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 > (6) Cooperation with Aid-Related Entities Within and Outside of Japan

(6) Cooperation with Aid-Related Entities Within and Outside of Japan

Collaboration with NGOs

NGOs conduct activities at the community level with local residents of developing countries and regions and they are capable of providing fine-turned assistance that meets the diverse needs of developing countries and regions, as well as promptly and flexibly implementing emergency humanitarian assistance activities in the case of large-scale national disasters. These activities are also important in that they give Japan a visible presence. In recent years, NGOs have been carrying out various activities not only in the fields of development assistance and emergency humanitarian relief, but also in the fields of environment, human rights, trade, disarmament and non-proliferation. Their role in the international community is thus expected to become increasingly significant.

A. Basic Policy of the Government

The Government, recognizing the increasing presence and role of NGOs, stipulated strengthened coordination with NGOs in the 2003 revision to the ODA Charter. In addition, in the new Medium-Term Policy on ODA formulated in 2005, coordination and collaboration with NGOs is cited on a number of occasions. Furthermore, the official report of the Study Group on Overseas Economic Cooperation in 2006 submits the necessity of promoting civil participation in ODA.

    In order to bolster the activities of Japanese NGOs, the Government provides financial support for NGO activities overseas, and promotes dialogue and cooperation with NGOs and a variety of cooperative efforts designed to strengthen the basis of Japanese NGOs.

B. Assistance for the Activities of NGOs

The Government provides financial support to the activities of the Japanese NGOs. The budget for the support has been growing every year since the inception. Grant Assistance for Japanese NGO Projects is a system through which project funding is provided to Japanese NGOs that carry out economic or social development activities in developing countries or regions. The budget for the system was ¥2 billion at the time of its establishment in FY2002, which increased to ¥2.85 billion in FY2005. The JICA Partnership Program is implemented between Japanese NGOs and the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), which collaborate on technical transfer projects that have a direct effect on improving the lives of local residents in developing countries. At the time of the program's establishment, its initial budget for FY2002 was ¥1.09 billion, and in FY2005 this increased to ¥1.94 billion.

    The Government assists the Japanese NGOs in their efforts to build their own capabilities. In recent years, Japanese NGOs have enjoyed high appreciation for their remarkable activities in international cooperation on the ground. However, for many Japanese NGOs, efforts are required to enhance their degree of exercise and organizational and managerial capacity in order to function better in providing international cooperation. With this in mind, MOFA, JICA, and the Foundation for Advanced Studies on International Development (FASID) are implementing a variety of programs through government funding.

    In FY2005, MOFA, as a part of its multidisciplinary approaches, convened NGO Study Groups58 on three themes: disaster rehabilitation, assistance for disabled persons, and assistance in the field of health. In addition, 16 persons were designated as NGO Advisors59 (commissioned by the Government as advisors to the public and NGOs), who deal with all types of inquiries, and 11 persons were dispatched to 11 NGO organizations as NGO Researchers60 (dispatched to NGOs in order to enhance expertise at those NGOs). In addition, jointly with overseas NGOs, MOFA convened a Crisis Management Seminar as Applied to NGO Activities and commissioned research on effective methods of fundraising by international cooperation NGOs in the Japanese market.

C. Dialogue and Cooperation between NGOs and Government

The Government is promoting dialogue and cooperation with NGOs. MOFA has been organizing the NGO-MOFA Regular Meetings since 1997, which have proactively discussed ODA policy and the Grant Assistance for Japanese NGO Projects. ODA implementing agencies, JICA and the Japan Bank for International Cooperation (JBIC), hold regular meetings and receive views from NGOs on ODA projects. In developing countries, where many Japanese NGOs are active, since 2002, a system known as "ODA Embassies" has been in operation, whereby embassy officials, JICA, and NGO personnel engage in consultations on how to make ODA more effective and efficient. The "ODA Embassy" system has been utilized in a total of 13 countries to date, including Cambodia and Bangladesh.

    Chart II-35 NGO-MOFA Regular Meetings Held in FY2005

Chart II-35 NGO-MOFA Regular Meetings Held in FY2005

    In addition to these consultations NGOs and the Government both in Japan and overseas, the Japan Platform (JPF) was founded in 2000 through close coordination among NGOs, government and business circles. Twenty-three participating NGOs in the JPF swiftly launch and implement emergency humanitarian assistance activities utilizing ODA and private funding that had been provided in advance. The JPF rapidly deployed the emergency humanitarian assistance activities at the occurrence of the tsunami off the coast of Sumatra, a large-scale earthquake in Pakistan and in Iraq, in Sudan and in Liberia in FY2005. The ODA fund spent in these operations amounted to approximately ¥1.7 billion.

    Chart II-36 Structure of Japan Platform

Chart II-36 Structure of Japan Platform

D. Future Perspective of Cooperation with NGOs

The Government is taking measures to extend and diversify cooperation with NGOs through more frequent and closer dialogue with them, taking into account shortcomings and requests of NGOs in order for NGOs to conduct social and economic development activities as well as emergency humanitarian assistance activities more proactively on the ground in developing countries.

