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Policy Issues for Contributing ODA to Sustainable Development in Developing Countries: An Analysis of Korea's ODA and Sri Lankan Practices.

Environmental problems in developing countries are a frequent topic of scholarly discussion (Chae and Park 2016; Park, Marmur, and Russell 2013; Park and Russell 2013). Issues such as low economic growth, insufficient social capital, and governance vulnerability are factors that worsen these problems (Jung, Oh, and Song 2012; Kim and Park 2017; Lee and Park 2017). Environmental problems cause even more damage in countries ill-equipped to handle them (M. Kim and Park 2016; OECD 2011). Consequently, ever since the Rio+20 Conference more emphasis has been given to the sustainable development of developing countries by means of resolving their environmental problems. The resolution of environmental issues, which was only one of the UN's Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), is now being recognized as the overriding task in promoting sustainable development (Kim et al. 2008; Marmur et al. 2006; Park et al. 2016; Temiyasathit, Kim, and Park 2009). Such active international discussions on global environmental issues increased the importance of the environmental sector in relation to official development assistance (ODA) (Lim 2012).

The Republic of Korea (ROK, hereinafter referred to as Korea) is an exemplary country that successfully converted from a recipient of ODA to a donor country. Since participating on the Development Assistance Committee of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) in 2009, Korea has been active in the international community and is supporting developing countries through ODA. Korea is largely expanding the scale of environmental ODA through the East Asia Climate Partnership. For such ODA to be a practical and successful contribution in sustainable development of developing countries, long-term and systematic plans drawn on lessons learned from previously conducted ODA are essential.

Studies of Korea's ODA measures are already under way. Soojae Yoon's (2013) research utilizes an ODA project evaluation and monitoring system in Korea in order to search for improvements. In another study, Hyungbaek Lim (2014) assesses that the national vision and goals of ODA planning are unclear despite the astounding quantitative increase of ODA in Korea-- pointing out, for example, issues of implementing similar or duplicate ODAs. In the course of evaluation of an ODA project, Byungseol Byun, Soyeon Pak, and Heesun Cho (2016) propose the maintenance of a completed product as appropriate--for example, to appropriately evaluate a project to improve a vocational training center in Sri Lanka, evaluating whether the training is connected with jobs actually available becomes necessary. Other studies cover a number of topics regarding ODA improvements. Hwarang Kim (2014) proposes supporting small--to midsized companies' advancement into foreign markets through ODA-based public-private partnerships (PPPs), while Yoon Lee, Jeongseok Lee, and Yongsuk Hong (2015) suggest sanitary water supply ODA projects be linked to economic growth.

However, few studies propose to improve the direction of Korea's ODA efforts based on evaluations of previous ODA. Because the ODA projects in Korea were initially funded by the United Nations instead of by domestic funding, the results of the projects were not the subject of substantial social discussion. Therefore, the evaluation and monitoring of the result of ODA is insufficient compared with the assessments conducted by developed countries (Yoon 2013).

In this study we seek to ascertain what specific ODA tasks are strategic in contributing to the sustainable development of developing countries. To determine what improvements are needed in ODA projects, an evaluation was undertaken of waste treatment improvement projects in Sri Lanka--in which the authors of this article participated directly--and experts in the field of ODA were surveyed three times, with the Delphi method then used to analyze their opinions. Our findings suggest a direction for Korea to implement ODA projects in developing countries and serve as usable basic data for other countries that are conducting similar ODA projects.

ODA Project for Improving Waste Treatment in Sri Lanka

Status of Waste Management System in Sri Lanka

Despite the country's rapid population increase and urbanization, Sri Lanka is not systematically equipped with waste treatment facilities. Consequently, the increase in domestic wastes is a serious environmental issue. Specifically, insufficient systematic collection of wastes and the lack of waste disposal sites are the country's two biggest waste management problems. Such problems are not limited to Sri Lanka. Many developing countries have limited sanitary systems despite massive wastes from densely populated cities and industrial facilities. These untreated wastes become the main source of water and soil contamination, and nearby residents are often exposed to heavy metals and toxic substances. Moreover, such conditions easily lead to infectious diseases. Therefore, proper waste treatment is directly associated with public health, and furthermore, with a country's sustainable development (UNEP 2017).

