Republic. The main objectives were to discuss the impact of diasporas on the local development process and how this development process can be made more efficient and participatory. This consultation was held in keeping with the aims of UN Public-Private Alliance for Rural Development.         

The expected outcome of the consultations are as follows:

  • Creation of a knowledge-sharing network to share lessons on designing and implementing
  • Diaspora projects and replicating best practices and mechanisms to transfer them to other countries/regions including through South-South partnership. Identify factors that will stimulate/impede local development.
  • Identifying possible options to involve the Diaspora in local development processes.
  • Identification and creation of demand based financial products that will catalyze the local private sector.

The outcome of the consultations was forwarded to President of the General Assembly as a General Assembly document for the Secretary General's High Level Dialogue (HLD) on Migration and Development from 14-15 September 2006, in New York.

The Permanent Mission of the Dominican Republic to the UN in cooperation with the United States Hispanic Chamber of Commerce co-organized a meeting on 12 September 2006, in New York, to sensitize members of the business community about the importance of the UN Global Compact, social responsibility, public-private partnerships and the achievement of the MDGs. The meeting was attended by senior officials from the UN Global Compact, Permanent Mission of the Dominican Republic to the UN, UNDP and DESA/OESC.  A major focus was on promoting social engagement and public-private partnerships in the Dominican Republic.

Partnership with NGOs/Civil Society

Non-governmental organizations/civil society organizations are becoming important international development partners in many developing countries, including Madagascar. Some of the areas in which NGOs/civil society have cooperated include poverty eradication, health, ICT, human resource development, trade development and investment promotion.

Some programmes/activities initiatives were as follows: Observatory for Cultural and Audiovisual Communication (OCCAM), in cooperation with Italy, developed the V Infopoverty World Conference, which took place at the UN Headquarters from 12-13 May 2005. The Conference in its Declaration decided ‘to enhance support for global partnerships and in this context take special efforts to promote the UN Public-Private Alliance for Rural Development’. A significant outcome of the conference was the proposal by the organizers to establish an Infopoverty IT Village in Madagascar. In fact, it was re-enforced in the Infopoverty 2006 Initiatives which said that the ICT Model Village must be replicated in Madagascar and Dominican Republic. [For more information, click here]  An OCCAM team visited Madagascar in December 2005 and discussed with officials the proposal for the establishment of an ICT Village in Madagascar. Subsequently, Sambina Village was chosen as the ICT Model Village. In June 2006, the ICT Village was launched in Madagascar in the presence of the President of Madagascar, Mark Ravalomanana, and Prof. Jeffrey Sachs, director of UN Millennium Project.

The ECOSOC NGO Forum and OCCAM co-organized the VI Infopoverty World Conference in New York on 20-21 April 2006. [For more information, click here]. The usage of videoconferencing and teleconferencing by the NGO Forum allowed for participation, contributions and recommendations from parallel sessions held in 8 cities including Sambaina in Madagascar. Two of the prominent projects that were presented included OCCAM's initiative on "ICT Village" and the ODFD initiative on "One Dollar for Development." The outcome of the conference was the adoption of the Declaration: Fighting Poverty to Create Prosperity for All.

The Infopoverty Institute and the Public Service Institute of the University of Oklahoma held a fish farming workshop from 15-19 May 2006 in Rosaryville, Louisiana, USA. The ECOSOC pilot countries were invited to participate in the workshop. The training program included issues such as farm location, financial resources, site preparation, environmental conditions, governmental regulation, transportation and market demands. Participants received hands-on experience and learned many technical requirements of breeding and raising fish for market such as water quality, aeration, water movement and transfer, and environmental conditions necessary to raise healthy fish. The overall objective of the workshop was to contribute to achieving the MDGs of reducing world's poverty and hunger rate by the year of 2015.

A follow up of the training program was held at UN headquarters on 9 August 2006. The workshop focused on introducing fish farming as a sustainable development enterprise in low income countries such as Madagascar and the Dominican Republic. Ambassador Francis Lorenzo of the Dominican Republic and Ms. Lila Andrianantoandro, Counselor, representing the Ambassador of Madagascar to the UN, discussed the importance of fish farming in their economies and in particularly tackling rural poverty. They offered vivid examples of how fish farming can raise the standard of living and improve nutrition in many villages in their countries. Mr. Abraham Joseph, focal point of the UN Public-Private Alliance for Rural Development (Office for ECOSOC Support and Coordination, UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs), briefed the ECOSOC initiative on the UNPPA. He explained the importance of fish farming in rural development as an immense contribution towards Goal 1 of the Millennium Development Goals. Mr. Dominique Burgeon representing the New York Office of the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), made a well-documented presentation demonstrating the critical need for aquaculture to complement capture fishing to supplement diets in low-income communities in the coming years. Mr. Richard Thomson of Caribbean Fish Farms conducted the workshop.

The New York based Non-Profit Computing Inc. has donated more than 400 computers to Madagascar in 2005. It was in partnership with Rotary Club and Antananarivo province. The mission of the Non-Computing Inc. is  to provide computers to non-profit and public sector organizations worldwide to promote education, training in health, disabilities, employment and entrepreneurship. It has helped to improve the village administration and schools in the province of Antananarivo for sustainable development.

DESA/OESC held discussions with Franciscan International regarding their programmes in Madagascar. Discussions were also held with the International Movement ATD Fourth World, an international NGO, to strengthen its current work in-country through cooperation with “Alliance-Madagascar”.

New possibilities

New perspectives and initiatives are being formulated for the UNPPA in order to make participation in the Alliance advantageous for all involved parties. Additionally, more projects and cooperation from international partners are expected in the two pilot countries of Madagascar and Dominican Republic, in order to achieve sustainable rural development. Recently, more member states have also expressed interests in participating in UNPPA.

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