The Asian Development Bank's Support to Gender and Development—Phase I: Relevance, Responsiveness, and Results to Date

Date: December 2009
Type: Evaluation Reports
Evaluation; Gender
Series: Special Evaluation Studies


ADB approved the Policy on Gender and Development in 1998 to incorporate gender issues into all aspects of ADB activities. Its main goal was to address gender and development through the whole range of operations and the project cycle.
ADB’s adoption of Strategy 2020—which included gender equity empowerment as one of the five drivers of development change—enhanced this gender focus. The Policy requires that 40% of all public sector projects and 50% of projects financed by ADB deliver “significant gender mainstreaming” by 2012.

As the first of a two-phase study, this special evaluation assesses the effectiveness of ADB's implementation of the gender and development policy (through 2009). While implementation under the policy improved through 2003, it declined thereafter, in part as contexts changed under ADB’s Medium-Term Strategy II and subsequently under its long-term Strategy 2020.
The study says it is difficult to conclude that the gender and development policy has been wholly mainstreamed throughout ADB’s activities. The successes have tended to be focused on the education, health, agriculture and water supply sectors, as well as on microfinance projects with an agriculture or rural focus.

Phase I makes three recommendations to improve policy effectiveness:

  • Improve the outcome orientation of policy goals and their monitoring and evaluation,
  • Provide clarity to operationalize goals in ADB operations in the context of Strategy 2020, and
  • Ensure adequate financial and human resources to support policy implementation.


  • Executive Summary
  • Introduction and Background
  • Methodology
  • Relevance
  • Responsiveness
  • Results
  • Conclusions
  • Appendixes
  • Supplementary Appendix
ADB's Support to Gender and Development - Phase 1 - Relevance, Responsiveness and Results to Date