The Sri Lankan government is aware of these issues and has tried to resolve the country's environmental problems through establishing relevant policies (Clean Air Sri Lanka 2008; IBP 2015; MENRSL 2005, 2010). Originally, its environmental policies were directed mainly at ecological environment conservation. After environmental pollution caused by industrial development and urbanization became serious, a solid waste management policy was added. After environmental problems related to sustainable development were recognized, the government established other environmental policies consistent with the international community's MDGs (Lee 1993; Yoon 2007).

Unfortunately, not all policies are effective in practice. For example, the National Policy on Solid Waste Management enacted in 2007 was established to comprehensively manage solid wastes. However, solid wastes were not being properly treated. As an example, even compostable organic wastes that account for 62 percent of urban solid wastes were not properly treated. Recyclable wastes also were often being discarded on streets or disposed of in unsanitary landfills. Such actions created favorable breeding environments for pests, including mosquitoes, which in turn propagated epidemics such as dengue fever. However, the local governments in Sri Lanka did not construct additional waste treatment facilities or prepare disposal sites as solutions to improve waste treatment (Clean Air Sri Lanka 2008; UNEP 2017).

Being aware of these issues, Korea included Sri Lanka among the countries in its Country Partnership Strategy and actively promotes environmental ODA projects in the country. In this study, the strengths, weaknesses, and improvements of the ODA project in which the authors participated from 2012 to 2014 are analyzed based on the opinions of the project participants. In addition, a survey of experts permitted derivation of the policy issues necessary for an ODA to contribute to sustainable development in developing countries.

ODA Project Practice in Sri Lanka: Training Projects

Fellowship program on waste management and waste to energy for Sri Lanka. The purpose of this project was to transfer knowledge and experience on waste management and energy recovery. The project was conducted for twenty Sri Lankan officials for fourteen days from September 16 to September 29, 2012. Sri Lankan officials were invited to Korea and provided relevant lectures and appropriate site tours. The lectures covered the content of Korea's policies, systems, and technologies related to waste management and energy recovery. In addition, the training included tours of environmental facilities such as the Dongdaemun Resource Recycling Center so that the Sri Lankan government officials could see the Korean waste management conditions. In addition, a public seminar on the environmental policies and environmental industry in Sri Lanka was held to provide opportunities for those interested in supporting ODA to Sri Lanka to understand the situation there (KOICA 2012b).

The local Sri Lankan officials who participated in the project were asked to comment on the strengths and limitations of the training. They identified the well-organized lectures as strengths and viewed the tours of environmental facilities as beneficial. However, the lack of direct contribution to the improvement of waste management policies in Sri Lanka, despite the reinforcement of the participants' competency, was identified as a limitation. Their answers indicate that more focus should be devoted to implementing practical projects with immediate benefit to the recipient countries to resolve urgent environmental issues and achieve sustainable development.

Capacity development program on Asian Resource Recirculated Society. This project was a program to train government officials of four Asian countries--Bangladesh, Cambodia, Laos, and Sri Lanka, all of which share similar economic, social, and environmental situations--on how to support establishing sustainable resource recirculation systems. Seventeen government officials (four each from Bangladesh, Cambodia, and Sri Lanka, and five from Laos) were invited to Korea to participate in the ten-day training program that was carried out October 7-16, 2012 (KOICA 2012a).

The training consisted of lectures, a national conference, and tours of waste management sites (i.e., a resource recovery facility and metropolitan landfills). The lecture topics covered waste management and recycling policies in Korea as well as the status and issues of the country's waste treatment projects. At the national conference, the participants presented proposed action plans for sustainable development of their own countries. The "Pilot Project for Volume-Based Waste Fee System" proposal by a Sri Lankan trainee (the director of Sri Lanka's waste management department) was selected as the best. Thus, the Sri Lankan trainee won funding for a pilot project.

The participants were asked for their comments on the training program and identified as strengths the well-written lecture materials and informative site tours, inter alia; but their favorite feature was the fact that a pilot project could be funded based on proposals submitted by the trainees. In other words, support for a waste management project in their country was chosen as the biggest advantage.

