JICA Research Institute


Message from the Director

2017 Greeting

Since I became the director of the JICA Research Institute (JICA-RI) last April, JICA-RI has engaged in research activities with outside practitioners and researchers under the slogan "the nexus between development practice and research." JICA-RI has achieved positive outcomes in the last fiscal year, for example rising more than 10 ranks in the “2016 Global Go To Think Tank Index Report” issued by Think Tanks and Civil Societies Program, The Lauder Institute, the University of Pennsylvania.

This year, as the world’s development issues have become more diverse and complex, JICA created a new five-year Medium-term Plan (2017-2021). October 2018 will mark the 10th anniversary of the foundation of the new JICA as well as JICA-RI. As that landmark approaches, JICA-RI has determined areas of focus for this year's research activities.

The first of these areas of focus will look back upon the history of Japan's development cooperation and Japan's experience with its own development. The "Japan's Development Cooperation: A Historical Perspectives" project aims to compile a seven-volume series on the history of Japan's development cooperation, developing on "Japan's Development Assistance: Foreign Aid and the Post-2015 Agenda," published in English in 2015 to mark the 60th anniversary of Japan's ODA. In addition, we are working toward publishing the tentatively titled "Japan's Cooperation on International Education: History and Present Condition,” which details the history of an individual sector. JICA-RI would also like to contribute to strengthening training programs which participants obtain a master or doctorate degree in a university in Japan, in order to share Japan's experience in modernization and development cooperation as mentioned in the new Medium-term Plan. JICA-RI also plans to begin researching international students and the internationalization of higher education.

Second, JICA-RI will conduct research into "quality growth," one of the priority issues emphasized in the Development Cooperation Charter. Quality growth refers to growth that is inclusive, sustainable and resilient. JICA-RI is engaged in researching and publishing a book on  an economic study of quality growth and a book summarizing case studies of quality growth. In addition, JICA-RI will publish a book on the results of the joint research project "Quality Growth in Africa." This project is in collaboration with the Initiative for Policy Dialogue (IPD), a think tank led by Professor Joseph Stiglitz, of Columbia University, Nobel laureate in economics. While researching with the Asian Development Bank (ADB) to estimate infrastructure demand in Asia, with a focus on social infrastructure, JICA-RI plans to start a new impact analysis research that examines the quality of infrastructure projects.

Third, we have and will continue to put more effort into public relations. In April, JICA-RI presented the results of research into the Africa's Structural Transformation in a follow-up event to the Sixth Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD VI) in Kenya in 2016 at the United Nations Headquarters in New York, co-hosted with the Permanent Mission of Japan to the United Nations, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the IPD. In May, at a side event to the Annual Meeting of the ADB in Yokohama, JICA-RI reported the interim results of the joint research with the ADB. In mid-May, JICA-RI and UNDP hosted a symposium for the launch of the Human Development Report 2016. These activities are part of JICA-RI's plan to proactively disseminate the results of its research throughout the year. JICA-RI also will participate in the activities of the Think20 (T20), a network of think tanks from the G20 countries, and in the Global Think Tank Summit.

JICA-RI will also steadily advance its various on-going research projects and activities. To achieve a peaceful and safe world, we will continue our human security research, and we will research the development cooperation of emerging donors, including an estimation of China's foreign aid.

Finally, since the tragic attack in Dhaka, Bangladesh, last year, JICA is radically re-evaluating its safety measures for JICA-related personnel. JICA-RI will continue putting the safety and health of project personnel first.

I would appreciate your continued support, cooperation, and opinions. 

August, 2017
Naohiro Kitano
Director, JICA Research Institute

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