In September 2015, “Transforming Our World: The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development,” with seventeen Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and 169 targets was adopted at the United Nations General Assembly. This introductory paper discusses some of the issues around development aid and then draws lessons and challenges for both practices and academic research on development aid.
“Transforming Our World” describes that sustainable development has three dimensions—economic,social and environmental. In order to achieve the SDGs, various actors on development; bilateral and multilateral donors, developing country governments, civil society organizations, businesses, etc., are required to work on a broader range of issues. Understanding the linkages between development and other issues such as peace-building and environmental protection; and aid and other means of sustainable development such as trade and investment have increasingly become important.
“Developing countries’ ownership” and “partnership” have been emphasized among both academics and practitioners of aid in the past two decades. In reality, inherent in aid is the asymmetry of power between the donors and the recipients of aid. Understanding this asymmetry and considering how or whether this asymmetry could be overcome among the challenges for both analysts and practitioners of aid.
Increased diversity of aid actors is one of the recent trends. Especially the so-called “emerging donors” have not only increased their aid volume but have also gained influence in the development community. Major emerging donors such as China and India have been providing aid in a way different from traditional bilateral donors, and have refused to adhere to the norms and rules of bilateral aid created and developed by the OECD’s Development Assistance Committee (DAC). They argue that principles and norms regarding aid effectiveness should not be applied to South-South cooperation. How cooperation and policy coordination between increased variety of aid actors could be promoted is another big challenge for the aid community.
Finally, despite the global calls for enhanced international cooperation to achieve the SDGs, in several countries including Japan, there is increased alignment of aid policy with political and commercial selfinterests, Analysing the changes in donor priorities is another issue researchers on aid need to work on.
This article aims to review whether schemes incorporating human resources, funding, institution, and ideas from an aid recipient country had any effect on the policy-making process of International Development Agency. The diversification of new aid or fund providers, including emerging countries such as China and private corporations, has attracted much attention in recent research and implementations of international development projects. Critics maintain that this has led to an unbalanced power relation between aid provider and recipient. One of the most significant examples would be the shift toward Localization in development plans devised by International Development Agency, including organizations within the United Nations. Such development has been said to enable aid provider to broaden interactions with the recipient for its own agenda. Hence, by examining the conventional argument that local assets must be utilized to compensate for the lack of funds and resources of International Development Agency, this paper has revealed the ways in which International Development Agency policies can become dictated by conditions at aid recipient country, whereby indicating the possibility of finding a solution to the restoration of power balance.
In particular, this paper has followed Argentina’s transition from military rule to a democratically elected government, a period which had been marked by very specific reference to democratic values in policy documents of International Development Agency, especially that of United Nations Development Programme (UNDP). First, an overview of the Localization policy is given to trace its historic characteristics as it infiltrated the Latin American region in the second half of the 1970s. Second, democratization and economic development issues faced by Argentina are identified to provide a backdrop for the introduction of Localization policy. Third, an analysis of measures taken by UNDP onsite is presented through evidence found in the Country Programme documents. Finally, it discusses about how Localization of development project had swayed UNDP policies and analyses the main factors for these changes. As a conclusion, the paper has demonstrated that a growing tendency in incorporating resources from aid recipient country will inevitably embroil International Development Agency in local issues to such an extent, it does not only lead to alteration of policies but also heavy reliance on Country Office for responsive actions.
In recent years, development NGOs have been experiencing changes in circumstances and, as a result, have faced increased pressure from other development actors for increased accountability. This paper analyzes the self-regulation initiatives undertaken by NGOs, which have tried to accommodate the changing environment and demand.
The accountability of NGOs has come under increasing scrutiny since the 1990s. NGOs evolved with an expectation of proposing alternative ways in development in the 1960s and 1970s. Since then, NGOs have gained influence in service-provision and policy formulation processes, while donors have also expanded support to NGOs. However, structural changes in the development sector, including the emergence of new actors and fiercer competition over resources, have challenged NGOs to reconsider their role. Moreover,the growing political, economic, and social influence of NGOs has raised questions about their credibility and legitimacy from donors and those targeted by NGO programmes lacking adequate accountability mechanisms.
