Japan Administered Accounts
Japan-Funded Technical Assistance Projects

While technical assistance activities financed by the JSA can be in all areas of the world, the Japanese authorities place high priority on funding technical assistance activities in Asia and the Pacific, and Central Asia. Consistent with the IMF's technical assistance policy, the Japanese authorities place high priority on assistance for countries which have demonstrated strong efforts and good track records in the implementation of economic reform policies.

Activities to be funded from the JSA are tightly integrated within the overall IMF TA planning process to ensure close alignment between IMF surveillance and lending activities and the key priorities of each country. At the beginning of each fiscal year, the IMF provides Japan with an indicative list of projects/programs that it intends to submit for consideration in the course of the year. The indicative list contains projects/programs that reflect the shared reform objectives of beneficiary countries and the IMF. Thereafter, individual projects are submitted for approval on a monthly basis and individual programs are submitted on an annual basis through the Office of Japan’s Executive Director at the IMF. At the start of a program, the full multi-year program proposal and the detailed work plan for the first year will be submitted for approval; in subsequent years of a program, only the work plan for the next year will be submitted for approval.

IMF TA is provided upon the request of member countries. These requests are evaluated by the relevant functional and area departments of the IMF and prioritized using Regional Strategy Notes (RSNs). These strategy notes are developed by each area department in consultation with the functional departments and country authorities. The RSNs set out the IMF’s medium-term TA strategy for both countries and regions. RSNs are a key input to planning and help optimize resource allocations, plan resource mobilization, and improve coordination with other TA providers and donors. RSNs are approved by the IMF Committee on Capacity Building, a high-level committee convened to organize Fund policy work and allocate resources in relation to capacity building.

Within three months of a project’s completion, the IMF submits a project assessment to the Japanese authorities. Following project completion, the IMF solicits feedback from TA recipient institutions through a questionnaire. The feedback from these questionnaires is reviewed by the IMF to identify lessons for improving the effectiveness of IMF TA, and is also provided to the Japanese authorities. For programs, there will be an interim assessment at the end of each fiscal year, which, together with the results of an interim survey questionnaire, is submitted to Japan. Three months after completion of a program, a full assessment report along with a survey questionnaire will be submitted. In addition, two or three countries are visited each year by a joint Japan-IMF mission to review JSA projects. These visits provide Japan with a firsthand view of the effect of JSA funding in the field. During the visits, participants assess how the local authorities view the work of the experts funded by the JSA. The visits are also used to review whether the local authorities are making effective use of the TA and whether it is contributing to the reform process. At the request of the Japanese authorities, the IMF has managed two external independent evaluations of the JSA. One evaluation was completed in February 2010, for projects from 1990 to 2008, and another was completed in June 2011, for projects from 2009 to 2010.