Fellowship program on waste management and volume-based waste fee system for Sri Lanka. Prior to this program, the Sri Lankan government had expressed its intention to adopt the volume-based waste fee system already implemented in Korea. So, the purpose of this project was to introduce the government's environmental officials to the management policies associated with this system. Eighteen environmental government officials participated in the ten-day program from December 2 to 11, 2013. Discussion with expert groups was included to support resolution of waste issues in Sri Lanka. The lectures covered Korea's waste reduction policies, recycling system, and organic waste recycling technology. In addition, at the request of the participants, interviews were arranged with the Korean officials who operate and manage the volume-based waste fee system. Overall, the participants' comments on the project were very positive. The lectures and site tours were said to be beneficial in understanding the volume-based waste fee system. However, what was appreciated most of all were the interviews with the Korean officials concerning the situation, issues, and solutions when the volume-based waste fee system was first introduced in Korea. The reaction of the participants reflected their expectation of having to confront similar issues when they introduce the system in Sri Lanka.

ODA Project Practice in Sri Lanka: Pilot Projects

Pilot project on promoting point source separation of household solid waste for sustainable waste management. The main content of this pilot project was distribution of composting containers and recycling bins to 100 homes in a section of Ruwanvella Pradesheya Sabha--a midsized city in Sri Lanka where domestic waste collection was not being operated properly--to reduce domestic wastes. An instruction manual written in English was also provided. The project, which lasted for seven months from October 23, 2013, to May 31, 2014, was funded up to the equivalent of US$11,000.

The recycling bin distributed was a 65-liter container with separate sections for the disposal of plastic, polyethylene, and glass. A gunny sack was also provided to separate paper and cardboard. About 70 percent of food wastes in Sri Lanka are biodegradable organic wastes. To turn them into compost, a 160liter composting container was provided. Due diligence was conducted on the progress of this project. Although a few homes did not use the composting containers properly, most of them did. In addition, some of the households used sawdust to prevent odors in the composting containers. All households used the recycling bins properly.

The local government officials in Sri Lanka who participated in the project said that they were especially satisfied with the composting containers for recycling domestic organic wastes. They also asked whether the project could be expanded into other cities; some of them asked if the instruction brochure for the composting containers could be printed in Sinhala (Sri Lanka's language) for those not familiar with English. They also mentioned that although the project was conducted for only 100 homes, it made a big impact in raising awareness of waste recycling and composting for all of the residents in the city. In addition, the profit from selling the recycled products was highly attractive. Such results showed the importance of economic benefit as a factor. Furthermore, they added, continuous monitoring would be essential for the project to make a practical contribution to waste management in Sri Lanka.

Pilot project for implementing volume-based waste fee system in Sri Lanka. This project was a pilot based on a proposal adopted from a participant in the training project, Capacity Development Program on Asian Resource Recirculated Society. The budget for it was $10,000. The project was planned for three cities in western Sri Lanka. Its ultimate goal was to promote waste recycling nationwide in Sri Lanka. The western state's waste management department conducted an education program for government officials in advance of the pilot project. Advertisements to raise public awareness of the project were also created and distributed.

Despite this preparation, the project was postponed indefinitely because of Sri Lanka's political situation. The main reason was that the implementation of the volume-based waste fee system project imposed a new tax on waste disposal. Because establishing a new waste tax could be a hindrance to election to parliament, multiple political parties were reluctant to support the project, even though Korea had provided its training and funding. This case showed the importance of analyzing the political and social circumstances of a recipient country as part of a feasibility assessment before planning ODA projects.

ODA Improvement Plan Analyzed

Based on ODA Project in Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka is trying to improve its waste management system on a national scale, an effort that has drawn the support of Korea through ODA. In this study, the previously conducted ODA project's strengths and weaknesses were analyzed to more effectively implement future ODA projects. Improvements that can increase the effectiveness of future ODA projects can be summarized in four categories.

