October 19, 2012


JCIE staff recently attended a gathering of funders who are supporting recovery efforts in Tohoku. The event was organized by the Sanaburi Foundation, a JCIE grantee that has been working hard to support capacity building in the region. There were 11 organizations represented, including grant-making foundations, corporate foundations, and those like JCIE that are playing an intermediary role. According to calculations by the Sanaburi Foundation, these organizations have provided a combined total of ¥15.9 billion (more than $200 million) to NPOs working in the region. The funders also met with representatives of three “Renpuku” organizations, which are the Renkei Fukko Centers (literally, the cooperative recovery centers) established in Iwate, Miyagi, and Fukushima Prefectures. Participants discussed ways in which funds might be leveraged to gain public funding for NPOs, ways in which innovations occurring in the region can be shared with others (not only in terms of lessons for disaster recovery, but perhaps in terms of solving some of the social issues facing Japanese society more broadly as well), and how to provide effective institutional support during a crisis and in the post-disaster phase.