Working Paper
Lessons for Japanese Foreign Aid from Research on Aid’s Impact

Japan has an impressive history when it comes to aid, industrial policy, and infrastructure development, both as a country that saw meteoric development of its own, and as a country that has been one of the world’s largest donors for decades. Looking towards an uncertain future in which infrastructure must be made resilient towards climate change, and the value of aid is questioned, few actors can offer more useful experience. Restoring structural transformation as a donor priority, and recognizing the critical role it played in the development of Japan, is a vital step towards making the real gains aid has provided in human security sustainable. Infrastructure investment can not only reduce spatial inequality, and provide the basis for growth through inter-connected regions and economic hubs, with enhanced national analytical capacity, and technical assistance to project preparation, it can help to provide the public goods that resonate most with Japan’s vision of human security.