This past spring, the KDI School’s National Knowledge Cooperation Division merged with KDI’s International Development Exchange Program of (IDEP) to become one organization based out of the KDI School. The following is an introduction to IDEP and some of their activities.
1. The International Development Exchange Program (IDEP) was founded by KDI in 1982. Started with the mission to assist and support developing countries by sharing Korea’s and other countries’ development experiences, IDEP focuses much on knowledge sharing and the stimulation of economic cooperation. Since its inception, the target nations of IDEP activities have expanded from developing Asian nations to also include African and Latin American countries, as well as other transitioning economies. The scope of IDEP’s functions has also expanded to include training, research, development consultation, and other regional cooperation networking activities.
At the heart of IDEP activities lies KDI’s three decades of comprehensive policy research, as well as KDI’s extensive working experience in the formulation and evaluation of major economic policies. Hence, IDEP’s strives to offer well-balanced perspectives between development theory and practice. Since its inception, 3,800 policy-makers, policy practitioners, specialists and NGO leaders from 148 countries have attended various IDEP programs, many of which are conjointly organized with international organizations such as the World Bank, OECD, UNDP, and ADB.
IDEP currently offers programs in four major categories: International Development Forums (IDF), Regional Cooperation Programs (RCP), Development Consulting Services (DCS), and Collaborations with the World Bank (Korea Knowledge Partnership Program: KKPP).
(1) International Development Forums (IDF)
International Development Forums (IDF) serve as a venue for sharing and exchanging Korea’s and participating countries’ knowledge and experience in economic development. The target group mainly consists of economic policy makers and specialists from various countries, while experts from international organizations and research institutes also contribute to the forums as resource persons.
The themes discussed at IDF cover economics related issues, ranging from macroeconomic management to international trade, as well as past pressing issues, including the Asian financial crisis of 1997. IDF congregates in a variety of forms, including the 26th Senior Policy Forum on “Economic Crisis and Structural Reform in Korea” and the KDI & World Bank Joint Seminar on “Innovation Policy and Institutions in Korea,” conducted in cooperation with additional international organizations in 2004.
(2) Regional Cooperation Programs (RCP)
Regional Cooperation Programs (RCP) have been designed to be tailored to the specific demands of the requesting governments and international organizations. Each program aims to upgrade their development capabilities and assist them in their economic growth.
A wide-range of social and economic issues related to capacity building activities and other issues in sustainable development of the relevant regions are commonly discussed. RCP entails such various forms of activities as joint research and dissemination of outputs, exchange of personnel and information, and development oriented think-tank networking.
In this regard, IDEP has implemented RCPs through Study Tours for officials and researchers in Vietnam, Mongolia, Laos and many other countries. Additionally, IDEP has conducted and established cooperative ties between KDI and economic think-tanks all over the world by signing different Memorandums of Understanding (MOUs).
(3) Development Consulting Services (DCS)
As lessons from Korea’s development experience are increasingly in demand, Development Consulting Services (DCS) are conducted to systemically meet the requesting party’s comprehensive development needs and to share economic knowledge with where it is most needed.
In this vein, DCS offers various types of activities, feasibility studies, collaborative policy research, policy consultation, as well as education and training services. In particular, IDEP has devised its own project management system for promoting the efficiency and effectiveness of their projects while also securing the sustainability of the recommended development objectives.
As a part of DCS, IDEP has completed thirty Knowledge Partnership (KP) Projects to share our experiences of economic development and crisis management via expert dispatches to a total 11 target countries to date – Vietnam, Mongolia, Cambodia, El Salvador, Thailand, Philippines, Myanmar, Egypt, Laos, Argentina, and Indonesia for years of 2001-2003.
From 2004, IDEP began conducting their Knowledge Sharing Projects with Development Partnership Countries, which consists of comprehensive research on given policy areas, and policy consultations on research outputs, namely policy recommendations. This project will highlight upgrading the development capacity of project countries at the personal, institutional, and national level by sharing policy experience.
(4) Collaborations with the World Bank : Korea Knowledge Partnership Program
This program, based on a partnership with the World Bank and the Korea Knowledge Trust Fund, launched in 2003 to disseminate Korea’s experience in economic development, crisis management, and knowledge of economies to developing countries and economies in transition. In particular, all activities in the program have been designed through annual meetings to fully utilize the comparative advantages of the partner institutions: the useful development experiences and highly qualified expert pool of Korea work in tandem with the various project experiences and well-developed networks of the World Bank.
2.With the dawning of the 21st century, IDEP has restructured the scope and performance of its activities and has redefined its vision and role, unifying IDEP of KDI and the Global Knowledge Cooperation Division of the KDI School. Paired together, the new partnership comprehensively embraces the challenges and opportunities of this new era.
IDEP also plan to fully utilize the resources they have at hand by combining the policy research capability of KDI and the long-term education capacity of the KDI School in international cooperation. In this light, IDEP currently is in the process of diversifying their knowledge dissemination activities, including the dispatch of Korean specialists through Knowledge Sharing Projects as well as IDF and RCP, both at home and abroad.
In addition, IDEP continues to promote the exchange of their development knowledge and experiences among its past program participants by reinforcing its IDEP alumni network. In this way, IDEP hopes to more effectively enhance a “Spirit of Cooperation for Global Development and Friendship.”