The road ahead for ADB: ‘Finance Plus Plus’

Stephen Groff, ADB’s vice president for operations in East Asia, Southeast Asia and the Pacific, said the bank is looking into becoming a “Finance Plus Plus” bank — one that makes use of ADB funds as leverage and one that brokers knowledge among its member countries. Photo by: Asian Development Bank / CC BY-NC

Like the World Bank, the Asian Development Bank recognizes the need to reform to stay relevant in a changing international environment. Where is the multilateral development bank headed in the coming years?

“To think about ourselves as an infrastructure bank is maybe relevant up until today, or next year, or the year after. But very soon there are going to be a lot of other actors investing in infrastructure,” Stephen Groff, ADB’s vice president for operations in East Asia, Southeast Asia and the Pacific, told Development Policy Center Visiting Fellow Robin Davies in an interview in September.

The bank, according to Groff, is looking into becoming a “Finance Plus Plus” bank  one that makes use of ADB funds as leverage and one that brokers knowledge among its member countries.

The bank has yet to fully make the shift. “It’s a big ship and it takes a while to turn it,” Groff said. He is confident, however, that“recent” bank developments will help “accelerate the transformation.” These include the bank’s recently approved PPP operational plan — which screens every bank project for potential public-private partnership engagement — and a knowledge management action plan, which Groff says “should be finalized in the coming weeks.”

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About the author

  • Jenny Lei Ravelo

    Jenny Lei Ravelo is a Devex Senior Reporter based in Manila. She covers global health, with a particular focus on the World Health Organization, and other development and humanitarian aid trends in Asia Pacific. Prior to Devex, she wrote for ABS-CBN, one of the largest broadcasting networks in the Philippines, and was a copy editor for various international scientific journals. She received her journalism degree from the University of Santo Tomas.