Under such circumstances, self-regulation initiatives have become a common tool for NGOs to be more accountable and to restore credibility and legitimacy, while redefining the role of NGOs. Self-regulation is defined as rules or procedures relating to the conduct of organizations in the sector/industry, and expected to work as signaling a commitment to standards of conduct. A number of self-regulation initiatives has been formed in various countries. While many self-regulation initiatives remain weak and loose, some NGOs have tried to strengthen self-regulation initiatives as a tool to secure accountability and define the role with the aim of restoring credibility and legitimacy.
The paper focuses on three self-regulation initiatives to analyze how NGOs have tried to improve their own accountability and redefine the role through self-regulation initiatives: International NGO Charter,Global Reporting Initiative and Istanbul Principles. These three cases are well-known across the world but varied in character. The paper examines them from two perspectives; one is rigor of initiatives’ components,and the other is their enforcement mechanism.
As a conclusion, this paper argues that NGOs’ self-regulation initiatives have been developed and enriched by some NGOs’ efforts in recent years, and, therefore, widely recognized among international and local NGOs as a means of restore credibility and legitimacy through strengthening organization accountability mechanism and redefining the role of NGOs. However, each initiative has advantages and disadvantages. Some are well-established initiatives, but face lacking participation because of high entry requirements for member organizations. Others attract wide participation while they have weak enforcement mechanisms. In addition, introducing and strengthening initiatives could lead to potential risk of screening NGOs and destroying diversity of NGOs if the initiatives are set as a condition for funding. There remain areas to be improved in NGO’s self-regulation initiatives in order for further effective initiatives.
In 2011, a New Deal for Engagement in Fragile States (the New Deal) was agreed between the International Network on Conflict and Fragility (INCAF), a subsidiary body of the Development Assistance Committee (DAC), and the g7+, a voluntary association of countries that are or have been affected by conflict. The New Deal is expected to be a new framework for aid coordination between fragile states and DAC donors. It attempts to achieve Peace Building and State Building Goals as a precondition to realize the Millennium Development Goals and further the Sustainable Development Goals. Seven countries, including Afghanistan, Central African Republic, the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Liberia, Sierra Leone, Somalia, Timor Leste, together with other voluntary countries undertook the New Deal between 2012 and 2015 as a trial period.
A majority of existing studies on aid effectiveness in fragile states reviews donor-recipient relations and addresses problems within fragile states, such as lack of capacity and bad governance. However, these studies cannot explain as to why a country like Somalia made significant progress in undertaking the New Deal while the DRC made less progress. Therefore this article explored the donor-recipient relations of the New Deal within a wider framework of the international cooperation system, where multiple donor countries, aid agencies, ministries of recipient countries, non-governmental organizations, and other stakeholders from the private sector and aid organizations are included. By exploring the aid coordination of the New Deal within the framework, this article revealed that recipient’s incentive to carry out the New Deal is significantly influenced by various actors in the international development system. This is because multiple actors including non-DAC countries provide various development opportunities to fragile states in the current world. Therefore, it is crucial to review the New Deal within the international development system so as to find a way to increase the incentive of the recipient countries.
This article argues that in order to attain firm commitment by fragile states, it is critical for the New Deal to be discussed and institutionalized in a wider global context. The recognition and support of the New Deal still remain within DAC members and its partners. However, countries outside DAC, particularly emerging donors, such as Brazil, Russia, India and China (BRICs), are less likely to support the New Deal because they do not share the fundamental idea of the New Deal. Therefore, only the countries that support the DAC approach or the countries that have no alternative choice will undertake the New Deal, unless the New Deal is institutionalized in such an international forum as the United Nations.
