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LUCIR Lecture: Legacies of ‘Failed’ Projects - The Long-Term Influence of Japanese Aid to Southeast Asia

  • Jin Sato (University of Tokyo/Princeton)
Friday 25 May 2018
Pieter de la Court
Wassenaarseweg 52
2333 AK Leiden

ODA (Official Development Assistance) is not a mere transfer of cash and technologies from advanced countries to recipients in the Global South. It involves formation of new relations among the recipients as well as those between donors and recipients in long-term processes. However, conventional evaluation schemes do not allow enough time and scope to capture the essence of such long-term transitions in institutional relations. Jin Sato will demonstrate that this long-term influence can be more important than what has been accounted in the conventional metrics of ‘project impact’.

How has aid transformed the nature of interdependency among stakeholders of aid projects over time? Sato conducted a comparative case study of controversial projects in Indonesia, Thailand, and in the Philippines. Re-visiting these ‘failed projects’ after more than 20 years of their initial implementation, Sato found that aid goes beyond the original intentions, evaluations and public critique.

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