ADB to open 130 new positions as operations expand

The Asian Development Bank headquarters in Mandaluyong City, Philippines. After announcing a record $27.15 billion in operations last year, ADB officials reveal they will be opening up to 130 new career opportunities for global development professionals. Photo courtesy of ADB

Following the announcement of an all-time high record in operations and lending in 2015, officials at the Asian Development Bank have revealed that the multilateral financial institution is also set to open new career opportunities for development professionals in the Asia-Pacific region — and beyond.

Indu Bhushan, director general of ADB’s strategy and policy department, shared that the Manila-based bank’s growing capital and operations which grew by 19 percent to $27.15 billion in 2015 along with positive projections in the next couple of years — following a host of reforms instituted by ADB President Takehiko Nakao since his appointment in April 2013 — has prompted management to seek to increase staff numbers.

“We've gone to the board and they said that we need more people,” the bank official told Devex. As of end-2014, ADB has about 2,997 employees with more than two-thirds working in the Manila-headquarters. More than a thousand are also comprised of international staff.

Other reforms the former Japanese finance official instituted in the bank include the merger of the bank’s two major financial instruments — the Asian Development Fund and the Ordinary Capital Resources — to increase lending capacity, a faster procurement process that includes more approval authority of regional and country offices, as well as a more streamlined project approval and implementation pipeline which aims to cut implementer waiting times in half.

The anticipated new job postings will include 130 career opportunities — mostly entry-level positions — both in the institution’s Manila headquarters as well as in around 40 of its country and other representative offices in the Asia-Pacific. Application process for majority of the positions will be open this year and will continue into 2017 and beyond.

“Hiring will start this year,” he said. “We're trying to frontload it and try to hire most of the new positions this year because, as you know, hiring, recruitment, and training take some time so we want to start early.”

This opening of new opportunities in the Manila-based institution is happening despite some internal issues concerning current and former employees on a reform put forth by bank management in the middle of last year that could see their benefits, compensations, and retirement package reduced. 

In terms of focus, the new career opportunities in the region’s oldest development institution include areas concerning private sector operations and partnerships, infrastructure investment and implementation, legal services as well as project management, among others.

“Some positions will be [administrative], like operations, but we also have to expand our legal department. They need more lawyers,” Bhushan said. “There will be expansion in other places as well.”

In terms of employment categories, a third of the anticipated new positions will be for international staff, while the remaining two-thirds will focus on national staff. This is connected to the bank’s aim to have more people working for the bank in the field with knowledge of the local context while also empowering country and regional offices to fast-track processes.

Bhushan concluded that “one part of [President Nakao’s] reforms is to decentralize and have more people, more staff in the field rather than at headquarters. That will also help in terms of delivering projects.”

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About the author

  • Lean Alfred Santos

    Lean Alfred Santos is a former Devex development reporter focusing on the development community in Asia-Pacific, including major players such as the Asian Development Bank and the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank. He previously covered Philippine and international business and economic news, sports and politics.