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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.

Contacts/Experts

  • Wendy 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 Ito
    Senior 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.

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  • Meredith 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.

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  • Amir Jilani
    Young Professional

    Amir is an economist at the Asian Development Bank, having joined as a Young Professional (YP) in 2018. He has extensive experience working on the design, development and evaluation of social protection, human development and women’s empowerment projects. Amir routinely provides analytical, technical and operational support to ADB-wide social protection initiatives and promotes the use of rigorous evidence to inform country partnership strategies as well as knowledge and operational lending assignments.

    Prior to joining the ADB, Amir worked at the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) as an applied microeconomist on a series of social protection, health and education projects designed to address poverty, vulnerability, food and nutritional security, and human development. Amir holds undergraduate degrees in Economics and Finance from the Australian National University and a Master of Public Policy, specializing in applied microeconomics and international development, from Georgetown University.

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Social Development Thematic Group