Since Japan began its development cooperation activities, the political and economic environment in this country and abroad has changed significantly. Research to guide the future direction of JICA projects and strategies through learning from history and empirical analysis is becoming more important than ever before. This research cluster is focusing on studies that recap the history of Japan's development and development cooperation, as well as those that explore the characteristics of its development cooperation, taking the field of industrial development as an example.
In recent years, an increasing number of emerging countries have started their own development cooperation activities, and this has affected the traditional order of assistance led by developed countries. Under these circumstances, we attempt to conduct research that will contribute to the formation of international norms for future development cooperation and work on cross-sectoral issues, while building networks with researchers in developing countries. We will also take on the challenge of research on new subjects such as peace through sports.
Research Project (Ongoing)
International Migration Routes and Route Selection Mechanisms
International labor migration is now a major global phenomenon. Diverse types of reciprocal relationships occur between sending and receiving countries. Sending countries benefit from labor migration because outbound workers receive enhanced incomes and can afford a better quality of life for themselves and their families. Receiving countries are advantaged because they can bridge gaps in labor availability and their industries can continue to advance. Notably, international labor migrations will intensify in the future because of the continuously declining fertility rates in advanced nations and their consequently lower productive-aged populations.
Study on Peace and Development Through Sports
This research aims to clarify the actual effects of development assistance through sports, which has not been sufficiently implemented in development fields such as peacebuilding and gender, which are priority areas for JICA, and to analyze the role that sports play in these fields. Based on the results, it also aims to make recommendations on the future of Japan's international cooperation through sports.
Research Project on the Japanese Experience of Industrial Development and Development Cooperation: Analysis of Translative Adaptation Processes
Japanese catch-up experiences since Meiji modernization and with post-war economic development have been characterized by learning and internalization of Western technologies and knowledge, accompanied by efforts to adapt them into Japanese own culture and system. We call this process “translative adaptation”. Moreover, Japanese industrial policies have a unique feature of real sector concern, with focus on industry structure and components of the market economy such as human resources, technologies, and firms. This “ingredients approach” can be contrasted to the (often Western) “framework approach,” which focuses on rules and functions of the market economy. These experiences and perspectives underlie Japanese industrial development cooperation, an area where Japan including JICA has accumulated its own expertise. In addition, Japanese development cooperation emphasizes respecting ownership of the counterparts of developing countries and co-creating workable solutions rather than forcing them to apply normative prescriptions. This “hands-on” or “knowledge co-creation” development cooperation approach is likely to assist self-sustaining capacity development and “translative adaptation” of Japanese experience in developing countries.
Study on “Quality Growth”
In 2015, the Government of Japan revised its ODA Charter and established Development Cooperation Charter, which sets out the “Quality Growth” as one of its priority issues. The “Quality Growth” is defined as a growth which is inclusive in that the fruits of growth are shared within society as a whole, sustainable over generations in terms of consideration to the environment, and resilient to withstand and recover from economic crises, natural disasters and other shocks.
Japan’s Development Cooperation: A Historical Perspective
Japan’s Development Cooperation has a history of more than sixty years. In the meantime, domestic economic situation and the global environment have gone through a drastic change. In this context, Japan’s development cooperation continues to be the most important tool for our contribution to the international community. The Japan’s development cooperation has not only been linked inseparably with national economic growth, but also served as an expression of our own philosophy.
Research on Demand Estimate on Infrastructure in Asia
Several studies have been conducted on the demand estimate on infrastructure. The Asian Development Bank’s new report released in February 2017 estimates that developing Asia and the Pacific will need around $1.7 trillion of investment per year from 2016 to 2030 in economic infrastructure—covering power, transport, telecommunications, and water and sanitation—to maintain growth momentum.
