Knowledge Forum “How Can Japan Contribute to Quality Infrastructure Investment in Developing Countries? Learning from Cases of ODA in Urban Transportation”


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Infrastructure is essential as the foundation of people’s livelihoods and economic activities. For many years, Japan has contributed to infrastructure development in developing countries.

Infrastructure investment in developing countries faces not only challenges in financial resource mobilization but also in quality improvement. In recent years, Japan has been advocating the importance of quality infrastructure investment to the global community and the G20 Principles for Quality Infrastructure Investment were endorsed at the G20 Osaka Summit in 2019. These principles emphasize the importance of the following: maximizing the positive impacts of infrastructure; economic efficiency in light of life-cycle cost; environmental consideration and resilience; inclusiveness; and infrastructure governance (such as ensuring transparency and debt sustainability).

This symposium will cover one of the most well-known fields where Japan is actively contributing to quality infrastructure investment, which is the development of urban transportation infrastructure such as metro systems. By leveraging the knowledge and experience gained through development and operation of urban transportation within Japan over the years, Japan has provided a lot of assistance in this field, mainly in Southeast and South Asia. The outcomes of such cooperation, along with the collaboration with stakeholders in developing countries, will be presented. There will also be reports on activities around transit-oriented development, and on the attempts to rigorously assess the effects of urban transportation infrastructure through impact evaluation, which is an area where studies are globally limited. Furthermore, Japan’s contribution to the urban transportation field in developing countries and the challenges it faces will be discussed from various perspectives, while comparing activities in this field by Japan with those by various international development partners including emerging donors.

This is also a follow-up of an event by the JICA Ogata Research Institute in February 2023 that looked at the issue of public debt of developing countries. In order for developing countries to avert debt crises, it is crucial that borrowed funds are invested in appropriate projects which produce sufficient outcomes. Further discussion will take place during this forum.


4:00–4:05pm Opening remarks
Miyahara Chie, director general, JICA Ogata Research Institute

4:05–4:10pm Introduction
Harada Tetsuya, executive senior research fellow, JICA Ogata Research Institute

4:10–4:55pm Presentations by the panelists
-Overview and significance of assistance in the field of urban transportation with a focus on cases in India and Bangladesh: Ito Teruyuki, director general, South Asia Department, JICA
-Transit-oriented development and efforts in developing countries: Kubo Ayako, deputy director, Team 1, Urban and Regional Development Group, Infrastructure Management Department, JICA
-Impact evaluation of urban transportation assistance: Yamada Eiji, senior representative, JICA Bangladesh Office (also a senior research fellow at the JICA Ogata Research Institute)

4:55–5:45pm Panel discussion (to be opened by Kitano Naohiro, professor, Waseda University, who will share the current state of assistance by China in the field of urban transportation) and Q&A session


JICA Ogata Sadako Research Institute for Peace and Development (Ms. Kajino)

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