The Japan Social Development Fund (JSDF) is a Partnership between the Government of Japan (GoJ) and the World Bank conceived in the wake of the Asian financial crisis in the late 1990s. It was established in June 2000 as a grant mechanism to provide targeted assistance to groups made vulnerable by the financial crisis in low- and lower-middle-income countries around the world.
The objectives of the JSDF program is to provide grants in support of community-driven development and poverty reduction projects that empower the poorest and most vulnerable groups not reached by other programs and improve their lives through direct benefits. Grants are made to eligible recipient countries, based on income level classification. Unlike most Bank-financed projects that are executed by the government at the central level, JSDF grants are executed by NGOs/CSOs and local governments and implemented at the community level. These features make the JSDF program unique, attractive, responsive, and provides a platform for cooperation between NGOs and other local stakeholders in the development process. This had led to meaningful progress in areas not previously associated with the Bank’s work with the public sector.
Since its inception until June 2017, the Government of Japan has provided US$750 million. The fund has become the leading source of support for innovation, multi-sector social poverty alleviation program, responding directly to the needs of the poorest and most vulnerable.
As a model for social development, effectively contributing to the World Bank's Twin Goals of Ending Extreme Poverty and Promoting Shared Prosperity, the JSDF supported projects have been scaled up with funding from the World Bank, Recipient Countries, and other Development Partners.
JSDF spans themes ranging from Livelihood Support; Improved Nutrition and Early Childhood Development; Inclusive Education; through Environmentally Sustainable Agricultural Practices, Adaptation to Climate Change and Community-Level Disaster Risk Management; to Legal Services and Local Governance; and Basic Health and Sanitation Services.
More than 50% of JSDF grants have been implemented by Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) and about 93 low and lower-middle income member countries of the World Bank have benefited from this Program.
Poverty is multi-dimensional, and complexities such as improved access to basic social and economic services by the poorest, marginalized and most vulnerable, including impoverished women, female-headed households, and persons with disabilities underscore the reasons for JSDF’s comprehensive approach to poverty reduction. JSDF’s strategic framework is designed to address issues of deprivation in addition to identifying ways to improve access to affordable food, health, education, housing, safe drinking water, and sanitation for these vulnerable groups.
Within the above framework, delivering integrated solutions to help JSDF beneficiaries address their development challenges requires a focus on results. Over the past couple of years, JSDF has instituted mechanisms at the program level to support the delivery of development results on the ground. JSDF-supported projects have yielded significant results across many areas, as shown below in selected examples from around the globe.
Delivering integrated solutions to help JSDF beneficiaries address their development challenges requires a focus on results. Over the past couple of years, JSDF has instituted mechanisms at the program level to support the delivery of development results on the ground. JSDF-supported projects have yielded significant results across many areas, as shown below in selected examples from around the globe
There are three broad categories of funding available under the JSDF Program:
The JSDF finances project grants and capacity building grants:
All Low-Income and Middle-Income Countries , as outlined in the yearly World Development Reports (WDR), eligible for World Bank assistance, can be a Recipient of JSDF grants.
The objective of the JSDF is to provide grants in support of community-driven development and poverty reduction projects that empower the poorest and most vulnerable groups not reached by other programs and improve their lives through direct benefits.
Recipient-Executed Grants are made to eligible countries, based on income level classification. As stated earlier, all low and lower middle income countries are Eligible (should be a link to the list of eligible countries) to receive a JSDF grant. All development sectors are also eligible for funding.
The JSDF Secretariat issues calls for Ideas Briefs (IB) twice a year. The main purpose of this exercise is to help applicants develop robust ideas for funding under the JSDF before extensive resources are dedicated on detailed proposals.
Unlike most Bank-financed projects that are executed by the government at the central level, JSDF grants are executed by NGOs/CSOs and local governments, implemented at the community level. However, JSDF applications including concept notes are not accepted from outside parties. They require the sponsorship and endorsement by the relevant Global Practice (GP) or Global Theme Department (GT) in the World Bank. Therefore, it is important for NGO/CSO and Community-Based Organization (CBO) applicants to establish contact with the Country Program Coordinator (CPC) or Program Leader (PL) of the relevant GP or GT to see the extent to which their project ideas can be supported and submitted to JSDF on their behalf. To ensure harmonization and coordination, Bank task teams are required to consult with the Embassy of Japan & JICA accredited to the recipient country. TTLs are also required to secure endorsement by the Bank Country Director and Global Practice managers.
The JSDF Secretariat will review and clear the submitted idea briefs. Once an IB has been cleared, World Bank Task Team, together with the Applicant, will proceed in preparing the Project Initiation Note (PIN) in accordance with the Bank’s Small Grants Guidelines and Procedures. The draft PIN will then be submitted to Japan by the JSDF Secretariat for review and clearance. Once the PIN has been cleared by Japan, the Bank Task Team in consultation with the Applicant will move to the appraisal phase with the preparation of the Project Paper (PP). The approval of the PP by Japan will signal the beginning of project implementation through the signing of the Grant Agreement.
Further information can be provided by contacting the JSDF Secretariat.
JSDF project proposals should respond to the following criteria:
JSDF grants are expected to be demand-driven and prepared in a participatory, rather than a top-down, manner. They may be proposed by local governments, NGOs, or civil society groups, but must be prepared and submitted by a Bank staff member.