〜 A Humanitarian Approach to Globalization 〜


   Situated in the northwestern end of Okayama Prefecture, Tetta Town with
   a population of some 4,000 boasts the beauty of nature in four seasons.
   One of depopulated areas in Okayama, however, the Town has been tackling
   a steady decline in the number of its residents, not to mention children borne
   by each female. In order to vitalize the whole community, therefore, it began
   to engage in international exchange/cooperation program on a small-town
   level by promoting an active interchange of culture and personnel between
   the Town and the northern town of Meiktila in Myanmar in 1994. Since then
   it has been providing financial assistance for various projects implemented by
   AMDA Project Office in Myanmar such as mobile clinics, feeding centers,
   Mother and Children Ward at Meiktila Hospital and primary health care.

   AMDA, on the other hand, realizes that there is a necessity to train
   professionals in managing non-profitable organizations and especially for
   coordinators/program officers in project sites, despite the fact that existing
   universities and graduate schools have to date provided quality educational
   training for international co-operation and development experts.
   In the Great Kobe (Hanshin) Earthquake, hundreds of volunteers gathered
   from throughout Japan, but there were too few coordinators to manage the
   chaotic circumstances. Furthermore, it is believed that 70-80% of the
   success in overseas humanitarian relief projects depends upon the
   competency of coordinators/program officers, thus attesting to the
   importance of qualified development workers.

   In the meantime, given the substantial decrease in the number of children,
   Tetta Town has had no choice but to close Ota Primary School in March
   2001. Agonizing over what to do with the abandoned construction, it soon
   came up with an idea to make the best use of the building for the field of
   human development and international studies for which AMDA increasingly
   recognizes the necessity. Accordingly, the Tetta Town Municipal Government
   wasted no time in taking the initiative in cooperating withAMDA-OGAR*
   (Association of Medical Doctors of Asia-Organization for Global Assistance
   and Relief) to review the contents of the programs offered as well as to
   obtain support from Okayama Prefecture, the Ministry of Public Management,
   Home Affairs, Posts and Telecommunications, and other governmental
   organizations concerned, for the renovation of the school structure and the
   preparation of equipment needed. As a result, the MIIC Establishment
   Regulation was enacted in September 2000 and the renovation of facilities
   began in April 2001 immediately after the closing of the school.
   The Institute was formerly opened in September 2001.

 Goals & Objectives

   AMDA firmly recognizes the necessity for competent human resources.
   Since its establishment in 1984, AMDA has a wide international network
   and we realize that the establishment of an educational institute would be
   an effective way to further these global ties. This is the first municipal
   government founded institute in cooperation with NGO in Japan and may
   contribute to the increasingly desired education for NGOs personnel. The
   mission of MIIC would be to contribute to the achievement of global peace
   and development of human resources through education and research on
   global problems that are currently threatening the lives in less developed
   countries. In pursuit of AMDA's ultimate goal, "the co-existence of
   diversity", MIIC is expected to serve the following three functions:

    1)To carry out effective humanitarian emergency relief activities;
    2)To provide new conceptual frameworks and practical training
      programmes to development practitioners; and
    3)To enhance capacities of volunteers and civil organizations, both in
      developing and developed countries.

 Description of Activities

   1) Humanitarian Emergency Relief Activities
      The “MOMOTARO International Relief Mission” of MIIC is now
      being organized and prepared for any case of natural and man-made

   2) Practical Training to Program Officers/Coordinators
      The programmes offered at MIIC will be designed to assist NGO
      workers and those who wish to be involved in development fields.
      Students will be able to develop expertise and resources in leadership
      studies and training, project planning and formulation, negotiation
      skills and contract management, and a number of methods and skills
      on participatory learning and action (PLA).
      Furthermore, the courses focused on health and development will be
      based on the extensive experiences of AMDA's 16 years of operation
      throughout the world. Lecturers will be invited from AMDA Chapters
       (branches) who have been engaged in emergency and developmental
      projects through AMDA's missions, and members of AMDA-OGAR,
      including ambassadors to Japan from numerous countries. These
      individuals will be able to enrich the student's educational experience
      by passing on experiential knowledge and practical skills.

