Periodical Review Finds JISPA Successful

Thanks to the commitment of the IMF and Japan, the scholarship program remains attractive, according to its latest external review on the effectiveness of the scholarship program.  The overall review of the Japan-IMF Scholarship Program for Asia was conducted by a special committee in 2016 to assess whether the program has been successful in meeting its objectives. The review was part of its efforts to enhance the program, its transparency and accountability. It was the first one since a 2009 review.

Key findings:

- With the commitment of the universities and OAP, the JISPA has achieved a considerable measure of success in realizing its objectives of contributing to institutional capacity building in economic policymaking in the target countries. Many alumni have reached senior positions (e.g. the governor of the State Bank of Vietnam).

- The program’s link with the IMF and Japan continues to be a key attraction of the program. Japan’s experience and the Fund’s involvement make the program unique and attractive.

- The systematic monitoring framework (periodical review and subsequent adjustments to the JISPA) has enhanced transparency and accountability, which has also enabled the program to better respond to the needs of the target countries.



- Although the university curricula have been substantially improved, the universities should enhance their curricula by (i) achieving a better balance between theory and practice, and (ii) offering more courses in the field of financial economics. Each partnership university should develop its own area of focus to meet the diverse needs of potential applicants.

- A strong need for continuing education is identified by JISPA alumni. Providing them with opportunities to take relevant seminars and courses can help meet the need, including through the Japan-IMF Macroeconomic Seminar for Asia (JIMS) or collaboration of OAP with the IMF-Singapore Regional Training Institute to develop new leadership programs.

- In response to scholars’ demands for internships, roundtable discussion sessions with officials of the Japanese Ministry of Finance and Bank of Japan should be arranged with the aim of providing opportunities for scholars to become familiarized with their operations. This will also help build a network between the JISPA scholars and Japanese officials and further advance the programs’ attractiveness.

- Open-track scholarships should continue to be offered for PhD courses as the demand has picked up in recent year.

For full text, click 2016 JISPA review report