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The Multilateral Development Banks: Volume 2, The Asian Development Bank

Nihal Kappagoda
The Multilateral Development Banks:  Volume 2, The Asian Development Bank
ISBN: 978-1-55587-468-1
ISBN: 978-1-55587-494-0
ISBN: 978-1-62637-305-1
1995/99 pages/LC: 94-45003

"This study of the Asian Development Bank. . . may not settle the arguments between supporters and detractors of these banks, but it will certainly prove to be the definitive starting point for all who are interested in exploring these issues. The study provides a well-written and informative overview of the Bank's history, its institutional governance, and its resource mobilization efforts, supported with clear and well-presented data, financial as well as administrative, that deal with various aspects of the Bank's operations. . . . excellent."—Journal of Asian Studies


The multilateral banks are powerful forces in the international community, providing loans of more than $250 billion to developing countries over the last half-century. The best-known of these, the World Bank, has been studied extensively, but the "regional development banks" are little understood, even within their own geographic regions.

This book looks specifically at the policies and projects of the Asian Development Bank, which, like the other multilateral banks, is being increasingly criticized by grassroots organizations, environmental groups, and others.

Drawing on case studies, Kappagoda responds to some basic questions: Has the Asian Development Bank in fact been an effective agent of development? Has it been a mere clone of the World Bank, susceptible to that agency's weaknesses, as well as its strengths? He also assesses the bank's ability to take on the emerging challenges on the development agenda, including such issues as governance, military spending, and the need for gender-sensitive development strategies.


Nihal Kappagoda is currently an independent economic consultant. He was previously director of External Resources in Sri Lanka. He has held senior positions in the Commonwealth Secretariat, the International Development Research Centre and the Asian Development Bank. He is author of Foreign Debt Management for Developing Countries.


  • Introduction.
  • A Brief History of the Bank.
  • Borrowing Country Experience.
  • Loan Performance and Institutional Governance.
  • Resource Mobilization.
  • Looming Development Challenges for the Bank.
  • Achievements of the Bank.
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