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Strategy 2020 Midterm Review

Strategy 2030 was approved by the ADB Board of Directors on 26 July 2018, effective immediately. Strategy 2030 supersedes Strategy 2020 and its midterm review.

Midterm Review of Strategy 2020: Meeting the Challenges of a Transforming Asia and Pacific


The midterm review (MTR) of Strategy 2020 is the culmination of a year-long process that was announced at the Annual Meeting of the Board of Governors of ADB in May 2013. ADB President Takehiko Nakao approved an Action Plan to implement the outcomes of the Strategy 2020 MTR.

Review Findings


The MTR finds that ADB has closely aligned its operations with Strategy 2020’s three strategic agendas of inclusive economic growth, environmentally sustainable growth, and regional integration. During 2008–2012, more than 80% of ADB operations were in Strategy 2020’s five core areas—infrastructure, environment, regional cooperation and integration, finance sector development, and education. Infrastructure operations were the main channel of contribution to the three strategic agendas.

Strategic Priorities up to 2020


The MTR concludes that Strategy 2020 remains valid and relevant in its broad strategic directions to address the development challenges of a transforming Asia and Pacific. However, the region is changing fast—and so must ADB. The following 10 priorities together will determine ADB’s strategic focus leading up to 2020. The first seven priorities seek to sharpen and rebalance ADB operations, and strengthen their responsiveness to the changing business environment. The remaining three aim to increase ADB's capacity and effectiveness.

  • Poverty reduction and inclusive economic growth. ADB will pursue its vision of a region free of poverty—eradicating extreme poverty and reducing vulnerability and inequality—by expanding its support for achieving rapid and inclusive economic growth.
  • Environment and climate change. With the region facing serious environmental challenges, ADB will scale up its support for climate change adaptation, while maintaining its assistance for mitigation through clean energy and energy efficiency projects and sustainable transport.
  • Regional cooperation and integration. ADB will expand regional connectivity and extend value chains by supporting cross-border infrastructure investments and connecting economic hubs to increase trade and commercial opportunities.
  • Infrastructure development. Infrastructure will remain the main focus of ADB operations. ADB will strengthen outcomes of infrastructure projects by improving sector engagement, technical designs, and implementation.
  • Middle-income countries. As a large majority of its developing member countries (DMCs) attain middle-income country status by 2020, ADB will sharpen its strategic approach to stay relevant and responsive to their development needs.
  • Private sector development and operations. ADB will systematically expand assistance for private sector development and operations to 50% of annual operations by 2020. It will strengthen the business environments in DMCs to promote private investment. In addition to being a project financier, ADB will become a more active project developer.
  • Knowledge solutions. A “One ADB” approach will be adopted for all ADB departments to work together to provide knowledge solutions. Resident missions will seek knowledge partnerships and dialogue opportunities with DMCs and coordinate ADB support.
  • Financial resources and partnerships. The region continues to need large-scale development financing. ADB cannot remain relevant without a certain scale of operations backed by adequate financial resources. ADB will enhance its lending capacity, including through considering combining Asian Development Fund’s lending operations with the Ordinary Capital Resources balance sheet.
  • Delivering value for money in ADB. ADB will seek to increase its efficiency, effectiveness, and institutional economy. To support better project implementation, business processes—particularly ADB’s procurement system—will be reformed and rationalized.
  • Organizing to meet new challenges. ADB will comprehensively strengthen its staff skills, incentives, and institutional arrangements to become a more dynamic, agile, and innovative institution.