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Public Sector (Sovereign) Financing

ADB offers a range of financial products that help developing member countries (DMCs) build economic growth and social development. These tools include loans, technical assistance, and grants.

Results-Based Lending (RBL) for Programs


Results-based lending (RBL) is a performance-based form of financing, where disbursements are linked to the achievement of results rather than to upfront expenditures, as is the case with traditional investment lending.

Objectives of RBL

  • Increase the government’s accountability and incentives to deliver and sustain results
  • Improve the effectiveness and efficiency of government-owned sector programs
  • Promote institutional development
  • Support country ownership
  • Reduce transaction costs
  • Support development coordination and harmonization when more than one development agency is involved in a program

ADB's Work in RBL

RBL was approved in March 2013 as a new ADB financing modality on a pilot basis for an initial six years. In September 2019, RBL was mainstreamed as a regular ADB financing modality. See the policy paper

Under RBL, ADB supports developing member countries (DMCs) in designing and implementing government-owned programs. Disbursement is linked directly with the achievement of program results. Program implementation uses the DMCs’ own program systems. The DMC program systems are assessed, used, and improved as necessary based on commonly accepted good practice principles. The centerpiece of RBL is results achievement and institutional development.

RBL entails a significant paradigm shift which moves the operational focus from

  • financing expenditures and controlling transactions to directly supporting results,
  • a rules-based approach to a principle-based approach, and
  • ring-fencing ADB financing to positively influence the entire government-owned RBL program and its systems.

Results-Based Lending Projects

ADB mainstreamed RBL as a regular lending modality in September 2019 after piloting it from 6 June 2013 to 5 June 2019. The following are loans ADB has approved in the following countries using this modality, while a number of others are being considered for approval in the near future.

School Seismic Safety Improvement Program

The program, approved on 10 March 2015, will support the government in reviewing, updating, consolidating, and implementing its school seismic safety improvement program. Project outputs will be (i) seismically strengthened and renovated school buildings; (ii) improved seismic safety planning and management competencies; and (iii) strengthened government program management, implementation, and monitoring capacity. Disbursement-linked indicators will be formulated based on the program results framework and the outcome and output targets in the design and monitoring framework. More

Supporting Fourth Primary Education Development Program

Approved in September 2018, the $500 million loan supports the Government of Bangladesh’s primary education program, which aims to provide quality education to children from preprimary to grade 5 through an efficient, inclusive, and equitable education system. More

Air Quality Improvement in the Greater Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei Region

The program was approved in December 2019 for $300 million to continue improving the air quality in Henan Province in the greater Beijing–Tianjin–Hebei region. More

Guangxi Modern Technical and Vocational Education and Training Development Program

Approved in September 2017, the $250 million loan will be used to help establish a demand-driven technical and vocational education and training (TVET) system in Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region by enhancing the industry relevance of TVET, improving the quality of TVET, increasing the inclusiveness of TVET, and expanding the role of TVET in regional economic development. More

Guizhou Vocational Education Development Program

Approved on 8 December 2015, the program will support the Guizhou Provincial Government to improve the quality of technical and vocational education and training (TVET) in the province, and to make it more relevant to employers’ needs. Developing high-quality TVET is a priority for expanding and developing the provincial workforce to facilitate continued inclusive economic growth, reduce rural poverty, and to improve the employment prospects of young workers seeking jobs. More

Public–Private Partnerships Demonstration Program to Transform Delivery of Elderly Care Services

Approved on 12 December 2016, the program will help Yichang City in Hubei province pilot delivery of integrated residential, community, and home-based elderly care services in partnership with the private sector. The program will develop Yichang City’s capacity to design and implement PPP contracts and attract private care providers who will enter into concession agreements with the municipal government to deliver innovative, elderly-friendly, and quality services. More

Maharashtra Rural High Voltage Distribution System Expansion Program

The program was approved in April 2020 for $346 million to help provide efficient and reliable power connection to rural agriculture customers in the state of Maharashtra. More

Kerala’s Additional Skill Acquisition Program in Basic Education

Approved on 19 November 2014 as the first results-based lending program targeting a subnational administration, the $100 million loan will improve the communication, information technology, and other soft skills of higher secondary and undergraduate students in Kerala schools, thus reducing an unemployment rate that is 3 times higher than the national average. Disbursements will be activated by the introduction of and enhanced access to market-relevant TVET, strengthened engagement with the private sector and improved program management. More

Supporting National Urban Health Mission

Approved on 28 May 2015, this $300 million results-based lending program seeks to support India’s National Urban Health Mission by facilitating access to quality health services, building on ADB’s extensive experience in the urban sector in India. Loan payouts will be based on evidence of increased child deliveries within health institutions and improved coverage of childhood immunizations, as well as strengthened urban primary healthcare delivery systems, improved quality of urban health services, and enhanced capacity for planning and management. More