First, to increase the effectiveness of ODA projects, a recipient country's environmental policies must be promoted. As a case in point, the pilot project for the implementation of a volume-based waste fee system could have helped reduce waste in Sri Lanka, but it could not be implemented because it was not reflected in the environmental policy. When a project is not addressed or included in a proposed recipient country's environmental policy, its implementation becomes especially vulnerable to political and economic circumstances.

Second, enhancement of public awareness of environmental problems is essential for ODAs to succeed in helping to resolve such problems. For example, public participation was essential for the effectiveness of the pilot project on promoting point source separation of household solid waste for sustainable waste management. Active participation by the residents was essential for this ODA to ultimately contribute to resolving environmental issues. The success of a pilot project can help its expansion nationwide. But for this to happen requires extensive efforts to improve awareness of environmental issues.

Third, an accurate advanced understanding of the political and economic situations in recipient countries is necessary before undertaking ODA projects. As noted earlier, the pilot project for a volume-based waste fee could not proceed because political parties in Sri Lanka opposed an additional waste tax.

Fourth, ODA must not begin as temporary aid for a recipient country or evolve into such aid. Instead, it should contribute to sustainable development. Rather than being satisfied with a temporary reduction of wastes through environmental ODAs, long-term sustainable development of developing countries should be the goal of ODAs.

When the above four concerns are taken into account in the planning stage, ODA can make practical contributions to the sustainable development of recipient countries. Korea has been actively supporting ODAs in developing countries. The continuous increase in ODA budgets each year reflects its efforts. However, in addition to the quantitative expansion of ODA, it is important to improve the prospects for the success of future environmental projects by assessing previously implemented projects. This analysis of the ODA projects conducted in Sri Lanka contributes not only to planning future ODA projects for Sri Lanka but also to planning ODA projects for other developing countries.

Policy Issues for ODA Project Contributions to Sustainable Development of Developing Countries

Research Method

Improvements for future ODA were proposed based on previous ODA projects in Sri Lanka in the previous section. Policy issues for specifically implementing the proposed improvements were derived through three surveys of experts (Table 1).

The four questions posed in the first survey are below.

* Please write the policy issues of ODA:

1. To enhance the environmental policies of developing countries.

2. To improve public awareness of environmental issues in recipient countries.

3. To increase communication and cooperation between recipient and donor countries.

4. To contribute to sustainable development beyond temporary support of developing countries.

The survey secured the subjective opinions of the experts, and the Delphi analytical method was used to merge their opinions. Although Delphi analysis is explained in detail in the literature, it warrants a brief summary here (Baek and Park 2015). The method was developed as part of a US military project conducted by the RAND Corporation during the 1950s. It secures experts' opinions through surveys while guaranteeing them anonymity. Therefore, this method can supplement the disadvantage of securing opinions through meetings in which individuals may not be able to clearly express their opinions in the presence of others. Therefore, this method can be explained as "a process of obtaining the most reliable consensus through repetitive application of expert groups' opinions, feedbacks, and surveys" (Hilbert, Miles, and Othmer 2009; Hsu and Sanford 2007).

The Delphi analysis is often used in forecasting future uncertainties when there is a lack of references because of insufficient existing data. In addition, it is widely used to prioritize expert opinions and to supplement decisionmaking in various fields (Rowe and Wright 1999).

The expertise of survey subjects is an important factor in the reliability of the survey results. Survey subjects selected for our study are experts in the fields of international cooperation, environmental policies, and sustainable development. The ideal number of survey subjects is not fixed for Delphi analysis. However, the most common numbers are between twenty and fifty subjects (Hilbert, Miles, and Othmer 2009). Forty experts participated in the surveys for this study.

In a Delphi analysis, surveys are conducted several times. The first survey consisted of open questions that asked the experts' subjective opinions on a specific topic. The survey aggregator grouped the first survey's answers based on similar questions. The grouped tasks were provided to the participants during the second survey. Therefore, during the second survey, the participants were able to see opinions that others wrote during the first survey. In the second survey, participants were asked to grade the level of importance of grouped tasks based on a Likert scale of 1 (not important at all) to 5 (very important). The survey aggregator provided the mean and standard deviation of the second survey's results, which is each individual opinion's level of importance. In the third survey, participants were asked to select the task they considered the most important. Finally, opinions were converged by designating the task selected by the most survey participants as the most important task. This was how the subjective opinions of the experts were converged.

