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The Asia and the Pacific region needs far more development assistance than can be provided by any one organization or government. Partnerships are needed among government agencies, development organizations, the private sector, civil society organizations, and local communities. These groups bring much more than financing to the monumental task of improving the lives of people in the region. They are overcoming barriers to development through innovative solutions and expertise.

ADB has joined this effort by building relationships with a broad range of groups who share a common purpose and want to collaborate on the risks, responsibilities, resources, expertise and benefits of improving the lives of people in the region.

ADB has formalized strategic partnerships with a number of multilateral organizations. Some examples are provided below:

Multilateral Banks and Multilateral Financial Institutions

World Bank (WB)

The memorandum of understanding emphasizes closer consultation on country assistance strategies, the elimination of duplication of efforts, the harmonization of operational procedures and processes, and the enhancement of efficiency and effectiveness at country and institutional levels.

Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB)

The memorandum of understanding strengthens collaboration, including cofinancing, between ADB and AIIB in matters of common interest, and sets out areas for a more strategic cooperation in the Asian region.

European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD)

The memorandum of understanding focuses on joint operational activities in Central Asian Republics in institution development, environment, infrastructure, and private sector development.

Corporacion Andina de Fomento

The memorandum of understanding aims to foster knowledge management, promote exchange of best practices, and enhance policy and private sector dialogue, and South–South cooperation between Asia and Latin America.

European Investment Bank (EIB)

The memorandum of understanding covers cooperation in projects that involve private sector and public–private partnerships, climate protection, in developing risk-mitigating financial instruments, and funding in local currency.

Inter-American Development Bank (IDB)

The partnership framework focuses on joint implementation, information exchange capacity building, and policy research in aid for trade, climate change, regional economic integration, south–south cooperation, aid effectiveness, among others. There is also a memorandum of understanding covering cooperation on sustainable low carbon transport.

International Financial Institutions—harmonized development results indicators for private sector investment operations

The memorandum of understanding sets forth the intent of the 25 international financial institutions that signed it to harmonize data collection on private sector operations by adopting a common set of indicators, their definitions, and measurement. The intent is to reduce the reporting burden on private sector clients and enable comparison of data across projects and countries.

New Development Bank (NDB)

The memorandum of understanding facilitates collaboration in matters of common interest and sets out areas for stratgic cooperation toward the achievement of common objectives.

Organizations with Global Outreach

Global Environment Facility (GEF)

The memorandum of understanding expands ADB's direct access to GEF resources to include direct access to allocation of GEF resources for the preparation and implementation of GEF projects.

Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD)

The memorandum of understanding covers collaboration at regional, country, sector, program, and project levels in aid effectiveness, anticorruption, governance, local economic development, environment, and finance. The 2009 memorandum of agreement includes a joint activity on "Asian Pension Reform."

World Health Organization (WHO)

The partnership involves a grant agreement for the implementation of the project, "Prevention and Control of Avian Influenza in the Asia and the Pacific."

World Trade Organization (WTO)

The memorandum of understanding which expired in 2004 covered implementation of joint technical assistance programs for ADB's developing member countries.

Regional Organizations

Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN)

The memorandum of understanding aims to help accelerate ASEAN regional cooperation and integration process in Asia. There is also a grant agreement for the implementation of the project, "Prevention and Control of Avian Influenza in the Asia and the Pacific."

South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC)

The memorandum of understanding aims to support the efforts of the countries in South Asia to attain a sustainable reduction in poverty.

Southeast Asian Ministers of Education Organization (SEAMEO)

The memorandum of understanding explains the operational framework and practical modalities for the cooperation on education development issues.

ADB has established specific strategic frameworks with a number of bilateral aid agencies and/or government departments, with whom specific agreements have been signed.

Agence Française de Développement (AFD)

The partnership framework (signed in March 2010) explains the partners' commitment to work closely together and jointly mobilize their resources to promote sustainable growth, fight poverty, and protect the environment. In 2010, an independent review of the partnership covering the period 1997–2009 was completed.

Australian Aid

The partnership framework identifies the partners' commitment to a shared objective to assist developing countries to reduce poverty and achieve sustainable development; Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) as a focus of international efforts to reduce poverty by 2015; delivery of effective aid in line with Paris Declaration on Aid Effectiveness and the Accra Agenda for Action; and Principles for Good International Engagement in Fragile States and Situations.

Bundesministerium für wirtschaftliche Zusammenarbeit und Entwicklung (BMZ)

The letter of intent identifies commitment to cooperate in education, water, energy, transport, health, finance, urban and environment sectors through cofinancing, seminars, conferences, staff exchanges, and other technical arrangements.

