Development Assistance in a Global Context

Japan and other developed countries, along with international development cooperation agencies, have increased their efforts to address poverty reduction under the framework of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) until 2015. While some goals are left unachieved, such as reduction of the under-five mortality rate and maternal mortality ratio, many developing countries have made remarkable progress in poverty reduction, as can be seen in the reduced poverty rate, and the higher Human Development Index.

To follow up on these efforts, "the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development", which sets forth "the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)" as guidelines to realize sustainable society, was adopted at the United Nations Summit in September 2015. While SDGs play due efforts towards unfinished business of MDGs, it also calls for actions to tackle new issues that were not subject to the MDGs, such as economy and jobs, expansion of disparities, climate change and natural disasters.

Meanwhile, SDG Goal 17 and Addis Ababa Action Agenda (AAAA), both of which set down the the means to achieve "the 2030 Agenda", also calls for for actions by all countries, not only developing countries, but also developed countries, and emphasizes the importance of cooperation by all parties involved, against the backdrop of the increasing roles of private corporations and civil society.

It is estimated that the developing world will need trillions of dollars annually to achieve the SDGs, which also cover new and emerging issues such as the climate change. As the percentage of ODA in the total financial flows to developing countries declines in relative terms, it is more and more important to mobilize and increase their own domestic resources as well as various external resources, including private investment for development purposes by maximizing ODA's role as catalyst. The OECD's Development Assistance Committee (OECD/DAC) is now discussing ways to modernize its methodologies to better capture various kinds of financing for development, for the first time in about forty years.

With regard to the quest for aid effectiveness that was started in the early 2000s, the Global Partnership for Effective Development Co-operation (GPEDC) was established at the Fourth High Level Forum on Aid Effectiveness in Busan, Republic of Korea, in 2011. The discussions are ongoing with a focus on enhancement of the effects of even broader development cooperation with the involvement of civil society, the private sector, and South-South cooperation.

It is essential to constantly follow trends or changes in global development landscape, and to strengthen its ability to deliver its voice and contribute to international discussions. Furthermore, stronger efforts should be made to promote field level collaboration with other development partners.