October 8, 2019
The results of joint research between the JICA Research Institute (JICA-RI) and the Brookings Institution (Brookings) were published in a book titled “Leave No One Behind: Time for Specifics on the Sustainable Development Goals” in September 2019. In commemoration of the publication, a launch seminar was held on Sept. 23, 2019, at the Japan Society in New York, where around 60 researchers, consultants, and members of aid organizations and NGOs gathered. JICA-RI Director Izumi Ohno, Executive Senior Research Fellow Saeda Makimoto and staff member Fumi Nakamura participated in the seminar.
Brookings and JICA-RI began collaborating on research projects in 2010, and this is the fifth book of findings to be published. The book offers an analytical framework for transforming "Leave No One Behind" (LNOB) from a mere slogan of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) into specific actions. The book stresses the need to identify who is getting left behind, where, and why. It also introduces good practices that have already achieved results and suggests policies and issues for scaling up the efforts. Of the 13 chapters, JICA-RI helped write Chapter 1 "Getting Specific to Leave No One Behind on Sustainable Development" (Ohno), Chapter 7 "Vulnerable Populations and Universal Health Coverage" (Makimoto) and Chapter 8 "No Women Left Excluded from Financial Services" (Research Fellows Eiji Yamada and Enerelt Murakami, Visiting Scholar Akira Murata).
At the launch seminar, Ohno gave a speech representing the editors, following a speech by Homi Kharas, interim vice president and director of the Global Economy and Development program at Brookings. Ohno said that Leave No One Behind is widely recognized as the slogan of the SDGs, but no country is on track to achieving this ambitious goal. She called for revolutionary and bold action to boost the attainment of SDGs, adding that this book will help by offering an analytical framework for identifying people and places that are often left behind and the problems they face, and ultimately expedite effective action toward achieving SDGs.
Next were comments by Muhammad Musa, executive director of BRAC International, Michelle Nunn, president and CEO of CARE USA, and Koen Davidse, executive director of World Bank Group, followed by a diverse exchange of opinions with seminar attendees. One comment from an attendee was LNOB should not merely be a slogan for people in the development aid community but must be the methodology. Another attendee said people are losing trust in governments, and if LNOB is merely a national policy we may not reach our goals, adding that instead of the traditional approach, we need to go beyond discussions on a national level and identify the people and places in need and the problems they face.