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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.

ADB and Civil Society: FAQs

ADB works with civil society organizations (CSOs) which include NGOs, but also other types of groups such as trade unions, faith-based groups, and professional organizations. ADB-CSO cooperation can be summed up by these activities:

  • On the policy and strategy level: soliciting CSO views on ADB policy formulation and review
  • On the country level: consultation on development of country strategies
  • On the project level: collaborating on design, implementation, and monitoring of ADB-financed projects

ADB recognizes CSOs as development actors in their own right whose efforts complement those of governments and the private sector, and who play a significant role in development in Asia and the Pacific. In the context of ADB's long-term strategic framework, Strategy 2030, ADB will strengthen collaboration with civil society organizations in designing, implementing, and monitoring projects. ADB will work with CSOs to tap their unique strengths, such as their local presence and specialized knowledge. It will explore opportunities for increasing their involvement in the design and implementation of projects supported by ADB. Particular focus will be on operations that use grassroots participatory approaches to target the poor and vulnerable groups, mobilize women and young people, and monitor project activities and outputs. ADB will also seek their inputs and advice on the review of major ADB policies.

ADB’s NGO policy paper, Cooperation between Asian Development Bank and Nongovernment Organizations, provides a specific framework for action with NGOs.

ADB provides loans and grants to the governments of its developing member countries and does not provide funds directly to CSOs. However, CSOs often apply for and are awarded contracts for components of projects and technical assistance activities. ADB’s Business Center and primer for NGOs looking for business opportunities provide information on proposed projects and contract awards.

Civil society organizations can work with ADB in a variety of ways. CSOs who work in the same sectors and geographical areas as the projects that ADB is financing should coordinate with representatives of the host country government or ADB resident missions to identify if there are opportunities for collaboration.

Contact your local CSO anchor of ADB’s CSO Cooperation Network. For general questions about civil society, please contact the  NGO and Civil Society Center

Spotlight on ADB and Civil Society

Business Guide

Working with ADB: A Primer for Identifying Business Opportunities for NGOs

ADB wants more civil society organizations involved in its projects. This primer gives an overview of how ADB and civil society work together, and tips on how NGOs can bid for ADB-financed contracts. Explainer: Identifying Business Opportunities for NGOs

Online Course

Deepening CSO Engagement for Better Development Results

This e-course is based on the guide Strengthening Participation for Developmental Results, which is a valuable resource for ADB staff, government officials, and civil society organizations.


Participation Tools for the Pacific

This resource offers practical advice and tools on why working with civil society is important in the Pacific and how greater engagement between CSOs, government, and ADB can be achieved.


The pandemic has highlighted the development challenges of the LGBTI community

Development institutions are beginning to address the issues of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex persons.

View a recording of the webinar on addressing the LGBTI data gap