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Raising Development Impact through Evaluation

Special Evaluation Study on ADB’s Knowledge Products and Services

Evaluation Document | 20 November 2012

This evaluation assesses past accomplishments against expectations and identifies forward looking lessons to help ADB become a stronger knowledge institution. 

The diversity of challenges in Asia and the Pacific presents a range of knowledge needs crucial for linking distinct development efforts and achieving better outcomes and impacts from development resources. Yet knowledge management is a complex and evolving field, with many development organizations struggling to leverage knowledge more effectively to improve their operations.

The main objective of this evaluation study is to identify lessons that will help ADB to become a stronger knowledge institution by assessing accomplishments against expectations since the adoption of the Knowledge Management Framework in 2004. It also discusses features essential to make ADB more effective as a knowledge institution.

Recognizing increased client demand for knowledge, ADB's knowledge and product services have grown substantially in the past decade. But they have done so using multiple approaches, and serious gaps and constraints remain. The study says this has created a "sense of confusion and lack of clarity" over the direction of knowledge management at ADB. Strategy 2020 has raised the profile of the knowledge-management agenda, but it lacks adequate guidance on making this operational. Even so, across many areas of ADB, efforts and initiatives are underway to improve ADB's knowledge orientation, says the study.

Among its recommendations for better knowledge management at ADB are (i) improving incentive structures to better reward staff doing knowledge work; (ii) improving enabling technologies, particularly for knowledge storage, retrieval,and sharing; and (iii) and strengthening the identification of knowledge needs by expanding successful approaches adopted by regional departments and using them to help prepare country-specific knowledge plans.


  • Table of Contents
  • Foreword
  • Executive Summary
  • Chapter 1: Introduction
  • Chapter 2: ADB's Knowledge Management Agenda
  • Chapter 3: Enabling Environment for Knowledge Management
  • Chapter 4: Knowledge Management Cycle
  • Chapter 5: Addressing Needs of Knowledge Stakeholders
  • Chapter 6: Overall Assessment
  • Chapter 7: Building a Stronger Knowledge Institution
  • Chapter 8: Findings, Recommendations, Lessons, and Issues