Categories: Business

Lending for Policy Reforms is Critical for Development in Asia and the Pacific

The FINANCIAL — MANILA, PHILIPPINES (11 September 2018) — The Asian Development Bank (ADB) and other multilateral development banks support policy reforms in countries in Asia and the Pacific, in addition to regular lending for financing infrastructure and other development initiatives.

At ADB, policy-based lending has grown to an average of 20% of total annual sovereign loan approvals, but accounts for nearly 30% of its annual loan disbursements. Policy-based lending is aimed at incentivizing borrowing governments to carry out difficult policy and institutional reforms to advance development, while also helping them meet budget needs. ADB’s expertise often provides important technical support in assisting governments to prepare and implement needed policy actions.

A new evaluation by the ADB’s Independent Evaluation Department finds policy-based lending is helping to meet country financing needs, but it is delivering uneven results on reform outcomes, which needs attention.


An important incentive for governments to tap policy-based loans—which can be quickly disbursed—is that they can meet immediate and anticipated budget and balance-of-payment financing needs. The evaluation shows that during the global financial crisis, demand for these loans was heavy and the support effective, with ADB’s policy-based lending totaling $27.1 billion in the 2008–2017 evaluation period, up from $18 billion in the previous decade.

Examples of how policy-based lending has contributed to reforms include measures to increase local government revenues, promote public–private partnerships to help narrow large infrastructure gaps, reforms to reduce costly fuel subsidies, and policies to help governments turn around loss-making state-owned enterprises, and in some countries, policy-based lending has been used to help develop more active capital markets.

The success rate of ADB’s policy-based lending operations doubled to 80% during 2008–2017 from the previous decade. The evaluation, however, raised concerns on whether the reforms supported tackled the region’s most urgent policy priorities, and whether the policy actions supported by ADB were in themselves critical for removing constraints to growth and poverty reduction, the overall purpose of policy-based lending.

The evaluation period saw a shift in the policy-based lending of ADB and other multilateral development banks toward reforming public-sector management, which reflected a growing need for strengthening service delivery and public financial management systems in many developing countries. That shift also reflected ADB’s move away from using policy-based loans for more challenging reforms in sectors that may have potentially bigger impacts in promoting economic growth and reducing poverty and that are more aligned with its traditional areas of investment and expertise, such as energy and water supply. Indeed, ADB provided less support through policy-based lending in the evaluation period for reforms in transport, energy, and water supply and sanitation, sectors that are major constraints to economic growth and poverty reduction in many countries in Asia and the Pacific.

Noting that policy-based lending is primarily used in larger and better-off countries whose institutions are more capable of handling reforms, the evaluation makes a case for ADB to use policy-based lending to also support reforms in poorer and more fragile countries to help lift overall development in the region.



Recent Posts

Russian Patriarch Kirill Says Dying In Ukraine ‘Washes Away All Sins’

Patriarch Kirill, head of the Russian Orthodox Church, has told his followers that "sacrifice in…

6 hours ago

Charity Foundation AI IA celebrates the new academic year with special event

Our group's social direction charity foundation AI IA . The team congratulated the little beneficiaries…

12 hours ago

Construction costs increased by 7.2 percent in Georgia

In the second quarter of 2022 the Construction Cost Index (CCI) increased by 7.2 percent…

13 hours ago

Ukraine says 57 200 Russian invaders died since 24.02.2020

According to he Ministry of Defence of Ukraine, the total combat losses of the enemy…

14 hours ago

Russian: Negative Assessments Prevail in Relation to the USA, the EU, Estonia and Ukraine

Negative assessments continue to prevail in relation to the USA, the EU, Estonia and Ukraine.…

14 hours ago

The situation in the occupied Crimea is catastrophic

  Ukrainians! Today we have great news. Maryana Mamonova, a combat medic, defender of Azovstal…

14 hours ago