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Social Development and Poverty

Despite the extraordinary gains made in living standards, hundreds of millions are still excluded from the benefits of rapid economic growth. ADB envisions an Asia and Pacific that is inclusive, where the region's gains and opportunities are shared by all.

  • Building Resilience with Social Protection in Time of Crisis
    Event | 26 May 2022
    Building Resilience with Social Protection in Time of Crisis

    Description Does varying the delivery of social protection and poverty reduction interventions entail a trade-off between cost and impact? This webinar introduces impact evaluation results from an economic inclusion pilot called the graduation approach that combines social protection, livelihoods development, financial inclusion, and social empowerment. This innovative program helps poor households break the cycle of poverty through varied group-based interventions including asset transfers and coaching.

  • ADB Stays Aligned to its Strategy 2030 Vision Amid COVID-19 Pandemic
    News Release | 25 May 2022
    ADB Stays Aligned to its Strategy 2030 Vision Amid COVID-19 Pandemic

    ADB responded effectively to its clients’ urgent needs amid the COVID-19 pandemic and should accelerate efforts to achieve the vision of its Strategy 2030 to support recovery and the Sustainable Development Goals, says a report.

  • A Smart and Interactive Livable City Plan for the City of Makassar
    Video | 13 April 2022
    A Smart and Interactive Livable City Plan for the City of Makassar

    The ASEAN Australia Smart Cities Trust Fund is delivering the Makassar Livable City Plan, an innovative strategic framework with a suite of digital platforms and tools to support smart urban planning and decision-making in Makassar, Indonesia.

  • Environmental Sustainability, Inclusion Vital for Recovery from COVID-19 for SDGs, says ADB–UN Report
    News Release | 28 March 2022
    Environmental Sustainability, Inclusion Vital for Recovery from COVID-19 for SDGs, says ADB–UN Report

    COVID-19 pandemic has worsened poverty and inequality in Asia and the Pacific, while increasing inequalities between and within countries in the region, according to a new report released today.

ADB and Social Development

Inclusiveness lies at the heart of all successful poverty relief and development outcomes. ADB's social development agenda involves people and their communities, organizations, institutions, societies, and governments in all poverty relief activities.

The aim is to reduce poverty, inequality, and vulnerability among poor and marginalized persons by enabling institutions to:

  • foster inclusiveness and equitable access to services, resources and opportunities
  • empower people’s participation in social, economic and political life
  • help individuals cope with both chronic or unforeseen and sudden risks
Adapting to Aging Asia and the Pacific

Adapting to Aging Asia and the Pacific

Rapid aging in Asia and the Pacific has put the region at the forefront of one of the most important global demographic trends.

Graduation Approach

Graduation Approach

The graduation approach is an innovative, holistic and proven approach to addressing remaining poverty and reducing inequality, Strategy 2030's first operational priority.

Human Mobility and Migration

Human Mobility and Migration

Migration can be a powerful contributor to economic and social development. At the same time, migration can add to overcrowding in cities, strain social cohesion in migrant receiving areas, and be tied up with human trafficking.

Inclusive Growth and Poverty Reduction

Inclusive Growth and Poverty Reduction

Reducing poverty in Asia and the Pacific, even in countries with relatively high per capita income, remains an unfinished agenda. Despite major progress, the region was home to 326 million people living in extreme poverty (or below the $1.90/day poverty line) in 2013.

Social Protection and Labor

Social Protection and Labor

Social protection is set of policies and programs designed to reduce poverty and vulnerability by promoting efficient labor markets, diminishing people’s exposure to risks, and enhancing their capacity to protect themselves against hazards and interruption/loss of income.


Wendy WalkerWendy WALKER

Chief of Social Development Thematic Group

Wendy Walker is the Chief of the Social Development Thematic Group at the Asian Development Bank. She has led multi-sector teams for designing and implementing complex and innovative projects and has worked across diverse sectors such as transport, urban, health, education and social protection. She is the team leader for a technical assistance program on Strengthening Capacity for Developing Members Capacity in Elderly Care in six countries in the region.

Wendy has an M.Phil from University of Oxford and a PhD from Johns Hopkins University.

Yukiko ItoYukiko ITO

Principal Social Development Specialist

Yukiko Ito promotes the implementation of ADB's social development agenda through her work on community-driven development, social protection, inclusive business, sustainable livelihood, social analysis, and graduation approach for the poor and the vulnerable. She is the co-team leader of Philippine Expanded Social Assistance Project, Philippine Social Protection Support Project AF-II and the Regional Technical Assistance project for Advancing Inclusive and Resilient Urban Development Targeted at the Urban Poor. She also serves as the Secretariat of the ADB-wide Social Development Thematic Group.

Prior to joining ADB, Yuki was involved in projects that dealt with social protection reform, conditional cash transfers, and community-driven development in the Philippines, as well as basic education and early childhood development in Suriname and the East Caribbean countries. She holds an undergraduate degree in Sociology and Anthropology from Sophia University, and a Master in Social Development from Ateneo de Manila University.

Meredith WyseMeredith WYSE

Senior Social Development Specialist (Elderly Care)

Meredith specializes in aging and care. She has extensive experience working in the Asia-Pacific region on issues related to adaptations to population aging and older persons, with a specific focus on long-term care systems.

Prior to joining ADB, Meredith worked for HelpAge International in a range of senior management roles, where she worked on initiatives related to social protection, community development, health and care and humanitarian responses.

Michiel Van der AuweraMichiel VAN DER AUWERA

Senior Social Development Specialist (Social Protection)

Michiel Van der Auwera supports ADB's goal to tackle remaining poverty and inequality through the enhancement of social protection for all, the generation of quality jobs and the reduction of inequality in access to opportunities. His area of expertise is social protection, which includes pensions and social insurance, labor market interventions, and targeted social interventions. He is the team leader for technical assistance programs on social protection and quality jobs. He promotes the disability inclusion agenda.

Michiel holds master’s degrees in European Social Security and Social Protection Financing.

Social Development Thematic Group