Electricity Grid Strengthening - Sumatra Program

Assistance of $600 million for Indonesia’s state electricity corporation, Perusahaan Listrik Negara (PLN), was approved on 2 December 2015 to carry out major power transmission and distribution system upgrades in Sumatra. This program uses the results-based lending approach for the first time in Indonesia, and the first time globally in the energy sector. More

Integrated Participatory Development and Management of Irrigation Program

Approved in July 2017, the $600 million loan is helping Indonesia upgrade irrigation systems to strengthen the country's food security and to reduce rural poverty. The assistance will support improvements in physical assets, operations and maintenance and delivery of water to farmers in some of the 74 districts earmarked for upgrades under the national government's irrigation improvement program. More

Sustainable Energy Access in Eastern Indonesia—Electricity Grid Development Program

Approved in September 2017, the $600 million loan is part of a series of investment programs to enhance people’s access to sustainable and modern energy services, with a focus on developing the eastern part of the country as a new growth hub. As part of the project, a strengthened electricity distribution system will help eight provinces across Nusa Tenggara and Sulawesi spur businesses and activities relying on a stable energy supply including agriculture, fisheries, small and medium-sized enterprises, as well as tourism. More

Naryn Rural Water Supply and Sanitation Development Program

The program was approved in November 2019 for $27.4 million to provide safe and reliable water supply and sanitation services to more than 64,000 people living in a mountainous rural area of the Kyrgyz Republic. More

Supporting School Sector Development Plan

Approved in October 2016, the program aims to improve the equity, quality, efficiency, governance, and management of school education targetting 6.3 million students, 153,200 teachers, and more than 34,000 schools as program beneficiaries. Project outputs include (i) improved access to primary and secondary schools, (ii) improved school education quality, (iii) pilot tested model school program, and (iv) improved school system governance and management. More

Access to Clean Energy Investment Program

Approved on 25 November 2016, the program will help contribute to Pakistan’s goal of enhanced energy security by increasing access to sustainable and reliable electricity services for vulnerable communities in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Province (KPP) and Punjab. It also aims to provide women and girls with increased opportunities to obtain energy services and benefits. More

Secondary Education Support Program

Approved in May 2019, the $300 million loan supports the Philippine government’s efforts to improve access to high-quality secondary education that responds to labor market needs. More

Senior High School Support Program

The results-based lending program was approved on 15 December 2014 ($300 million) to support a portion of the broader government plan to add two years of high school to the basic education system. Loan payments will depend on achieved improvement in the mathematics, science, TVET and livelihood curricula; hiring and training of teachers; delivery of schools and classrooms; implementation of a voucher system to offset tuition costs for 800,000 senior high school students; and strengthening of education management, fiduciary and safeguards systems. More

Sustainable Transport Infrastructure Improvement Program

The program, approved on 27 May 2016, supports the government in implementing its National Transport Plan (NTP). Program outputs include (i) rehabilitation and maintenance of transport infrastructure to ensure access to all users, safety, gender-responsiveness, and improved climate- and disaster-resilience; (ii) strengthening of country systems to finance and implement the NTP; and (iii) improvement of the management and supervision capacity of the Ministry of Infrastructure Development. More

Education Sector Development Program

The first results-based lending program ($200 million loans) was approved by the Board on 27 June 2013 to help the Government of Sri Lanka modernize its secondary school system, thus enhancing youth employment and meeting the country’s urgent need for a skilled workforce. Disbursements will be triggered by results on improved student learning, equitable and efficient school systems, strengthened school leadership and improved capacity for program planning and implementation. More

Skills Sector Enhancement Program

This results-based Lending program was approved on 28 March 2014 for $100 million to reorient the technical and vocation education and training (TVET) system to adapt to labor market shifts. The subsector-wide approach is consistent with the ADB’s role as lead development partner for TVET in Sri Lanka since 1982. Loan payments will be linked to improved quality of TVET provision, enhanced private sector participation in TVET planning and provision, increased enrolment of students in TVET, and strengthened subsector management. More

Skills Sector Enhancement Program — Additional Financing

Approved in April 2018, the $100 million additional financing loan supports the implementation of the Government of Sri Lanka’s Skills Sector Development Program through 2020 and adds value by scaling up successful program interventions and accelerating the pace of reform initiatives. More

Affordable Rural Housing Program

Approved in June 2017, the $500 million loan will be used for the construction of up to 29,000 affordable housing units in nine regions across the country. The funds will support part of the Government of Uzbekistan's ongoing affordable rural housing program. The program aims to improve peoples' quality of life, with housing investments expected to generate thousands of new jobs. More


Joel MANGAHAS (Mr) Principal Planning and Policy Economist Strategy, Policy and Business Process Division Strategy, Policy and Partnerships Department   Email contact form