Access to Information: Overview | Asian Development Bank

Access to Information: Overview

Transparency and accountability are essential to achieve ADB's vision of an Asia and the Pacific region free of poverty. They are the cornerstones of development effectiveness.

ADB's Public Communications Policy (PCP) expands the scope and type of information ADB makes publicly available. It also allows for earlier disclosure of most Board documents, and offers a more effective framework for proactively disclosing information and responding to information requests on a timely basis.

The policy is specially designed to keep developing member countries, development partners, civil society, people affected by ADB projects, academics, media, the private sector, and other key stakeholders increasingly abreast of ADB activities and to provide added platforms for seeking their views. This creates the kind of two-way information exchange crucial to building mutual understanding and trust that forms the foundation of solid partnerships and development effectiveness.

Sharing information for more effective development


The PCP commits ADB to equal information access for all, recognizing the right of people to seek, receive, and share information.

Among the key principles promoted are:

  • presumption in favor of disclosure
  • accountability and transparency in ADB operations
  • proactive sharing of knowledge and lessons learned
  • improved access to operational information
  • promotion of an information and knowledge-sharing culture
  • greater two-way information exchange to promote participatory development
  • timely response to requests for information and documents

Ensuring the public's right to know

Reaching affected people

ADB's public communications policy strengthens disclosure of information to affected people and other stakeholders, including women, the poor, and other vulnerable groups. It provides that information be given to them in a form and language they can understand, and is disclosed early enough for them to provide meaningful inputs into project design and implementation.

Communicating in effective ways

Though the web is a primary medium for proactive disclosure it does not reach everyone. Where necessary, more appropriate means of information dissemination will be used that considers such things as literacy level, geography, infrastructure, and popular mass media for reaching project-affected people. For instance, new technologies, such as social networking and mobile applications, may offer exciting opportunities for information exchange. And for stakeholders without access to technology, more traditional communication methods that consider literacy level, geography, and infrastructure of communications will be used.

Advancing the release of information

ADB's public communications policy is founded on a presumption in favor of disclosure. This means the information will be disclosed, unless it meets clear criteria for confidentiality provided under the policy's exceptions to disclosure.