Madagasikara Voakajy was created in May 2005 following four capacity building projects organized by the Universities of Kent and Aberdeen in the UK and the University of Antananarivo and Toliara in Madagascar funded by the British government (Darwin Initiative).
These capacity building projects were successful, with over 20 students obtaining their Diplôme d’Etudes Approfondies (DEA) in subjects related to the ecology and conservation of bats and chameleons. However, it became clear that there were few opportunities for trainees to continue their studies or obtain employment in their specialist fields. Furthermore, other training programmes concentrated on taxonomy, systematics and species inventories and there was a noticeable lack of emphasis on ecology (defined as the relationship between plants, animals and their environment).
Madagasikara Voakajy was established to consolidate the investment in capacity building through providing career opportunities for Malagasy biologists to become leaders in the conservation and ecological study of bats, chameleons and other small vertebrates.
Madagasikara Voakajy was established with the support of the Conservation Leadership Programme, Darwin Initiative, University of Aberdeen and Conservation International.