Evaluation of ADB’s Procurement System, 2014–2021

Evaluation Document | 16 February 2023
Evaluation of ADB’s Procurement System, 2014–2021

Procurement plays a big part in development effectiveness, and the quality of public procurement practices is a major determinant of effective public spending. The Asian Development Bank (ADB) generates around $9.5 billion a year for the procurement of goods and services though loans and grants to its client countries. Before 2017, ADB’s procurement processes largely followed a rule-based system with an emphasis on compliance. Since then, ADB adopted a more principles-based approach in its Procurement Policy Framework (PPF), which introduced quality and value for money (VfM) as two new core principles.

This formative evaluation assesses the relevance and effectiveness of ADB’s procurement reforms introduced through the PPF. It examines what ADB accomplished during 2017–2021 comparing it to the baseline of 2014–2017. By doing so, it identifies key challenges faced by the procurement reforms and recommends how ADB should go about strengthening its procurement system to deliver VfM. 

The evaluation notes that these reforms are still in the early stages of implementation, which began in earnest in 2019 only to be delayed by the coronavirus disease (COVID-19). ADB must continue with its promising start and ensure that corporate behavioral change and process improvements remain salient as it takes on the pressing challenges of sustainable and green procurement in the years ahead.