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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