JICA Supports Human Resource Development Of Sri Lankan Public Sector

The Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) recently recommitted its support of the human resource development of public sector officials of Sri Lanka with the signing of two Grant Agreements for a value of 470 million Japanese yen (equivalent to approx. 640 million LKR). The agreements were signed between Dr. R. H.S. Samaratunga, Secretary to Ministry of Finance and Mass Media and Fusato Tanaka, Chief Representative of JICA (Japan International Cooperation Agency) at the Ministry of Finance & Mass Media, following Exchange of Notes between His Excellency Kenichi Suganuma Ambassador of Japan and Dr. Samaratunga.

 “The Project for Human Resource Development Scholarship (JDS)” was introduced in year 2009, with the purpose of developing the capacities of young public sector officials who are expected to play a leading role in formulating and implementing socio-economic development policies of the Government of Sri Lanka.

“The JDS programme facilitates Government officials to improve their analytical capacities and decision making skills. The Government of Japan through JICA provides more than 150 short term training programs and around 18 long term scholarships annually in diverse fields to realize this Goal” said Priyantha Ratnayake, Director General of External Resources Department.

Under the first and second phase of JDS, JICA accepts 120 Sri Lankan officials from year 2009 till 2019 for 2-year Master Degree courses in reputed Universities in Japan in the areas of Public Administration, Public Policy, Public Finance, Regional Development, Economics, Business Management, and Environment and Disaster Management. As of current, 90 officials have returned after successfully concluding the program in Japan.

On top of and in parallel to ongoing assistance, JICA will further extend 120 Master Degree seats under a third phase of JDS to be implemented from year 2017 to year 2023, in increasing the cumulative number to 240 Government officials. In addition to the Master Courses, a Doctoral Program will be newly introduced and launched under a third phase of JDS, based on the results of a preparatory survey conducted in early 2017 .

Tanaka emphasized, “JICA’s assistance strategy towards Sri Lanka provides a high prominence on Human Resource Development in the public sector. In this respect, JDS program is well known and popular for its special features, in terms of preparations and amenities provided to its fellows. A consultant assigned by JICA provides close facilitation to fellows throughout the program from the time of application to pre-departure and on-arrival to Japan. During the program in Japan, fellows will be closely assisted in adapting to Japan’s living environment as smoothly and swiftly as possible. We believe that a close relationship is built between the fellows and agent enabling fellows to continue their studies and research without any hindrance.”

During more than 60 years of Japan’s official development assistance to Sri Lanka, JICA has been proactively lending its support to develop large and small scale economic and social infrastructure, in addition to fostering human resources and contributing to rebuilding and reconstruction efforts in the wake of manmade and natural disasters.

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