An empirical research on the impact of the SHEP approach on small-scale farmers
The “SHEP Approach" was developed in Technical Cooperation Projects between Kenya and Japan. Through project activities, farmers were encouraged to change their mind-sets from “grow and sell" (cultivating crops without understanding how the agriculture products are sold in the market), to “grow to sell" (providing products based on the market demand). As a result of the SHEP, average income (nominal) among beneficiary farmers was estimated to have doubled from 22,794 Ksh in 2006 to 47,131 Ksh in 2009.
Past Research Projects
Urgent issues: the COVID-19 outbreak
The spread of COVID-19 has affected the international economy and society as well as people’s daily lives substantially—in both developed and developing countries. The world is facing an unprecedented crisis and will experience a momentous turn of events. The JICA Ogata Sadako Research Institute for Peace and Development will put forth its latest research on COVID-19-related issues while communicating its findings with an eye to a post-COVID-19 future.
The Think20（T20）Japan 2019
The G20 Summit (Summit on Financial Markets and the World Economy) will be held in Japan in June 2019. In conjunction with the G20, multiple engagement groups, formed according to their agenda and function, hold related events. Representatives of each engagement group are supposed to organize the debates and submit a Communiqué with policy recommendations to the representative of the G20 host country.
Effects of SME development assistance: A case of the networking project of the business development services providers in Thailand
Small and medium enterprises (SMEs) account for a large portion of domestic economic countries regardless of developed or developing countries. They contributes to poverty reduction through the creation of employment and an increase in income. However, they are vulnerable to external shocks due to the limited management resources such as human and physical capital, fund, and information, and unable to expand their production and number of workers, which is called by missing-middle problem. Under these circumstances, non-financial support to the enhancement of technology, renewal of product design, or marketing, called Business Development Service (BDS), has increasingly received attention. JICA has so far supported the development of institutions of BDS and capacity building of BDS providers for the purpose of improvement of managerial and technical ability of SMEs. This study take a case of a project conducted in Thailand from May 2013 to May 2016, named “Project for Enhancing Regional Integrated SME Promotion Mechanism in the Kingdom of Thailand." This project installed a general consultation counter at a regional branch of Department of Industrial Promotion, Ministry of Industry of Thailand, and built the networked of BDS providers in a province to improve the quality of BDS and promote its usage. This study quantitatively analyses whether networking of BDS providers increases the demand of SMEs for BDS and leads to the improvement of SMEs' performance through promoting information sharing among BDS providers and decreasing the transaction costs of BDS.
A Study on Socio-cultural Influences of Inclusive Business
This project focuses on the socio-cultural influences of Inclusive Business(IB), rather than its economic impacts. For the sustainability of IB, it is essential to know whether socio-cultural changes brought about by new knowledge and skills are accepted in a specific local context and whether these knowledge and skills can be synergised with organisational cultures and strategies. Therefore, with a special focus on IB’s socio-cultural influences on players—mainly the low-income population and transnational corporations—and their societies and organisations, this project explores their experiences and perspectives in the process of the formation and implementation of IB. With a non-economic focus, this project will provide an interesting opportunity to enhance our knowledge about the extent to which business can collaborate with development.
An empirical analysis on expanding rice production in Sub Sahara Africa Phase 2
The Fourth Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD IV) in 2008 saw the announcement of an initiative, "the Coalition for African Rice Development (CARD)", aimed at doubling Africa’s rice production in ten years. Following this, JICA Research Institute conducts a research project titled “An Empirical Analysis on Expanding Rice Production in Sub Sahara Africa,” to analyze the impact of the CARD initiative on rice productivity and poverty reduction in Africa. This project aims to assess the effectiveness of various means of improving agricultural production such as new agricultural technology and its dissemination. The project is currently in its second phase from 2014. The study covers six countires, namely Ghana, Senegal, Tanzania, Uganda, Mozambique and Ivory Coast.
