Project Name The Urbanization-Poverty-Inequality Triangle in Asia and the Pacific
Project Number 47109-001
Country / Economy Regional
Project Status Closed
Project Type / Modality of Assistance Technical Assistance
Source of Funding / Amount
TA 8522-REG: The Urbanization-Poverty-Inequality Triangle in Asia and the Pacific
Technical Assistance Special Fund US$ 950,000.00
Strategic Agendas Inclusive economic growth
Drivers of Change Governance and capacity development
Knowledge solutions
Sector / Subsector

Public sector management / Economic affairs management

Description The proposed technical assistance (TA) will (i) identify the drivers of urbanization and project urbanization trends, both within DMCs and regionally; (ii) analyze the impact of urbanization on poverty, inequality, and other socioeconomic variables; (iii) explore policy implications; and (iv) communicate the findings through written materials, conferences, workshops, and seminars.
Project Rationale and Linkage to Country/Regional Strategy

Poverty and inequality profiles in Asia and the Pacific, including in the developing member countries (DMCs) of the Asian Development Bank (ADB), are undergoing fundamental changes as a result of unprecedented urbanization. Most DMCs face tremendous challenges with little preparation, including how to confront the urbanization of poverty and emerging income polarization. In particular, the trend of rising inequality in the region may be related to rapid urbanization, as hypothesized by Nobel Laureate Simon Kuznets.

In general, urbanization is accompanied by flows of production factors, in particular labor,from the low-productivity rural sector to high-productivity manufacturing and service industries. Therefore, urbanization and growth appear to be positively correlated. This implies a negative correlation between poverty and urbanization, all other things being equal. However, the work of Kuznets postulates that the relationship between inequality and growth or urbanization takes the form of an inverted U. Consequently, inequality cannot be held constant during rapid urbanization, and the poverty-urbanization relationship is no longer deductible. In short, the urbanization-poverty-inequality triangle, although very important to a host of stakeholders including ADB and its DMCs, is complex and intriguing.

Few economic analyses have been conducted regarding the urbanization-poverty-inequality relationship in the context of ADB DMCs, notwithstanding several ADB reports on urban issues (e.g., ADB's 2011 report on inclusive cities). A total of 90 publications in the Econlit database contain the keywords 'urbanization and 'poverty , and 77 publications have the keywords 'urbanization and 'inequality in their abstracts or titles. However, only 11 of these 167 publications are related to ADB DMCs. The JSTOR database contains a total of 28 such publications, but only one is related to ADB DMCs.

There is an urgent need for an improved understanding of the urbanization-poverty-inequality relationship, especially with regard to the impacts of urbanization on poverty and inequality in ADB DMCs. The lack of accessible knowledge products that elucidate this relationship hampers the efforts by DMCs and development institutions to fight poverty and promote inclusive growth.


The impact of the TA will be improved understanding of stakeholders regarding the urbanization-poverty-inequality interrelationship

Project Outcome
Description of Outcome

TA research findings are utilized by development experts and researchers, both within ADB and beyond

Progress Toward Outcome As of August 2020, more than 30 citations were found for the published working papers and journal articles produced under the TA, and the land value capture (LVC) report was cited by 3 ADB documents (co-published with multilateral organizations), one blog post, and a local newspaper.
Implementation Progress
Description of Project Outputs

Published research on urbanization-poverty-inequality triangle, land value capture, and other urbanization-related topics.

Workshops and conferences for knowledge sharing and dissemination.

Status of Implementation Progress (Outputs, Activities, and Issues) The TA produced a total of 10 research papers: 4 articles published in ADBEconomics Working Paper Series, 3 in ADBI Working Paper Series, one each in Asian Development Review, Asian Economic Policy Review, and The Philippine Statistician.The TA produced 32 background papers which provided substantial inputs in the preparation of the theme chapter of ADO 2019 Update, the LVC report, working papers, and journal articles.The LVC report, Sustaining Transit Investment in Asia's Cities: A Beneficiary-Funding and Land Value Capture Perspective, was published in April 2019.The TA supported the development of a geo-referenced urban database covering over 1,500 cities in 43 economies in Asia and the Pacific. The database, containing shape, land area, population and a variety of city characteristics, was used as the main data source for the theme chapter of ADO 2019 Update. In addition, the TA supported collection of detailed trip data from Google Maps in selected Asian cities. It was used to develop an innovative measure of congestion across Asian cities, which was reported in ADO 2019 Update as well. The TA supported 8 workshops and conferences to discuss policy issues and new research findings on urbanization in the region with experts and policy makers, and disseminate knowledge outputs.
Geographical Location Regional
Summary of Environmental and Social Aspects
Environmental Aspects
Involuntary Resettlement
Indigenous Peoples
Stakeholder Communication, Participation, and Consultation
During Project Design
During Project Implementation Inception or brainstorming meetings, workshops and in-country discussions were conducted to consult with academic professionals, government officials, and the private sectors. Their active participation in these events were very helpful in getting their feedback and suggestions in the preparations of the knowledge products. Leading experts, young researchers, and government officials also participated actively in conferences held under the TA, which helped to disseminate ADB knowledge product and promote ADB as knowledge bank in the field.
Business Opportunities
Consulting Services The TA is expected to finance up to 89 person-months of consulting services. In addition to the comparative studies (para. 14), the consultants will study a combination of different themes, issues, and DMCs. Some will focus on cross-country research while others will conduct country case studies. Given the large number of countries covered in this TA and the meager literature on the urbanization-poverty-inequality triangle, the following allocation is proposed. The comparative cross-country studies will be conducted by international consultants: nine economists (13.5 person-months), three urban development specialists (4.5 person-months), and two social development specialists (3 person-months). The country-specific case studies will be conducted by national consultants: eight country economists (16 person-months) and two country social development specialists (4 person-months). The research teams will be assisted by an economics editor (national, 12 person-months) and two research assistants (national, 36 person-months). The TA will also make provision for the participation of resource persons (2 person-months) who will provide technical inputs and guidance during the workshops, conferences, seminars, or launch activities. Each resource person assignment will not exceed 10 working days.All consultants will be recruited and engaged individually by ADB in accordance with its Guidelines on the Use of Consultants (2013, as amended from time to time).
Procurement The TA requires both micro and macro data for the analysis. The datasets will be procured from DMC agencies as well as other research agencies. Equipment and software may also be procured for the TA where needed. Procurement of data, equipment, and software will be done in accordance with ADB's Procurement Guidelines (2013, as amended from time to time). Disbursement will be done in accordance with ADB's Technical Assistance Disbursement Handbook (2010, as amended from time to time).
Responsible ADB Officer Jiang, Yi
Responsible ADB Department Economic Research and Development Impact Department
Responsible ADB Division Economic Analysis and Operational Support Division (EREA)
Executing Agencies
Asian Development Bank
Concept Clearance 25 Oct 2013
Fact Finding -
Approval 02 Dec 2013
Last Review Mission -
Last PDS Update 02 Oct 2020

TA 8522-REG

Approval Signing Date Effectivity Date Closing
Original Revised Actual
02 Dec 2013 - 02 Dec 2013 31 Dec 2015 31 Dec 2019 01 Sep 2020
Financing Plan/TA Utilization Cumulative Disbursements
ADB Cofinancing Counterpart Total Date Amount
Gov Beneficiaries Project Sponsor Others
950,000.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 950,000.00 17 Jun 2022 833,517.67
This page was generated from /projects/47109-001/main on 05 May 2024

Source URL: