No! to Landgrab, Japan et al. | 17 January 2016
(Translation by GRAIN of revised text published in Portuguese on January 17)
Preliminary analysis of the JICA primary documents
JICA contracts with the ‘Communications Strategy’ consultants and the ProSAVANA Master Plan (MP) Japanese consultant reports
17 January 2016 (revision of original published on January 13)
No! to Landgrab, Japan
Japan International Volunteer Centre
Africa Japan Forum
1-Objective of this document......................
1.2. Objective of this document......................
1.3. What is missing for the full analysis - the JICA contract with MAJOL.........................
1.4. Citizens’ rights to access government information...................
2. Context and composition of the JICA documents analysed......................
2.1. “Social Communications Strategy” for ProSAVANA.....................
2.2. Contract between JICA and MAJOL.........................
2.3. Japanese Contractors monthly report on the ProSAVANA-PD..................
3 - Analysis of the JICA documents.....................
3.1. ‘Social Communications Strategy’ for ProSAVANA.....................
3.1.1. Important points that appear in the documents.....................
3.1.2. Preliminary Analysis......................
3.2. Contract between JICA and MAJOL.........................
1-Objective of this document
Through a long history of experience in monitoring Official Development Assistance (ODA) of the Japanese Government and JICA (Japan International Cooperation Agency), Japanese civil society has come to the conclusion that the most important tasks for citizens of a ‘traditional’ donor are to: (1) obtain information about the projects and support programmes; (2) perform careful and professional interpretation and analyses of this information based on the understanding of this country’s different customs and systems, and (3) share findings and information widely with the recipient countries’ societies.
The lack of transparency and failure to share necessary information with local societies has been a continuous problem in the case of Japanese ODA. This tendency is rooted in the character of Japanese bureaucracy and its aid system which is designed to work through State-State channels. The lack of transparency is made worse by the fact that the languages used in Japanese aid are, often, in Japanese and, at times, English.Therefore Japan civil society’s role has been very important in the cases of problematic development programmes (e.g. the cases in Myanmar-Burma and in the Mekong River).
In September 2012, Japanese civil society received requests for cooperation with peasants’organisations and Mozambican civil society to defend the rights of peasants as regards ProSAVANA and the Development of the Nacala Corridor.Based on the conclusions above, Japanese civil society decided to focus on those three activities, as well as another important task, which was to share local information and in particular the voices of Mozambican peasants with the Japanese public and its government agencies, such as JICA and MoFA (Ministry of Foreign Affairs).
Japanese civil society has carried out the first task of obtaining informationby: (a) periodic dialogue about ProSAVANA between Japanese NGOs and MoFA and JICA, (b) document-sharing requests to JICA and MoFA, and (c) joint research on the ground.
1.2. Objective of this document
This document is an attempt to fulfil the responsibilities as citizens and civil society of the main donor of the triangular programme called ProSAVANA. Japanese civil society is in the process of creating an analysis report of all the primary documents (more than 3,000 pages) obtained over the last two years from JICA and MoFA. The report is expected to be complete within six months, but, due to urgent requests made by a number of Mozambican organisations, a part of the report has been translated to Portuguese to share with them now. As a result of local demand, this document was shared in a preliminary version, still with grammatical issues.
1.3. What is missing for the full analysis - the JICA contract with MAJOL
After receiving requests from Mozambique for information about the JICA contract with the Mozambican consultancy firm MAJOL Consultoria e Serviços Lda., Japanese civil society asked JICA to explain and share the documents related to the contract with this firm during the 14th periodic dialogue meeting on ProSAVANA between NGOs, MoFA and JICA, held in Tokyo on 8 December 2015. But the JICA representative refused and responded with ‘they would explain in the future when the process is further down the line.’ Therefore, on 12 December 2015, Japanese civil society officially requested JICA to share the contract between MAJOL and JICA (including the respective ToR and appendices).The law allows governmental bodies a period of 30 days to order the disclosure of the documents. Therefore, these documents should have been disclosed already. However, on 14 January 2016, JICA announced theextension of the deadline for another 30 days on the grounds of “being too busy”, thus these documents remain closed.Japanese civil society considers that the contracts and the ToR JICA used with other consultancy firms as part of the ‘Communications Strategy’ could provide useful information to Mozambican society while waiting for JICA to disclose the specific documents in question.
This renewed version of the analysis paper includes some parts of the contract between JICA and MAJOL revealed during a presentation at a workshop held in Nampula on 11 January. The presentation occurred right after the release of the draft of the first version of this analysis on January 13.
