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Workshop: Measuring quality and effectiveness of development cooperation programs on capacity development: State, firms and civil societies

Jul 07, 2017 | 02:00 PM

Much has been debated on “the quality” or “effectiveness” of foreign aid and development programs by international donors including the World Bank and Asian Development Bank (ADB). Over the last two decades, new forms of state and private sector engagement have been promoted and utilized as an effective tool in development cooperation. In order to tackle global challenges such as poverty reduction or climate change and achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), there is an increasing need for multi-stakeholder partnerships between governments, firms and civil societies. However, “effectiveness” has often been associated with privatization and profit-making. Moreover it has not necessarily increased “the quality” or enhancement of living standards for local communities in recipient countries. For example, privatization of public goods and services resulting in increased tariffs or entire communities have been displaced by massive infrastructure programs due to development projects.

Recent initiatives in international cooperation in Asia and elsewhere by East Asian actors such as Japan and China offer several points of discussion in this sense. Both China and Japan have in recent years promoted cooperation projects aiming at the institutional and economic development of the Asia-Pacific region and Africa. While on the one hand, initiatives in infrastructural development still occupy a major part in the overall effort by these donors, on the other, endeavors in promoting capacity development for the empowerment of local communities have multiplied. However, the actual qualitative impact of such projects is difficult to assess. Furthermore, donors’ political and economic interests remain deeply entangled in aid disbursements. How do we define “the quality” and measure the effectiveness or the effects on capacity development? Can different views on this concept (both academic and practical) be reconciled/integrated? If so, how?

In order to address these issues, we intend to provide insights from multiple actors — such as scholars, practitioners and members of the civil society — promoting an occasion for discussion on the role of “quality” in the rhetoric of development cooperation. Finally we aim at a common definition of quality (needless to say, provisional) and implementable solutions looking at lessons from East Asia.


Workshop schedule





Opening remarks

Prof. Dr. Verena Blechinger-Talcott



Kei Namba & Marco Zappa



Keynote speech


Prof. Kanji Tanimoto, Waseda University

“Sustainable development and multi-stakeholder partnerships”


Presentation I (20 min)


Dr. Anne Ellersiek, Stiftung Wissenschaft Politik (SWP)

“Aid effectiveness and accountability: the view of new donors on partnerships and models of development cooperation”


Presentation II (20 min)


Dr. Marie Söderberg, European Institute of Japanese Studies (EIJS), Stockholm School of Economics (SSE)

“Japan’s human resource development programs Kaizen in Ethiopia“


Presentation III (20 min)

Filiberto C. Sebregondi, European External Action Service (EEAS)

“EU’s approach to measuring quality and effectiveness of aid”


Roundtable discussion

(30 min)

Chair: Prof. Dr. Verena Blechinger-Talcott








Prof. Kanji Tanimoto is Professor at Waseda University and a Visiting Professor at Free University of Berlin (2010, 2014 and 2017). He has worked and published numerous books and papers on business and society, Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR), social business and social innovation. He has held various academic and professional positions; Founder and President of the Japan Forum of Business and Society, the program committee of the International conference on Corporate Social Responsibility at Humboldt University, and consultant to leading Japanese companies and the government committees on CSR, business and society and social business.

Dr. Anne Ellersiek is a research fellow at Stiftung Wissenschaft Politik (SWP) and the Collaborative Research Center SFB 700 "Governance in Areas of Limited Statehood" Project D1 »Partnerships for Sustainable Development in Areas of Limited Statehood: Impact, Conditions for Success, and Meta-Governance«. She is a specialist on interorganisational networks and partnerships, evaluation of development cooperation. Anne Ellersiek has previously worked as a research analyst for the United Nations Research Institute for Social Development (UNRISD).

Dr. Marie Söderberg is the Director of European Institute of Japanese Studies (EIJS) at Stockholm School of Economics (SSE). She has extensively worked and published on Japanese foreign aid policy over the last two decades and conducted numerous studies on Japan's ODA including her field research in Tanzania, South Sudan, Myanmar, the Philippines and Ethiopia. She is an author of “The Business of Japanese Foreign Aid: Five Cases in Asia” (1996), “Japan’s ODA as Soft Power” (2011), “Myanmar: The Last Frontier to Japanese Development Assistance (ODA) to Southeast Asia” (2015) and a co-author of “Japanese Development Cooperation: The Making of an Aid Architecture Pivoting to Asia” (2016)

Filiberto Ceriani Sebregondi is Head of the Development Cooperation Coordination Division, European External Action Service (EEAS). Since the mid-1990s he has been working with the European Commission on several development cooperation projects in Africa and Asia. From 2005-09 was posted in Ghana and from 2011-15 in Tanzania as Head of the respective EU Delegations, while from 2009-2011 he was Head of the EEAS West Africa Division. Among his numerous duties, he was responsible for conflict resolution and rehabilitation, crisis mediation and management, and aid programming.

This workshop is jointly organized by Kei Namba (GEAS) and Marco Zappa (Institut für Asien-Afrikawissenschaften (IAAW) at Humboldt University Berlin/Ca' Foscari University of Venice).

Time & Location

Jul 07, 2017 | 02:00 PM

Room 2.2059 (Holzlaube)
Freie Universität Berlin
Fabeckstr. 23-25
14195 Berlin