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OECD Development Co-operation Peer Reviews: Japan 2020

image of OECD Development Co-operation Peer Reviews: Japan 2020

The OECD’s Development Assistance Committee (DAC) conducts reviews of the individual development co‑operation efforts of DAC members once every five to six years. DAC peer reviews critically examine the overall performance of a given member, not just that of its development co‑operation agency, covering its policy, programmes and systems. They take an integrated, system‑wide perspective on the development co‑operation activities of the member under review and its approach to fragility, crisis and humanitarian assistance.

Japan combines diplomatic, peace and development efforts to achieve sustainable development and implements the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) through a whole-of-society approach. It values self-reliant development, country ownership and the mutual benefits of development co-operation for Japan and its partner countries. Japan is recognised as a global champion of disaster risk reduction. Increasing official development assistance could strengthen Japan's leadership and commitment to the SDGs and a mechanism would help ensure coherence between domestic policies and global sustainable development objectives. Whole-of-government country policies would ensure synergies across Japan's portfolio and it could be more explicit about how programmes reduce poverty. More streamlined systems and procedures would make Japan a more agile donor.

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Executive summary

Japan has been a member of the Development Assistance Committee (DAC) since 1960 and was last reviewed in 2014. This report reviews progress since then, highlights recent successes and challenges, and provides key recommendations for going forward. Japan has partially implemented 55% of the recommendations made in 2014, and fully implemented 40%. This DAC Peer Review of Japan – containing both the main findings and recommendations of the DAC and the analytical report of the Secretariat – was prepared with reviewers from the European Union and Italy and adopted at the OECD on 17 September 2020. In conducting the review, the team consulted key institutions and partners in Tokyo, Japan in November 2019; and in the field in Accra, Ghana in December 2019 and in Phnom Penh, Cambodia in January 2020. The Secretariat Report was drafted before the COVID-19 pandemic.

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