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ODA Grants

The Project for Human Resource Development Scholarship (JDS)

1. Program Overview

The Project for Human Resource Development Scholarship (JDS) supports human resource development by providing young leaders from target countries with full scholarships for graduate degrees in top Japanese Universities.

JDS fellows are expected to contribute to the socio-economic development of their country, by actively engaging in policy formulation and implementation of social and economic development policies when they complete the program and return to their home country.

Through the JDS program, young leaders are also able to understand the Japanese society, learn about common interests and work towards common goals. The JDS program creates a system where academic exchanges, which include immersion and exposure to various fields, become a tool for strengthening international relations.

2. Target Countries and number of accepted students

The JDS program, which started in 1999, initially targeted Asian countries transitioning into a market economy. However, target countries gradually increased to cover other Asian countries with strong bilateral relations with Japan, who requested for support in human resource development. The JDS has been implemented in 15 partner countries since 1999, with Nepal as the newest member and Ghana as the first African country to receive the program.

In 2016, 266 young leaders from 13 countries have been accepted to the program, making the total number of JDS scholars to 3700.


3. Procedure

The JDS program is under the Grant Aid scheme that works under a government-to-government framework. Under this scheme, the target country's government, together with representatives from the Japanese government and JICA conducts a preparatory survey to determine the (1) implementation policy, (2) program schedule, (3) priority fields of study, (4) accepting universities in Japan, (5) selection process and (6) appropriate number of JDS fellows. During this preparatory survey, the program design is formulated in line with the target countries' priority development issues and Japan's country strategy.

4. Accepting Universities and Academic programs

The JDS program spans 6 years, covering 4 batches. The result of the preparatory survey becomes the basis for the JDS program design for the 4 batches covered within the 6-year program period. This process ensures that the program remains highly relevant, with its program design uniquely tailored to the needs of each target country.

The JDS program offers Master's Degree in various fields in social science depending on the priority development issues of each target country. A limited number of Doctoral Degrees is available for Laos, Myanmar, Mongolia, Uzbekistan, and Tajikistan. Eligible candidates for the Ph.D program are limited to students from these countries that have successfully completed their Master's degree under the JDS program. JDS students from other countries will be invited to apply for the Ph.D program from 2017, depending on the results of the needs assessment in each respective target countries.

The medium of instruction for all JDS academic programs is English.

5. References/ other information

From 2016, JICA invites applicants who have completed the JDS Master's program from Laos, Myanmar, Mongolia, Uzbekistan and Tajikistan for the Ph.D program. For other countries, a feasibility study will be conducted to explore the needs for Ph.D on those countries.

Japan International Cooperation Center (JICE) (external link)

Japan Development Service (JDS) (external link)


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