The number of surveys in a Delphi analysis is not fixed, and surveys can be continued until convergence is reached. According to previous studies in which the Delphi analysis method was used, convergence was reached after three surveys in many cases (Baek and Park 2015; Hilbert, Miles, and Othmer 2009; Rowe and Wright 1999). Convergence was also reached after three surveys in this study. Here, bias in the survey result can occur if survey participants in the first survey did not play a role in all three survey rounds. Therefore, the participation rate in each survey is an important factor in the reliability of the result. In this study, of the forty experts who participated in the first survey, thirty-six (90 percent) of them participated in the second and third surveys. Those participants consisted of experts in the fields of ODA, sustainable development, environmental engineering, and international affairs, with each expert's having at least five years of experience in his or her respective field. Out of the forty experts, twenty-two people were professors or researchers in academia, and eighteen people were from industries or nongovernmental organizations (NGOs).

Results and Discussion

Policy issues for the four improvement plans proposed based on ODA projects in Sri Lanka were derived in this study. For this purpose, surveys were conducted three times as noted above. The top five priority issues from the surveys are summarized in Tables 2 through 5. In the first column of each table, the opinions from the first survey are grouped into five to eight categories. The numbers in the second column are the means and standard deviations of the level of importance (1 = not important at all; 5 = very important) based on the second survey. The third column is the percentage of selection as an important task in the third survey. If the third column is marked as 100 percent, it means that all the respondents selected the task as an important task. Because the respondents were asked to select three items that they believed were important, the total of all the questions is 300 percent. Since only the top five priority issues are listed in Tables 2 through 5, the total of those five issues is less than 300 percent if the number of the questions is more than five. The items are ordered from the highest to the lowest percentage based on the results of the third survey.

Policy Issues of ODA for Enhancing Environmental Policies in Developing Countries

Enhancement of environmental policies is required if ODA is to make practical contributions to the sustainable development of developing countries. According to the surveys on policy issues, the one most selected in the third survey was the proposed planning of specialized ODA projects on environmental policy improvement (Table 2). Many ODA projects currently under development in Korea focus on economic support. For practical contributions to environmental policies, ODAs should be linked directly to environmental policies. For this to happen requires targeting policymakers with training on the importance of environmental issues. In addition, economic and political issues surrounding the current environmental policies in developing countries should be accurately understood in advance.

The second priority in policy issues is to continuously support improvement of environmental policies in developing countries. Thus, it was proposed to send specialists to developing countries to continuously support improvement in environmental policies. For instance, the Korea Senior Expert Dispatching Program of World Friends Korea sent retired experts to developing countries to support the industry (WFK 2018). Those experts can provide donor countries with the direction of the ODA project to be planned for contributing to the industrial development of developing countries. If this were done, an ODA project under way could be linked to the industrial development in developing countries. In addition, the effect of changes in environmental policies should be continuously monitored.

The third priority was given to reaching a consensus on enhanced environmental policies not only for the policymakers but also for various stakeholders. Measures to get a consensus include holding joint seminars between relevant institutions in recipient and donor countries. Another suggestion was to conduct educational programs on policies for environmental policymakers as well as diverse stakeholders.

The fourth priority was to establish joint visions between recipient and donor countries so that environmental policies can be consistent with the national goals of a recipient.

The fifth priority was assigned to the need to review the cost-effectiveness of environmental policies because economic feasibility is crucial to their effectiveness.

Policy Issues of ODA for Public Awareness of Environmental Issues in Recipient Countries

If ODA is to make practical contributions to the sustainable development of developing countries, the public's awareness of environmental issues must be improved. To this end, the policy issue with the highest priority calls for development of ODA projects that can bring a direct benefit to the public. Examples of such projects include proper maintenance of old sewage systems and improved sanitary drinking water systems (Table 3).

The second priority calls for improved education to build awareness of environmental issues. To achieve this improved public awareness, education on the issues should be expanded to the public and not just to the environmental officials and workers in the environmental field.

