March 22, 2016
Asuka Tsuboike (second from left), First Secretary of the Permanent Delegation of Japan to the OECD, and Megumi Muto (third from left), Chief Representative of the JICA France Office, receive awards.
On March 9 (local time), at the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) in Paris, two JICA development approaches submitted by the Government of Japan were awarded as finalists for the DAC prize. Those approaches are Hospital Performance Improvement through 5S-KAIZEN approach and Lessons Study in Zambia, the latter being named the Strengthening Teachers’ Performance and Skills through School-based Continuing Professional Development Project. Dr. Megumi Muto, Chief Representative of the JICA France Office, made a presentation before receiving the awards.
The DAC Prize was established by the Development Assistance Committee (DAC) of the OECD in 2014 to recognize innovative approaches that can be applied widely in developing countries. In addition to these two approaches, eight others were announced as finalists. In 2014, the JICA’s Polio Eradication Project in Pakistan was a finalist for the DAC Prize.
The Hospital Performance Improvement through 5S-KAIZEN Approach was hailed for its innovative application of simple, low-cost quality-management techniques developed in Japan’s manufacturing industry to hospitals for improving management and services. Instead of waiting for instructions or orders, this bottom-up team-based approach encourages self-guided improvement in the workplace, developing motivation and self-confidence through tangible results, and leads to improved quality, efficiency and safety in hospital services. One of the projects that incorporated this approach is the Strengthening Development of Human Resource for Health in Tanzania, which successfully reduced patient wait times by 43 percent and occurrences of phlebitis due to intravenous cannulation by 52 percent, and doubled the amount of insurance refunds through improvements in the insurance application process. This approach is currently being implemented in 67 hospitals throughout Tanzania as well as some 500 health care facilities in 21 other countries. In 2013, the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare of Tanzania was given the United Nations’ South-South Cooperation Award for its 5S-KAIZEN-TQM efforts to strengthen hospital management.
Under the Lessons Study in Zambia, lesson development through teacher collaboration, which is said to be a specialty of Japan, is being introduced in schools to improve the quality of education in Zambia. These efforts are creating learning communities in schools, an innovation on the cultural front. These classroom improvements are leading to more active participation of students in class, with a rise in the pass ratio of provincial tests between 12 and 19 percent in provinces with the program compared to those without. Starting with one province in 2005, the approach had spread to all subjects in all 10 provinces by 2011, and is currently beginning to take hold in other countries in Africa.
This finalist announcement recognizes the contributions of the new approaches based on Japanese experience in solving problems in developing countries and the applicability of those approaches not only in specific domestic regions but on the national and international stages as well. Going forward, JICA will continue advancing these efforts.