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Project Outline

Last updated 2015/04/15

■ Basic Concept

As globalization rewrites the economic map of the world, major changes are occurring in development assistance and international cooperation. Specifically, with rapid economic development in East Asia and ASEAN countries, countries in the region have begun to advocate an “Asian-style” aid model. What characterizes this Asian-style aid model is the increasingly explicit link between development assistance and economic and diplomatic benefits to the donor countries.

The rapid changes in the region’s economic and diplomatic dynamics and the emergence of new Asian donors demand aid policy radically different from that pursued in the 1990s when Japan was the world’s leading donor nation. In other words, the traditional pattern of international cooperation whereby Japan tried to save its poor Asian neighbors is about to be radically transformed. The new breed of Asian donors engaged in the changing international cooperation will need a broader outlook and diplomatic sense that can bridge the two worlds of aid and business. Further, as the role of development organizations such as governments, NGOs, and international organizations is being redefined, the role played by private enterprises in international cooperation is attracting new attention as they embody efficiency, innovation, and sustainability. The private enterprises themselves are increasingly aware of the fact that the poor in developing countries who have long been seen as recipients of aid, in fact, represent a 4-billion-strong market, forming “the Base of the Pyramid (BoP).” Private enterprises in developing and developed countries could potentially gain a huge profit by selling the poor goods and services hitherto denied to them. In light of this major shift in international cooperation, the project intends to train a new generation of leaders in international cooperation, equipping them with the perspectives necessary to bridge the worlds of aid and business and with specialized knowledge in the fields of economics, law, politics, sociology, and culture.

■ Project Design

Following the basic concept above, we form a consortium of eight universities – Nagoya University, the National University of Singapore, Chulalongkorn University, University of the Philippines Los Baños, Gadjah Mada University, the Cambodia Royal University of Law and Economics, Hanoi University of Law, and Ho Chi Minh City University of Law – to implement the project entitled “Training a New Generation of Leaders in International Cooperation for the Development of the ASEAN Region.” We also develop a curriculum that combines English-medium coursework with fieldwork or internships at private enterprises, government agencies or international organizations. Quality assurance is to be achieved through grade management and harmonization of educational standards. The consortium enables us to foster global leaders for helping reduce poverty, promote industrial development, and develop rigorous legal framework in the ASEAN region. Some of the Japanese students participating in the project take part in SEND-related activities, helping teach Japanese language and culture in the country where they study. Through this experience, these Japanese students are to improve intercultural communication skills necessary for future leaders in international cooperation.

Project Design and the Framework for Quality Assurance

■ Output

Those completing the project are expected to contribute to international cooperation as:

  • Policymakers / Legal experts at governments or international organizations
  • Business persons who promote CSR or initiate BoP business at private enterprises
  • NGO staff who promote income generation schemes and fair trade
  • Social entrepreneurs who contribute to poverty reduction in the ASEAN region