[ Index | Prologue | Principles | Proposal 1 | Proposal 2 | Proposal 3 ]

Reforming Official Development Assistance (ODA) in Japan

Reform ODA Administration

A variety of assistance implementing organizations were established in 1960s and 70s. Since then, the number of concerned ministries and agencies increased, as well as the financial expenditure. The number of related sub-let organizations also increased as ministries called for third-party groups which could actually implement assistance programs and spend the Government subsidies. All these administrative structures ensured that division of budget and labor among them remain firm – the reason for ODA to be implemented without proper coordination.
Keidanren proposes that within the current framework of administrative reform ODA administration should also be thoroughly reformed. Concrete measures follow:

[1 – 1] One ministry must be designated to formulate assistance policies

Current ODA administration is very complex – composed of four ministries/agencies handling yen loan programs – 19 ministries/agencies in total if all technical assistance programs are included. All of them are involved in policy formulation and implementation without proper coordination. There are no such comparable complexity around the world. It is of utmost importance to designate one specific ministry that should formulate all assistance policies. Which ministry should take up this task should be left up to the on-going discussion on administrative of central Government.
The one ministry that will be designated should request budgetary resources from the treasury. The policy implementation agency stated in the following section [1-2] likewise should handle implementation of the budget.

[1 – 2] One agency must be designated to implement all assistance programs

  1. Structure

    1. All assignments and budgetary measures on ODA related sections within 19 Government agencies, as well as OECF (Overseas Economic Cooperation Fund) and JICA (Japan International Cooperation Agency) must be thoroughly reviewed and regrouped under one agency which could be called (e.g.) International Cooperation Agency. The new Agency will be newly established to implement all development assistance programs. All other government sponsored assistance related organizations should also be under scrutiny of the Government jurisdiction for their tasks, cutting down the cost, and review reason of their existence.
    2. The new Agency should have a structure on regional basis to promote and implement bilateral and regional assistance programs. This is absolutely necessary to improve the effect of assistance programs comprehensively. Meanwhile, current structure based on program classifications such as loan, grant, and technical assistance.

  2. Function

    1. "International Cooperation Agency" shall implement both bilateral programs and multilateral programs. Regional programs must be promoted in addition.
    2. Based on assistance policies formulated by a designated ministry, the Agency shall formulate programs and projects on bilateral and regional basis. The Agency shall also implement and evaluate all assistance programs and projects.

  3. Agency Personnel

    1. The Administrator of the Agency shall be selected from all available resources including the private sector. The Administrator must possess considerable expertise in management and customer services.
    2. The Agency must have its own recruitment and staff management capabilities. It must be able to recruit staff members from a variety of resources. Training on recruited staff members shall be intensely conducted while approaching outside assistance-related educational institutions such as FASID (Foundation for Advanced Studies on International Development).
    3. The Agency shall also initiate staff exchange programs with outside institutions in order to upgrade technical capabilities of its professional staff members.

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