Program Lending | Asian Development Bank

Program Lending

Evaluation Document | 30 November 2001

This evaluation assesses the effectiveness of program lending in promoting policy reforms in the developing member countries and identifies generic measures that could further enhance its effectiveness.

Program lending is ADB's main instrument for supporting the policy reforms of developing member countries, and it was used extensively in responding to the Asian financial crisis. Between 1987 and 2000, ADB approved 70 programs and 16 sector development programs totaling $14.5 billion. This represented 22% of ADB's total lending during the period.

This study assesses the effectiveness of program lending in promoting policy reforms in developing member countries. It found that program lending had and will continue to have a high level of relevance to the needs of developing countries.

"The program loan modality has proved a very useful instrument in the context of the Asian financial crisis," says the study. It notes, however, that programs have not always led to sustainable outcomes. "Modifications to the modality have already been made, but further changes are needed to allow greater flexibility in implementing policy reforms," it says.

Among the evaluation study's recommendations are that program loans should have multiple tranches where appropriate, and that improvements are needed in the way programs are evaluated. It says the Operations Evaluation Department should do re-evaluation studies of three selected programs to better assess the sustainability of program reforms, update guidelines for program lending, and do evaluations of selected programs during implementation.


  • Executive Summary
  • Introduction
  • Asian Development Bank Program Lending
  • Outputs and Impacts
  • Processes
  • Factors Affecting Performance
  • Looking Forward
  • Key Findings, Conclusions, and Recommendations
  • Appendixes