Impact Evaluation of Scale Up of Small and Medium Enterprises through Training on Managerial Capital
With increasing awareness of the importance of managerial capital as a significant factor of economic growth, "KAIZEN", which is Japanese style management approach, has gained much attention in recent years. However, the number of empirical research on managerial capital is still limited. The objectives of this research is to measure the capacity of facilitators trained by the Project for Capacity Building of Facilitators on Improving Productivity and Quality for Small and Medium Enterprise in Central America and Caribbean Region, as well as to identify promoting factors affecting capacity building. It also intends to examine the impact of KAIZEN on productivity of enterprises.
Research for Developing Tools of the System Assessment for Better Education Results(SABER): A Focus on the Participatory School-Based Management System, Decentralization, and Accountability
Focused on cost-effective policies and institutions which result in high educational achievements, the World Bank has been developing an assessment tool (SABER) and a related international comparative database. Our research aims to propose alternative ideas to improve the assessment tool, based on JICA's experiences with a particular focus on the participatory school-based management system, decentralization, and accountability. The research will be conducted through literature review, comparative case analysis and field survey in Senegal and Burkina Faso; and its outcome is expected to improve the tool and to use at policy dialogues of low income or lower middle income countries which confront such challenges as access to primary education and its quality.
An Interdisciplinary Study on Agency Enhancement Process and Factors
One of the most important tasks on the development agenda today is to support problem-solving processes in which the people and communities of the developing countries themselves have ownership and initiatives. This support, however, often requires the support providers to be involved in the processes until issues or problems that the local people and communities can deal with autonomously for their own well-being are identified. These are the so-called "agency enhancement processes".
Comparative Study on Development Cooperation Strategy: Focusing on G20 Emerging Economies
Nowadays the emerging economies such as BRICS countries are taking the initiative to develop the global governance, which the western “developed" countries had before. The aid architecture has also significantly changed. Non-DAC countries, as new development actors, have contributed to increasing the flow of development resources for developing countries. The aim of this study is to extrapolate a vision of how the aid architecture will change in next ten years; and to develop the implications for Japan to react properly for that change through clarifying the patterns of development cooperation (or South-South cooperation) by comparing the sequence and the combination of cooperation tools of each aid providers and analysing the impact of emerging aid providers to their partner countries where the competition between emerging and traditional aid providers exists. The findings of this study that estimated the amount of the China’s foreign aid based on primary data were paid attention to by researchers and stakeholders across the globe. The study also revealed the foreign aid activities of the new development actors, such as India and Indonesia which are likely to have been ignored before, while pointing out the potentialities that intellectual interactions between developing countries would contribute to development in these countries themselves. In addition, these findings were opened widely to the public, including a lecture at DIE (German Development Institute), a co-organized symposium with DIE and a policy brief to policy makers.
Re-examination of Development policy from happiness study
In recent years, the concept of happiness in development policy in the international community has become large. For instance, the resolution on happiness was adopted by the United Nations' General Assembly in July 2011. Since Professor Easterline pointed out the “paradox of happiness" in 1974, the academic research about happiness has evolved, in particular, in Europe and US. On the other hand, happiness studies in developing countries are not well-developed. From hypothesis that happiness in developing countries may embody diverse cultural and social values, we are going to hear citizens' voices and explore the meaning of happiness in the developing countries. In this research, we have two specific questions: 1) to clarify the definitions of happiness in developing countries, 2) to explore important factors to make people happy. Furthermore, as an outcome of this project, we would like to contribute to the discussion of post-2015 and may examine usefulness of happiness as the concept in development policy.
Evidence-based Analysis for Post-2015 Development Strategies
This research project plans to synthesize JICA's views on the shape of the next-generation global development goals, drawing on its field experiences and research findings done at the institute, and intends to provide some policy implications for the global debates on the post-2015 development agenda. Starting with a review of the MDG framework, targets and performance toward their achievements, the project will compile the evidence supporting the importance of incorporating and mainstreaming some cross-cutting issues - issues with which to govern the entire framework of the forthcoming development goals. Tentatively, we intend to focus on “inclusive development" and “resilience," as candidates for such cross-cutting issues to be highlighted, based on our preliminary analysis.
