Accountability Mechanism

The Accountability Mechanism of the Asian Development Bank (ADB) exists to provide an independent and effective forum for those affected by ADB-assisted projects to voice their concerns.

Review of the Accountability Mechanism Policy (2012)

ADB’s Accountability Mechanism Policy became effective in 2012 following a two-year long review of the Accountability Mechanism Policy (2003). Since then, a number of multilateral development banks, such as the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, Inter-American Development Bank, and the World Bank Group, have updated both their safeguard frameworks and accountability mechanisms. ADB is currently conducting a comprehensive review and update of the Safeguard Policy Statement (2009). In conjunction with such review, and ahead of launching a formal review of the Accountability Mechanism Policy (2012), ADB has initiated an external review of the Accountability Mechanism Policy (2012) to provide ADB with important perspectives to consider in such a planned formal review. Additionally, to guide future policy design and implementation, ADB is undertaking a cost and benefits study required under paragraph 212 of the Accountability Mechanism Policy.

Proposed Approach

The review will be conducted in two phases:

Phase 1 (External Review)

External desktop review conducted by external consultants to examine the scope of improving and updating the Accountability Mechanism. The External Review will provide analysis on the effectiveness, efficiency and adequacy of the current Accountability Mechanism Policy (2012), guidance on emerging issues relevant to the Accountability Mechanism, and comparison and analysis of ADB’s Accountability Mechanism with other relevant comparators. The final report will be disclosed on the ADB website for public comments.

Phase 2 (Formal Review)

The Formal Review will build on the outputs of the External Review and the public comments received, as well as a study on costs and benefits conducted pursuant to paragraph 212 of the Accountability Mechanism Policy (2012). The Formal Review will be led by a joint Board and Management working group to be established. The Formal Review phase will include extensive and inclusive public consultations with project-affected people, project beneficiaries, governments (including early engagement with developing member countries), project executing and implementing agencies, civil society organizations, private sector, academia, think tanks, peer institutions, and other relevant stakeholders. It is envisaged working paper(s) will be prepared, which will be disclosed for public comments and circulated to the Board for guidance. Thereafter, a final updated Accountability Mechanism Policy will be submitted for Board approval.

Accountability Mechanism Policy 2012

Book cover: Accountability Mechanism Policy 2012

At the 43rd Annual Meeting of the ADB Board of Governors held in Tashkent, Uzbekistan in May 2010, the President announced a joint Board and Management review of the Accountability Mechanism.


Indicative Timeline

  Phase 1

  • July 2023

    Engagement of the External Review consultants

  • August 2023 - April 2024

    External Review – Ongoing

  • May 2024

    External Review report to be published on ADB’s website for public comments

  • June 2024

    Decision by the Board and the President to commence the Formal Review


  Phase 2*

  • Following the External Review

    The Formal Review of the 2012 AM Policy to be announced. A joint Board and Management working group will be established to lead the Formal Review.


    The working group will review the findings cost benefit analysis study and the External Review, and the public comments received on the External Review report, along with the findings of the Safeguards Policy Statement (2009) review.


    Extensive and inclusive public and internal consultations to be conducted. A Stakeholder Engagement Plan will be prepared and published on ADB’s website.


    Working paper(s) to be produced, disclosed on ADB’s website for public comments, and circulated to the Board for discussion.


    A revised Accountability Mechanism Policy will be prepared, disclosed on ADB’s website, and circulated to the Board for approval.

*A detailed timeline for the Formal Review will be published, along with a Stakeholder Engagement Plan, following the initiation of Phase 2 by ADB’s Board and President.