ADB Principal Results Management Specialist Smita Nakhooda discusses how ADB is stepping up its Sustainable Development Goals ambitions.


The [Sustainable Development Goals] SDGs provide a comprehensive framework of goals and targets that challenge all countries, organizations, and investors to consider their impact on people and the planet. 

A growing range of tools, standards, and initiatives to support investors to rise to this challenge had been developed in recent years. Multilateral development banks have been amongst the first investors to adopt such practices in their operations, given their core mandate of advancing sustainable development.

But while we may have been frontrunners in the sustainable investment space, we need to continue to challenge ourselves to remain leaders. The ecosystem is increasingly diverse and is evolving quickly.

Investors are signing on to voluntary principles that provide a common system that help them integrate impact. Impact management frameworks are emerging that help investors turn their ambitions to maximize positive impact or minimize negative impacts into practice. And tools that offer common metrics that allow investors to measure outputs and outcomes using standard definitions are also gaining pace.

Disclosure and assurance have become integral parts of these efforts, and in many parts of the world, regulation is beginning to make sustainability reporting much more material to investors and businesses.

Developing consistent, credible, and comparable impact measurement and management standards can play a vital role in mobilizing the financing needed to realize the SDGs. This has been a recurrent theme in other editions of the SDG Dialogues that we’ve convened at ADB as we reflect on opportunities to step up our ambitions on this agenda.