The third priority task selected was to create jobs in the environment sector through ODA projects. When the job market is active in the environmental sector, environmental awareness can be increased. Enterprises in donor countries have an essential role to play in job creation, and a suggestion was made that this support might be secured through incentives to enterprises participating in ODA.

The fourth task was to publicize environmental ODA projects to raise awareness. Proposals for gaining publicity included promoting ODA projects through the mass media, distributing guides on international development cooperation projects to elementary, middle, and high schools and to public institutions. In addition, expanded pilot projects were suggested because those who participated in ODA pilot projects played an indirect role in promoting environmental issues. For example, the previously implemented pilot project for establishing a volume-based waste fee system in Sri Lanka enabled residents nearby to receive direct and indirect information on such projects.

The fifth priority was support for public education in developing countries in order to improve awareness of environmental issues. For example, the educational service can be directly provided by opening invitational training programs in the donor country. However, the number who benefit from the education can be larger by improving the curriculum of the environmental education or by financially supporting educational programs in developing countries. Therefore, supporting environmental education in the developing countries has the advantage of broadening the targets of education more than directly providing education in developing countries.

Policy Issues of ODA to Improve Communication and Cooperation Between Recipient and Donor Countries

Communication and cooperation between recipient and donor countries are essential to improve the effectiveness of ODA projects (Table 4). Maintaining close relationships between the two countries at the governmental level was proposed as the first measure. When the two countries are close at the government level, they can jointly establish a strategy toward the sustainable development of the recipient country. In addition, it facilitates ODA projects that are in accord with the economic development plan for the recipient country.

The second priority was given to providing educational programs to recipient countries' practitioners in environmental operations. As measures to maintain long-term and continuous collaboration, it was proposed to hold regular training for environmental policymakers, managers, and working-level employees, or to support educational opportunities such as graduate school programs for environmental officials.

The third priority was to increase mutual exchanges between expert environmental groups. Communication and cooperation can be increased through joint forums with experts from the recipient and donor countries. In addition, exchange programs among industries, universities, research institutes, and governments in recipient and donor countries will also contribute to communication and cooperation between the countries.

Supporting appropriate technology to the recipient countries was selected as the fourth task. Technology specialized for the recipient countries can provide economic and social benefits. However, developing this appropriate technology requires first that the recipient countries accurately understand the environmental issues they confront. Therefore, cooperation between the donor and recipient countries during the course of developing appropriate technology is essential and can contribute to facilitating communication between them.

The fifth task was to improve cooperation between enterprises in donor and recipient countries. The four tasks mentioned prior to this one concerned government-led maintenance of cooperative relationships. However, government-led relationships encounter limitations because of limited budgets. Such limitations can be overcome by the private sector. The role of the government in fostering such relationships would be to provide appropriate information and support to encourage investment by private entities.

Policy Issues on ODA for Contributing to Sustainable Development of Recipient Countries Beyond Temporary Support

As for ODA measures to contribute to sustainable development beyond temporary support of recipient countries, the policy issue with the highest priority is to conduct follow-up management after ODA project implementation (Table 5). Continuous maintenance of ODA projects can contribute to the sustainable development of the recipient countries. For example, it was proposed that this follow-up management could be done by keeping local offices and parts of an expert ODA workforce in place in the recipient country after project completion.

The second priority task selected was to create jobs through PPP. Participation of enterprises from the donor country in ODA projects can help cultivate recipient countries' environmental industries. However, side effects exist in creating jobs in the developing countries through PPP. For example, the technical education provided through ODA can result in the standardization of the technology in the long term although the recipient countries can speed up the development in the short term. In order to minimize the side effects, various policy issues represented in this study should be achieved in accordance with creating jobs to contribute to sustainable development in the recipient countries.

The third priority was given to sharing long-term ODA project plans between the governments of the two countries. In other words, through joint planning, projects beneficial to the long-term national development of recipient countries can be facilitated. Such projects can contribute directly to their sustainable development. The fourth priority was proposed support for the infrastructure industries in developing countries. Energy and IT infrastructure that are directly linked with economic growth are closely associated with sustainable development.

