MANILA, PHILIPPINES (7 December 2018) — The Asian Development Bank (ADB) today marked International Anticorruption Day in its 8th annual event in ADB headquarters with calls for ongoing efforts to fight corruption and improve governance, particularly in education and environmental management, two critical areas for securing a bright future for Asia and the Pacific.
In his welcome remarks, ADB President Mr. Takehiko Nakao said, “Corruption in education takes many forms, such as nepotism in the recruitment of teachers and the procurement of goods and services for schools. It is a major barrier to the achievement of Sustainable Development Goals 4—obtaining a quality education.” He added, “Corruption also undermines environmental management, which is an essential part of keeping our future bright.”
Co-founder and CEO of Teach for the Philippines Ms. Clarissa Delgado and Co-Founder and Managing Trustee of Legal Initiative for Forest and Environment Mr. Ritwick Dutta delivered keynote speeches at the event. Ms. Delgado stressed the important role teachers play in the fight against corruption by leading by example and imparting values of integrity to their students. Mr. Dutta highlighted the key role of civil society and courts in ensuring that enforcement agencies implement the law.
Mr. Nakao highlighted four key ways in which ADB is fighting corruption and improving governance in the areas of education and environmental management. First, ADB has zero tolerance of corruption and strong oversight of its own lending and grant operations. Second, the Bank is committed to enhancing transparency and stakeholder participation in ADB financed-projects. Third, ADB uses its lending operations to help strengthen institutions for good governance. Fourth, the Bank actively provides technical assistance and hosts capacity building events to strengthen institutional capacity in its developing member countries.
Examples of ADB’s work to support good governance include an education project in Nepal where e-Procurement systems and third-party verification is being used to increase transparency and reduce avenues for corruption. The Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei Air Improvement Program in the People’s Republic of China includes the implementation of rigid environmental protection monitoring and penalties. This has led to a reduction in unhealthy burning of biomass and a ban on seasonal biomass stalk burning in Hebei province.
ADB is working towards meeting its target of 6%-10% of total lending going to the education sector and increasing the share of total projects supporting environmentally sustainable growth beyond the 58% achieved in 2015-2017.
ADB’s efforts to be more open have been recognized. The independent 2018 Aid Transparency Index ranked ADB first among 45 of the world’s leading development organizations. And work to be more transparent continues. ADB is introducing a new Access to Information Policy (AIP) on 1 January 2019 that further stresses the principle of presumption in favor of disclosure at the Bank.
Since 2008 the ADB’s Office of Anticorruption and Integrity has conducted knowledge sharing activities such as 292 training programs on anticorruption and integrity for government agencies and financial institutions of ADB developing member countries.
ADB is committed to achieving a prosperous, inclusive, resilient, and sustainable Asia and the Pacific, while sustaining its efforts to eradicate extreme poverty. Established in 1966, it is owned by 67 members—48 from the region. In 2017, ADB operations totaled $32.2 billion, including $11.9 billion in cofinancing.