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 > 2. Increasing Public Participation > (2) Human Resources Development and Development Research

(2) Human Resources Development and Development Research

A. Human Resource Development

Due to the increasing diversity and complexity of development issues, recruiting and developing personnel who possess sophisticated knowledge, abundant experience, and foreign language communication skills is essential today for effective and efficient implementation of international assistance activities.

    This growing need for highly educated and experienced human resources has prompted a response from the FASID (Foundation for Advanced Studies on International Development), which was established in 1990 to serve as an organization for promoting the concept of an International Development University. FASID has conducted training programs aimed at personnel involved in assistance, programs for overseas dispatches of researchers, and research projects, among others. In April 2002, in cooperation with the National Graduate Institute for Policy Studies (GRIPS), FASID established a joint international development program in the master's course of this university, and established a doctoral course in April 2002. FASID has also dispatched lecturers to university departments or for lectures concerning development cooperation offered in a number of universities.

    JICA is also extensively involved in human resource development through the administration of various programs. It has conducted training and seminars for learning the latest assistance trends, technical transfer methods, and foreign languages, as well as programs for acquiring actual assistance experience both within Japan and abroad. It has expanded training for assistance personnel, ranging from the development of young junior specialists who possess a certain degree of expertise yet lack experience, to international cooperation specialists who already possess a certain degree of specialization and experience. These efforts are expected to promote human resource development for Japanese ODA projects, as well as to meet the immediate staffing needs of NGOs, international agencies, and other organizations.

    In addition, the JICA International Cooperation Personnel Registration System has been established to provide an effective means of recruiting and utilizing motivated personnel with specialized skills. This system provides information on job openings, staff registration, and information on various types of training and seminars not only related to JICA, but also to NGOs and international agencies.

B. Research and Development

In order to provide effective and efficient assistance, it is essential to clearly ascertain the needs of developing countries and assistance trends in the international community. For this reason, efforts are being directed toward research studies and applications of the knowledge acquired through such studies.

    At JICA's Institute for International Cooperation, research associations are organized that consist primarily of people affiliated with JICA. These research associations pursue two principal areas of research concerning development and assistance: (1) project strategy research, which provides analysis and advice for the establishment of project strategies in new fields and conducts analysis of assistance trends and conceptualization of development theory; and (2) research on assistance methods, which systematizes project experience through case studies and considers assistance management methods. In FY2005 they carried out a total of 28 research studies. Included among these were research studies that proposed modalities for poverty reduction support which incorporates the perspective of "human security," analysis of assistance cases through a framework of "capacity development," and research studies examining relations between Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) projects and activities of JICA.

    As part of assistance to ensure that the development policies and projects of developing countries are formulated and implemented effectively and efficiently and that significant results are achieved, JBIC conducts surveys and offers policy advices on various issues of development policy, institutions, and projects by using the knowledge of researchers in Japan and abroad. For example, JBIC conducts the following surveys: Coherency of Development Policies: Case Studies Concerning East Asia, Pro-Poor Growth through Creation of Employment Opportunities: Comparison of Agricultural Products Processing Industry Development in Thailand and Kenya, and Activities of Major Development Assistance Agencies and Countries: Efforts in Peace-Building Support.

    In May 2006, the Annual Bank Conference on Development Economics (commonly known as ABCDE Tokyo 2006), a venue for presentations of advanced research and discussion, was held for the first time in East Asia. In subcommittees of this conference on Urban Infrastructure for Economic Growth that Benefits the Poor and on the Role of Agriculture in Poverty Reduction, the results of past JBIC research were presented. In addition, JBIC plays the role of the hub agency of GDN-Japan of the Global Development Network (GDN), a network comprising research institutions for policies of developing countries. GDN-Japan served as a subcommittee in the Seventh GDN Annual Conference held in Russia in January 2006 under the theme "Use of Social Capital in Poverty Reduction."