How can we improve our chances of securing an ADB-funded contract?
Here are some things to keep in mind to improve the likelihood of winning an ADB-financed contract.
Preparation for visiting ADB
- Prepare before visiting ADB. Search the ADB website for specific information you need. Not doing so wastes everyone’s time and suggests lack of preparation and professionalism.
- Have a good knowledge of ADB’s policies and procedures. The ADB Operations Manual (OM) sets out how ADB staff should implement an approved policy.
- Do not assume ADB policies and procedures are the same as World Bank or other multilateral development banks' policies and procedures.
- Eligible entitles can express interest in or bid on any tender regardless of its funding source. As such, do not just focus on projects financed by your own country.
Visits and meetings with ADB
- Plan visits to ADB and meet with relevant staff. Provide adequate lead time (usually three weeks) to confirm staff availability.
- Plan to spend at least two full working days at ADB. This will allow for unexpected slippage of scheduled meetings and opportunistic extra ones.
- Focus on the project officer and specialists who are the key players in ADB decision-making with respect to projects and contracts.
- Plan a broad scope of meetings in related fields.
- Meet with the ADB practice leader of the sector(s) of interest to you. Practice leaders can provide advice and suggestions about other staff of relevance and value to you.
- Schedule meetings about every hour with the expectation of having 30-45 minute meetings.
- It’s not good practice to demand an immediate decision from an ADB project officer before leaving a meeting. We value consensus decision-making. Time must be allowed for necessary internal staff consultations.
Showing expertise and professionalism in meetings
- Be prepared to talk in technical terms and to give examples of your expertise and past work, particularly your work in developing countries in Asia and the Pacific.
- In your discussions, keep ADB’s interests at the forefront.
- If possible, provide examples of technical work done.
- Bring something innovative or of interest to the meeting that will add value and enhance ADB’s project work in the country or sector.
- Avoid anger or using confrontational language to ADB staff, particularly in group meetings. “Straight talk” can sometimes be misinterpreted if too direct.
- If you disagree with an ADB official, requesting a meeting with his or her superior to address the issue without first alerting the officer does not go down well.
- Do not request meetings for contract discussions with directors general, vice-presidents, or the ADB President.
- Always have a business card and CV at hand.
- Follow up meetings with ADB staff with a thank you note, including a brief reference to nature of discussion and any documents promised.
- Make your proposals as concise as possible. Get straight to the point.
- Do not include extraneous details not related to the terms of reference (TOR).