Satomi Kamei

After graduating with her doctorate in May 2016, Satomi began work in Uganda in August with JICA where she is part of a project supporting district governments.


My job with JICA covers two sub-regions – West Nile and Acholi – which means that I travel a lot. . Located next to each other in northern Uganda, these sub-regions are quite unique in their own ways and activities with the project are diverse as well. When not traveling, I have my office space within the Planning Department of Arua District Government. Consequently, Arua is like my host district. This work setting has given me great opportunities to observe and learn how things work with local governments. I like working with district colleagues; they are mostly diligent, which I highly respect.I am happy to once again be posted in Africa. [1-18]


Satomi reports that in 2018

I continue to travel frequently and extensively across two sub-regions – West Nile and Acholi – in northern Uganda. There are 17 districts within the two regions, which inevitably requires me to travel! By now I have familiarized myself with each district government I have been working with for the last 2.5 years.


I am happy to say that I have seen positive changes emerging here and there despite that all kinds of development challenges are still persistent on the ground. I feel fortunate that I have this challenging but rewarding work to engage with Ugandan colleagues and witness them gradually building more confidence in their endeavor. In this respect, I look forward to continuing our development efforts with my Ugandan brothers and sisters in local government planning (currently I have only two female district planners). [1-19]


Satomi's 2019 Report

2019 was another busy year with my work here in Uganda. Throughout the year I traveled frequently and extensively across 19 districts in West Nile and Acholi. The current financial year is the final year of JICA's technical assistance to strengthen local governments’ capacity in planning. The decentralized planning landscape has been substantially and positively changing during the last few years. Districts and sub-counties now mostly feel that their planning has much improved. Importantly, many have more confidence in their planning, which is seemingly more participatory, transparent and accountable.


Now I have 19 Ugandan brothers and sisters who are engaging in decentralized planning and budgeting across the two sub-regions. It’s been truly rewarding for me to observe them growing and becoming more competent. My contract ends in June 2020 and during the remaining months I will be busy wrapping up our intervention here in Uganda.[1-20]


Satomi's 2020 Report

In February, Uganda’s Ministry of Local Government and JICA jointly conducted a completion evaluation of our 4-year technical cooperation project as it was scheduled to end in June 2020. Prior to the evaluation, I also organized end-line surveys across 173 lower-local governments that were carried out by 19 districts respectively. The findings revealed that decentralized planning had transformed to bottom-up and evidence-based at large. Significantly, local governments have more confidence now in their planning and budgeting. In April, however, almost all of us, JICA and Japanese embassy personnel, had to leave posted countries within the continent of Africa due to the increasing COVID-19 pandemic.


Having completed my term for Uganda, I was scheduled to be posted to Nepal next in November. Due to the global pandemic situation, however, it has been postponed and just last week I was informed that official travels to Nepal were going to be resumed. So, finally I am certain that my work at the Ministry of Education will start in 2021. [1-21]


Satomi's 2021 Report

Believe it or not, I am still in Japan writing up this annual update. The departure to Nepal, my next posting, has been repeatedly postponed throughout 2021. But I am finally scheduled to leave Japan soon, precisely on January 10. I never expected to spend another year back home while remotely working for JICA. Since the post was vacant for over a year by now, I have a lot to catch up quickly when I start my work at the Ministry of Education in Nepal. I look forward, though, to engaging in new assignments in the education sector. [1-22]




Satomi’s 2022 Report

I was finally posted to Nepal after a one-year delay, only to arrive at the height of COVIND epidemic there. I am now working as an Education Advisor with the Center for Education and Human Resource Development (CEHRD) where I am focused on school sector planning. During the year I also wrote a chapter that was published in a book entitled “Perspectives on the State Borders in Globalized Africa.”  My chapter is about the cross-border refugee influx from South Sudan and their host local governments in the West Nile Region of Uganda where I have worked from 2016 to 2020. [1-23]




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