MUNICIPAL INSTITUTE FOR
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.
AMDA-OGAR (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