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Reforming Official Development Assistance (ODA) in Japan

Four basic principles towards fundamental reform of the ODA administration

  1. Clarification of responsibilities in policy establishment and implementation of ODA through administrative reform

    International cooperation must be established and implemented under the fundamental national policy towards diplomatic policy and foreign economic policy. Within such national policy, ODA must be classified as the most important and effective means of implementations. Responsibility of policy establishment and implementation of the policy means must be clarified, and each must be coordinated under one government body each.

  2. A greater role of the private sector under a new division of labor between the government and the private sector (the business, NGOs, and academia)

    For quite some time, development assistance has been the act of the government. However, needs of developing countries are expanding and there is a limit on what the government can achieve within its own jurisdiction. Meanwhile, accumulation of know-how and expertise on the side of private sector has become large enough. If administrative reform or the direction of deregulation and privatization pushes the government agencies aside from development assistance, the private sector is ready to share of replace some of the government functions. The government, therefore, must think about the new ways of division of labor on the development assistance.

  3. Implementation of assistance with involvement of a larger Japanese public

    The Japanese public must clearly recognize that assistance for developing countries will have direct bearing on to the lives of themselves. Japanese people are asked to take time to consider how assistance programs could be better administered. The government is asked to implement assistance involving a greater source of interested Japanese public as the Japanese people are increasingly taking time to volunteer or participate in NGO activities.

  4. Abolishing quantitative target on assistance expenditure and promoting effective assistance programs

    Importance of ODA does not change even if structural reform on fiscal system is unavoidable. It should be noted, however, once quantitative target on assistance expenditure is being set, the Government priority tends to be placed upon how to spend the sum, rather than on seeking ways and means of formulating better policies and implementing effective assistance programs. It is therefore strongly advisable that the Government should abolish its ideas of setting up the next quantitative target on assistance expenditure. Rather, the Government should formulate and disclose concrete measures to raise efficiencies and quality of assistance programs which will, in turn, be appreciated by recipient countries.

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