Official Development Assistance (ODA)

July 9, 2002

Economic Cooperation Bureau
Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs has decided to sequentially implement the following 15 specific measures for ODA reform in five areas: (1) auditing, (2) evaluation, (3) partnership with Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs), (4) exploring, fostering and utilizing human resources and (5) information disclosure and public relations, under the principle of "implementing whatever possible."

These measures consist of 3 pillars: "public participation," "transparency" as well as "efficiency," based on the final report of the Second Consultative Committee on ODA Reform and the interim report of the Committee on the Reform of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Furthermore, the Ministry is prepared to take, where appropriate and possible, additional action.

Regarding the Board on Comprehensive ODA Strategy, mentioned in the aforementioned final report, the Ministry held its first session on June 27, with Foreign Minister Yoriko Kawaguchi as the chair.

1. Auditing

(1) External auditing will be expanded to all schemes of economic cooperation (ODA loans, grant aid and technical cooperation).

(2) Auditing will be conducted without prior notice in each scheme.

(3) Mechanisms for follow-up of auditing results and improvement based on the results will be worked out, through external participation, such as auditing companies.

Details of these steps, including their respective scope, will be further studied.

2. Evaluation

(4) In FY 2002 and thereafter ex-post evaluation include, without exception, one from the viewpoint of a third party.

(5) Evaluation Committees, composed of external intellectuals, have already been established in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and implementing agencies (The Ministry in December 2001, JICA in June 2002, and JBIC in June 2002), through which verification of and recommendations based upon the feedback of individual evaluation will be further enhanced.

(6) From the viewpoint of reinforcing tie-ups with the recipient governments and their agencies for improving evaluation, the Ministry will expand evaluation by related agencies of recipient countries in FY 2002. In addition, the Ministry will hold the 2nd Tokyo Workshop on ODA Evaluation, in order to have the governments of recipient countries deepen their knowledge and understanding of ODA evaluation.

(7) As part of efforts to disclose the results of evaluation, and also to reinforce tie-ups among the Ministry, implementing agencies and evaluation-related academic circles, the Ministry will co-host a seminar on ODA evaluation this autumn, targeted at NGOs and the public.

Details of these steps, including their respective scope, will be further studied.

3. Partnership with NGOs

(8) To strengthen the functions of the Regular Consultation between NGOs and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Ministry will establish two sub-committees, on ODA policy consultation and on promotion of collaboration between NGOs and the Ministry, in addition to the current plenary committee. The first meetings of the two sub-committees will be held promptly.

(9) In those developing countries where many Japanese NGOs are engaged in assistance activities, regular consultation meetings ("ODA-Embassy") among Japanese embassies, field offices of JICA and JBIC and NGOs will be immediately started.

(10) To support capacity building and activities of NGOs, the Ministry introduced a new scheme: "Grant Aid for Japanese NGOs' projects" in June this year. The Ministry will also introduce Grassroots Technical Cooperation as soon as possible.

4. Exploring, Fostering and Utilizing Human Resources

(11) The Ministry will shortly begin to study new frameworks ("Human Resources Development Center for International Cooperation (provisional name)") for efficiently promoting an information network on human resources related to international cooperation and matching of human resources.

(12) As part of efforts to strengthen collaboration between development education and compulsory education, programs for development education will be regularly implemented in all domestic organizations of JICA, so that elementary and junior/senior high school students understand the importance of international cooperation.

5. Information Disclosure and Publicity

(13) The Ministry will regularly hold ODA Town Meetings (in Kanazawa in late August, in Tokyo in October, and monthly thereafter in principle). At these meetings, discussions at the Board on Comprehensive ODA Strategy will be explained, and opinions of the public will be widely heard.

(14) ODA Mail Magazine will be started on July 11.

(15) "ODA One-Stop Shop" (List of ODA project sites), showing an outline of ODA project sites vividly with photographs, will be started up on the ODA home page this autumn.


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