A Review of the Asian Development Fund I-V Operations | Asian Development Bank

A Review of the Asian Development Fund I-V Operations

Evaluation Document | 31 December 2001

This evaluation examines the objectives, policies, and strategies governing the use of the ADF, the performance of projects funded under the ADF and the implications for ADB's strategic direction and operations.

Increased accountability and the need to take stock of Asian Development Fund (ADF) resources prompted ADB to evaluate the impact of its ADF portfolio. This study covers the first five commitment periods (1973-1991) of the ADF, which provides financing on concessional terms to ADB's developing member countries. ADF contributions totaled $10.2 billion over the review period, when there was continued growth in disbursements. By sector, agriculture, particularly irrigation and rural development, receivedthe biggest ADF loan allocation, averaging 47%over the period.

The ADF I-V portfoliocomprised 488 projects in 26 countries. In line with ADB's development strategy during the period, a significant part of ADF resources was invested in infrastructure projects to enhance the capacity of developing countries to achieve economic growth.

Performance reports of ADF I-V projects rated 45% successful, 43% partly successful, and 12% unsuccessful. Project performance improved over the period. The study says that the most significant impact of ADF I-V operations was in helping promote growth, particularly in Lao People's Democratic Republic, Myanmar, Nepal and Pakistan.

The study recommends that the portion of the ADF portfolio allocated for direct poverty intervention projects should concentrate on well-selected target beneficiaries so as to reach the maximum number of the poor. It says continuing assistance should be provided until the beneficiary organizations or communities become thoroughly empowered and self-governing. Indicators of successful empowerment need to be defined and should become the main measures of success of poverty focused projects.


  • Foreword
  • The Asian Development Fund
  • Strategic Development Objectives
  • Program Lending
  • Institutional Change
  • Lessons Learned
  • Conclusion
  • Appendixes
  • Endnotes