By Hideaki Mizukoshi, Deputy Director-General, International Cooperation Bureau, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Japan
Let me share some of Japan’s experiences in relation to the issue that I have addressed in the Global Partnership Forum in Busan in November last year; the role of effective development cooperation in achieving better results in the post-2015 era.
A Paradigm Shift from ODA to Development Cooperation
First of all, Japan’s policy has recently seen a paradigm shift from ODA to Development Cooperation. Japan’s development cooperation is now based on Development Cooperation Charter, which was approved by the Cabinet in February 2015 after revising its previous version, the ODA Charter. You may see the shift in the change of its title from ODA to Development Cooperation. In this change, “development” is used in a broader sense rather than in the narrow sense, aligning it more with the GPEDC principle of inclusiveness to enhance synergetic effects through strengthened collaboration with other funding and stakeholders.
With this, I would like to touch upon two agenda, namely: ‘quality infrastructure development’ and ‘south-south and triangular cooperation’ to share how we are trying to contribute to our partners in achieving the 2030 agenda.
Quality growth through quality infrastructure
Development of quality, reliable, sustainable and resilient infrastructure is agreed in the SDG 9.1 to support economic development focusing on affordable and equitable access for all. The importance of quality infrastructure was also discussed in the G20, the G7, the APEC, and the ASEAN fora. Prime Minister of Japan, Shinzo Abe in May last year announced the “Partnership for Quality Infrastructure” through which Japan and the strengthened Asian Development Bank (ADB) will provide approximately USD 110 billion for quality infrastructure investment in Asia over the next five years.
New Bohol Airport Construction and Sustainable Environment Protection Project in the Philippines showcases the three important elements of quality infrastructure development; 1) effective mobilization of financial resources through PPP, 2) ensuring the quality of infrastructure through inclusiveness, and 3) contribution to the local society and economy.
The Philippine Government’s priority PPP project in the Bohol province is financed by Japan’s ODA loan, which operation and maintenance is expected to avail PPP scheme upon inauguration. Under the “Eco-Airport concept,” the airport is constructed with consideration for the environment by the use of Japan’s technologies, such as solar power systems and geo-textile sheets on infiltration ponds for preventing environmental damage by waste water influx from the construction site. Furthermore, a technical cooperation project is implemented in advance to curb the impact on the natural environment around the airport as a result of an increase in the number of tourists by the airport construction.
South-South and triangular cooperation as an effective means
Under SDG 17.9, South-South and triangular cooperation are positioned as a means to enhance international support for implementing effective and targeted capacity-building in developing countries to support national plans to implement all the SDGs. Also, in the Addis Ababa Action Agenda (AAAA), South-South and triangular cooperation are mentioned as a means of bringing relevant experience and expertise to bear in development cooperation.
Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), in collaboration with United Nations Office for South-South Cooperation (UNOSSC) and the Brazilian Agency for Cooperation (ABC) jointly organized a training program to enhance management capacity in South-South and triangular cooperation. ABC invited representatives from 40 least developed and middle-income countries to the program that aimed to strengthen their management skills of south-south and triangular cooperation in legal, institutional, project management, and capacity development aspects through knowledge and experience sharing.
The outcome of the trainings was compiled as ‘Case Studies on Management of South-South and Triangular Cooperation’ and made available on UNOSSC’s website. JICA Research Institute also published several research reports on triangular cooperation in cooperation with other organizations including OECD.
While a mountain of development challenges we face, and new and innovative approaches are required to address the development challenges in the post-2015 era, it is positive that various knowledge and experience have been well accumulated by development actors through their activities on the ground. Japan has assumed a steering committee role since last August. We will continue to contribute to the GPEDC through sharing our experiences particularly in support to middle income countries and triangular cooperation.
About the Author
Hideaki Mizukoshi is the Deputy Director-General of the International Cooperation Bureau in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Japan. Mizukoshi also serves on the Steering Committee of the Global Partnership for Effective Development Cooperation.