Forth UNCRD/JICA Training Course on Endogenous Regional Economic Development Utilizing Local Resources for Latin America and the Caribbean (A)
6 Jan 2013 - 6 Feb 2013
Nagoya, Japan

Although the LAC region has achieved stable economic growth as a result of adopting economic reform measures such as privatization and deregulation, many of the countries, including a number of rapidly developing countries, are still facing economic disparities between the central and regional, or urban and rural, areas, which continues to grow more than any other part of the world. These countries are concerned about the growing poverty and economic discrepancies, which may possibly cause social unrest and instability.

Rural and remote areas, which usually neither endowed with major industries nor mineral resources, are suffering from an ever-high poverty incidence due to interlinked factors such as an unfavourable geographical and meteorological environment, deficient provision of infrastructure and services, civil conflict and violence, and population displacement. From the perspective of human security, these people are vulnerable not only to suffering from poverty, but also disease, environmental degradation, violence, and social disintegration, and are thus instilled with a sense of insecurity. This situation makes it imperative to give serious consideration as to how to protect and empower these vulnerable people and, in the long term, correct such prevailing disparities and promote balanced regional development across the nation.

In order to rectify economic gaps and secure balanced development, the Endogenous Regional Development (EnRD) approach needs to be introduced in rural and remote areas for the purpose of developing local industry and specialty products based on the unique characteristics and resources of the given locality. In fact, they have the potential of boosting their local economies by promoting light and processing industries utilizing local primary products and/or building a linkage with tourism resources. However, administrative and institutional capacities for problem solving at the local/regional level are not sufficient, and facilitators/coordinators need to be trained to initiate and promote EnRD in collaboration with local governments, agricultural cooperatives, farmers, private firms, and other relevant stakeholders. Against this background, UNCRD, in collaboration with JICA, launched a three-year series of training courses on gEndogenous Regional Economic Development Utilizing Local Resources for Latin America and the Caribbean,h starting from fiscal 2009.


This training course aims to provide participants with a full understanding of the EnRD concept as well as the knowledge and skills necessary for promoting local industries and specialty products based on the EnRD approach.

Target Organizations

Central/local government departments/organizations in charge of supporting (providing extension services to) groups of farmers and food processors of agricultural and livestock industries and/or promoting tourism through linkages with these industries


First Training Course: 8 participants from Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Guatemala, and Nicaragua
Second Training Course: 10 participants from Colombia, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Guatemala, Nicaragua, and Paraguay
Third Training Course: 11 participants from Colombia, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, and Nicaragua

Course Contents

The course offers an opportunity to understand the concept of EnRD by learning from the experiences of Japan and other countries through lectures, case studies, field visits, and group discussions while enabling participants to exchange their ideas and experiences. Each participant will also formulate an action plan describing what he/she will do after they go back to their home country to share and disseminate the knowledge, skills, and ideas acquired and discussed in Japan to his/her department/organization and other stakeholders.

The curriculum was structured around the two themes of "Outline of Regional Development" and "EnRD". The "Outline of Regional Development" included lecture sessions on regional development in Japan, and the administrative and fiscal system of Japan while "EnRD" covered topics including characteristics of local resources and their utilization; strategies for marketing local specialty products; and an agricultural extension service project. As for case studies, participants visited Meiho, Gifu Pref. where they observed the revitalization efforts undertaken by means of setting up public-private companies for Michinoeki (Road Station) and local specialty product development; Japanfs agricultural cooperative association system and direct sales at JA Megumino; eco-tourism in Yakushima, Kagoshima Pref./Hanno, Saitama Pref./Toba, Mie Pref., and strategy of the antenna shops of "Hokkaido Dosanko Plaza" and "Zarai-Oita" in marketing local foodstuffs in Tokyo and brand-building.

Training Materials

- Endogenous Regional Development
- Administrative and Financial System of Japan
- Social Capital and SWOT Anaysis
- Japan Now

Action Plans

As a major output of the course, participants formulated individual action plans. Their titles included:

- "Regional Development in the Cacao-producing Area in the Dominican Republic";
- "Strengthened Collaboration for Production and Value-added Chain of Specialty Sweet Buns in Somoto City, Nicaragua";
- "EnRD by Wild Mushroom Picking, Argentina"; and
- "Green Steel Tourism in Sapucai City, Paraguay".

Participants are expected to disseminate what they learned from the course by sharing their knowledge and experience in the respective programme/projects to promote EnRD that are conducted in collaboration with central/local governments, private firms, NGOs, and local residents. This will ultimately contribute to the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), in particular, the first goal, that is, to "eradicate extreme poverty and hunger".

Previous Training Courses

1st Training Course (11 Jan - 13 Feb 2010)
2nd Training Course (4 Jan - 5 Feb 2011)
3rd Training Course (4 Jan - 4 Feb 2012)

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