Asian Development Bank

  www.adb.org
  www.adb.org

Asian Development Bank Reviews

Updated November 10, 2014
Updated November 10, 2014
17 Reviews
3.4
17 Reviews
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  1.  

    It was a great privelege working for an established company such as Asian Development Bank

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Access Control Officer in Mandaluyong City (Philippines)
    Former Employee - Access Control Officer in Mandaluyong City (Philippines)

    I worked at Asian Development Bank as a contractor (less than an year)

    Pros

    Working with Asian Development Bank has broaden my social and interpersonal skills as well as communication skills when handling customer related experiences. It has taught me to never deviate from the standards and this has taught me to be a more disciplined employee.

    The perks that come with my job in Asian Development Bank is that aside from having medical insurance it also has a very good compensation in terms of Philippine peso. I also consider having a fun environment as a perk.Also one of the perks of having to work in Asian Development bank is having people to know that you work for one of the prestigious company in Asia.

    Cons

    Maybe some of the security guards that came from a certtain agency can be rude. I find it when visitors of the bank come and visit, they find that their names are not on the visitor's registration list, rightly so, they will become upset. The visitor's list should be updated to save everyone the hassle.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
  2.  

    Be careful

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I have been working at Asian Development Bank full-time

    Pros

    good money ,lots of perks, based in Manila, which some people love and some people don't

    Cons

    an antiquated mind-set re: treatment of employees, useless HR, lots of bullying

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    make sure you research who you will be working for

    Doesn't Recommend
  3.  

    I worked at Asian Development Bank

    Pros

    Well-respected institution in Asia. Some high-caliber, motivated staff. Comfortable expat packages. Opportunities to advance quickly if you have a good boss.

    Cons

    Cumbersome processes so one spends more time writing memos and lobbying for projects internally than making projects better for clients externally. Some dysfunctional departments. Powerful, insular HR that seems to make decisions that don't make sense.

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  5. 3 people found this helpful  

    Think twice!

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Manila, Manila (Philippines)
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Manila, Manila (Philippines)

    I worked at Asian Development Bank full-time (more than 10 years)

    Pros

    1. Good physical environment, safety and facilities.
    2. Reasonable salary and benefits (tax free for most nationalities).
    3. Reasonable work life balance, although in some areas travelling schedules can be demanding.

    Cons

    1. The top management is mostly made of political appointees parachuted from the outside. Unfortunately, since governments hardly ever send their best employees to regional development banks, the result is that the management of ADB is made of second or third tier bureaucrats who rarely have any leadership skills or vision. And even when they are indeed competent professionals, their knowledge usually happens to be in fields which have nothing to do with the areas of expertise they are supposed to supervise.

    2. Political decisions and nepotism are pervasive and real career progression is reserved for certain groups (e.g. specific nationalities and groups - such as women - which the 'management' decides to favour through affirmative actions) or individuals who are politically well connected. Those who do not belong to any specific interest group and have not spent their working lives ingratiating themselves to members of the 'management' will actually hit the glass ceiling very soon and may even be asked to leave unless they gracefully acquiesce to the status quo. Actual merit and competence have no bearing on the career progression of the staff in ADB and selection procedures and decisions are murky to say the least.

    3. To make things worse, every employee is encouraged to rotate to areas of the bank which he or she has no knowledge of. This is because, in the eye of the 'management', the perfect bureaucrat is a generalist who can talk about anything without really knowing anything. This is typical of the Japanese bureaucracy, which is the prevailing culture in ADB. You are therefore likely to enter the organisation with a specific set of skills and see, during the course of your 'career', your skills diluted by the tasks you are required to perform in a constant effort to convert you into a harmless 'yes man' who knows how to make his or her boss shine.

    4. Despite the lip service paid to fairness, equal opportunities, talent management, due process etc, international organisations (including ADB) are among the worst offenders when it comes to treating employees fairly and justly. Why? Because ADB (like all international organisations) is not bound by the labour laws of any country and is free to conceive, design, implement and change its own rules in the form of ever changing, self serving administrative orders which the management interprets to its own convenience and regularly fails to respect. The administrative orders of ADB are poorly drafted, contradictory, and often overruled by memoranda imposed by the management on an ad hoc basis without adequate conceptualisation and dissemination within the organisation. When a dispute arises (from a minor disciplinary measure to being fired for alleged misconduct or unsatisfactory performance), staff have no other recourse but to submit the case to an administrative tribunal whose members are paid by the ADB itself and which will rule on its favour in an overwhelming majority of cases. The decisions of the administrative tribunals cannot be appealed and are not subject to the scrutiny of any independent legal authority, thus subjecting staff to abuses of all sorts. The whole system lacks accountability for management's abuses against staff as nobody can effectively challenge it and its 'rules'. Furthermore, staff may be subjected (without them knowing) to lengthy and invasive investigations on alleged misconduct which may lead to disciplinary measures or worse. Such investigations, which are conducted internally, are often devoid of due process and may be triggered by anonymous allegations put forward by anyone (internal or external) who may have a grudge against a staff and be motivated by personal reasons. This creates a fertile ground for personal vendettas and an atmosphere of suspicion.

