Asian Development Bank (ADB)

Foundation Date : December 19th 1966

Headquarter : Manila

President : Masatsugu Asakawa

Member Countries : From 31 members at its establishment in 1966, ADB has grown to encompass 68 members of which 49 are from within Asia and the Pacific and 19 outside.

ADB was conceived amid the postwar rehabilitation and reconstruction efforts of the early 1960s. The vision was of a financial institution that would be Asian in character and foster economic growth and cooperation in the region - then one of the poorest in the world. A resolution passed at the first Ministerial Conference on Asian Economic Cooperation held by the United Nations Economic Commission for Asia and the Far East in 1963 set that vision on the way to becoming reality. The Philippines capital of Manila was chosen to host the new institution - the Asian Development Bank - which opened on 19 December 1966, with 31 members that came together to serve a predominantly agricultural region. Takeshi Watanabe was ADB's first President. For the rest of the 1960s, ADB focused much of its assistance on food production and rural development. Its operations included ADB's first technical assistance, loans, including a first on concessional terms in 1969, and bond issue in Germany.


ADB's Independent Evaluation Department helps ADB become a learning organization that continuously improves its development effectiveness and is accountable to its stakeholders. Strategic principles give context and coherence to action, and frame the generation and appraisal of alternative options.

  • Evaluations should contribute to the accomplishment of ADB's mission. ADB's mission is to help developing member countries reduce poverty and improve the quality of life of their citizens. Evaluations should advance the design and implementation of ADB's policies, strategies, and operations with respect to relevance, effectiveness, efficiency, and sustainability.
  • The decision to evaluate should be strategic. Evaluations should be designed to lead to action and contribute to effective decision making at all levels. Selectivity in determining what policies, strategies, and operations are to be assessed at what time will condition evaluations to provide useful findings and recommendations and help ADB to manage risks and achieve development results.
  • Evaluations should enlist the participation of users. To be useful, evaluations need to produce relevant, action-oriented findings. Usefulness is fostered by sustained interaction with users throughout the evaluation process.
  • Evaluations should be an asset to users. Users should benefit from the process of evaluation and should have a substantial role in drawing up the evaluation agenda. Evaluations can impose a time and resource burden on users, and their participation should not be taken for granted.
  • The process of evaluation should develop capacity in evaluative thinking and evaluation use. The process of evaluation can increase an organization's ability to be clear and specific about its objectives and to learn and apply lessons. Evaluations should increase the capacities of participants and their comfort with the process of evaluation.
  • Evaluative thinking should add value from the outset of operations. Evaluative thinking can make the design and implementation of policies, strategies, and operations more effective by clarifying the results to be achieved, the strategies that will contribute to their accomplishment, and the milestones that will demonstrate progress.
  • Evaluations should test the validity of conventional wisdom about development practice. Demonstrating how and why change happens where it matters most, namely in improving the lives of the poor, calls for regular testing of the accuracy of our development hypotheses. The process of evaluation, which demonstrates concern for accountability, transparency, and improved performance, can help us to learn from past experience to enhance ongoing and future operations.
  • Evaluations should meet quality standards. To ensure the validity of findings from operations evaluation and the reasonableness of recommendations, accepted social science research methods and procedures should be followed. The quality of evaluations will be assessed against four internationally accepted standards: utility, feasibility, propriety, and accuracy.

Strategy 2030

Asia and the Pacific has made great strides in poverty reduction and economic growth in the past 50 years. ADB has been a key partner in the significant transformation of the region and is committed to continue serving the region in the next phase of its development. Under Strategy 2030, ADB will expand its vision to achieve a prosperous, inclusive, resilient, and sustainable Asia and the Pacific, while sustaining its efforts to eradicate extreme poverty.

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