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The Asian Development Bank (ADB), recognising the need for new approaches to its public communications and disclosure of information, has released a draft public communications policy (PCP) ahead of consultations to be held in 12 countries over the next four months.

The draft policy is expected to be considered by ADB’s board of directors in the second half of the year.

The result of extensive internal research and external consultations, the draft PCP represents a comprehensive review and overhaul of the bank’s current approaches to its public communications with new emphases on explaining ADB’s work, proactively sharing operational information, seeking feedback, and demonstrating development results.

The draft policy is designed to support ADB’s overarching goal of reducing poverty in the Asia and Pacific region, to enhance development effectiveness, and to strengthen ADB’s capacity for knowledge management and dissemination.

The draft PCP, which once approved will supersede ADB’s earlier information and disclosure policies, can be accessed at

“We live in a new, dynamic age of communications and information exchange – an age that demands much more from international financial institutions such as ADB,” says ADB’s vice-president, Geert van der Linden. “We fully recognise that accountability, openness, and transparency strengthen the development process by encouraging debate, building closer partnerships with stakeholders, and broadening understanding of the bank’s role. That is why the draft PCP is taking this bold, participatory approach.”

ADB has been actively soliciting comments on its current information and disclosure policies since mid August 2003. Responses have been placed on ADB’s website and inputs collected during this initial consultation phase have helped shape the draft document. In addition, ADB staff have contributed their insights into how the bank could strengthen its public communications.

This public posting and release of the draft PCP will take the review process to the next stage, with consultations planned with representatives from member governments, the private sector, academia, nongovernment organisations and other interested parties in 12 cities: Beijing, Bishkek, Dhaka, Hanoi, Jakarta, London, New Delhi, Ottawa, Suva, Sydney, Tokyo, and Washington DC.

“We are seeking a broad range of views on this important subject” says Van der Linden, “so that we can formulate the right policy for ADB. I believe that the draft policy we will take to our board of directors will place us at the forefront of the international community in this vital area.”

Comments on the draft policy may be sent to Robert Salamon: