神戸大学大学院国際協力研究科 復旦大学国際関係・公共事務学院 高麗大学校国際大学院

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Risk Management Seminar - “Korean Development Cooperation: From a Norm-taker to a Norm-maker?”

  On February 06, CAMPUS-Asia Program in conjunction with Japanese Society for International Development (JASID) organized a Risk Management Seminar with two presentations titled: “Confucian Philosophy, Ecological Approach, and New Strategies in Korean ODA” delivered by Professor Kim Tong Won of Sungkyunkwan University and “What would ‘Aid 2.0’ Look in a Rapidly Changing Global Development Landscape?” delivered by Professor Kim Soyeun  of University of Leeds. The discussion on both presentations was delivered by Dr. Kobayashi of JICA Research Institute under the theme “Korean Development Cooperation from a Comparative Perspective”. The presentations highlighted issues related to the changes and challenges in the Aid-land and the Korean ODA strategies and principles.

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  The first presentation highlights that new worldview and paradigm shifts are being called for to overcome the crisis of ecology and the limitation of capitalism. Ecology emphasizes ecological welfare life that can co-exist with the nature environment by escaping from human-centered thinking. Understanding ecological worldview requires the review of fundamental value systems (super-system and sub-system) such as basic worldview, universe view, human view in the approach to solve global problems due to weather change. The ecological worldview presents shifts from dualistic to holistic value systems that emphasize not only individual characteristics and diversity but also common good, and realizes limitation of resources, and seeks for sustainability.  He discussed the possibility of appearance of Confucian ecology and its potential, arguing that both western and oriental philosophy can be combined. He further argues that solutions for social problems in social welfare up to now have been focusing on solving existing problems in human-centered view, but now should extend the realm to psychological and  ecological (natural) approach where a collective mind is based on individualism. Besides, it was mentioned that measuring and achieving societal progress requires paradigm shift in GDP where a culture of evidence based decision making has to be promoted at all levels of government, to increase the welfare of societies. In context, he mentioned that Korean is now the emerging donor with small scale ODA (compared to other OECD/DAC countries) but steadily increasing. For instance, about 12 percent of Spain or Netherlands ODA almost is as much as Korea in economic scale. In summary, the Korean ODA is built on five strategies (Standard/similar input-output, genuine approval, social development, community based approach and face to face approach) and five principles (empathy, engagement, empowerment, effectiveness and sustainability).
  The second presentation discussed key features related to financial crisis and its implications on international aid, inclusive partnership and emerging powers, and ‘Post’-triple whammy, respectively. She discussed the ramifications of financial crises and aid fatigue to mean more inward-looking traditional donors; increasing more ‘vocal’ emerging economies with frequent talks of ‘what aid does and what is in for them as well as emerging skeptical politicians and commentators. Citing the example of India that resent the patronizing way aid is accompanied by finger wagging and expectations of contracts which do not befit a genuine partnership, stating that what India both needs and want is the opportunity to trade, not more aid. This position taken by Indian government poses big economic and welfare risks on about quarter of the country population (about 250million people) that go to bed hungry; about half of the children are malnourished, and a child in India is twice as likely as a child in sub-Saharan Africa to be underweight. She also discussed the re-emerging development partners where more actors, channels, ideas and modalities are developed. For instance Korea, often regarded as rising power (developed country) and the Next 11 but with no natural resource.
  The second presentation further discussed ‘Aid 2.0’ as recalibrating of aid for the global public goods and also understood in context that poverty and climate change are ‘global bads’ and the ‘answer’ is collective global action or global development cooperation. She mentions that there have been changing patterns (financing schema) in the time of economic difficulties mainly through Top-Down approaches in global governance. Conversely, Korea ODA uses bottom-up approaches under common but differentiated responsibility with respective capabilities. Korean ODA volume and GNI ratio increased steadily from the year 2008 to 2013 and green growth five year plan announced in November 2009 indicated that by 2020, the ratio of green ODA would increase by 30 percent. The green ODA will support recipient countries’ efforts to reduce use of fossil fuel, promote and nurture of green technology and industry as an engine for growth; transition to an economic and social structure with increased energy and resource efficiency; as an environmental marker. She ended the presentation by highlighting the many more problems associated with Korea climate differentiated ODA such as: Social and environmental consideration, institutional capacity and organizational culture among others.

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  The commentary delivered by Dr. Kobayashi focused on Korean development cooperation from a comparative perspective, by mainly discussing the Korean ODA in comparison with China and Japan. Firstly; Japan and Korea are traditional (DAC) donors while China is a new development partner (non-DAC donor). In terms of total volume, Japanese ODA is greater and above the average (since 1970’s) than China and Korea, though there is promising raise in China ODA in the last decade. Issues of public burden and infrastructure-oriented support where compared where Japan has slightly high gross disbursement to GNI and grants to support education and health sectors than Korea and China. He mentioned that the Asian Aid development model is focused in transport and infrastructure; but not in sectors (e.g. education) where necessarily there would be market failure.