Since 1954 Japan supported both bilaterally and multilaterally the economic and social development of developing countries, but with mixed results. Nearly all the developing countries in East Asia where a major portion of the Japanese official development assistance (ODA) have so far gone, have sustained high economic growth with moderate equity and large advance in human development with the exception of Cambodia confronted with many years of armed conflicts and the Philippines with two decades of massive corruption.
While domestic factors such as literacy, skills, work ethics, savings, entrepreneurial spirit, macroeconomic policies, bureaucratic efficiency and governance have been most crucial to sustained economic growth, and while trade and investment have been far more important than foreign aid as contributors to economic growth, ODA has made some positive impact when it focused particularly on the development of economic and social infrastructures, institutional capacity building and appropriate macroeconomic and sectoral policies. In other words, ODA has been most effective in assisting developing countries to make economic and social progress when used to expand, improve and strengthen their long-run absorptive capacity in human, institutional and physical terms.
A close examination of the Japanese ODA revealed that much of what was said above reflected the essence of the Japanese approach. There seems, however, to be a large room for improving the quality of the Japanese ODA in the 21st century, which will be vital since it is feared that its ODA might not grow significantly as with the other major donors. In addition to policy redirections in favour of sustained economic growth through market forces, equity, environment and human development through public policy intervention and increased assistance to transition economies and least developed countries particularly in subsaharan Africa, the improvement of ODA management will be extremely important so as to enhance recipient ownership, transparency, accountability, capacity building, country-specific approaches, decentralisation of aid decision-making, localisation of aid staffing and resources, the division of labour, coordination and complementarily among donors and cooperation/partnership with NGOs and local governments and involvement of the private sector.
Forecasting the future environmental situation is a difficult task due to complex interaction among a number of economic, social, and natural factors. Among these factors, per capita GDP is the most important in determining the amount of energy and other resources necessary for industrial production and the people's daily lives. It may be the best indicator for describing the state of the environment and development. Using per capita GDP as an explanatory variable, empirical relationships (“learning curves”) for 22 factors regarding economic structure, sanitation, urbanization, media, energy, and food consumption were generated from the data of 24 countries for the last 30 years.
The factors regarding sanitation improve rapidly as the per capita GDP increases, then begin to taper off as they approach a certain level. The learning curves for sanitation show better performance in China. Chinese total fertility rate, crude birth rate, life expectancy, and numbers of physicians and hospital beds deviate from the learning curves.
Unlike the other 21 factors, per capita passenger cars does not start tapering off but continues to increase even faster as per capita GDP increases. If it continues at the present pace, passenger car ownership in 2025 in China will be 83 million, 23 times that of 1993.
Major change is foreseen in food quality as per capita GDP increases. More animal-based food is consumed as income increases, and if this trend continues, the consumption of animal food per capita in 2025 in China will be 3.2 times that of 1993. Although this forecast is based on a simple model and does not take into account fluctuation of feed price or other factors, it indicates a latent demand for animal-based foods and feed grain.
Thai rice industry which is the biggest rice exporter in the contemporary world is expected to contribute the world food security in the 21st Century.
On the other hand, according to the FAO data, a stagnant or decreasing trend in the production and export of rice since the late 1980s has been identified.
This study is aimed at clarifying the development process of Thai rice industry which consists of rice production, marketing, processing, trade etc. This was done by the application of the “Hypothesis of Industrial Development in a Flying Wild Geese Pattern” which was established by Kaname Akamatsu and developed by Ippei Yamazawa (hereinafter, referred to as Akamatsu-Yamazawa Model).
Chapter 1 pointed out the necessity of some modifications of Akamatsu-Yamazawa Model to analyze the development process of agricultural sector like rice industry, because the model was based on the historical experience of Japanese industrialization, which is characterized by an assumption of “Domestic Demand Led and Import Precedent Initial growth”.
In Chapter 2, the “Graphic Model of Agricultural Development in a Flying Wild Geese Pattern” (referred to here as “Agricultural Model”) characterized by “Domestic Demand Led and Self-Sufficiency Oriented Initial Growth” is set up.
In Chapter 3, an empirical study of the “Agricultural Model” for development of Thai rice industry for 1965-92 was undertaken, and found that the rice industry has developed from the stage of “Export Development” to that of “Maturity” during the period.
In Chapter 4, the factors and mechanism of the development process in the rice industry were analyzed from the domestic and international view points.
Chapter 5 discussed the probability of development path up to the stage of “Re-import”, which is the final stage of the 5-stage model in Akamatsu-Yamazawa Model.