Peacebuilding has been affected by two significant changes, namely, the increasing diversity in activities as well as actors, and the reconsideration of peacebuilding activities in accordance with the specific context of each case. Along with such changes, it is observed that different fields of studies are increasingly considering the effectiveness of transforming a conflict-affected society by addressing socio-economic justice. The purpose of this paper is to identify the existence of a nascent peacebuilding approach through social transformation based on human rights. Such approach pays attention to economic, social and cultural rights, which have not received sufficient consideration to date in peacebuilding activities.
Despite voluminous research on causes and mechanism of violent conflicts, the conditions under which violence is triggered are yet uncertain. However, the fact that people often continue suffering the same deprivation of economic, social and cultural rights before, during and after the conflict requires proper response of peacebuilding activities. The paper looks into the discussion in the field of transitional justice, which pays special attention to economic, social and cultural rights, as exemplified by the argument of Louise Arbour, former UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (2004–2008) and also Chief Prosecutor for the International Criminal Tribunals for the Former Yugoslavia and for Rwanda (1996–1999). It then sheds light on the similarity of social transformation discussed in different areas of research - transitional justice, conflict resolution, peace studies and peacebuilding - and the application of human rights-based approach. The idea of transformative justice is asserted by transitional justice scholars, which is not limited to the legal aspect but encompasses both social and political perspectives. In both transformative justice and peacebuilding in general, the process of transformation requires participation of the right-holders and their challenge against existing power relationship which is causing injustice. The process itself is considered as leading towards accountability, good governance and empowerment.
At the end, the paper presents an example of transformative peacebuilding approach through community building. While liberal peacebuilding has human rights as one of the pillars together with democracy and market liberalization; economic, social and cultural rights have not been targeted in the policy of peacebuilding operations. Neo-liberal policy on the contrary has a tendency to undermine these rights. Since the post-liberal peacebuilding shifts focus from institutions to local and everyday life of people, the social transformation through community building is considered to be the reasonable approach. Application of that approach is already under way and it can be strengthened through common research beyond existing research demarcation.
In this endeavor, development cooperation has an important role to play, starting with the recognition of what is deemed as social and economic justice by the very people affected by the conflict.
Why do some rebel groups restrict the international community’s humanitarian access to the areas under their control, while other rebel groups allow it? This article aims to develop a theory regarding humanitarian access constraints with a focus on two aspects of rebel groups: (1) whether they seek international recognition as a state, and (2) whether they seek to have strong ties with the local people. I examine the plausibility of the theory by considering four rebel types over three periods of humanitarian access challenges in civil wars in South Sudan.
From the perspectives of legality and morality, humanitarian workers argue that warring parties should not impede humanitarian access. However, in order to improve the chances of humanitarian access to affected areas, it is necessary to understand the logic behind the decision of rebel groups to restrict the access.
It is true that some of the existing studies on civil wars have contributed to this area of study by pointing out the impacts of the types of rebel groups on their decisions. For instance, rebel groups in search of political legitimacy tend to accept humanitarian access since it will help their case, while groups without such a motivation do not accept the access. However, the existing studies do not distinguish between the two types of legitimacy, international and domestic. In addition, they fail to differentiate between de jure and de facto acceptance of humanitarian access on the part of rebel groups.
In this article, focusing on whether they seek international recognition or want to maintain ties with the local population, I classify the rebel groups in Africa into the following four types: Integrated rebels, who both seek international recognition and want to establish strong ties with the locals, tend to accept humanitarian access. Vanguard rebels, who seek international recognition alone, tend to accept humanitarian access formally, but not practically. Parochial rebels, who do not seek recognition but want to establish strong ties with the locals in limited areas, tend to accept humanitarian access. Fragmented rebels, who seek neither international recognition nor strong ties with the locals, tend to deny humanitarian access. In order to test the plausibility of the hypotheses, I examine the cases of humanitarian access in South Sudan during three different periods, 1985–1988, 1989–2002, and 2013–2015, over which humanitarian access constraints had attracted much attention. The main argument of this study is that we should analyze the relationships between rebel groups and local populations, rather than the groups’ relationships with the international community, as determinants of the success and failure in delivering aid to people in dire need.