However, this report would like to stress the importance for JICA to fully disclose to the Mozambican public the documents, in their entirety, relating to their contract with MAJOL before this company, hired and financed by JICA, commences any activities with peasants and civil society organisations to avoid further doubts relating to legitimacy and to guarantee transparency, which has been greatly lacking over the last three years. The refusal to disclose these documents cannot be justified in accordance with JICA's Guidelines for Environmental and Social Considerations.
1.4. Citizens’ rights to access government information
Japan’s Constitution, the Freedom of Information Law, the JICA Guidelines and the International Law on Human Rights (especially, Article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights) all guarantee citizens’ rights to access governmental information. All the requests to disclose JICA and MoFA primary documents about ProSAVANA made by Japanese civil society have been based on this legal grounding.
However, many important ProSAVANA documents still remain closed, such as: (1) the agreements between the three countries about the three ProSAVANA projects, (2) the results of the research carried out for the preparation of the Master Plan (the details of 10 research projects are in the footnote), and (3) meeting minutes. Furthermore, a lack of transparency and violations of the Mozambican, Brazilian and Japanese peoples’ rights persist.
2. Context and composition of the JICA documents analysed
2.1. “Social Communications Strategy” for ProSAVANA
The third meeting of the ProSAVANA Joint Coordination Committee, held on 3 December 2012 in Nampula, focused its discussions on the question of improving the strategy for ‘social communications to reach civil society as soon as possible’, as can be seen in the minutes from this meeting (p.2). To achieve this, it was decided that one of the most important actions was to select consultants or a consultancy firm specialised in the area of social communications to fulfil the said contract.
Based on the information above, Japanese civil society requested the documents relating to the contracts, the ToR and the guidelines prepared by JICA for the consultancy firms on 30 July 2015. The contract documents and their respective documents were disclosed in September 2015. JICA, however, did not disclose the existence of other contracts, for which reason Japanese civil society requested the disclosure of ‘all existing contracts in the area of social communications relating to ProSAVANA’ again on 9 November 2015. This request led to three additional contracts, signed in 2012 and 2013, being provided. The information below is about these four contracts:
(1) JICA Contract with Cunha Vaz e Associados Sociedade Unipessoal
(a) 1 contract (‘Service Agreement’) signed on 1 August 2013 in Maputo (in Portuguese).
- The contract term was three months (until 1 November 2013).
- The monthly value was 286,650 meticais - x 3. - 859,950 meticais in total (approximately 21,500 euros).
(b) 1 agreement (‘Mutual Non-Disclosure Agreement) signed on the same date.
(c) 1 Terms of Reference for ProSAVANA project consultancy - used for the call for tender that concluded on 15 July 2015.
(d) Contract appendix entitled Communications Strategy for ProSAVANA, written in English.
(2) JICA Contract with Cunha Vaz e Associados Sole Sociedade Unipessoal
(a) 1 contract signed on 14 December 2012 in Maputo (in Portuguese).
- The contract term was two months (until 14 February 2013).
- The total value of the contract was 134,550 meticais (approximately 3,500 euros).
(b) 1 Terms of Reference for (3) also.
(3) JICA Contract with ITMZ Serviços e Soluções Lda.
(a) 1 contract signed on 21 December 2012 in Maputo (in Portuguese).
- The contract term was three months and 14 days.
- Until the end of March 2013.
- The total value of the contract was 161,109 meticais (approximately 4,000 euros).
(4) JICA Contract with COLINAMOZ Lda.
(a) 1 contract signed on 11 January 2013.
- The contract concluded on30 March 2013.
- The total value of the contract was 268,515 meticais (approximately 7,000 euros).
- Provision of services was 32,780 meticais (approximately 850 euros).
2.2. Contract between JICA and MAJOL
The title of the contract between JICA and MAJOL became clear during the workshop held on 11 January 2016 in Nampula. According to the presentation given by a consultant of MAJOL, the title of the contract seems to be “Project: Stakeholder Engagement”
Source: MAJOL, 11 January 2016.
According to the MAJOL powerpoint presentation, “Scope of Services, Tasks (Components) and Expected Deliverables” are composed of the following 4 tasks:
1 Conduct individual consultations with stakeholders and interviews with relevant government departments, and produce a stakeholder engagement report.
2 Organize and conduct preliminary meetings with stakeholders where it is expected that the establishment of a dialogue platform is agreed.
