NRI Papers
No.31   August 1, 2001
  New Support for Developing Countries Through eODA -Official Development Assistance in the IT Field Also Helps Japan-  
Takeshi SHINOHARA and Ryoichi YAMAGISHI
      Even in the face of its current financial difficulties, Japan needs to continue providing official development assistance (ODA), as such grants clearly offer advantages to Japan as well. In particular, what we are calling "eODA" (i.e., official development assistance in information technology (IT)) should be positioned as one of the core areas for support. At the same time, moreover, it is important to provide ODA in a format that yields highly visible returns in order to make it politically possible for Japan to continue providing substantial support for developing countries despite the severe financial conditions plaguing its own economy.
  Based on this precept, this paper introduces some ideas for eODA projects that can be beneficial to developing countries as well as which promise some advantages to Japan. The requirements for implementing such eODA grants include: (1) eliminating vertical divisions and providing across-the-board support covering various fields; (2) working towards a greater diffusion of systems and standards; (3) ensuring continuous support; (4) meeting accelerated technological innovation; and (5) giving consideration to narrowing the digital divide (information gap) in developing countries.
Contents
I Why eODA Now?
1 IT That Changes Business
2 IT That Changes International Conferences
3 Success or Failure Determined by Ability to Utilize IT
4 Developing Countries Lag Behind in IT Diffusion
5 Three Fields for eODA Support
II Approaches to eODA by the World's Aid Organizations
1 The World Bank
2 The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP)
3 The United States Agency for International Development (USAID)
III Approaches to eODA in Japan
IV Proposals for eODA Projects Originated by Japan
1 Fostering Small and Medium-Sized Companies by eODA Project Packages
2 Combining eODA with Support for the Establishment of Standards
V IT Characteristics and Japan's Tasks in Promoting eODA

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