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Working for Human Security: JICA's Experiences

Working for Human Security: JICA's Experiences

JICA-RI Senior Research Advisor Keiichi Tsunekawa and former Research Fellow Ryutaro Murotani co-authored this paper on the policies and activities of the government of Japan and JICA for the achievement of human security, which is to be published as a chapter in a book from Ashgate Publishing in February 2014. The book, entitled Post-Conflict Development in East Asia, which is edited by Professor Brendan M. Howe of Ewha Womans University in the Republic of Korea, aims to analyze various post-conflict development experiences in East Asia from a human-centered perspective.

The book is a compilation of works by researchers who attended an international workshop hosted by the Institute for Development and Human Security of Ewha Womans University in Seoul in May 2012.

The chapter co-authored by Tsunekawa and Murotani discusses measures to reconstruct post-conflict societies and realize human security in the region. It reviews the experience of the government of Japan in incorporating the human security concept as one of the basic principles of its ODA policy as well as JICA’s activities to operationalize the human security principle. It also examines the challenges and problems that JICA has faced in its human-security-oriented field operations.

The chapter analyzes the four cases of—Myanmar, the Philippines, Afghanistan, and Sudan,—focusing on two major challenges: (1) possible contradictions between state security and human security; and (2) difficulties in enhancing the capacity to deal with downside risks. On the first issue, JICA has tried to persuade the reluctant governments to accept human-security-oriented activities as measures that can eventually contribute to strengthening state security. On the second issue, JICA has supported individuals, communities, and public organizations to enhance their resilience in relation to various risks, but there still remains a challenge with regard to ensuring coordinated efforts among various domestic and international actors. To achieve this, the shaping of a common understanding of the human security agenda will be necessary.

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