In the Philippines, efforts are underway for the reinforcement of local government administrative capacities. The "Cluster Development Approach" has been implemented to alleviate poverty and to encourage further development by grouping towns together to share resources for projects to increase regional income through each region's special products and industries.
The training program was designed with the aim of increasing the trainees' understanding of the concepts and importance of regional and community capacity development*. This program aims to target central figures in local government bodies and those in charge of government planning.
As well as attending lectures about community capacity development which covered theory, evaluation, and case studies, trainees visited different parts of Oita Prefecture including Oyama Town, Hita City and listened to lectures and conducted observations. Oyama Town is an active advocate of the One Village, One Product movement. They also visited Beppu Hatto Onpaku** and afterwards experienced the program first-hand. Furthermore, as part of the "Onpaku Model" now being propagated throughout Japan, the trainees visited a town in Okayama Prefecture in order to learn about the "Michikusa Path" initiatives currently underway there.
Since being commissioned by JICA in 2005, APU has received program trainees from all over the world. Due to Oita's international reputation as the origin of the One Village, One Product movement, APU has received JICA training groups from Africa, ASEAN, Chile, Asia, and the Indochina and Pacific regions in 2009. The planning for eight further programs for AY2010 is already underway.