Charting Change: The Impact of ADB's Water for All Policy on Investments, Project Design, and Sector Reform

Publication | December 2005

In 2001, the Asian Development Bank launched its Water for All Policy. It defines the priorities, commitments, and strategies for developing Asia’s water sector. Five years later, has it helped improve the region's water sector?

Five years after the approval of the water policy, we are asking ourselves and others, "Is the ADB's Water for All Policy helping to develop Asia's water sector?" Is it leading to better management of water resources and improving the poor's access to water and sanitation services?

To confidently answer these questions, the water policy's implementation came under an interim review in 2003 and further underwent a comprehensive review in 2005. The interim review showed encouraging progress, as well as important changes that should take place. The 2005 comprehensive review, meanwhile, assessed the policy's implementation to greater depths. How have ADB water operations utilized the policy? How has the water policy contributed to the achievements made in water sectors in the ADB's developing member countries (DMCs)? What do stakeholders say about the policy's implementation in their countries?

This publication offers some answers to those questions. It takes a close look at the workings of ADB's water sector operations—the structure of the water policy, the work that the 2003 interim review has inspired, how ADB's regional operations departments have used the policy, and the achievements of ADB's policy-based initiatives. This publication also weighs the challenges the water sector and ADB's operations currently face in its policy-guided mission to help DMCs secure water for all.


  • Developing Asia's Water Sector: Policy Matters
  • Putting the Policy to Task: The Elements of Action
  • Policy Implementation: Taking Action, Measuring Progress
  • Providing Support: Initiatives that Advance the Water Policy
  • Policy Forward: New Knowledge, Next Steps
  • Endnotes
  • Appendixes

Additional Details

  • ADB administration and governance
  • Water

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