ADB and Civil Society

ADB cooperates with a broad range of civil society organizations (CSOs), including nongovernment organizations (NGOs), to strengthen its efforts to reduce poverty and increase the effectiveness, quality, and sustainability of its operations.

Civil Society Participation

ADB cooperates with civil society on three levels: policy, country, and project.

Participation on the Policy Level

When developing and reviewing its institution-wide policies and strategies, ADB actively seeks civil society inputs, along with those of other key internal and external stakeholders. ADB hosts consultations online and face-to-face around the world. ADB’s review and consultation process aims to identify and consider the views of CSOs and advocacy groups and to ensure that they have reasonable opportunity to be involved in formulating policy and strategy papers. To see what policies are for review, visit Schedule of Policies and Strategies Subject to Public Consultations.

Civil society organizations contributed substantially during the development of ADB’s new long term strategy, Strategy 2030.

Participation on the Country Level

The country partnership strategy (CPS) is the medium-term development strategy and operational program that guides ADB operations in a developing member country. CSOs and advocacy networks participate in the development and review of the CPS. ADB often reaches out to local NGOs, CBOs, and other stakeholders located outside the capital city. To view a list of countries preparing a new CPS, visit Country Partnership and Regional Cooperation Strategies Under Preparation.

Participation on the Project Level

Over two-thirds of ADB’s sovereign loans, grants, and related project preparatory technical assistance include elements of civil society participation. A broad range of CSOs and their networks participate throughout ADB’s project cycle in a variety of ways, from sharing information or participating in more involved structured consultations to inform project design, to collaborating directly with ADB and developing member country counterparts to help implement projects by serving as project advisors, partners, cofinanciers, or evaluators.

CSOs familiar with the project area can provide valuable information about local conditions and community priorities during project identification. During the fact-finding stage of project preparation, CSOs - particularly those operating at the grassroots level - contribute to an initial stakeholder analysis to determine which groups have an interest in the project, identify their interests and capacities, and determine which may be engaged in project implementation.

Guide to Consultation and Participation

The guide explains how to apply participatory methods and consultative techniques in ADB-financed activities. It provides practical tools and tips to make consultation and participation strategies more effective in improving the performance of ADB-financed projects. The publication targets ADB mission teams and staff working in resident missions, and is also proving helpful to consultants, project executing and implementing agencies, and government departments in applying participatory methods.

Book cover: Strengthening Participation for Development Results

A Sourcebook for Engaging with Civil Society Organizations in Asian Development Bank Operations

This publication provides guidance on how civil society organizations (CSOs) can be more effectively engaged in Asian Development Bank (ADB) operations to maximize the benefits for its developing member countries.

With their unique strengths and specialized knowledge of their communities and constituencies, CSOs have an essential role to play in creating a more prosperous, inclusive, resilient, and sustainable Asia and the Pacific. To contribute to this, the publication provides advice, templates, and tips for ADB staff and country officials to use when designing, implementing, and monitoring ADB-financed operations.

Book cover: A Sourcebook for Engaging with Civil Society Organizations in Asian Development Bank Operations

Other forms of participation

Consulting Assignments

ADB regularly employs consultants for a wide range of assignments. Consultants may be individuals or organizations, including CSOs. CSOs can lend skills and experience to plan, implement and evaluate projects. The Consulting Services Recruitment Notice (CSRN) provides detailed information on the consulting services required for ADB financed or administered projects. For an overview of how CSOs can identify business opportunities with ADB, see A Primer for Identifying Business Opportunities for NGOs.

Annual Events

At the ADB Annual Meeting, CSOs can engage with ADB on a variety of issues, contribute to policy discussions, and meet many other CSO participants from across the region. ADB welcomes the participation of CSOs including NGOs, labor unions, foundations, professional associations, and other nonprofit organizations.

ADB does not finance NGO-proposed projects directly. ADB lends money to its member country governments. Civil society organizations wishing to work with ADB should familiarize themselves with the country partnership strategy and the country operations business plan of the country where they are working and identify if there are potential areas for collaboration.