Midterm Review of Strategy 2020: Meeting the Challenges of a Transforming Asia and Pacific

Publication | April 2014

The midterm review (MTR) of Strategy 2020 is the culmination of a year-long process that was announced at the Annual Meeting of the Board of Governors of the Asian Development Bank (ADB) in May 2013.

ADB has undertaken the MTR to prepare itself to meet the challenges of a transforming Asia and Pacific. ADB must improve its relevance, responsiveness, and effectiveness. The MTR analyzes lessons learned through the implementation of Strategy 2020, and assesses the existing and emerging development challenges of developing member countries (DMCs). Building on this analysis and assessment, the MTR includes a ten-point program on future strategic directions.

Review Findings

In its assessment of the emerging development challenges for Asia and the Pacific, the MTR notes that the region is likely to eradicate absolute poverty by the mid-2020s—as defined by the number of people living on less than $1.25 a day. However, this poverty threshold is insufficient for poor populations of DMCs to even subsist. More than 1.6 billion people continue to live on less than $2 a day and remain highly vulnerable to frequent economic and environmental shocks and natural hazards. They also confront non-income aspects of poverty, including those related to nutrition, maternal and child health, and gender equality. Asia and the Pacific faces widening inequalities in income and access to economic and social opportunities.

A large infrastructure deficit remains. Climate change threatens the sustainability of growth and requires urgent adaptation and mitigation measures. Many DMCs are reaching middle-income country status, including some that are becoming upper middle-income countries. They have better institutional capacity but also face development challenges, including eradicating remaining poverty, addressing the needs of aging populations, creating decent jobs for youth, and mitigating environmental hazards.

The ten-point program on future strategic directions include the following:

  • Poverty reduction and inclusive economic growth;
  • Environment and climate change;
  • Regional cooperation and integration;
  • Infrastructure development;
  • Middle-income countries;
  • Private sector development and operations;
  • Knowledge solutions;
  • Financial resources and partnerships;
  • Delivering value for money in ADB; and
  • Organizing to meet new challenges

About the Midterm Review of Strategy 2020

The MTR involved several rounds of discussions with the Board of Directors, as well as regional workshops to get feedback from government officials, private sector representatives, and civil society members from DMCs. ADB staff also provided inputs and suggestions. A panel of external peer reviewers shared its insights.

The Independent Evaluation Department contributed a special evaluation report entitled Inclusion, Resilience, Change: ADB’s Strategy 2020 at Mid-Term, and participated in discussions with the Board and others.

Additional Details

  • ADB administration and governance
  • Midterm Review of Strategy 2020: Meeting the Challenges of a Transforming Asia and Pacific

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