ADB is an international development finance institution whose mission is to help its developing member countries (DMCs) reduce poverty and improve the quality of life of their people. The institution was established in 1966 and its headquarter is in Manila, Philippines, with 30 field offices scattered across the region. It has 67 members of whom 48 are countries within the region and 19 (mainly donor countries) from outside.
Despite the region’s many successes, the Asia- Pacific region remains home to two-thirds of the world’s poor, with some 903 million people in the region living on less than $ 1.25 a day. Under its Strategy 2020, its long-term strategic framework adopted in 2008, ADB is committed to pursuing its vision ”An Asia and Pacific Region Free of Poverty” and its mission of helping its DMCs reduce poverty through inclusive economic growth, environmentally sustainable growth, and regional integration in partnership with governments, the private sector, nongovernment organizations, development agencies, community-based organizations, and foundations. Under the new strategy, ADB will focus on five core areas of operation: infrastructure; the environment, including climate change; regional cooperation and integration; financial sector development; and education, and will also operate on a limited scale in other areas where ADB’s presence is needed, like health, agriculture, and disaster and emergency assistance. Its main instruments for helping its DMCs are policy dialogue, loans, equity investments, guarantees, grants, and technical assistance. Although most lending is in the public sector, ADB also provides an increasing amount of direct assistance to private enterprises in developing countries through equity investments, guarantees, and loans. Technical assistance is a vital element of ADB’s development strategy.
Through its technical assistance operations, ADB assists its DMCs in:
- identifying, formulating, and implementing projects;
- improving the institutional capabilities of governments and executing agencies;
- formulating development strategies;
- promoting the transfer of technology; and
- fostering regional cooperation.
- ADB has several technical assistance instruments which it finances with grants and loans. These include:
- project preparatory technical assistance for the preparation of feasibility studies and detailed engineering for bankable projects;
- project implementation technical assistance covering consulting services for project implementation and initial operation, including the training of project personnel;
- advisory technical assistance supporting institutional strengthening, sector and policy studies, and non-project-related human resource development;
- regional technical assistance addressing issues of interest to the region or a subregion or a group of individual developing member countries.
ADB consults people from all sections of society to ensure that its projects, programs, and strategies address their needs. The Country Partnership Strategy (formerly Country Strategy and Program), the main planning document at the country level, emphasizes consultations with the government, the private sector, civil society, and all project stakeholders. The strategy functions as a business plan composed of individual loan and technical assistance projects and programs planned for priority sectors and themes. The ADB web site explains how projects are developed and included within the plan including the ‘project cycle’. Details are found in the following link: http://www.adb.org/Projects/cycle.asp#cycle
The Development Indicators and Policy Research Division (ERDI) of the Economics and Research Department (ERD) maintains statistical databases and publishes statistical publications covering economic, financial, and social indicators at the macro level. The annual flagship statistical publication Key Indicators for Asia and the Pacific is available at: http://www.adb.org/Statistics/ki.asp while the statistical database of ADB can be accessed at http://www.adb.org/Statistics/sdbs.asp. The division also formulates and implements statistical capacity building programs for developing member countries; improves and assists DMCs in implementing data systems of international standards, provides technical advice on sampling design and survey operations; collaborates in international initiatives related to statistical work such as the International Comparison Program; and partners with regional training institutions such as UNSIAP and Statistical Research and Training Centre, Philippines to conduct training on statistics and statistics related activities.
The statistical capacity building is undertaken through a combination of advisory technical assistance to individual DMCs and regional advisory technical assistance for a group of DMCs. Recent technical assistance projects in statistics include support for poverty assessment, capacity building for social and economic statistics (covering price statistics, national accounts, informal sector and informal employment, and MDGs) and capacity building in national statistical systems including training, in Afghanistan, Armenia, Bangladesh, Cambodia, India, Indonesia, Lao PDR, Maldives Mongolia, Nepal, Philippines and Timor-Leste, and. In the recent past, the ADB had also supported projects in Bhutan, the People’s Republic of China, Palau, Sri Lanka, Turkmenistan, Vietnam and a number of other countries.
Received september 2010