This article explains “Japanese way of peacebuilding” through the analysis of historical changes in peacebuilding policy implemented by the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA).
Peacebuilding has been focused from the standpoint of eradicating the hotbeds of terrorism amid U.S.-led anti- terrorism war, and has become widely seen as a crucial element of international order in the post-Cold War international security dimension, where anti-terrorism measures have been gaining increasing significance.
At the same time, Japan has faced operational and judicial constraint to expand its peacebuilding efforts. As a consequence of those restrictions, Japan has dealt with peacebuilding issues mainly by the improvement and expansion of ODA-related projects in conflict-affected area.
First of all, the objective of peacebuilding efforts is to achieve a restoration of sustainable peace. Therefore,there are multiple approaches in the peacebuilding since there are a number of actors working on this issue with their own distinctive peacebuilding philosophy. This is because the efforts of peacebuilding are called for comprehensive approach by donor coordination.
The existence of diverse peacebuilding approaches raises a puzzle of what the Japanese way of peacebuilding is. This is the main subject in this paper.
As mentioned above, ODA projects are mainly managed by JICA which has played central role in Japan’s peacebuilding efforts. In addition, JICA, being an implementing body of ODA projects of the government of Japan, is the first Japanese public institution to start to consider the peacebuilding possibilities. This article describes the historical changes of JICA’s peacebuilding efforts, based on the profile of Japan’s peacebuilding per se.
The essence of JICA’s peacebuilding in the early first decade of the 2000s is to understand peacebuilding as uncharted and isolated issue. However, JICA has altered this early stage stance on peacebuilding through the actual experience of conducting infrastructure reconstruction assistance basing on the principle of “Do no harm” in conflict-affected area, for example Timor-Leste and Afghanistan. During the course of these peacebuilding challenges, JICA has realized that peacebuilding efforts are fundamentally same as regular types of ODA projects. In short, this is an approach for peacebuilding which focuses on restoration and reconstruction of socioeconomic infrastructures as the backbone of peace.
Under the JICA’s initiative, Japanese way of peacebuilding, which put socioeconomic recovery into the core factor, has been already established in Japan’s peacebuilding policy formation. The Development Cooperation Charter, endorsed by the Cabinet in 2015, has recommended that Japan would work on peacebuilding activities with an idea to achieve the stable development through “quality growth”.
Thus, Japan’s new approach toward peacebuilding will also come on the scene through JICA’s challenges even in the current political situation, where the cabinet takes strong leadership based on the National Security Strategy.
After 60 years of the history of Japan’s official development assistance (ODA), two approaches stand out as the main philosophy of Japan’s foreign aid – aid for developing nations’ self-help and human security, as recently expressed in the Development Cooperation Charter of 2015. While ‘self-help’ was much emphasized around the 1990s, when Japan emerged as a top donor, ‘human security’ has been regarded as more important element since the early 21st century.
This essay argues that the relationship between self-help and human security has been ambiguous in Japan’s aid policy. While self-help is one of the key concepts in the analysis of the realist approach (such as Kenneth Waltz) in the theory of international politics, human security is in the more liberal or humanitarian tradition. Furthermore, it does not clear who makes ‘self-help’ efforts in economic development. Japan’s aid philosophy assumes that the developing state (or government) makes efforts toward development, but in reality, the government of developing states may not work for the interests of its peoples. In this case, the self-help efforts of individuals may end up with no returns for them. It is pointed out that Japan, relatively homogeneous, regards nation’s self-help as natural and normal, but the introduction of two level analysis – state level and person level – makes clear that many developing states have divisions within the state, and self-help efforts by all sectors of the state rarely happen.
