Thomas Abell, Director of ADB's Digital Technology for Development Division, discusses how ADB is supporting the effective use of digital technologies across its programs and developing member countries.


ADB supports the effective use of digital technologies across our programs and with our developing member countries.

The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the importance of digital technology as a key enabler of development. Transitioning to ecommerce, elearning, working from home, and remote healthcare increased the urgency for governments to increase the availability and inclusiveness of digital services and infrastructure.

The pandemic accelerated the digital economy transition across the region, and there is an increasing demand for digital programs within our developing member countries.

We employ a demand-driven approach to support ADB programs across a wide range of technologies. Our main focus areas include eGovernment, internet infrastructure, earth observation, data privacy and security, and digital economy.

We host a wide range of partnerships - from Amazon on cloud computing, to the European Space Agency on earth observation. We also sponsor an expert advisory group on digital technologies that includes leading academics and private sector leaders.

Mainstreaming digital technology is key in reducing poverty and promoting sustainable development in Asia and the Pacific.