Journal of International Development Studies
Online ISSN : 2434-5296
Print ISSN : 1342-3045
Volume 27 , Issue 2
Showing 1-10 articles out of 10 articles from the selected issue
Special Issue : Achievements and Further Issues in Kaizen Research for International Development
  • Izumi OHNO
    2018 Volume 27 Issue 2 Pages 13-26
    Published: November 30, 2018
    Released: April 04, 2019

    This paper analyzes the relationship between Kaizen practices and industrial policy in developing countries, with special attention to the Ethiopian experience. While there are many studies and practical guides of Kaizen implementation and related Japanese development cooperation, they mostly discuss Kaizen standalone rather than from a perspective of the government's industrial policy.

    The experience of Ethiopia is unique and notable for two reasons. First, there exists firm commitment by top national leaders to link Kaizen to the government's industrial policy. The current five-year plan places strong emphasis on Kaizen, with a vision of becoming a light-manufacturing hub in Africa through enhanced quality, productivity and competitiveness. Starting with a pilot project about ten years ago (supported by the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA)), now Kaizen is widely spread and practiced not only at factory floors but also at public organizations, being elevated to “national movements.”Furthermore, national leaders regard Kaizen as philosophy and expect its role in transforming the citizen's mindset and stimulating the private sector's dynamism, conducive to the era of industrialization. The core organization responsible for Kaizen dissemination enjoys political support in both staffing and budget.

    Second, Japan has been extending industrial development cooperation to Ethiopia since 2009 by closely linking JICA's Kaizen assistance with bilateral industrial policy dialogue with key policymakers (Japan-Ethiopia Industrial Policy Dialogue). This two-tiered development cooperation has been implemented in an interactive way, producing synergies at the level of policy measures and concrete actions. At the same time, as the implementation of Kaizen progresses, it has become clear that stand-alone approach is not enough for Ethiopian manufacturers to successfully penetrate into the global market. There is a need to develop a full-fledged enterprise support system by strengthening linkages between Kaizen and other instruments. This also highlights the importance of continuous and enhanced policy engagement by Japanese industrial development cooperation.

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  • Akio HOSONO
    2018 Volume 27 Issue 2 Pages 27-40
    Published: November 30, 2018
    Released: April 04, 2019

    In recent policy debates on growth and development, increasing attention is being paid to the ‘quality' of economic growth. In Asia and the Pacific region, APEC leaders at Yokohama in 2010 agreed on the “APEC Growth Strategy.” This strategy stresses that “the quality of growth” needs to be improved so that it will be more balanced, inclusive, sustainable, innovative, and secure. The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) call on member states to promote sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth and decent work for all. Kaizen can contribute to achieving the kind of growth characterized by these attributes. It normally refers to the Japanese approach towards improving quality and productivity. What distinguishes Kaizen from other approaches is that these goals are attained through its process―one in which learning and inclusiveness are essential. This study begins by providing an analytical perspective and discussion of key issues related to Kaizen (Section 1). Based on this discussion, it then reviews the goals, tools/methods, and process of Kaizen (Section 2). In Section 3, it discusses the relationship between Kaizen and the targets of the SDGs as well as learning, transformation and quality of growth. In Section 4, it analyzes outstanding experiences of some countries that have introduced Kaizen or similar approaches. Finally, it compares these experiences to gather insights on the above-mentioned relationship.

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  • Akihiko KODAMA
    2018 Volume 27 Issue 2 Pages 41-53
    Published: November 30, 2018
    Released: April 04, 2019

    Small and medium enterprises (SME) development is regarded as an essential factor of industrial development, economic transformation, and then sustainable economic development. To promote SME development, JICA has frequently applied Kaizen in the projects, which helps enterprises to improve productivity and quality of their products. Cooperation on Kaizen started in Southeast Asia, where massive expansion of the Japanese manufacturing industry stimulated needs for quality and productivity upgrade of SMEs. In Latin America and Caribbean countries, cultural similarity enabled to realize regional cooperation by mobilizing core organizations such as the Centro de Capacitación en Produc-tividad y Calidad (CECAPRO) in Costa RIca, and the Instituto Nacional de Tecnología Industrial (INTI) in Argentina. Cooperation in Africa has started later than the other regions, but is now put more emphasis. Following the engagement done in Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD) VI, JICA together with the New Partnership For Africa's Development (NEPAD) launched “Africa Kaizen Initiative” to accelerate promotion of Kaizen in the continent.

    From the lessons learned through the projects implemented, following points should be taken into account in order to promote and sustain Kaizen in developing countries. First, demand (SMEs), supply (Kaizen providers), and market mechanism of Kaizen service should be taken into account. Second, resources and networks all over the world should be effectively mobilized. Thirdly, promote Kaizen in broader concept, including management skills, for more comprehensive SME promotion. Further, topics like innovation and impact analysis are to be tackled, in order to shed light on mechanism of Kaizen.