In conclusion, some implications for the sustainable development of export-oriented Thai rice industry were presented. It was contended that it is highly inevitable for Thailand to maintain the comparative advantage against the late coming rice exporting countries, like Vietnam and USA, by the cost-reducing agricultural development and the establishment of more efficient marketing system.
More than 200 river basins in the world are shared by two or more countries. These basins account for about 47 percent of the earth's land area. In international watercourses, national interests among countries are likely to diverge because of externalities. Coordinated management of international river basins is still rare, resulting in economic losses, environmental degradation, and international conflict.
International conferences such as the 1992 UNCED have stressed the need for comprehensive management of water resources using the river basin as the focus of analysis. Cooperation and goodwill among riparian countries are essential for efficient development and utilization of international rivers.
Four cases, all in major international river basins, were analysed in this study with a view to identifying some prerequisites, which are indispensable to secure mutual agreement among riparian countries upon construction of hydraulic works. Of four cases, agreements have been reached among basin countries in three cases (Nile River, Indus River and Danube River), while discussion between riparian nations has encountered an impasse in the Ganges River basin.
The lessons of experience with agreements and joint actions between riparian, such as the World Bank's effort to facilitate the 1960 Indus Water Treaty between India and Pakistan, suggest that external assistance and encouragement are valuable and sometimes essential ingredients in establishing international water agreements.
The presence of third parties can facilitate dispute resolution, guide complex bargaining towards acceptable outcomes, and help maintain balance and commitment by riparian countries to the negotiating process. The international organizations have many advantages as a third party since it can (1) act as independent broker, (2) provide leadership inherent in its international role in donor coordination, and (3) catalyze the mobilization of both official and private funding.
The purpose of this paper is to analyze the problems regarding waste and waste disposal that Bangkok currently faces. One can speculate that rapid economic growth causes the problem of solid waste disposal in urban areas to shift from one that focuses mainly on public health concerns to one that deals with cost problems that are the result of the formation of an advanced, mass consumption society. In this paper, by comparing several social statistical indices for Bangkok and several of Japan's major cities, I have attempted to illuminate Bangkok's current waste situation and make generalizations regarding their character.
The amount of garbage in Bangkok is currently equivalent to that for the major cities in Japan, and the rate of increase for garbage in Bangkok exceeds the growth rate of population. However, the primary means of garbage disposal remains to be open dumping, which is due to the fact that the budgetary resource base of the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration (BMA), which handles garbage disposal, is not sufficient. Comparing total sanitation expenditures for the BMA and Tokyo, it is found that the ratio of sanitation expenditures to total budget is higher in Bangkok, but that the ratio of these same expenditures as a percentage of gross regional product is much higher in Tokyo. This suggests that the costs of disposing of garbage into the environment in Thailand is cheaper than in Japan. In societies like the one found in current-day Japan that suffer from a lack of final disposal sites, it makes sense to spend money, recycle waste and reduce the amount of trash as much as possible. However, in the case of Bangkok, where waste disposal costs are low, there is little fiscal rationale for promoting recycling. The creation of a social system that reflects the social costs of providing waste treatment facilities (such as those represented by the difficulty of providing new waste disposal sites) and justifies upstream waste management policies (including recycling promotion programs) is the first step in solving Bangkok's waste problems.
Malaysian Government is confronted by two problems; one is how to sustain and to develop the existing export-oriented economic structure, and the other is how to manage the multiracial country.
That economic structure has been made mainly by the foreign direct investments (FDI), especially from Japan. The insentive policies for the foreign company and the low wage costs in Malaysian economy have been the main causes for the investments. But the wage costs have been rising because of the labour shortage occurred by high economic growth in the country. The supply of the skilled labour in the country is generally important to develop the manufacturing sector. On the other hand, the supply of skilled-labours would become the next incentives for FDI. So the Human Resource Development (HRD) policy should be one of the important polisies to sustain and to develop the Malaysian economy.
The other concern of HRD policy is to assist the ‘Bumiputera; Malay and other indigenous people’ on the HRD activities, for them to take part in the urban economic activities and to improve their incomes.
Malaysian government has advanced the wide-ranging vocational education and training facilities; universities, polytechnics, institutes of technics, and vocational training centers. The government has also advanced some programs for HRD; so-called apprenticeship program and HRD Fund.
It can be said that the HRD system has some own problems to be solved; the shortage of supply of human resources, people's poor preference to enrollment of the technical education and skills-related training, and the gaps between the demand and the supply of the human resources.
