ADB Revises Communications Policy, Makes Changes

25 October 2011

The Asian Development Oct. 25 announced a new Communications Policy, revising its rules on disclosure and adding an appeals body.

According to the Bank, the key changes include:

  • earlier disclosure of core ADB documents, such as final proposals for country partnership strategies and sovereign project loans, subject to country consent.
  • translation of summary project information into relevant national languages.
  • release of project financial statements of borrowers for ADB-financed sovereign projects.
  • strengthening of in-country communications to give the public more information about projects and other ADB activities that could affect their lives.
  • disclosure of proposed policies and strategies that have been drawn up after public consultation, prior to Board consideration.
  • clarification of the disclosure exceptions list, with inclusion of harm-test.
  • creation of an independent appeals panel with three international experts to review information requests denied by ADB.
  • increased dissemination of knowledge products—online and in hard copy—to support the development of knowledge-based economies in the region.
  • disclosure of transcripts of ADB Board meetings upon request after 10 years.

“The revised policy also strengthens ADB’s communications and engagement with affected people, including women, the poor, and other vulnerable groups, and recognizes that more traditional methods of communication must be applied to reach large groups of stakeholders who do not have access to technology,” according to the ADB.

The changes to the previous policy, from 2005, follow a consultation period in which the Bank said it got feedback from over 500 stakeholders.

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Filed under: IFTI Watch

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In this column, Washington, D.C.-based journalist Toby J. McIntosh reports on the latest developments in information disclosure in International Financial and Trade Institutions (IFTI).
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