Empirical analysis of the effectiveness of training programs
Training and Dialogue Programs carried out in Japan, which constitute one of the major parts of technical cooperation by JICA, come under increasing scrutiny in recent years from a viewpoint of "effectiveness." With this in mind, this study examines how training participants as well as dispatching organizations have been mobilizing knowledge gained in Japan in detecting their organizational deficiencies and institutionalizing solutions thereof. The analysis will illuminate multi-faceted meanings of the programs and provide policy implications for possible future improvement in conducting trainings.
An Interdisciplinary Study of Japan Overseas Cooperation Volunteers [JOCV]
From its establishment in 1965 to the end of February 2012, JICA, under the Japan Overseas Cooperation Volunteers (JOCV) program, has dispatched over 36,000 volunteers overseas. This program incorporates both Japanese youth participation and contribution at the grass-roots levels. Because of this multidimensional nature, evaluating the JOCV with a single index can be problematic and even inappropriate. To address this issue, JICA-RI is examining the JOCV program using methods and insights of various academic fields including economics, sociology, anthropology, and political science. With this interdisciplinary approach, this research project aims to grasp the significance of JOCV in terms of its international, social, and historical role, and clarify the future direction of Japan's efforts for international cooperation. JICA-RI also intends to provide policy implications for issues including effective volunteering activities, global human resources development, and social returns to the home country.
Role of Budget Support in the Development Aid Regime
Introduced around 2000, general budget support (GBS) was quickly and widely accepted under the current development assistance regime. However, in the past few years, some OECD member states reversed their initial stance and began offering critical perspectives on GBS. The benefits of GBS have not been fully verified through deliberation by considering the entire process flow from upstream to downstream. The purpose of this project include: confirming the impact of policy dialogue through verification of the flypaper effect, focusing on GBS's “untied" nature; verifying service delivery by implementing GBS: verifying GBS's impact on the outcome: and identifying bottlenecks in GBS implementation in developing countries.
Human Capital Formulation and Gender Equality in Conflict-affected Islamic States: Case of Basic Education in Yemen
Providing quality education for all children, adolescents and adults regardless of gender is a key for eliminating inequality and mitigating risks of social conflict. Focusing on Yemen, one of the poorest Islamic countries in a fragile situation, this research will closely examine the country's challenges in primary education development and gender equality promotion and attempt to draw policy implications toward these goals, taking into account the cultural and religious factors affecting children's educational opportunities. Specifically, the research will address regional differences within the country (i.e., differences by governorate, district, or community), not only in terms of school access and retention, but also in terms of quality of learning and socioeconomic effects of education, including people's attitudes toward gender and the potential role of female education in mitigating the risks of social conflict.
Impact Evaluation Analyses for the JICA Projects
This study is designed to review and clarify the impacts of JICA projects by applying econometric analysis to empirical data. In the process, it measures and evaluates the effects produced by the projects, and studies approaches for clarifying key factors in creating the impacts. The first subjects for review will be ongoing projects in the areas of education and health. The study expects to proceed in line with the advancement of these projects and to ensure that its findings are incorporated into project execution.
Revisiting Capacity Development Approach through the Analysis of Case Studies
From around the year 2000, donors, including JICA, began applying holistic capacity development (CD) concepts in their efforts to revisit past aid approaches, including technical cooperation. Holistic concepts encompass people, organizations, societies and institutions. As part of their activities, and in collaboration with partner developing countries, donors undertook and produced a large number of CD case studies. While useful insights on CD have come from these studies, it is generally observed that few of them have gone further than case descriptions and most are lacking in academic rigor. Building on these existing CD studies, this research project undertakes comparative in-depth analysis of multiple cases by applying relevant analytical frameworks from various academic disciplines such as economics, political science, and management and organization studies. The objective is to contribute to further improvement in the effectiveness of JICA aid operations.
