JICA Ogata Research Institute

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JICA-RI/World Bank Joint Seminar on WDR 2011 and Conflict Organized

October 13, 2011


Civil wars and conflicts are on decline since the early 1990s. Yet, they seem ineradicable: 90% of the ongoing conflicts since 2003 is a recurrence of a civil war previously erupted. Besides, due to growing violence which appears in various forms such as political violence, terrorism and gang violence, 1.5 million people worldwide still live their day-to-day life in fear (the World Bank data).

On September 27, JICA-RI and the World Bank held a joint seminar on this issue of conflict. The seminar served as an opportunity to introduce the Bank’s World Development Report (WDR) 2011: Conflict, Security and Development in detail as well as to disseminate the provisional results of JICA-RI’s research project “Prevention of Violent Conflicts in Africa.”

The Bank’s annual WDR features one of the major attention-deserving topics among the international aid discussions, and, for the year 2011, it selected the theme of fragility and violence. JICA was deeply involved in its production as it shared the information and knowledge based on its past experience with the Bank from the initial stage, organized consultation workshops in Tokyo and Jakarta for the WDR team and local experts to communicate, and provided background papers (written by JICA-RI researchers) for the report.

Close to 200 interested attendants, including diplomats, officials from international aid organizations, researchers, aid practitioners and students, turned out to the event.

In the first session on the WDR, then JICA Senior Vice-President Kenzo Oshima shared his thoughts on the report (whose advisory council he was chosen as member) and JICA’s contribution to its making, followed by the presentation of Sarah Cliffe, the WDR 2011 Co-director who joined from the United States online. Ms. Cliffe mentioned some of the stunning facts revealed in the report – countries with weak governance, rule of law and control of corruption are at higher risk of civil war by 30 to 45 percent – and talked about principal discussions and policy recommendations. She emphasized the significance of breaking the repeated cycle of violence and providing “citizen security, justice and jobs” as well as strengthening legitimate institutions. Over the operationalizing the grand ideas from the WDR 2011, Dr. Stephen Ndegwa, the WDR core team member who is based at the Bank’s recently-established Global Center for Conflict, Security, and Development in Kenya, discussed its new strategies to tackle the issue of conflict: from promoting conflict-sensitive perspective inside the Bank, and reinforcing partnerships with other donors and UN agencies, to supporting more efforts in job creation. 

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Prof. Yoichi Mine presenting research results
After three commentators -- Professor Frances Stewart (Director of Oxford’s Centre for Research on Inequality, Human Security and Ethnicity), Shinichi Takeuchi (JICA-RI’s senior research fellow) and Associate Professor Daisaku Higashi (the University of Tokyo) – expressed their opinions on the WDR 2011, the second session was devoted to JICA-RI international research team’s presentations. The members were: visiting fellow Yoichi Mine, the team leader and Doshisha University professor; Dr. Arnim Langer, director of the Centre for Research on Peace and Development at University of Leuven, Belgium; and Professor Stewart of Oxford’s CRISE.

Prof. Mine introduced the overview of the project and explained about political institutions -- one of the three elements of their research on conflict-preventing mechanisms in Africa. He said there were several kinds of institutions like consensus-seeking and majority-oriented and the research team looked into the advantages and disadvantages of those different types. Dr. Langer shared some of the findings from the perception surveys conducted in seven African countries, particularly on the analysis over the relations between horizontal inequalities (HIs) and conflicts. Lastly, Prof. Stewart, after briefing on the concept of HIs, described how they could affect the occurrence of conflicts and elaborated on different types of policies effective in conflict prevention.

Valuable comments were shared by the World Bank’s Dr. Ndegwa, UNDP Tokyo office Interim Director Toshiyuki Niwa, and Professor Mitsugi Endo at the University of Tokyo, followed by a lively Q-And-A session.

MOVIE COMMENTARY

Dr. Stephen Ndegwa
the WDR core team member, World Ban

Dr. Arnim Langer
Director, The Centre for Research on Peace and Development, University of Leuven, Belgium

Prof. Frances Stewart
Director, Centre for Research on Inequality, Human Security and Ethnicity at Oxford University

Dr.Yoichi Mine
Visiting Fellow, JICA Research Institute

DaySeptember 27, 2011(Tue)
PlaceJICA Research Institute
OrganizerJICA-RI and the World Bank

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