3 Facilitate discussions in the first meeting of the dialogue platform where terms of reference (ToR) and functioning of the platform are expected to be agreed.
4 Facilitate discussion in subsequent meetings of the dialogue platform where it is expected that recommendations for the consultation process of ProSAVANA-PD will be formulated within the duration of the contract.
Also, during the workshop MAJOL gave a definition of “stakeholder/actores-chave (key actors)” as “farmers, cooperatives, associations, public institutions, private sector, civil society, NGOs, etc.”.
Source: MAJOL, 11 January 2016.
2.3. Japanese Contractors monthly report on the ProSAVANA-PD
Japanese civil society also requested these monthly reports. JICA denied the existence of any periodic reports about the ProSAVANA-PD (Support of Agricultural Development Master Plan), even though the other ProSAVANA projects (ProSAVANA-PI [Projecto for Improving Research and Technology Transfer Capacity] and ProSAVANA-PEM [Project for Establishment of Development Model at Communities’ Level With Improvement of Rural Extension Service]) prepare a Progress Report every six months. JICA, at least, admitted the existence of monthly reports written by Japanese consultants for ProSAVANA-PD, led by the Japanese company, Oriental Consultants.
Each monthly report comprises the following four parts:
(1) a summary of the monthly activities,
(2) the progress made in the previous month,
(3) the activities carried out by each Japanese consultant,
(4) the table of planned and completed activities,
(5) documents in appendices.
The reports (a total volume of 420 pages) from February 2012 to July 2015 were disclosed, and it cost at least 50 dollars to acquire copies. However, nearly the entirety (almost 99 per cent) of the documents from (1) to (4) is redacted (see the last page of this report). The only documents that were not redacted are the ‘Announcements’ of the ProSAVANA team meetings with Nampula and Niassa civil society organisations, namely Provincial Platform of Nampula Civil Society Organisations (PPOSC-N: Plataforma Provincial de Organizações da Sociedade Civil de Nampula) and Niassa NGO Forum (FONAGNI:Fórum de ONGs do Niassa).
3 - Analysis of the JICA documents
3.1. ‘Social Communications Strategy’ for ProSAVANA
3.1.1. Important points that appear in the documents
Contracts (2) and (4) are fixed more or less during the same period, from the end of 2012 (straight after the 3rd ProSAVANA Committee meeting) to the end of the fiscal year in Japan, 31 March 2013. And the Terms of Reference are identical for the three companies. The objectives of these unusual contracts need to be analysed and understood.
The most important documents are the contracts, which appear in (1) in 2.1. with Cunha Vaz e Associados Lda. signed on 1 August 2013. This analysis can be used to imagine the type of contract signed between JICA and MAJOL.Important points that appear in the documents that can help in the analysis of other JICA documents are the following:
(1) The Contract (5 pages in total)
Start of the contract:
The hired party is willing to provide its professional knowledge and services to JICA to develop and implement a communications strategy for ProSAVANA, in accordance with the Terms of Reference in Appendix 1.
Clause 2 - Objective:
2. JICA will pay the hired party for the services provided, subject to the established terms and conditions.
Clause 4 - Oversight:
The hired party shall perform the Services in accordance with the guidelines, supervisions and instructions from the JICA’s ProSAVANA Coordinator, hereinafter ‘coordinator’.
Clause 10 - Services:
The hired party shall deliver the files, materials and products in high resolution, as well as files in editable formats to the Contracting party so that they may be used by the Contracting party in all of their future advertising materials.
(2) Mutual Non-Disclosure Agreement (3 pages in total)
Article Two (Purpose of Disclosure and Duty of Confidentiality)
2.1. Information is disclosed for the exclusive purpose of developing a ProSAVANA communications strategy, in accordance with the terms and conditions established in the separate contract.
(3) ProSAVANA - Consultancy Project Terms of Reference (8 pages)
The most important document is the Terms of Reference (ToR) used by the call for tender until July 2013 and attached to the actual contract between JICA and MAJOL. The following points are worthy of emphasis.
4.2.Work methodology in the area of Social Communications (pp.3-4)
4.2.2. Establish a communications strategy for each target group in the programme, by revealing specifically:
Decision-making level, high-level members of each institution.
Academic public.Specialists, scholars, researchers and technical body specialised in the areas of agriculture, environment, economics, social economics, among others.
General public.Media in general, newspapers, specialised journals, TV, radio, community radio.
