Japan Platform, Japan

  • Population: 128 million
  • Year of foundation: 2000
  • Staff size: 32
List of members
(46 JPF member NGOs as of January 2016)
Private & Public Sector Partners:
  • About 80 Japanese corporate partners as Corporate and Organizational Support Members

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History

Japan Platform (JPF) was founded in 2000. This was after the conflict in Kosovo in April 1999, when it proved to be a challenge for the Japanese NGO community because individual NGOs were not able to provide effective aid on its own due to financial and technical limitations. As a result, four Japanese NGOs came together and came up with a plan to create what would have been called “Camp Japan” in Albania, a place from which the NGOs planned together to provide emergency humanitarian aid for the refugees from Kosovo.

Although the “Camp Japan” plan did not come to fruition as the refugees returned to Kosovo when the bombings ended, the planning phase taught the Japanese NGO community many valuable lessons regarding emergency aid. It became clear that the NGO community’s strengths are in being more flexible and having fewer diplomatic and political restrictions compared to government agencies, and in being able to reach the field soon after the crisis erupted. Through additional exploration to determine the most effective model for Japanese humanitarian aid delivery, it also became clear that cooperation among multiple NGOs, the government, and the business community as well as media, the intellectual community, and other actors will be indispensable in increasing the amount and ability of Japanese contribution to humanitarian aid activities across the world. Thus the JPF concept was born, preparing with funding and operational plans for massive refugee crisis and large-scale natural disasters.

Since 2000, JPF has implemented over 1,100 humanitarian aid projects totalling 3.5 billion yen in over 40 countries and regions (as of February 2016).

Organisation

When it was founded, JPF’s platform concept was a new framework in Japan for coordination and cooperation towards the objective of delivering prompt and effective emergency humanitarian aid to victims of natural disasters and refugees all over the world. The NGOs, the government of Japan, and the business community, as well as media, the intellectual community, and other actors, come together in partnership, and aid activities are implemented under coordination and cooperation that make the most of each party’s expertise and resources. As a professional platform of emergency humanitarian aid, JPF shares information and provides various supports to its 46 member NGOs (as of February 2016), each of whom has its own expertise and strengths. Together with its member NGOs, JPF implements programs in response to the needs of disaster victims and refugees.

JPF’s Vision 

JPF’s Function

JPF’s Structure

Flow of Emergency Response

Fundraising

JPF operates on funding from both the public sector (i.e. the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, or MOFA, of Japan) and the private sector (i.e. donations from corporations, organisations, and individuals). Raising private funds contribute to building the capacity of JPF’s secretariat and supporting the activities of member NGOs. Currently, JPF receives regular support from about 80 corporations and organisations that have become Corporate and Organizational Support Members, as well as from some individual supporters who become Monthly Support Members. Donations, generous gifts of services, know-how from corporations in various industries, and other types of giving have all helped accelerate JPF’s emergency aid activities. Through sharing the contents and results of JPF’s activities and the needs on the ground, JPF has proposed a new relationships between corporations and the NGOs in delivering aid to those in need.

As for public relations, apart from daily base direct communication with media, through events, three websites (Main, English, and Response to the Great East Japan Earthquake), a Facebook page, JPF actively works on media relations and stakeholder relations to raise awareness of the activities of both JPF and its member NGOs. Those strategic contents for public relation are used for promoting fundraising, which has been achieving accountability and raising credibility.

Successes and highlights

Actualising the platform system of bringing different partners together for aid delivery

JPF’s platform system of connecting the major partners in humanitarian aid was a success in and of itself as this did not exist in Japan prior to JPF’s founding. JPF was intended as a new system of emergency humanitarian aid where aid can be delivered in a comprehensive Japanese package, and from the very beginning it brought together the business community (KEIDANREN-Japan Business Federation), Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan, and representatives from the NGOs. It was very valuable in giving direction to Japanese aid that these partners came together to design and move forward with this new concept of a platform. JPF’s goal is to improve the speed, quality, and quantity of aid the platform delivers by making the most of the resources, human resources, and know-how that each of the different actors bring to this platform. The platform also aims to serve as a window to deliver custom-made and comprehensive aid program that is built on each NGO’s strengths.

Pursuing accountability through transparent reporting of fund allocation and building a relationship of trust with the donors

JPF member NGOs’ aid projects are strictly assessed before funding is provided. Many corporate donors trust and seek value in donating to JPF, because they know that the NGOs with sufficient experience, knowledge, and history of success have been screened throughout this process.

JPF strives to report all of its aid activities in detail through its website, annual reports, program activity reports, and activity report meetings. Relationship of trust between the corporate donors and JPF has been built and has grown stronger with the establishment of this system that allows for providing detailed feedback to those who have given their support to disaster victims. As a result, corporate donors are becoming more eager to provide support in times of JPF’s prompt mobilization decisions, which allows for donated funds to be used for even quicker mobilizations.

Overseas and domestic achievements and know-how contributing to mutual growth

One of JPF’s highlights is in learning from the experiences from domestic aid relief activities to use them for overseas aid activities and vice versa. For example, when the Great East Japan Earthquake struck in 2011, many corporate and individual partners trusted JPF with their donations of goods and services, as well as about 7 billion yen in donated funds, thanks to the strides JPF has made overseas over the years. When different aid activities were being implemented in chaos in the post-earthquake days without an established chain of command or information, JPF member NGOs could still begin independent and effective aid delivery immediately because of their wealth of experience overseas. JPF served in a coordinating role among numerous aid organizations, liaising and coordinating their activities in Tohoku. In turn, these experiences would be able to contribute to its overseas aid activities in the future.

Partnerships

As stated above, JPF is a platform that functions as a partnership among different actors.

Challenges and innovations for the future

Growing the domestic and overseas stakeholder base

JPF has the potential, appeal, and leadership to become the platform that enables the realisation of a civic society that can provide true humanitarian assistance through comprehensively and effectively pulling together the resources of all Japanese aid actors. In order for this platform system to function even better, it is indispensable that more domestic and overseas actors participate in it and create a larger diverse stakeholder base.

Promoting strategic aid delivery

As it has been doing so far, JPF will need to continuously improve the speed and quality of emergency aid delivery in times of disasters, and promote each aid activities based on the solid strategy, where each programme is carried out with a unified policy, objective. The Member NGO could collaborate better under the strategy.