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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.

Social development: Equitable growth for all

Social development is about achieving equitable and sustainable improvements in the physical, social, and economic well-being of individuals and groups, especially the socially or economically disadvantaged.

Integrating social dimensions in ADB operations

Social dimensions such as participation, gender and development, social safeguards, and management of social risks are incorporated into the three major processes of ADB operations: country programming, project design, and project implementation.

During the preparation of ADB country partnership strategies, ADB staff work with key government officials to facilitate the participation of NGOs, local communities, business associations, workers' and women’s organizations, indigenous peoples, and other stakeholders.

An initial poverty and social analysis is a prerequisite for all loan and grant-based investment projects and programs. This means potential social issues are addressed during project preparation to ensure that project design maximizes social benefits and avoids or minimizes social risks, particularly for vulnerable and marginalized groups.

ADB staff, government officers, and consultants are guided by the following documents in order to effectively integrate social dimensions into ADB-financed operations:

After project completion, the project performance evaluation assesses the impact of the project on targeted beneficiaries, affected people, and other stakeholders.

Students at the Pakistan Navy Relief Camp.

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.