NATIONAL WATER RESOURCES INSTITUTE
The Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) is advancing its activities around the pillars of a field-oriented approach, human security, and enhanced effectiveness, efficiency, and speed.
JICA was established by the Law concerning the Independent Administrative Institution Japan International Cooperation Agency (Law No.136 of December 6, 2002). The current organization was formed on October 1, 2003 as outlined in the International Cooperation (Independent Governmental) Agency Act of 2002. Its predecessor, the (Japan) International Cooperation Agency (also known as "JICA"), was a semigovernmental organization under the jurisdiction of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, formed in 1974. A major component of the comprehensive overhaul of Japan's ODA that the Japanese government (Diet) had decided on in November, 2006 is the merger in 2008 between JICA and that part of the Japan Bank for International Cooperation (JBIC) which currently extends concessional loans to developing countries.
Since its completion on 1 October 2008, "New JICA" has become one of the largest bilateral development organizations in the world with a network of 97 overseas offices, projects in more than 150 countries, and available financial resources of approximately 1 trillion yen ($8.5 billion). The reorganized agency is also responsible for administering part of Japan's grant aid which is currently under the jurisdiction of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and so all three major ODA components—technical cooperation, grant aid, and concessional loans—are now managed "under one roof." New JICA will also strengthen research and training capacity in the years ahead, acting as a kind of ODA think tank, contributing to global development strategies, strengthening collaboration with international institutions, and being better able to communicate Japan's position on major development and aid issues.
The forthcoming changes will be an extension of a series of JICA reforms which began in October 2003 when it became administratively independent. The organization's domestic establishments including international centers where JICA helps train some 8,000 foreign public officials, researchers, engineers, instructors and community leaders annually in Japan are being streamlined. The organization is also undergoing operational and organizational change in its country offices. Greater emphasis is being placed on a field-based approach to programs/projects, decentralizing staff, and delegating increased authority from Tokyo headquarters to overseas offices, reducing bureaucracy, and fast tracking programs/projects.
An increasing number of JICA programs/projects focus on what JICA's President, Mrs. Sadako Ogata describes as providing "human security". The recently developed concept of "human security" will empower local communities to have a greater say in their own futures by strengthening grassroots programs, such as improving education and health projects.
JICA is part of Japan's official development assistance effort, with a role in providing technical cooperation, capital grants and yen loans. JICA's core development programs (aid modalities) are technical assistance programs/projects for capacity and institutional development, feasibility studies and master plans. The Japan Overseas Cooperation Volunteers (JOCV), JICA Senior Volunteers, and Japan Disaster Relief Team groups of JICA are widely known among the Japanese general public and tax-payers. Japan Disaster Relief Team members are often seen in news reports on relief efforts after major natural disasters around the world, such as the 2005 South Asian earthquake.
"We, as a bridge between the people of Japan and developing countries, will advance international cooperation through the sharing of knowledge and experience and will work to build a more peaceful and prosperous world."
MAJOR AID MODALITIES
- Technical assistance programs/projects for capacity and institutional development.
- Feasibility studies and master plans.
- Dispatch of Specialists.
Specialists dispatched to the field include those recommended from related government ministries and agencies as well as those applying through the specialist registration system. Assignments range from extended stays of over a year to shorter stays of less than one year.
- Japan (Youth) Overseas Cooperation Volunteers (JOCV)
- Senior Overseas Volunteers
- Nikkei Society Youth Volunteers
- Nikkei Society Senior Volunteers
A major power and the third ranking in GDP, Nigeria is home to the largest population on the African continent (160 million people) and holds plenty of natural resources: oil and natural gas. Nigeria is also the largest country of exporting petroleum in Africa. There are large income disparities within the country, and the lack of development of social infrastructure prevents of improving living conditions and promoting business investment. Effectively combining the schemes of technical cooperation, ODA loans and grant aid, JICA will support Nigeria on: 1) realizing human security and achieving the MDGs, and 2) providing basic infrastructure for sustainable economic growth that is balanced.
Dr. Emmanuel Adanu