Japan's Official Development Assistance White Paper 2009

Box 5 Commitments for Improving Aid Effectiveness

It has been increasingly recognized that alongside the augmentation of the quantity of aid, the improvement of the quality of aid is necessary to achieve internationally shared goals on development, such as the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). In 2005, the Paris Declaration was adopted, which stipulated a set of actions for more effective conduction of aid. In September 2008, the Third High Level Forum on Aid Effectiveness (Accra HLF) was held in Accra, Republic of Ghana, in order to assess the progress made on the Paris Declaration and to discuss challenges for the achievement of the goals. After active discussions among the participants from developing countries, donor countries, international organizations and civil society, the Accra Agenda for Action (AAA) was adopted to accelerate efforts for aid effectiveness.

The AAA lists a number of actions for enhanced ownership (self-help efforts) of developing countries, and harmonization among donor countries, and mutual accountability. The major points of the AAA are: (1) to improve "predictability" by providing developing countries with information on donors' three-to-five year forward implementation plans; (2) to use developing countries' "country systems" instead of the aid delivery systems of donor countries; (3) to promote "division of labor" among donors, on the basis of developing countries' initiatives; (4) to use "conditionality" based on national development strategies of developing countries and mutual agreements between developing countries and donor countries; (5) to 'further untie aid' promoting the use of local and regional procurement and the transparency of procurement procedures; and (6) to promote "South-South co-operation" among developing countries, and "triangular co-operation," where donor countries assist South-South co-operation.

Japan participated in the formulation of the AAA as a steering committee member of the Accra HLF, and advocated the importance of development results such as the reduction of poverty, development assistance designed to support ownership and to respond to needs of developing countries, and a new aid architecture that includes emerging donor countries. For instance, Japan hosted a preparatory conference in Asia for discussions on the AAA, and collected the opinions of developing countries. In addition, Japan launched a working group in the Development Assistance Committee (DAC) to promote dialogue with emerging countries, and served as a co-chair with Russia. Aside from this, Japan has been working for a new aid architecture where emerging donor countries are able to reflect their opinions. For example, in cooperation with the Republic of Korea, Japan co-hosted a conference with emerging countries in which the participants discussed the further coordination of their aid policies. The outcomes of these efforts formed the basis of the discussions in the Accra HLF and for the AAA.

Even after the Accra HLF, Japan continues to actively support developing countries' efforts in capacity development and development effectiveness. For instance, since March 2009 in the Asia-Pacific region, Japan has been providing assistance for capacity development among government officials, legislature and civil society in developing countries, collaborating with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), the Asian Development Bank (ADB), the World Bank and others. Through such assistance, Japan attempts to help developing countries improve development effectiveness. In 2011 the Fourth High Level Forum on Aid Effectiveness is scheduled to be held in the Republic of South Korea, which joins the DAC in 2010. Japan is taking part in preparatory works while advancing efforts to improve development effectiveness, in cooperation with developing countries and other donor countries.