The fifth priority task was to foster experts in environmental technology. For this purpose, it was proposed to operate university-level educational exchange programs between the two countries. In addition, establishment of educational institutions in local communities was suggested. The sixth task was to establish continuous cooperative relationships by connecting the supply chains of enterprises between the recipient and donor countries. The policy issue selected last and given the least emphasis was to support natural resource development in the developing countries.


The purpose of this study was to derive the policy issues of environmental ODA for the sustainable development of developing countries. The study was largely conducted in two steps. The first was to propose improvements based on the opinions of local participants in Sri Lanka in relation to the results of the ODA projects implemented. In the second step, the policy issues for implementing improvements were derived based on expert surveys. The priority of tasks from expert surveys was determined through Delphi analysis.

As a result, improvements for the effectiveness of ODA were summarized into four categories. First is the enhancement of environmental policies in developing countries through ODA. Important policy issues selected by more than 50 percent of the survey participants were as follows: first, developing specialized ODA projects to improve the environmental policies of developing countries is the most important way toward actual enhancement of these policies; second, sending specialists to developing countries to continuously support improvement in environmental policies; and third, creating a consensus between recipient and donor countries (acknowledging that conveying education on environmental policies to various stakeholders as well as to environmental policymakers may be the instrument for reaching the required consensus).

Second, ODA must help improve the recipient countries' public awareness of environmental issues. To achieve this, the policy issue with the highest priority is to develop ODA projects that can provide direct benefits to citizens. Second and third priorities, respectively, are providing education on environmental issues and creating jobs related to the environment to raise public awareness.

Third, communication and cooperation between the recipient and donor countries are required to increase the effectiveness of ODA. Among policy issues, highest priority was given to jointly planning ODA projects between the two countries. To this end, cooperative relationships at the government level should be developed and maintained. The second priority is providing training or education to recipient countries' practitioners in the environmental field.

Fourth, ODA must be more than a temporary aid for the recipient countries and must contribute to their sustainable development. The most important priority is follow-up management beyond mere ODA implementation, followed by job creation in recipient countries through establishing PPP and sharing of long-term ODA project plans between the two governments.

A noteworthy aspect of this study is the method of deriving policy issues for improving environmental ODA. Improvements were derived by reflecting the personal opinions of the local participants in the developing country through previously conducted ODA projects. The priority of policy issues to achieve such improvements was presented by using the Delphi method based on the expert surveys. However, one limitation of this study is that it does not provide practical methods to implement the policy issues. For example, the means by which to procure the budget required also should be planned in advance. If practical ways are provided, such study results not only can contribute to the effective implementation of future ODA projects but also can be used as basic data to examine when establishing national policies for providing ODA to developing countries.


Dayoung Lee managed various environmental ODA projects as a research fellow for the Korea Environment Corporation (KECO). She conducted projects that linked climate change with the meteorological industry as a research fellow for the Korea Meteorological Industry Promotion Agency. She earned a master's degree in the Green Tech MBA program at Hanyang Cyber University, Korea. Her research interests include ODA, international development and cooperation, climate change, and sustainable development. She can be reached at Hyeyun Park is currently a water engineer for Suwon University, Korea. She received a master's degree in the Department of Environmental Health at National Open University, Korea. Before joining the university, she worked as an economic researcher for the ROK embassy in the United Kingdom. As a research fellow at KECO, she participated in various international development and cooperation projects including the Seoul Initiative Network in Green Growth, a regional cooperation program for Asia. Her research interests include international development and cooperation, environmental policy, and environmental ODA. She can be reached at Sun Kyoung Park (corresponding author) is currently assistant professor in the School of ICT-Integrated Studies at Pyeongtaek University, Korea. Previously, she worked as a transportation planner for the North Central Texas Council of Governments, USA, and was assistant professor in the Green Tech MBA program at Hanyang Cyber University, Korea. She earned a PhD in environmental engineering at the Georgia Institute of Technology, USA. Her research interests include environmental modeling, climate change, and sustainable development. She can be reached at


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Table 1 Policy Issues for Implementing Proposed Improvements for
Future ODA Based on Previous ODA Projects in Sri Lanka