Collaboration with Academia, etc.

In FY2005, several initiatives were launched associated with yen loan projects including: (1) the conclusion of an agreement for cooperation concerning overseas economic assistance operations with Tsukuba University, Yokohama National University, Kyushu University, and Kobe University (agreements with seven universities had been concluded by FY2004); (2) the provision of Japan's experience and knowledge to India at the project development stage in collaboration with Japanese local authorities (Hikone City, Shiga Prefecture, 23 Tokyo Wards (Clean Association of TOKYO 23) and universities (Shiga Prefectural University, Akita University) (see Column I-1); (3) the promotion of mutual understanding and information exchange through consultation with local authorities and globalization associations in Japan; and (4) the organization of yen loan partnership seminars, which include the visits to yen loan project sites, for the purpose of collaboration with highly experienced and knowledgeable Japanese organizations (India was visited in FY2005).

    To realize the benefits of improving project quality, developing assistance staff, and stimulating regionally-initiated projects, JICA collaborates with academia in various technical assistance projects, such as dispatching specialists, accepting trainees, and implementing GAGP and collaborative lectures. In recent years, moreover, technical assistance projects have increasingly been implemented comprehensively by means of agreements with universities. This is because the intellectual assets possessed by individual universities are expected to be utilized in stimulating and improving the quality of projects and in developing assistance staff.

    Meanwhile, for universities, collaboration with JICA has the advantage of facilitating access to project sites in developing countries and providing opportunities to gain practical experience. Therefore, in recent years, JICA has introduced a framework for comprehensive collaboration with universities (collaboration and cooperation agreements, memoranda) in order to build cooperative relationships within an organizational structure, and has concluded six agreements and memoranda with 10 universities, including Obihiro University of Agriculture and Veterinary Medicine, Hokkaido University, and Hiroshima University. JICA intends to devote further effort to collaboration with universities so as to use their knowledge in international assistance projects.

Collaboration with International Organizations and Other Countries

Japan is collaborating with international organizations and development assistance agencies of other countries. In particular, Japan has worked as vice-chair of the DAC Network on Poverty Reduction (POVNET). The infrastructure task team of the network, where Japan has been the leader, has drawn up the guiding principles for the infrastructure support by bilateral donors, together with organizations like Germany's Kreditanstalt für Wiederaufbau (KfW), France's development agency Agence Française de Développement (AFD), the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), and the United Kingdom's Department for International Development (DFID).

    Meanwhile, JBIC is involved in various activities, to enhance the effectiveness of development assistance including: (1) joint sponsorship with AFD and KfW of a seminar entitled Infrastructure for Poverty Reduction (held in September 2005 in New York) and a seminar concerning innovative development finance (held in September 2005 in Washington D.C.) to discuss the importance of infrastructure support in its role of achieving the MDGs; (2) collaboration with the World Bank, ADB, and other donors concerning the harmonization of assistance procedures in countries like Viet Nam, Indonesia, and the Philippines; and (3) the conclusion of an operations cooperation agreement with UNDP for the purpose of strengthening cooperative relationships focused on achieving the MDGs.

    In order to carry out projects effectively, JICA is also promoting collaboration with international organizations and bilateral donors. Each donor has their own strengths, and by combining these strengths a far larger impact is realized than when donors act separately. For example, in consultations between the President of JICA and World Bank President Paul Wolfowitz in 2005, the parties agreed to promote collaboration in community development and infrastructure development support in Africa, and are currently involved in coordination aimed at implementing specific projects. JICA is also collaborating with UNHCR for joint implementation of safety management training relating to peacebuilding support and in assistance relating to peacebuilding in southern Sudan and elsewhere. In addition to these efforts, JICA is implementing specific cooperative projects based on needs for collaboration at the project site level with USAID and the German Technical Assistance Corporation GTZ (Deutsche Gesellschaft für Technische Zusammenarbeit).

Collaboration with Private Sectors

It is important to utilize advanced technologies and expertise of Japanese companies, when Japan's ODA is provided. One example of this kind of collaboration with private sectors is Special Terms for Economic Partnership (STEP) on yen loan program. STEP is the system, introduced in 2002, which utilizes Japanese advanced technologies and know-how to promote technical transfer to developing countries. Under the terms of STEP, contractors are limited to Japanese companies so as to enhance the visibility of Japanese aid through implementing ODA projects and utilize advanced technologies by Japanese companies (see Chapter 2, Section 2 for details).

    Until its revision in October 2006, when STEP had been applied to yen loan projects, it had been stipulated that more than 30% of total yen loan volume (excluding consulting services) be used to procure goods from Japan. In October 2006, the terms and conditions were revised. Not only goods but also services concerning construction are included in this ratio in the case of projects which are expected to utilize advanced technologies of Japanese companies such as methods of construction.61 This revision is expected to promote the utilization of STEP from this year.