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 Youth for Asia

Because youth and youth-led organizations are important members of civil society, ADB started the Youth Initiative—now called ADB Youth for Asia or YfA—in 2013, to support young people in contributing effectively to development. It is a program managed by ADB’s NGO and Civil Society Center to mainstream youth participation in ADB operations as it believes that empowered youth are a force for innovative and effective development. YfA aims to serve as the knowledge center for meaningful youth engagement or MYE in ADB.


YfA joins the Youth Employment Funders Group in the launch of a Meaningful Youth Engagement Roadmap


YfA holds first-ever virtual Asia and the Pacific Youth Symposium in the middle of the coronavirus pandemic. By this year, YfA has already implemented a total of 35 projects across 9 ADB sectors.


ADB and Islamic Development Bank set up the flagship youth development working group across international development institutions.


The first technical assistance (9557) dedicated to youth is approved
ADB Youth Forum 6 – Incheon Declaration on the Future of Work


ADB signs its second MOU with Plan International on the rights and welfare of girls, young women in the region and support to youth focused operations.


ADB operations commits the first large financial investment in youth employment in the Philippines' Jobstart project supported by YfA


ADB signs MOU with AIESEC, the world's largest youth led-NGO. Youth for Asia (YfA) mobilizes a project team to support ADB operations.

There are more than 2 billion people under the age of 30 living in Asia and the Pacific, and they represent 54% of the global youth population. To drive sustainable growth, young people must be engaged as active co-leaders of change. The combination of resourcefulness, innovative thinking, and empathy for others that young people possess generates a new kind of leader, one who can contribute significantly to next generation development solutions.

The Challenge

Icon - Youth for Asia Operating Model - Challenge 1

Under and unemployed young people are particularly excluded from the opportunities of participation, leadership and leading productive lives.

Icon - Youth for Asia Operating Model - Challenge 2

ADB has underutilized its potential to engage young people in project design to make the projects more responsive to the needs of young people across the region.

The Solution

ADB Youth for Asia is a unique initiative where young people join cross-generational project teams bringing innovative perspectives to develop sustainable, resilient and inclusive solutions.

Icon - Youth for Asia Operating Model Solution 1 - Action

Young people (co-)leading components in the design and implementation of projects

Icon - Youth for Asia Operating Model Solution 2 - Insight

Young people (co-)leading components in evaluation and research using innovative methodologies

Icon - Youth for Asia Operating Model Solution 3 - Voice

Young people advocating for change, (co-)leading campaigns and influencing youth-led development

Young people bring specific skills, talents, and capabilities that generate unique value-add to development processes. Thus, Youth for Asia mobilizes resilient, motivated and passionate youth to lead the design and implementation of youth components in ADB projects under its Strategy 2030 to achieve a prosperous, inclusive, resilient, and sustainable Asia and the Pacific. Youth provide a unique value-add in the cross-generational design, implementation, and evaluation of ADB projects through the following characteristics:

Icon - Resilient and resourceful
Resilient and resourceful
Icon - Natural collaborator
Natural collaborator
Icon - Caring and responsible citizens
Caring and responsible citizens
Icon - Digitally literate
Digitally literate
Icon - Behavioural insights
Behavioural insights
Icon - Disruptive and innovative thinkers
Disruptive and innovative thinkers


Photo: Asian Development Bank​

Scholarship Program

Offers postgraduate scholarships for studies in economics, management, science and technology, and other development-related fields.

Photo: Asian Development Bank​

Internship Program

A project-oriented learning opportunity for graduate students to gain experience through research assignments based on ADB's current operational needs.

Photo: Asian Development Bank​

Young Professionals Program

An entry-level recruitment program to attract highly qualified and motivated individuals to ADB, providing the foundation for a challenging and rewarding professional career in an international development environment.