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UBC Theses and Dissertations

The formation of NGO inclusion policy in Japan’s official development assistance : the role of NGO’s the foreign ministry and business Ozaki, Sakura


Nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) have become an integral part of Japan's official development assistance (ODA) program since the end of the 1980s. The government subsidizes their activities, supports their capacity-building efforts and cooperate with them in carrying out and evaluating aid projects. This thesis examines why the policy of NGO inclusion in ODA has been formed. It focuses on NGOs, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) and the business sector to reveal that their respective initiatives based on differing motives have contributed to the making of such a policy. Specifically, MOFA's intention to utilize ODA as a foreign policy tool in the changing aid context and the growing consciousness of good corporate citizenship on the part of the business sector have made it imperative for them to seek partnership with NGOs, who have grown considerably in the Japanese society. The thesis then looks to the interaction among these actors, that is, how they cooperate in some cases and disagree in others. Although the policy of NGO inclusion has been endorsed by official policy forums and statements, the endorsement is not government-wide, nor has the traditional aid system with priority on economic objectives changed. By studying specific cases in which NGOs' humanitarian principles collide with official and business motives, the thesis identifies difficulties in the cross-sectoral cooperation. However, considering the new aid context and the fact that ODA is Japan's major national program, the participation of NGOs and, more broadly, the general public is needed for greater effectiveness and accountability in ODA. The thesis concludes by presenting some issues facing Japanese NGOs for future consideration.

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