What was this activity about?
The case demonstrates growing role of regional institutions in the SSC and the impact that the support from the North may have in reducing the inequities among the members of the South. The JICA-ASEAN Regional Cooperation Meeting (JARCOM), launched in 2002 has emerged as an interesting case where needs of Southern economies and in this case of Cambodia, Laos PDR, Myanmar and Vietnam are met by the providers of development assistance from within the South for instance Indonesia, Malaysia and Thailand, with due facilitation from the North viz. Japan.
The need oriented project formulation support mechanism is developed in such a way that it helped the CLMV countries in identifying their priorities and placing them for match making with the advanced ASEAN countries under the technical cooperation framework of Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA). The regional and national offices of JICA provide necessary support to the annual process of needs-resource identification and match making, project formulation, implementation, monitoring and later evaluation as well. The decisions are taken through the annual meetings. These meeting are hosted in circulation by the member countries.
However, JICA in the year 2009 decided to replace JARCOM by JICA-Southeast Asian Meeting (J-SEAM). The idea was to simplify the agenda and upgrade the quality of South-South Cooperation (SSC) but this did not help in improving the number of match offers from the provider countries. The provider countries launched their own programmes and as a result, since the total number of formulated activities dropped remarkably in 2010, as a result JICA made a decision to dissolve J-SEAM and establish a new mechanism to support regional cooperation among ASEAN members in collaboration with ASEAN Secretariat rather than with individual provider countries. This programme would be implemented from January 2012. A pilot project on this has been successfully accomplished in Lao PDR.