Improving CoP Effectiveness

The Knowledge Management Action Plan, 2009–2011 promoted the empowerment of CoPs, adding impetus to ADB’s continuing efforts to build and leverage them effectively to improve the quality of its operations.  It specified actions/outputs and related outcome indicators as follows:

Outcome Indicator

Action/Output

Communities of practice become an integral part of ADB's business processes.

Participation in communities of practice is encouraged and recognized.

Output-based financing rewards communities of practice that generate and share useful and usable knowledge.

The budgets of communities of practice are increased based on a clear set of objectives and measurable outcomes of improved knowledge management.

The communities of practice engage more purposefully in external partnerships.

Partnerships are struck between communities of practice and regional (and non-regional) knowledge hubs.

The contributions of the knowledge management coordinators in ADB are enhanced.

Terms of reference for knowledge management coordinators are drawn and a community of practice in knowledge management is proposed.


These actions and outputs were further broken down into specific activities and useful results in the Knowledge Management Results Framework.

The CoPs have come a long way in the 2 years that the action plan has been implemented. Critical changes include:

Communities of practice become an integral part of ADB's business processes.

  • Fifteen additional staff positions were allocated in 2010–2011 to strengthen the CoPs.
  • CoP budgets increased tenfold in 2010, allowing CoPs to amplify their outputs.
  • Revised Guidelines on Sector and Thematic Reporting were introduced in 2009, allowing CoP feedback to inform the annual development effectiveness reviews and work program and budget frameworks.
  • New peer review guidelines were approved in 2010, legitimizing CoP participation in the peer review process and the formulation of country partnership strategies and lending and nonlending products.
  • CoP chairs, co-chairs, and practice leaders now sit in both internal and external selection panels for recruitment of professional staff.
  • Staff participation in CoPs is considered in the performance review process.

Output-based financing rewards communities of practice that generate and share useful and usable knowledge.

  • Output-based financing was partially practiced to recognize CoPs that more actively generated and shared useful knowledge.

The communities of practice engage more purposefully in partnerships.

  • CoPs forged partnerships with ADB's development partners and stakeholders by acting as technical experts and focal points on key issues.
  • Collaborations between and among CoPs significantly increased, especially focusing on joint research undertakings and
  • Year-end gathering was introduced in 2009 to enable CoPs to highlight their accomplishments, exchange lessons, and explore areas of collaboration.

The contributions of the knowledge management coordinators in ADB are enhanced.

  • CoPs contributed to key ADB documents, undertook regional sector studies, and developed and conducted training programs customized to their members’ needs.
  • CoPs conducted increasing number of knowledge events and produced greater knowledge products.
  • CoPs conduct periodic self-assessments to define their knowledge and skills gaps and identify ways to address them.