In December 18, 2015, I was asked to give a lecture at Rikkyo University, Tokyo, by my friend, Prof. Mitsuhiko Kataoka. He has given his lecture of Development Economics not in Japanese but in English, even though most of his students are Japanese.
So, I had to give my lecture in English. Indeed, I can speak Indonesian (Bahasa Indonesia) far better than my English (maybe sometimes than my Japanese when I try to joke). In addition, one observer, who is an English specialist, attended my lecture.
According to Prof. Kataoka, I must speak about my job description, career path, essential skills for my work, and some stories based on my experiences. Because this lecture is in line with Development Economics, I had tried to give students some opportunities to think about development assistance. Yes, some of the students want to work in the world of development assistance.
I put some essential skills for my job as follows. (1) Flexibility. Acceptability of Differences; (2) Curiosity. Enjoy something strange; (3) Inquiring minds. Not satisfy easily; (4) Always think something new; (5) Imagination on others; and (6) Toughness and good health.
After that, I gave some keywords to think about development assistance.
For example, development; community; empowerment; outsider / insider; exogenous / indigenous; ownership / sense of belongings; and conscientization.
By using these keywords, I had tried to give an opportunity for students to think about relationship between who conducts development assistance project and who are beneficiaries of the project.
I asked students how they feel if one day foreigners suddenly come to their village to explain about the project. They answered that it was none of their business and annoying. So, how is the way for outsiders to get real needs for the project from insiders? Maybe insiders sometimes didn’t know their real issues and problems as needs for the project. Or, assumptions of the project are not always based on the real issues and problems.
During our discussion, they found that the project has no meanings if it is not based on real needs from real issues and problems. Insiders usually try to match themselves to what outsiders want, by saying “what can I do for you?” or “may I help you?”. Because of time limitation of the project, outsiders often ignore to check their assumption about project needs again and again to insiders.
For students, such discussion was maybe not common in their lecture. So, I asked to them to think about how to grow-up insiders’ ownership and sense of belongings by themselves without compulsion from outsiders. In other words, how to realize concientization of insiders by themselves.
I think, my 45 minutes of lecture time was not enough to discuss those things, but, I tried to give them the first opportunities to think development assistance not only from donor side but also from beneficiary side. I needed another two or three lecture time, maybe.
Anyway, I want to say thank you very much to Prof. Kataoka to give me very good chance to give my lecture to students. I am very glad if my lecture give them a little insight to think of their future by themselves.
And also thank you for your patience to read my poor English !