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  • Shoko YAMADA, Christian S. OTCHIA
    2018 Volume 27 Issue 2 Pages 55-67
    Published: November 30, 2018
    Released: April 04, 2019

    In this paper, we analyze the factors which determine the levels of self-rated non-cognitive skills of workers and their occupational. The former skills were grasped by the questionnaire which ask workers to evaluate their attitude at work with five-point Likert scale. Meanwhile, the latter were captured by the practical skills tests designed by the authors and graded by the employers and trainers.

    Based on the factor analysis of questionnaire responses, we found that the non-cognitive skills which are closely associated with their performance in work are the attitude such as to maintain the workplace clean and tidy, capacity to detect problems with the machine, report to and follow the guidance of supervisors. Such attributes of garment workers'non-cognitive skills are similar to what Kaizen movement has been promoting, particularly under the name of 5S - Seiri (sort-out), Seiton (set in order), Seisou (cleaning), Seiketsu (neatness), and Shitsuke (discipline).

    The determinants of non-cognitive (or Kaizen) skills and vocational skills are distinct. Vocational skills are not much influenced by the workers'previous work experience or educational background. They are rather a set of skills which can be formed through on-the-job training and short clash course in the factories. Whereas, non-cognitive (or Kaizen) skills are significantly related to previous work experience and education at TVET (technical and vocational education and training) institutions. We argue that non-cognitive skills are acquired through the exposure to environment which transmit values to appreciate certain work ethics and attitude, which takes time and planned arrangements. Given this, the role of policy-making and system design would be significant to develop skilled workforce, who not only conduct designated tasks but also analyze the situation and solve problems with their own judgment.

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    2018 Volume 27 Issue 2 Pages 69-84
    Published: November 30, 2018
    Released: April 04, 2019

    This study examines Japan's experience as a recipient of the United States'aid for productivity improvement after World War II. Three points were identified as a result of the research. First, the US assistance was extremely strategic and large-scale. The goal of the US aid was to exclude the Soviet influence over Japan's labor unions because the labor unions were considered sympathetic to the Soviet Union during the cold war. The aid was implemented on an extremely large scale, including the acceptance of 3,986 Japanese trainees into the United States over seven years. Second, prior to the aid, labor-management relations in Japan were adversarial, but while Japan was accepting aid from the US, leaders of opposition labor unions were also invited to visit the United States. The aid gradually changed labor-management relations from conflictive to constructive. In other words, while working on improving productivity, collaborative labor-management relations were developed in Japan, which suggests that Kaizen can be implemented in other countries. Third, it was the private sector that played a central role in receiving aid from the United States, not the Japanese government. Instead, the government provided supplemental support for the active movement of the private sector, very likely an ideal industrial policy. It is also worth noting that while half the budget (132 million yen in half a year) was borne by Japan in accepting the aid, the majority of the budget was borne by the private sector. In other words, the commitment of the private sector was very high.

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  • Toru YANAGIHARA, Kazumitsu KURODA, Tsuyoshi KIKUCHI
    2018 Volume 27 Issue 2 Pages 85-104
    Published: November 30, 2018
    Released: April 04, 2019

    This article provides comparative histories of three countries regarding the formation and evolution of the support system for productivity/quality improvement. The countries covered are Japan, Singapore, and Tunisia, representing three modes of leadership: private sector, government, and aid donor, respectively. By comparing these three cases, we will illustrate different domestic conditions (historical backgrounds and subjective conditions), the modality and role of external assistance, and the interactions between them in the process of adaptation of imported ideas/schemes to local conditions. The important findings are as follows:


    1. Domestic conditions: Experiences of corporate and academic activities from 1910s on regarding scientific management and the existence, at the end of the war, of awareness of the importance of productivity/quality improvement and of organizational capabilities to carry out the task in the process of corporate reconstruction and development.

    2. External assistance: US government provided lecture series on quality control and corporate management, followed by initiatives by Japanese private organizations on the invitation of salient scholars (Drs. Deming and Juran) from US and on the dispatches of study groups to US.

    3. Agent of adaptation: Private organizations played a central role in the adaptation of imported ideas and schemes to the conditions of Japanese businesses in the development and dissemination of TQC/TQM and QC circles.


    1. Domestic conditions: The government established clear strategies for industrial development and exerted effective leadership in the formation and restructuring of the support system for productivity/quality improvement.

    2. External assistance: Received assistance from UN organizations over 1960s-70s and from Japan during the 1980s.

    3. Agent of adaptation: The Singaporean authorities made judgements as to the relevance and adequacy of external assistance and made decisions and demands on adaptation.


    1. Domestic conditions: The government lacks a clear policy on productivity/quality improvement and fails to provide adequate resources for the establishment of a support system

    2. External assistance: Assistance on ISO from EU and on the establishment of a productivity/quality organization from Japan.

