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Social Development and Poverty

Despite the extraordinary gains made in living standards, hundreds of millions are still excluded from the benefits of rapid economic growth. ADB envisions an Asia and Pacific that is inclusive, where the region's gains and opportunities are shared by all.

  • COVID-19 and the Finance Sector in Asia and the Pacific: Guidance Note
    Guides | 28 December 2021
    COVID-19 and the Finance Sector in Asia and the Pacific: Guidance Note

    This publication highlights short-term actions that can mitigate pressures and medium-term policy considerations for finance sector resilience in the post-COVID-19 period.

  • Bangladesh on the Road to Recovery from COVID-19
    Photo Essay | 27 December 2021
    Bangladesh on the Road to Recovery from COVID-19

    ADB is assisting the Government of Bangladesh in managing the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic and promoting socio-economic recovery. See the results and status of the program through this photo essay. 

  • ADB Helps Bangladesh on Road to Recovery from COVID-19
    Project Result / Case Study | 22 December 2021
    ADB Helps Bangladesh on Road to Recovery from COVID-19

    The COVID-19 pandemic sparked a sharp economic downturn and rapid rise in unemployment in Bangladesh. To assist the government, ADB committed more than $2.6 billion to manage the immediate economic, social, and health-related impacts of the pandemic.

  • SDG Dialogues - SDG Localization: Recovery for the 2030 Agenda
    Video | 14 December 2021
    SDG Dialogues - SDG Localization: Recovery for the 2030 Agenda

    This high-level event will highlight ongoing efforts to support local action to implement the SDGs, and opportunities for multilateral institutions to foster these emerging initiatives.

ADB and Social Development

Inclusiveness lies at the heart of all successful poverty relief and development outcomes. ADB's social development agenda involves people and their communities, organizations, institutions, societies, and governments in all poverty relief activities.

The aim is to reduce poverty, inequality, and vulnerability among poor and marginalized persons by enabling institutions to:

  • foster inclusiveness and equitable access to services, resources and opportunities
  • empower people’s participation in social, economic and political life
  • help individuals cope with both chronic or unforeseen and sudden risks
Adapting to Aging Asia and the Pacific

Adapting to Aging Asia and the Pacific

Rapid aging in Asia and the Pacific has put the region at the forefront of one of the most important global demographic trends.

Graduation Approach

Graduation Approach

The graduation approach is an innovative, holistic and proven approach to addressing remaining poverty and reducing inequality, Strategy 2030's first operational priority.

Human Mobility and Migration

Human Mobility and Migration

Migration can be a powerful contributor to economic and social development. At the same time, migration can add to overcrowding in cities, strain social cohesion in migrant receiving areas, and be tied up with human trafficking.

Inclusive Growth and Poverty Reduction

Inclusive Growth and Poverty Reduction

Reducing poverty in Asia and the Pacific, even in countries with relatively high per capita income, remains an unfinished agenda. Despite major progress, the region was home to 326 million people living in extreme poverty (or below the $1.90/day poverty line) in 2013.

Social Protection and Labor

Social Protection and Labor

Social protection is set of policies and programs designed to reduce poverty and vulnerability by promoting efficient labor markets, diminishing people’s exposure to risks, and enhancing their capacity to protect themselves against hazards and interruption/loss of income.

News and Multimedia


Wendy WalkerWendy WALKER

Chief of Social Development Thematic Group

Wendy Walker is the Chief of the Social Development Thematic Group at the Asian Development Bank. She has led multi-sector teams for designing and implementing complex and innovative projects and has worked across diverse sectors such as transport, urban, health, education and social protection. She is the team leader for a technical assistance program on Strengthening Capacity for Developing Members Capacity in Elderly Care in six countries in the region.

Wendy has an M.Phil from University of Oxford and a PhD from Johns Hopkins University.

Yukiko ItoYukiko ITO

Principal Social Development Specialist

Yukiko Ito promotes the implementation of ADB's social development agenda through her work on community-driven development, social protection, inclusive business, sustainable livelihood, social analysis, and graduation approach for the poor and the vulnerable. She is the co-team leader of Philippine Expanded Social Assistance Project, Philippine Social Protection Support Project AF-II and the Regional Technical Assistance project for Advancing Inclusive and Resilient Urban Development Targeted at the Urban Poor. She also serves as the Secretariat of the ADB-wide Social Development Thematic Group.

Prior to joining ADB, Yuki was involved in projects that dealt with social protection reform, conditional cash transfers, and community-driven development in the Philippines, as well as basic education and early childhood development in Suriname and the East Caribbean countries. She holds an undergraduate degree in Sociology and Anthropology from Sophia University, and a Master in Social Development from Ateneo de Manila University.

Meredith WyseMeredith WYSE

Senior Social Development Specialist (Elderly Care)

Meredith specializes in aging and care. She has extensive experience working in the Asia-Pacific region on issues related to adaptations to population aging and older persons, with a specific focus on long-term care systems.

Prior to joining ADB, Meredith worked for HelpAge International in a range of senior management roles, where she worked on initiatives related to social protection, community development, health and care and humanitarian responses.

Michiel Van der AuweraMichiel VAN DER AUWERA

Senior Social Development Specialist (Social Protection)

Michiel Van der Auwera supports ADB's goal to tackle remaining poverty and inequality through the enhancement of social protection for all, the generation of quality jobs and the reduction of inequality in access to opportunities. His area of expertise is social protection, which includes pensions and social insurance, labor market interventions, and targeted social interventions. He is the team leader for technical assistance programs on social protection and quality jobs. He promotes the disability inclusion agenda.

Michiel holds master’s degrees in European Social Security and Social Protection Financing.

Social Development Thematic Group