Japan's Official Development Assistance White Paper 2006

Main Text > Part II ODA DISBURSEMENTS IN FISCAL YEAR 2005 > Chapter 2 Details about Japan's ODA > Section 5. Formulation and Implementation of ODA Policy > 1. System for Formulation and Implementation of ODA Policy > (4) Enhancing Policy Consultation

(4) Enhancing Policy Consultation

For many years, Japan's assistance has taken the "request-oriented principle" whereby assistance was implemented based on requests from recipient countries. However, in order to derive full benefits from development assistance, a common awareness and understanding must be acquired regarding the content of assistance provided to the developing country through close policy consultations with the recipient country. For this reason, the ODA Charter states that, while Japan still places emphasis on requests from recipient countries from the perspective of supporting the self-help efforts of developing countries, it engages in policy consultations regarding formulating and implementing ODA policies before requests are received. The aim of these consultations is to allow the recipient countries' development policies and assistance needs to be clearly ascertained and to achieve coordination between the development policies of developing countries and Japan's assistance policies oriented toward the achievement of the MDGs.

    One of the measures aimed at strengthening policy consultation in FY2003 was the launch of country-based ODA task forces (hereafter, ODA-TFs) consisting primarily of officers of Japanese embassies and the local offices of implementing agencies such as JICA and JBIC. The ODA-TFs conduct vigorous policy consultations with the recipient governments. Japan seeks to make its assistance policies compatible with the development policies of developing countries and thereby achieve efficient and effective assistance. This role of ODA-TFs is affirmed in the New Medium-Term Policy on ODA, which states, "ODA-TFs along with participants from Tokyo as necessary will undertake policy consultations with recipient countries in order to share perspectives regarding medium-term priorities and policy/institutional issues as well as to iron out differences so that the positions on the medium-term measures specified in Country Assistance Programs and assistance policies for priority issues and specific sectors are reflected in the actual formulation, requests, and implementation of projects."

    In FY2005 comprehensive policy consultations were held through many of the ODA-TFs in countries like Viet Nam, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Ethiopia, Ghana, Syria, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, and Brazil.