The field of higher education, along with economics, is the most conducive to the application of Western industrialization and modernization models. The author made a field survey of higher education institutes of Thailand as one of the members of Japanese ODA Study team (Foreign Ministry Evaluation Office). The position of Thailand's institutions of higher education began changing in the 1960s. Before the 1960s, Thailand's universities were closed, elitist institutions that trained the government officials whose job was to preserve Thai culture and maintain classic Thai society, including politics (i.e., the bureaucratic training model). Since the 1960s, however, universities, under the guidance of foreign consultants, opened higher education to the public and shifted to an industrialization model emphasizing preparing students for North American-type industrialized society. Since the beginning of the 1990's, Thai universities have shifted their emphasis to enabling the students to respond flexibly to increasing industrialization in Thai society and to the modernization of social life, i.e., a socialization model. This socialization model is important when striving for balanced, sound social development once a certain degree of economic development has been achieved.
Shibayama and Nishino (1994) developed a model for the development of universities in Engineering field. The key factors for the classification of various development stages are (1) capacity of education, (2) quality of research and (3) contribution to industry. Engineering education at Thailand's institution of higher education would currently seem to be in Stage 2 of the development mode. In order to move from Stage 2 to Stage 3, it will be necessary to increase the number of researchers and engineers at certain academic levels in a certain field of engineering, and to create an academic community (i.e., academic societies and university faculty organizations) in which these researchers and engineers can discuss issues with their peers. Essential prerequisites for enhancing the self-development capabilities of Thailand's institutions of higher education include not only graduate schools' physical environment (i.e., improving facilities), but also advice relating to human resources, that is, assuring close interaction among Thai researchers and engineers.
The 1990 political change from an authoritarian regime to a multi-party democracy in Nepal has provided a favourable background for the introduction of decentralization. Since 1990, the Government has shown a consistent commitment to decentralization with a view to enhancing cost-effectiveness and sustainability of development, and has consolidated the decentralization framework of Nepal through the adoption of the new decentralization policy and acts.
The most salient aspect of the Government's decentralization policy is the devolution of authority and power down to local governments. The multi-party democracy has brought the element of accountability of the local elected leaders, thus contributing to making decentralization a reality. Another crucial feature of the policy is that the local representatives only act as planners, facilitators, and resource allocators for various local organizations (local NGOs and user groups) to manage their own development, not as direct implementors.
Within the context of this policy, a UNDP-financed project, “Supporting Decentralization in Nepal”, has assisted several districts to develop their capacity in decentralized management of development; the pilot districts have developed a district-wise data base, and have also learnt to plan and monitor/evaluate development activities, involving all parts of the district. With the project's support, the local governments have deepened their knowledge of the development conditions of their areas, and have enhanced their capabilities to reorient the local development administration to better address the problems and needs of the people. This has resulted, in some cases, in local bodies' “assisting” other UNDP-supported activities to better meet the priorities of local communities.
One of the best ways to assist in promoting participatory development, it is often said, is the strengthening of responsive and effective local government structures. The case of Nepal not only support this proposition, but also suggests a new direction for development cooperation; a type of cooperation that can attenuate “donor-recipient” relations in favour of a more collaborative exercise.
The purpose of this paper is to examine the new trends of credit program for income generating activities through self-employment at the grassroots level in Bangladesh. The Grameen Bank provides credit without any collateral to the rural poor to generate employment, income and self-esteem. The process that takes place in the bank is better characterized as organizational development for people's participation. This paper also analyze the difference between the member's and non-members' at the same village were living in the same socioeconomic conditions before joining the rural credit program. Empirical findings of this survey reveals that there has been a dramatic change in the Grameen Bank members' life style, such as income, education, health and nutrition and so on. This highlights the fact that poor people are able to improve their own socioeconomic conditions given an opportunity through direct participation in development activities.
Nepal is one of the poorest countries in the world for many reasons.
These include geographical, topographical, social and economical problems.
International and developed countries assist Nepal to alleviate those constrains. Among this, financial constrains are a major one because all economic activities consist of both goods and money transitions in a modern economy.
Nepal had nearly adequate financial institutions compared with its size. The major problems of their institutions are lack of manpower and adequate business procedures. NGOs play vital role to assist the institutions. NGO's “mini-banks” play sufficient role to alleviate poverty in rural area. The main focus of this report is Nepal's financial institutions and NGO's activities. The main problem of mini-bank is shortage of operation funds because the initial fund must come from private sources.
Japan can assist in many ways to reform the financial activities so that the institutions can work more efficiently. These are, for example, transfer of evaluation know-how and monitoring of loans, improve routine business procedures, training methods for junior and senior bankers and clerks. One of main purposes of this training is how a new comer can get enough skills as soon as possible.