Proposed Improvements for Future   Policy Issues

Promoting recipient country's      Enhancing the environmental
  environmental policies             policies of developing
Enchancing public awareness of     Improving public awareness of
  environmental problems             environmental issues in
                                     recipient countries
Improving understanding of the     Increasing communication and
  political and economic             cooperation between recipient
  situations in recipient            and donor countries
Contributing to sustainable        Contributing to sustainable
development                          development beyond temporary
                                     support of developing countries

Table 2 Policy Issues of ODA to Enchance Environmental Policies in
Developing Countries

                                   Results    Results of     Results
                                   of First   Second         of Third
                                   Survey     Survey (a)     Survey

Planning specialized ODA           0.74       4.3 [+ or -]   92%
  projects on environmental
  policy improvement
Sending specialists to             0.92       4.0 [+ or -]   75%
  developing countries to
  continuously support
  improvement in environmental
Creating a consensus among         0.92       4.0 [+ or -]   67%
  diverse stakeholders through
  joint seminars and education
  on enhancing environmental
Establishing joint visions of      0.90       3.9 [+ or -]   42%
  environmental policies between
  recipient and donor countries
  so that environmental policies
  will be consistent with the
  national goals of the
  recipient country
Reviewing the cost-effectiveness   0.81       3.8 [+ or -]   25%
  of environmental policies

Note: a. Mean [+ or -] SD of the second survey (max: 5).

Table 3 Policy Issues of ODA for Public Awareness of Environmental
Issues in the Recipient Countries

                                   Results    Results of     Results
                                   of First   Second         of Third
                                   Survey     Survey (a)     Survey

Promoting environmental projects   0.90       4.2 [+ or -]   86%
  of of direct benefit to the
  public such as improving
  sanitary drinking water
  systems, etc.
Improving awareness of             0.93       4.1 [+ or -]   78%
  environmental issues through
Creating jobs in the               0.96       3.8 [+ or -]   50%
  environmental sector through
  ODA projects
Publicizing environmental ODA      1.07       3.4 [+ or -]   42%
  projects by using mass media,
Supporting public education on     1.17       3.6 [+ or -]   22%
  environmental issues

Note: a. Mean [+ or -] SD of the second survey (max: 5).

Table 4 Policy Issues of ODA to Improve Communication and Cooperation
Between Recipient and Donor Countries

                                  Results    Results of     Results
                                  of First   Second         of Third
                                  Survey     Survey (a)     Survey

Maintaining close relationships   0.76       4.5 [+ or -]   83%
  between the two countries at
  the government level
Providing training or education   0.86       4.1 [+ or -]   67%
  to recipient countries'
  practitioners in the
  environmental field
Increasing mutual exchanges       0.85       4.0 [+ or -]   44%
  between environmental expert
Supporting appropriate            1.05       3.9 [+ or -]   42%
  technology for the recipient
Maintaining cooperative           0.67       3.7 [+ or -]   33%
  relationships between private

Note: a. Mean [+ or -] SD of the second survey (max: 5).

Table 5 Policy Issues on ODA for Contributing to Sustainable
Development of Recipient Countries Beyond Temporary Support

                                   Results    Results of     Results
                                   of First   Second         of Third
                                   Survey     Survey (a)     Survey

Following up on the management     0.92       4.2 [+ or -]   69%
  of ODA projects by keeping
  local offices and parts of
  expert workforce in the
  recipient country after
  project completion
Creating jobs through PPP in       0.92       4.0 [+ or -]   58%
  implementing ODA projects
Sharing long-term ODA project      0.80       4.1 [+ or -]   56%
  plans between governments of
  the recipient and donor
Supporting infrastructure          0.78       3.9 [+ or -]   47%
  industry in developing
Fostering experts in               0.86       3.9 [+ or -]   42%
  environmental technology

Note: a. Mean [+ or -] SD of the second survey (max: 5).
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Title Annotation:DEVELOPMENT IN EAST ASIA; official development assistance
Author:Lee, Dayoung; Park, Hyeyun; Park, Sun Kyoung
Publication:Asian Perspective
Article Type:Report
Geographic Code:9SOUT
Date:Oct 1, 2018
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