April 11, 2017
The JICA Research Institute (JICA-RI) has partnered with The Brookings Institution in three phases of research on effective aid. As the fourth phase, we launched research on the theme “From Summits to Solutions: Innovations to Achieve the Global Goals.” On February 13 and 14, 2017, the two institutes held an authors' workshop at the headquarters of The Brookings Institution in Washington D.C. in preparation for publication of the project’s findings.
Participants from JICA included Vice President Hiroshi Kato (editor of the publication) and writers Ryuichi Tomizawa (Deputy Director General, Credit Risk Analysis and Environmental Review Department), Ikuo Takizawa (Deputy Director General, Human Development Department) and Noriharu Masugi (at the time, Director, Industrial Development and Public Policy Department). Kato and Homi Kharas, John McArthur and Raj Desai from Brookings served as moderators.
Tomizawa and Masugi wrote Chapter 14 “Building Statistical Capacity in Developing Countries.” They pointed out that the statistics and technologies vital to monitor Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are generally not very advanced in developing countries, so strengthening abilities and utilization of ICT through technical cooperation are effective. They illustrated this with a ten-year project that improves statistical capabilities in Cambodia, as well as cases of utilization of ICT for statistics in Nepal and Egypt. They also said that although there are a variety of systemic, physical and technological obstacles to producing output by utilizing big data and ICT as the original data of public statistics, the improvement of the ability of the agencies and their staff and of the work environment is essential to overcoming these obstacles. Further, it is necessary to encourage utilization of big data for public statistics by connecting the people conducting the actual work on statistics and the people who utilize big data.
Tomizawa explained that the core capacity of statistical abilities was improved through a practical approach, joint work and trial and error. He also said that remaining issues included ensuring the continuation of financial resources after the project and disclosing its data. Masugi suggested that given the limited utilization of ICT, big data and innovation in national censuses and other public data in many developing countries, collaboration between researchers and practitioners, and between the public and private sectors could lead to developing new techniques and eliminating the gap.
Takizawa wrote Chapter 15 “Unity in Diversity: Reshaping Global Health Architecture Under the SDGs.” He discussed the ideal nature of coordination and global governance in the healthcare field given the many new commitments to solve problems of healthcare and the increased number of actors.
Takizawa also pointed out that achievement of the SDGs required further diversification of actors and an inclusive relationship based on mutual understanding, and that there was a need for reform of international governance in the healthcare field. He presented “UHC 2030,” an aid alliance framework aimed at achieving universal health coverage* by the year 2030, as an effective case, and said it would make it possible to promote integration of a variety of newly created international initiatives (Global Health Partnerships: GHPs).
Revisions and additions will be made to the publication in light of the discussions and with the oversight of the editor. The document is scheduled to be published in autumn 2017 by the Brookings Institution Press as the final outcome of the joint research.
* “Universal health coverage” is an effort to improve access to health services for all people at an affordable price.