ASTANA, KAZAKHSTAN – The Asian Development Bank (ADB) made further operational and organizational improvements in 2013, including increasing success rates for completed projects, said an ADB performance review released today.

“The latest corporate assessment, which is the first to apply an updated results framework through to 2016, shows further encouraging headway in many areas of our work,” said Kazu Sakai, Director General of ADB’s Strategy and Policy Department. “This report and the midterm review of Strategy 2020 will help further strengthen our development effectiveness.”

The Development Effectiveness Review 2013 — the 7th annual corporate results report — tracks recent development progress in Asia and the Pacific, assesses ADB’s performance, and identifies areas for improving ADB-supported operations and its organizational management. As well as high success rates for completed operations and above-target outputs and outcomes in many core operational areas, ADB also improved its human resource management and business process efficiency.

Recently completed operations in ADB’s developing member countries resulted in 75,000 households receiving electricity, water supply upgrades to more than 860,000 homes, sanitation improvements in nearly half a million homes, and microfinance loans to 831,000 borrowers, most of them women. ADB also stepped up support for disaster risk management and risk reduction, and the nearly $900 million in aid pledged to the Philippines after Typhoon Haiyan set a new ADB record for disaster recovery assistance.

However challenges also remain, including cost and time overruns for a large number of successfully completed operations, design and implementation difficulties in some projects, a fall in funds disbursed and direct value-added cofinancing, and insufficient alignment of operations with some of the priorities of Strategy 2020, ADB’s blueprint for development.

ADB has already taken steps to tackle the problems by implementing project readiness filters to hasten project start up times and streamlining procurement processes, among other measures. The latest Development Effectiveness Review 2013 reinforces findings from the midterm review of Strategy 2020, which emphasizes the need to address cost and time overruns, improve procurement, expand cofinancing, and strengthen support for public-private partnerships.

On Asia and the Pacific’s development progress, the report notes that the region has already met the Millennium Development Goal for halving extreme poverty and is well on track to attain the targets for access to basic education and gender parity in education.

But vulnerability to poverty has grown and progress has been slow in reducing under-nutrition, expanding access to improved sanitation, cutting maternal and child mortality, and curbing carbon dioxide emissions. The region remains home to two-thirds of the world’s extreme poor and there are 1.6 billion people living on an income of less than $2 a day, leaving them highly vulnerable to slipping back into extreme poverty.

This year, the Development Effectiveness Review report is accompanied by the inaugural issue of the Together We Deliver report, which contains 10 stories from ADB-supported projects with clear development impacts, ranging from all-weather roads in India that connect rural villages to community hospitals, training schools and other facilities; a water supply and sanitation project in the Lao People’s Democratic Republic; to a coal mine methane development project in the People’s Republic of China which transforms hazardous methane gas from coal mines into clean energy.

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