Programme target group.Farmers located in the Nampula, Zambézia and Niassa provinces, firstly, agricultural advisors from the provincial and district agriculture directorates, Instituto de Investigação Agrária de Moçambique (IIAM: Agriculture Research Institute of Mozambique) employees, producers associations, cooperatives, NGOs, producers organisations, among others identified throughout the consultancy contract, national and international civil society organisations.
4.3. Expected Results (p.4):
- Intervention proposal and action plans for each identified target group.
All the information produced and/or compiled within the scope of these Terms of Reference shall be the property of ProSAVANA. The consultancy firm is not authorised to use or disclose this data.
6. Payment Conditions:
Payment will be made in three payments upon delivery of each product.
6.2. The consultancy firm shall present a schedule of activities, which should contain all trips necessary to study locations, the composition of the work team and the list of materials necessary for the implementation of activities.
- higher level qualification in the area of communications or journalism. (p.7)
Criteria for selection:
- Hiring will be led by JICA. (p.7)
(4) The document (appendix) on the communications strategy (8 pages)
This document is written in English, but it is a very important document for the Mozambican society seeking transparency of the ProSAVANA programme and process. (*Note: The following terms are taken directly from the original documents.)
2. Long-term Communication (sic.) Strategy (pp.3-4):
(1) Hiring of consultant for establishing social communication of ProSAVANA who comprehends the following aspects:
Consultancy based on outputs: TV/radio, written articles,
Advice to the ProSAVANA-HQ Coordinators, as well as implementing and coordination institutions of ProSAVANA on the suitable behaviour towards the media,
Preparation of messages about ProSAVANA,
Preparation of journalist articles, shows and TV and radio broadcasts on the programme,
Support for the publication of press releases and the newsletter of ProSAVANA to media
(2) Hiring consultant firm or consultants for definition and implementation of the communications strategy that understand the following aspects:
-Preparation of media messages on the principles and approaches of the program.
-Definition of the communication strategy among the diverse range of ProSAVANA stakeholders: purpose of the message, how to communicate, with whom to communicate, who communicates, when to communicate, and media monitoring to assess the impact and range of the communications strategy.
-Identification and design of an approach for each intervention (including civil society).
-Definition of message for each group of intervention (including civil society).
-Definition of tools for reaching each stakeholder (radio, TV, newspapers, brochures, etc.).
-Presentation and confirmation of a schedule of intervention (when and how to publicize).
-Analysis of the results of communications and possible changes of course.
-Preparation of the strategy with a media communication schedule, with the identification and training of a spokesperson for ProSAVANA, definition of key message to be delivered.
-Support to ProSAVANA coordination and implementation institutions.
-Preparing meetings between the media and the ProSAVANA team.
-Production of contents and media articles for the ProSAVANA website
Further to the aforementioned points, the following point is important:
(a) Press-trips to the Nacala Corridor or other sites recommended/advised by ProSAVANA-HQ (p.5).
4. Immediate Actions (p.6):
-Hiring consultant for preparing the communication audit and defining the strategy
-Hiring journalists to receive advice
-Finalization of the ProSAVANA presentation to be made for Governmental Institutions at central, regional, provincial and district level
-Press-trip to the Nacala Corridor to collect images and prepare a “campaign” about ProSAVANA and its beneficiaries.
*Press-trip: Take advantage of relevant activities of ProSAVANA to promote press trips to Brazil or Japan. Since the trip to Japan was implemented by MINAG (Ministry of Agriculture), it is possible to hold the next press-trip to Brazil.
3.1.2. Preliminary AnalysisThe texts from the JICA documents mentioned above show the following trends and confirm some of the things that have happened while the contract between JICA and Counha Vaz e Associados remained in effect. JICA prepared the ToR, selected, hired, supervised, authorised and paid the consultancy firms and consultants. This means that JICA fulfilled its main tasks in rolling out its communications strategy for ProSAVANA.
3.2. Contract between JICA and MAJOLThe limited results achieved by Cunha Vaz e Associados must have provided some lessons for the new contract. Also, since it was likely assumed that Japanese civil society would seek the disclosure of the contract with MAJOL and its related documents, they were probably written more carefully compared to the old ones by excluding sensitive points to avoid any possible criticism. However, the information on the tasks laid out in the contract with MAJOL (listed in 2.2. of this analysis) do reveal some interesting aspects.
3.3. Japanese Contractors monthly report on the ProSAVANA-MPThese reports contain ProSAVANA internal and external documents. To ensure transparency of the programme and of the Master Plan preparation process, disclosure of these is essential. However, as mentioned above, nearly all the documents are redacted.