INTRODUCTION: OVERVIEW OF ASIAN DEVELOPMENT BANK
The Asian Development Bank (the bank), headquartered in Manila, Philippines, is a multilateral development finance institution. The mission of the bank is to promote the economic and social progress of its developing member countries within the Asian and Pacific regions. Bank operations began in 1966. For the past 30 years, the bank has been a catalyst in promoting economic and social development within developing member countries, such as the Philippines.
The bank is owned by the governments of member countries - 40 members representing countries within the region and 16 members representing countries outside of the region. A 12 member board of directors (representing eight regional countries and four non-regional countries) oversee general bank operations. The board of governors, which is the highest policy making body of the bank, elects the board of directors and the president of the bank.
By the end of 1996, the bank's headquarters included 23 departments, 653 professional staff, and 1,286 supporting staff. Seven resident missions are located in Bangladesh, Cambodia, India, Indonesia, Nepal, Pakistan, Vietnam, and Vanuatu. Three representative offices are located in Japan, Germany, and the United States.
Funding sources for the bank include: subscribed capital, reserves, funds raised through loans, special contributions funded by member countries, accumulated net income and amounts previously set aside from paid-in capital. Its 56 member countries own the bank's capital stock.
The bank provides technical assistance (TA) grants to meet the needs of smaller, less developed countries. Special attention is given to projects that contribute to the harmonious economic growth of the region. Bank operations cover a broad area of social and economic development. These activities include: fostering social and economic growth, reducing poverty, improving the status of women, supporting human development (including population planning), and protecting the environment.
TECHNICAL ASSISTANCE GRANTS
Technical assistance (TA) grants are vital to the bank's development strategies. TA grants are defined as activities that strengthen the capacity of recipient member countries in the following areas: (a) identifying, formulating, and implementing projects, (b) improving their institutional capabilities, (c) formulating development strategies, (d) promoting the transfer of technology, and (e) fostering regional cooperation.
TA grants are classified in four development categories:
1. Project preparatory technical assistance (PPTA)
2. Project implementation technical assistance (PITA)
3. Advisory technical assistance (ADTA)
4. Regional technical assistance (RETA)
A TA grant provides the services of experts, including the bank's staff and the services of external experts. The expertise of international consultants is essential, as the projects that are financed by the bank continue to be at the cutting edge in the technical and managerial areas of developing countries.
The bank's position is to provide state of the art technical knowledge, and the broad experience of domestic and international experts. The bank's data bank of external experts includes more than 2,500 firms from the 43 member countries and more than 6,300 individual consultants from 48 member countries. Recently, the bank has started to secure the resources and expertise of non-governmental organizations.
Financing of TA activities is accomplished through grants, loans (or a combination of both), and other banks' financial resources. Between 1966 and 1997, the bank provided $1.45 billion in TA grants, funding 3, 692 projects. In 1997, funds for TA activities were distributed across the following categories:
1. Project preparatory technical assistance (PPTA): $378 million