In recent years, Japan has more emphasized the importance of ‘human level’ in development, by adopting human security in its development aid. However, there is no coherent explanation or examination how this notion of human security relates to self-help efforts. Human security has become more important in recent years, because the state itself can become the source of threat to peoples, or the state cannot protect its peoples from the various threats, such as infectious diseases, financial crisis, terrorism, and refugees. Despite the fact that Japan introduced human security in its aid policy in the late 1990s, Japan’s contributions to human security area has not been adequately recognized, because the majority of Japan’s aid money is still spent for the establishment of economic infrastructure, and given in the form of yen loan.
Emerging donors, including China, often take a similar approach to international aid, emphasizing the respect for recipient countries’ right to independently select their own path of development. It seems odd for Japan to stick to the aid principle similar to that of undemocratic emerging donors, particularly with regard to the fact that Japan’s political relations with China, which received substantial amount of Japanese aid, have been more tensional in recent years.
There is no question that Japan’s foreign policy has been greatly influenced by the United States. The Gaiatsu (U.S. pressure) has affected not only security policies but also economic policies, such as trade and exchange-rate adjustments. Japan has been defined as a “reactive state” because of this characteristic;that is, Japan has failed to take major autonomous foreign policy initiatives, in spite of the fact that it has the power and incentives to do so. Moreover, Japan has often inconsistently and incompletely responded to Gaiatsu for making changes. Whether Japan’s aid policy has been influenced by the U.S. is also a controversial issue. On the one hand, some scholars insist that Gaiatsu exists everywhere, even in the official development aid (ODA) policy in which the U.S. does not have a direct interest. In contrast, others argue that Japan has undertaken proactive foreign aid policies, and thus the U.S.’s pressure is marginal. Using panel data from 1966 to 2013, this paper statistically examines the influence of the U.S. on Japan’s foreign aid allocation, addressing two major issues. First, Japan’s aid allocation is indeed affected by the U.S.; therefore, it shows the same tendencies as the U.S.’s aid allocation. However, the second finding is that Japan’s response to the U.S.’s policy changes is not swift.
This study considers the conflict-prevention mechanisms over international rivers between India and its neighboring countries (Pakistan, Bangladesh, and Nepal). India is a country where three important international rivers flow. The discussion concerns the Indus, the Ganges and the Mahakali rivers. Conflicts have taken place in the past over water resources between India and its neighboring countries, but India has presently signed treaties and Memorandum of Understandings and established mutually acceptable mechanisms for the development and management of the rivers. Furthermore, they have put in place permanent joint organizations, exchange of data, and river inspections.
Previous studies have analyzed how the conflict-prevention mechanisms were established in the process; however, no one has examined their effectiveness and weaknesses. In addition, there are no studies comparing policies and diplomatic efforts for all three rivers.
India and its neighbors have instituted permanent joint organizations to manage the water resources and have kept these organizations far from another politics. The role of mechanism’s factor is important and thus it was also investigated. For example, in the case of the Indus River, the mechanism does not specify the quantity of water allocated as shown in the Ganges River, but it effectively provides for a territorial type of sharing. It does not change the bounders between India and Pakistan, but traces a fictitious line that divides the basin and limits the sovereign rights of use of each state. In the case of the Mahakali River,which is at the border of India and Nepal, both countries benefited equally from the instituted irrigation and flood management policies.
Finally, this study examined the weaknesses of the conflict-prevention mechanisms. In the case of the Indus River, Pakistan has filed complaints against India to the Permanent Court of Arbitration concerning water resources for India to resolve the conflict. The court favored Pakistan on three out of four points, namely the restriction on India to maintain the minimum flow of the River, environmental protection and the diversion of water. However, the court ruled against and maintained that the instituted mechanisms function well.
In conclusion, while water supply and demand across the world is tight, considering mechanisms to prevent conflicts over water resources between countries will be significant. Especially, water demand in Asia is even sharply increasing compared to the world. Among them, India is a unique example of a country that shares waterways with more than one country.