      It should be noted that the role of coordinators/program officers is
      different from that of experts. Training of coordinators/program
      officers requires special curricula. Language, negotiation and
      telecommunication skills are essential requirements. International
      law, religions and sociology can also help humanitarian activity
      coordinators/program officers to comprehend principles of the
      international community. Knowledge of international organizations,
      economics and politics further enhance the potential of those
      individuals in coordinating roles.

      One unique aspect of the curriculum at MIIC is that it would include
      practical field experience in an international setting. A six-month to
      one-year overseas experience can help a student develop
      comprehensive judgment in his or her field. Teaching staff at MIIC
      will be recruited not only from developed countries but also from
      developing countries. Graduates of MIIC would be highly qualified for
      employment at the United Nations, multilateral development banks
      and other national and international agencies, governments, private
      companies and NGOs/NPOs.

   3) International Volunteer Training
      MIIC offers open courses for ordinary citizens to learn the essence
      of international volunteering that can contribute to international
      humanitarian relief activities. The Institute also provides numerous
      programs on international understanding, environment and philanthropy
      to municipalities and schools.


   March 1 - 3, 2002 & February 8 - 9, 2003
      The training for Japanese environmental NGO staff and managers was held to enhance their
      capacities in future international relief activities. Courses offered include lectures on environmental
      issues, finance/information system/project management, and special visit to welfare facilities.

   March 12 - 15, 2002 & March 20 - 23, 2003
      The training session was conducted for four consecutive days in a close cooperation with the
      Okayama Prefectural Government. It was designed to introduce core skills required for program
      officers who should play an important role in effective planning and management of developmental
      projects at multinational organizations and NGOs. Through a combination of methods such as
      lectures, small-group discussions and field exercises, the participants had opportunities to gain
      new experience, develop core skills and apply new learning in the areas they are interested in.


 (Association of Medical Doctors of Asia - Organization for Global Assistance and Relief)

  OGAR is a network of individuals from governments, the private sector and civil
  society.This includes non-governmental organizations who have joined together
  in order to improve comprehensive damage control ability in the cases of natural
  and man-made disasters. AMDA realizes the need for this network through its
  experience in humanitarian emergency relief activities throughout the world.
  Whether governments or NGOs alone can prevent or reduce the damage brought
  about by natural or man-made disasters, thus there is an essential need for these
  players to work collectively. Various high-ranking officials, including ambassadors
  to Japan from numerous countries, are members of OGAR. AMDA continues to
  engage in new partnerships with governmental bodies, international and multilateral
  organizations and civil society in order to address the problems related to poverty
  reduction in the less developed countries. AMDA believes that these partnerships are
  an essential way to bring the opportunities of the new century within the reach of all.

  The name of the network used to be APRO (Asia-Pacific Relief Organization) that AMDA established
  as an organization for emergency relief activities and mutual support on October 8, 1995 in Okayama,
  Japan. Participants, including representatives of 16 NGOs, ambassadors to Japan from 14 countries in
  the Asia-Pacific region, officials from the United Nations Department of Humanitarian Assistance,
  Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ministry of Post and Telecommunication, the National Land Agency, Local
  Governments, attended the first meeting of APRO in order to discuss emergency relief for natural
  disasters. The 2nd APRO Forum was held in Okinawa, Japan from December 14 to 15 in 1996 and 72
  NGOs from 13 countries participated. The 3rd APRO Forum was held in Hiroshima, Japan from October
  4 to 5 in 1997 under the theme "Technology-Related Disasters/Emergency Relief Work". In January of
  1999 the 4th APRO Forum was held in Kobe, Japan under the theme of "Damage Control". Various
  participants have attended these forums, from government-related officers and perspectives public
  groups members. They have had the opportunity to discuss emergency relief activities from different
  perspectives. Presently, the APRO network has been expanding world-wide, not only in the Asia-Pacific
  region but also to other areas. During the 5th APRO Forum, held in February 2000, the name of the
  network was changed to the Organization for Global Assistance and Relief (OGAR) to reflect the new
  diversified membership.