    3. Agent of adaptation: External providers of assistance took leadership.

    It is hoped that the above-mentioned three aspects in the formation and evolution of the support system for productivity/quality improvement would serve as a useful check list in the review and design of assistance in the area of productivity/quality improvement, as in JICA's on-going campaign for the promotion of KAIZEN as Japan Brand.

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  • Ayaka SHIMIZU, Katsuki SAKAUE, Nobuhide SAWAMURA, Seiji UTSUMI
    2018 Volume 27 Issue 2 Pages 105-121
    Published: November 30, 2018
    Released: April 04, 2019

    Although South Sudan gained independence from Sudan in 2011, the country retrogressed into its own civil war, causing the third largest refugee crisis in the world after Syria and Afghanistan. Uganda is currently hosting a large proportion of South Sudanese refugees and has become the largest refugee-hosting country in Africa. Many studies have been conducted to investigate the factors that could hinder refugee children's access to schooling despite development-oriented refugee assistance in Uganda. However, there is a lack of study perceiving refugees not as recipients of benefits but as active players in the education system within refugee settlements.

    The objective of this study is to explore the challenges of primary and secondary schooling under development-oriented refugee assistance in a South Sudanese refugee settlement in Northern Uganda from the perspectives of refugee students. Field study was conducted for one week in the Bidi Bidi Refugee Settlement in August 2017. Questionnaire surveys were conducted among students in one community primary school and one community secondary school, which were funded by aid agencies such as UNHCR. Semi-structured interviews were also carried out to complement the findings obtained from the questionnaire survey data.

    The study revealed the following three insights. First, refugee children are still excluded from primary and secondary schooling even under Uganda's development-oriented refugee assistance. In addition to the limited capacity of the education system in the host communities, unequal land distribution for refugees limit their children's access to schooling in the settlement. Second, students'learning environment in community schools is poorly regulated as a side effect of the open-door policy. Learning in a well-managed and peaceful environment is important for refugee students. Third, refugee students are motivated to learn not necessarily because of Uganda's refugee policy nor external support, but because of their own passion to learn along with self-sustained income generating activities.

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  • Satoru KUROSAWA
    2018 Volume 27 Issue 2 Pages 123-138
    Published: November 30, 2018
    Released: April 04, 2019

    The importance of development cooperation for addressing refugee issues has been recognized since 1970s, in order to reduce burdens on refugee hosting communities in developing countries. The international community has therefore made efforts to promote durable solutions by strengthening collaboration of humanitarian assistance and development cooperation by launching various policies and initiatives.

    The purpose of this paper is to analyze outcomes and problems of previous efforts, to identify constraints and roles of development cooperation and to clarify current situation and challenges of the collaboration of humanitarian assistance and development cooperation for solutions of refugee issues.

    Although development cooperation for the refugees has various constraints, it plays important roles through the following points:

    - Improvement of livelihoods of refugees, strengthening of resilience of hosting communities, and reintegration of returnees,

    - Provision of rights defined by the 1951 Refugee Convention to refugees,

    - Responding to positive and negative impacts of refugees,

    - Support of self-reliance which is the basis for durable solutions, and

    - Influence of development agencies on recipient governments.

    It is expected that collaboration of humanitarian assistance and development cooperation for refugee issues will become increasingly important with adoption of the Global Compact on Refugees (GCR). It is therefore necessary for development agencies to further mainstream refugee issues in development cooperation, by taking into consideration the viewpoints of the support of SDGs and peacebuilding as well as by making efforts to mobilize additional resources.

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  • Naoyuki KOBAYASHI
    2018 Volume 27 Issue 2 Pages 139-158
    Published: November 30, 2018
    Released: April 04, 2019

    The proliferation of development aid during the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) period accelerated the discussions on aid effectiveness at the Development Assistance Committee (DAC) in the 2000s. With the increase of development partners, including non-DAC member states and non-state actors, the norms developed for aid effectiveness, which tended to focus on the modes of development aid, were reviewed at the Busan High Level Forum in 2011, where “development effectiveness,” a broader concept inclusive of various partners, was recognized.

    This research attempts to identify issues and future directions related to aid coordination in Myan-mar's health sector in the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) era, which focuses on the concept of equity, a goal closely relevant to policies of developing countries. The findings are as follows.

    The weight of development aid for health is likely to shift to policy-focused programs from target-ori-ented programs. This is because of the difference between the concept of MDGs and that of SDGs: the achievement of universal health coverage, a health target of SDGs, is more closely related to policy changes of developing countries in terms of mobilizing domestic resources, reforming regulatory frameworks, and so on.

    To this date, although Myanmar's Health Sector Coordination Committee (M-HSCC) has enabled coordination among various partners to a certain extent, it needs to reflect the changes of such situations. Involvement of development partners in the process of policy discussions should effectively increase the level of aid alignment with national development plans, and knowledge sharing by development partners for health policies with regard to health financing and regulatory reforms should be coordinated so as to offer the best policy options for Myanmar's health sector.

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