“Empowerment Through Agency Enhancement: An Interdisciplinary Exploration” Book Wins the 2022 Committee Special Award from the JASID Award Selection Committee


“Empowerment Through Agency Enhancement: An Interdisciplinary Exploration” (authors: Sato Mine, Sayanagi Nobuo, Yanagihara Toru) won the Japan Society for International Development (JASID) Committee Special Award for 2022. The book includes results from the JICA Ogata Sadako Research Institute for Peace and Development (JICA Ogata Research Institute) research project “An Interdisciplinary Study on Agency Enhancement Process and Factors,” which is centered around case studies in Central America.

This book uses the provision of international cooperation (primarily in the areas of participatory development, gender and development), social work services and public services as major case studies to focus on redefining the concept of agency and understanding the factors and mechanisms that inhibit and promote its facilitation. It begins by recognizing the important role played by the agency (the capacity of people to act independently) of those who are receiving support in order to achieve more effective implementation and sustainability of various social projects, such as public services and international cooperation. Moreover, the volume combines anthropological, psychological and economic approaches and perspectives in an effort to answer the question of how external supporters, who are involved in international cooperation and other public policies, can support and activate the emergence of such capacities.

Regarding the award, Sato, who is currently an associate professor at Yokohama National University and was involved in the aforementioned project as a research fellow at the JICA Ogata Research Institute, commented, “I believe that this award was given for the promise of this research, which is still developing. We, the authors, will continue to make every effort to create a new way of interdisciplinary research going forward.”

Every year, JASID selects winners for the JASID Awards and publicly recognizes them. The Main Association Award, Encouragement Award, Thesis Award, and Committee Special Award are awarded to works and academic papers that have been published by members within the previous two and a half years or so. The awarding ceremony was held on Dec. 3 and 4, 2022, at the 33rd General Assembly of JASID.

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