South Korean head of academic association on foreign assistance suggests platform for multi-stakeholder dialogue and re-defining national interest

Dr. Sung-kyu Kim, President of the Korea Association of International Development and Cooperation (KAIDEC), the largest academic association on official development cooperation (ODA), mentioned in an interview that South Korea should move away from following what traditional donors are doing and rather set the future direction of South Korea’s ODA based on its own circumstances.

Kim mentioned that there should be a platform through which multiple stakeholders—including experts, civil society organizations, and the public—could communicate freely and equally on ODA, enabling varied participation in the ODA policy decision-making process.

Kim pointed out that different stakeholders have varied interpretations of what is best for the national interest. Kim stressed that the definition and scope of what is considered national interest should be expanded beyond the commercial interest of donors, and that in particular, academia should discuss how socio-cultural solidarity and inclusiveness of ODA correspond with national interest.

News article – Yonhap News (in Korean)