Management of Water Users' Associations and Formation of Collaborative Local Society in Rural Africa
The intent of this study is to analyze, from the viewpoint of collective management of common pool resources (CPRs), the social dimensions of sustainable management of water users' associations (WUAs) and rural water supply systems. The research is particularly focused on the following: i) the local social and political process of trust formation and norm acceptance by and among WUA members; and ii) the development of mutually-engaging and collaborative relationships between WUAs and other stakeholders within and beyond the communities in question, including relevant government administrators and private sector service providers. This is essentially an issue of improved local governance based on and emanating from water management.
Social Dimensions of the Participatory Irrigation Management in Africa (Social Dimensions of Irrigation Management Systems in Africa)
This research project has two objectives: i) to identify variables that contribute to the evolution of institutions necessary for the sustainable use and management of irrigation facilities and water resources; and ii) to explore the relationship between such institutions and the existing social values, norms and practices. The research will rely on the analytical framework of common pool resources (CPRs) while contextualizing the subject in the social and economic settings of rural Africa. The project intends also to discuss desirable governance structures of irrigation management by delineating the roles of farmers' organizations, the state and the market. It will furthermore propose as policy possibilities, measures to be taken by governments and donors to facilitate establishment of improved governance for sustainable irrigation management in Africa. Past experiences of Japan and other Asian countries will be tapped for purposes of comparison.
Islam and Development in Southeast Asia
This study investigates the relationship between Islam and development in Southeast Asia with reference to state building in the context of the Muslim faith. There have been questions as to the extent to which the Western European model of modernization -- generally consisting of industrialization, capitalization, democratization and secularization -- can be applied in Islamic societies. In some Muslim societies, anti-secularism is gaining momentum in response to globalization even while the activities of Muslims are becoming more transnational. With reference to development in Southeast Asian countries, it is now vital to understand the significance of new Islamic trends. This study reveals the changes in Islam and its social position in Southeast Asia on region-by-region and country-by-country bases and analyzes the impacts on institutions and public policies in individual countries.
Analysis of Cross-Border Higher Education for Regional Integration and Labor Market in East Asia
The objective of this study is to examine the function of higher education sectors in the virtual integration of labor markets in Asia. Firstly, it focuses on higher education exchange programs in order to understand the prevailing situation. Next, to analyze these exchange programs' performances in the labor market, it takes the example of Malaysia to follow-up on people who have completed international higher education exchanges and equivalent programs. Finally, it makes proposals for desirable forms of assistance to Asia's higher education sector by drawing comparisons between the new direction among Asian countries of horizontal division of economic roles and the expansion and/or performance of international exchange programs in higher education. This project also explores effective approaches to knowledge creation and human resource development.
Macroeconomic Analysis of the Impact of Foreign Aid on MDGs
In this study, appropriate aid strategies for achieving the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) are explored through application of comprehensive econometric analysis of the impacts of foreign aid and remittances on the MDG effort. If the impacts are appropriately estimated, it may be possible to project progress toward achivement of the MDG indicators. This will be based on the current situation and on calculations of total foreign aid volume necessary to achieve the Goals by the target year (2015) by region or country. In addition, it also may pave the way for calibrating the contributions to attainment of MDG indicators by donor, thereby evaluating the aid efficiency of each donor.
Empirical Study of the Impact of Resource Inflows on Domestic Investment in Developing Countries
The effectiveness of foreign aid and other financial resources will be disentangled in this study of cross-country panel data. Specifically, the study seeks to learn the effects of foreign aid, remittances, foreign direct investment and other financial resources on domestic investment in developing countries. This will shed light on the economic growth effects of foreign financial assistance. Where possible, the study attempts also to seek synergy effects between foreign aid and other financial flows and among aid modalities.