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ADB Establishes High-Level Advisory Group for Digital Technology

News Release | 2 September 2019

From left to right: ADB Vice-President for Knowledge Management and Sustainable Development Mr. Bambang Susantono; Google's Vice President of Public Policy for Asia and the Pacific Ambassador Ted Osius; Assistant Dean and Chief Technology Officer of Stanford University Mr. Paul Kim; Dean and Professor of Management Science and Information Systems at Carnegie Mellon University Mr. Ramayya Krishnan; ADB President Mr. Takehiko Nakao; Stripe's Head of Southeast Asia and Hong Kong Ms. Piruze Sabuncu; SolveEducation!'s CEO and Cofounder Ms. Janine Teo; Accenture's Country Managing Director for the Philippines Mr. Lito Tayag; NEC Corporate Fellow Mr. Katsumi Emura; and Amazon Web Services' Asia Pacific Lead for Education, Research, and Not for Profit Mr. Vincent Quah.

MANILA, PHILIPPINES (2 September 2019) — The Asian Development Bank (ADB) today established a High-level Advisory Group on Digital Technology for Development. The eight-person experts’ group will advise on the use of digital technologies and their implications for ADB’s development work. It will provide inputs for digital strategies on ADB’s operational priorities, as defined in its Strategy 2030.

The advisory group members are Mr. Katsumi Emura (Corporation Fellow, NEC), Mr. Paul Kim (Assistant Dean and Chief Technology Officer, Stanford Graduate School of Education), Mr. Ramayya Krishnan (Dean and Professor of Management Science and Information Systems, Carnegie Mellon University), Ambassador Ted Osius (Vice President of Public Policy for Asia and the Pacific, Google), Mr. Vincent Quah (Asia Pacific Lead for Education, Amazon Web Services), Ms. Piruze Sabuncu (Head of Southeast Asia and Hong Kong, Stripe Co.), Mr. Lito Tayag (Country Managing Director, Accenture Philippines), and Ms. Janine Teo (Chief Executive Officer, Solve Education!).

“The establishment of this Advisory Group will allow ADB to gain insights and strategic advice from digital technology industry leaders as well as academia on how ADB can provide high-quality support for the development agenda of our developing member countries,” ADB President Mr. Takehiko Nakao said.

The group held a consultative session with ADB management and senior staff at the start of the ADB Digital Week, where a series of seminars and workshops is being held and the ADB Digital Agenda 2030 will be launched.

As a key enabler of innovation, digital technology has opened new avenues for growth and inclusive development. ADB established a Digital Technology for Development Unit in 2018. This unit and the seven sector groups (education, energy, finance, health, transport, urban, and water) and eight thematic groups (climate and disaster, gender, governance, social development, environment, food security, regional cooperation, and public–private partnership) have been expanding the use of more advanced technologies, especially digital technologies, in every area of ADB operations. 

ADB has already incorporated digital technology in operations across sectors and regions. From 2010 to 2018, ADB supported 315 projects that included digital components. Examples include digital tools to teach students, telemedicine and remote health, inclusive finance using smartphones, digital identity incorporating biometrics, smart grid systems for renewable energy, smart sensors for nonrevenue water reductions, and real-time traffic control using intelligent transportation systems. ADB is also applying earth observation technologies and geographic information systems in its projects, supported by partnerships with the European Space Agency and the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency.

ADB is committed to achieving a prosperous, inclusive, resilient, and sustainable Asia and the Pacific, while sustaining its efforts to eradicate extreme poverty. In 2018, it made commitments of new loans and grants amounting to $21.6 billion. Established in 1966, it is owned by 68 members—49 from the region.