Learning Lessons: Asian Development Fund Operations: A Decade of Supporting Poverty Reduction

Evaluation Document | 1 November 2011

This edition of Learning Lessons highlights the lessons learned from a decade of Asian Development Fund operations, and provides recommendations to guide future ADF operations by ADB.

The Asian Development Fund is ADB's main concessional lending window for supporting poverty reduction in the region's poorer countries. It is funded by international donors on a grant basis. From 2001-2010, ADB approved $20 billion in fund loans to 29 countries; the most sizeable to Bangladesh, Viet Nam, Pakistan, Afghanistan, and Nepal.

This study by the Independent Evaluation Department highlights lessons learned from a decade of these operations, and provides recommendations to guide future lending. The study calls for increased fund financing to tackle poverty reduction, but says this must be matched by stronger performance outcomes, especially in view of the tough challenges faced by the region's poorer countries. Against that backdrop, stronger efforts are needed to encourage inclusive and sustainable development. The study says investments from the Asian Development Fund should, among other things, be better geared towards enhancing the access of smaller enterprises to investments and improved urban, social, and environmental services.