Deutsche Gesellschaft für Technische Zusammenarbeit (GTZ)

The memorandum of agreement explains the administrative arrangements on coordination of assistance to Brunei Darussalam–Indonesia–Malaysia–Philippines East ASEAN Growth Area (BIMP-EAGA).

Japan Water Agency (JWA)

The letter of intent focuses on the collaboration to improve water security in river basins through the Network of Asian River Basin Organizations.

Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida)

Under a risk transfer arrangement, Sida guarantees a repayment of principal of up to $155 million of ADB’s sovereign ordinary capital resources portfolio of ongoing loans to support ADB’s sustainable level of lending.

United States Environmental Protection Agency (US-EPA)

The letter of intent provides the formal mechanism for cooperation on activities that help to promote human health and the environment in Asia.

The United Nations (UN) is an international organization founded in 1945 after the Second World War. Due to its unique international character, and the powers vested in its founding charter, the UN can take action on a wide range of issues, and provide a forum for its 192 member states to express their views. The UN has a number of programs and funds with whom ADB has formalized relations:

UN Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP)

The memorandum of understanding contains the partners' commitment to support poverty reduction and inclusive and sustainable development in the Asia and Pacific. Priority areas include working together towards achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and promoting improved regional cooperation and connectivity.

UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO)

The memorandum of understanding provides the working arrangements particularly cost sharing arrangements to be implemented for investment-related and support activities. There is currently a grant agreement for the implementation of the project "Prevention and Control of Avian Influenza in the Asia and the Pacific."

In 2010, ADB and FAO, together with the International Fund for Agricultural Development, signed the Asia-Pacific Regional Food Security Partnership Framework to support the countries of Asia and Pacific region in their efforts to achieve food security through increased availability of, access to and utilization of adequate, safe and nutritious food by the poor and vulnerable.

UN Human Settlements Programme (HABITAT)

The memorandum of understanding seeks to intensify the partnership in urban infrastructure, with emphasis on the water and sanitation sector.

UN International Labour Organization (ILO)

The memorandum of understanding provides the operational framework and practical modalities for the cooperation focused on social protection.

UN Joint Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS)

The memorandum of understanding contains the understanding to work together through advocacy, policy development, and knowledge management toward achieving the Millennium Development Goal related to HIV-AIDS, and reduce the risk and vulnerability of individuals and communities to HIV-AIDS.

UN Development Programme (UNDP)

The memorandum of understanding provides the administrative arrangements in supporting international development in the Asia and the Pacific region. An example of this is the cooperation in implementing the ADB project "Capacity Development for Development Effectiveness Program" until April 2010.

UN Children's Fund (UNICEF)

The memorandum of understanding contains the commitment to join forces to fight disparities, reduce poverty, and ensure equitable and sustainable development benefits for all children in Asia and the Pacific.

UN Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO)

The memorandum of understanding contains the working arrangements in implementing activities such as joint studies, projects, workshops, conferences, and exchange of information promoting industrial development for poverty reduction, inclusive globalization, and environmental sustainability.

UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC)

The letter of intent contains the understanding to cooperate in education programs on the dangers of drug abuse, illicit crop monitoring, and anti-money laundering, and anticorruption programs.

Civil Society

ADB has been engaged in partnerships with civil society for over a decade. The relationship is often triangular in nature, involving both client governments and civil society organizations, working to implement projects and technical assistance activities. For example, ADB's Nongovernmental Organization (NGO) Center manages cooperation agreements with the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) and the World Wide Fund For Nature (WWF). The memorandums of understanding [IUCN; WWF] signed with them formalize cooperation to realize the common aim of poverty reduction and environmentally sustainable development.

Another example is the partnership with the International Federation of the Red Cross (IFRC). With the signed letter of intent, IFRC and various ADB departments commit to collaborate in the areas of disaster preparedness and disaster response and health and community care.


ADB signed its first memorandum of understanding with a foundation in January 2008 with the Aga Khan Development Network, formalizing a mature collaborative relationship, focused on poverty reduction and innovative approaches to bring civil society, the private sector, and government onto a common development platform.

ADB has also initiated consultations with a number of other foundations, including the Clinton Foundation. Cooperation with foundations is expected to grow in upcoming years.

Think Tanks, Research and Academic Institutions

ADB's cooperation with academic and research institutions covers a wide range of formal and informal aspects. Recognizing the need to leverage knowledge inside and outside the organization, ADB has signed formal cooperation agreements with five research or academic institutions, including institutional agreements with the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy [memorandum of understanding] and a joint declaration of intent with the International Development Research Centre (IDRC).