Ideas for Developing Asia and the Pacific

ADBI 25th Anniversary Essay Contest: Priorities for Shaping Asia’s Future Sustainable Development



On the occasion of the Asian Development Bank Institute’s (ADBI) 25th anniversary, ADBI is holding an essay contest seeking the views of young professionals and scholars on socioeconomic challenges that will significantly impact prosperity and well-being in Asia and the Pacific over the next decade and should be prioritized by regional and global think tanks.

Essay Length: 600-800 words


First Place: $500
Second Place: $300
Third Place: $200


Entrants must be 32 years old or below and from an Asian Development Bank (ADB) member economy

Submission Deadline: 11 July 2022

Winners’ Ceremony: 1 December 2022

What We’re Looking For:

Essay submissions should address  a socioeconomic challenge that will significantly impact prosperity and well-being in Asia and the Pacific over the next decade and should be prioritized by regional and global think tanks. Authors should focus on one of the following themes:

  • Addressing Remaining Poverty and Reducing Inequality
    • While Asia and the Pacific has made tremendous progress in reducing income poverty, much more needs to be done to address non-income dimensions of poverty and vulnerability, promote social inclusion and development, and build post-COVID-19 social protection and resilience.
  • Accelerating Progress in Gender Equality
    • Equal access to economic opportunities for men and women is key to building prosperity and sustainability. Tackling gender inequality requires broad social engagement and breakthroughs in areas such as economic empowerment and access to land, financial instruments, and digital tools.
  • Fostering Regional Cooperation and Integration
    • Fostering regional cooperation and integration promotes trade that benefits both developed and developing economies while mitigating the risks. It can also boost investment in infrastructure, which is more difficult now due to COVID-19 pressure on public funding and requires greater private financing.
  • Making Cities More Livable
    • Urban populations have increased sharply in recent decades and the trend is expected to continue. It is especially pronounced in developing Asia, giving rise to myriad environmental and urban challenges such as the spread of informal settlements and high water, sanitation, and transportation demand.
  • Promoting Rural Development and Food Security
    • Asia and the Pacific has strengthened its food security considerably, but the burden of feeding the world’s growing population still falls heavily on developing countries. Ongoing challenges include the decreasing rural population, unsustainable land and natural resources use, and climate change.
  • Strengthening Governance and Institutional Capacity
    • Good governance and effective public management are essential for economic development. Strengthening governance will also be critical to raising the sustainable and inclusive growth potential of economies across Asia and the Pacific and their capacity to address rapid socioeconomic change.
  • Tackling Climate Change, Building Climate and Disaster Resilience, and Enhancing Environmental Sustainability
    • Asia and the Pacific is the world's most natural disaster-prone region. The increasing frequency and intensity of extreme weather such as typhoons and droughts due to climate change pose a growing threat to both people’s lives and livelihoods, and economic stability in the region.

Submission Procedure:

  • Interested authors should submit their 600–800-word essay in English via this link no later than 11 July
  • Essay submissions should include a title, author name and affiliation, and contact information
  • Authors must be 32 years old or below and from an ADB member economy

Arrangements for Selected Essays

The three best essays will be selected by ADBI staff. The authors will be notified.

The first-place winner will receive a prize of $500. The second- and third-place winners will receive $300 and $200, respectively.

Authors of the top three essays will also be invited to make a presentation during the virtual ADBI 25th Anniversary Celebration on 1 December 2022.

The top three essays will be published by ADBI. Other essays may also be selected by ADBI for publication on a rolling basis. Authors of selected essays will be contacted prior to publication.


Inquiries may be directed to Adam Majoe and David Hendrickson.