    5. The irrelevance of development institutions (and regional development banks in particular) in todays' world is testified by the appalling level of poverty still existing in the very countries in which they have their headquarters. Very often greedy and corrupt local government officials are the main beneficiaries of the funds disbursed by the agency, with little or no benefit to the poor. As a result, the management of these institutions (and the ADB's as well) have come under increased pressure to show to donor governments, who are becoming increasingly sceptical about the usefulness of these institutions, that costs are contained and effectiveness enhanced. Unfortunately, because of the reasons outlined above, the result of this pressure is a relentless and indiscriminate squeeze on existing staff's compensation, allowances and professional development while millions are still being squandered on useless endeavours such as the expansion of the headquarters building or sudden surges in the recruitment of new staff. These facts are beginning to take their toll on the institution's image and reputation as high flying potential candidates are turning more and more to private sector organisations which offer a much more rewarding and challenging environment (although more risky in terms of job security).

    6. Working for a regional bank in a developing country for a prolonged period of time will cut you off any job market apart from that of other international organisations (in fact no respectable private sector organisation will ever touch anybody who has spent more than a couple of years in a public sector organisation such as ADB), will dilute your skills and make you lose connection with your home country. The only skills you will be able to enhance are your ability to draft elaborate (yet empty) memoranda using the correct jargon and paraphrasing approved slogans; reach consensus on precious little nothing; talk in a way which smothers controversies, offends nobody and reassures everybody; work your way up through appropriate social activities.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
  6. 1 person found this helpful  

    Asian Development Bank

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Communications in Manila, Manila (Philippines)
    Current Employee - Communications in Manila, Manila (Philippines)

    I have been working at Asian Development Bank full-time (more than 3 years)

    Pros

    The ADB can give you an incredible insight into the politics not only of Asia, but of Asia's place in the global stage. This is a place that makes you think about what it takes to keep growth going, what environmental costs are involved, and how long Asia can thrive with such wide gaps growing between its richest and poorest residents.

    Cons

    Never have I worked at a place more bureaucratic or more stuck in a work culture better left to "Mad Men." The ADB is struggling with its future right now - it's being pushed out of its niche by competition from China and being left without resources by donors in North America and Europe. The Asian region is powering ahead, meaning there's more appetite ideas, not necessarily infrastructure, and a preference for no-strings-attached loans. Many of the people in higher-up positions at ADB can't adjust, can't cope and can't compete. The organization itself is having a hard time opening itself up to different, faster, leaner ways of doing business and dropping some of the hierarchy and bureaucracy that makes it slow and expensive.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Make the tough decisions and implement them with efficiency. Realign and redesign. Take a hard look at compensation packages and decide whether these are appropriate for the times we live in. But most importantly: drop the dead weight.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
  7.  

    Unless you are getting a full time position, contract consultants are like second class employee.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Consultant in Manila, Manila (Philippines)
    Former Employee - Consultant in Manila, Manila (Philippines)

    I worked at Asian Development Bank as a contractor (less than an year)

    Pros

    Good boss and great overall aim and goal of the Bank (helping poor!).
    Great conferences with respected speakers for motivated employees to participate.

    Cons

    Constant reminders that contractors are not full timers and have very different benefit package (travel allowance, cannot participate in development courses...ect). The cubic work environment for the contract consultants are in the basement with little-no sunshine.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    The middle level manager should not propose project beyond the work load the team can produce. As with limited resources, the project sees no prospect to finish and in the end do not get support from the upper managers. (The project is expected to take 6 month, but the team members consist of all part-time contractors with maximum 3 month contract, and most of them at the end of their contract already when the project was proposed.)

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
  8. 1 person found this helpful  

    I have been working at Asian Development Bank full-time.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I have been working at Asian Development Bank full-time (more than an year)

    Pros

    Good environment to work with, with lots of highly-educated people. Comparatively good salary and benefits. Offers stability with permanent/pensionable positions are still in place. The spirit of helping people in developing countries is essential morale boost.

    Cons

    Internal bureaucracy can be taxing. Slow in reforming itself compared to sister companies, leaving the company with old-fashioned, centralized structure to Manila HQ, hence resident missions are under-equipped and working less optimal.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    In the medium run, the only logical path is for ADB to decentralize and giving more authority to the resident missions around the world, hence allowing the missions to fully utilize their full knowledge of their respective countries.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
  9. 1 person found this helpful  

    Comfortable Job

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Manila, Manila (Philippines)
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Manila, Manila (Philippines)

    I have been working at Asian Development Bank full-time (more than 3 years)

    Pros

    Good salary and benefits, little stress, opportunities to travel, opportunities to work with people from many different nationalities and cultures, low targets that are easy to achieve.

    Cons

    Vertical hierarchy, many promotions are highly political and non-merit based, significant micromanagement of staff, backward and dated IT infrastructure often makes it difficult to efficiently execute tasks, inconsistencies in management and high variability in the quality of management, quality human resource management and providing incentives to motivate and retain better staff are largely absent, weaknesses in dedication to quality technical assistance and poverty reduction, limited innovation, many inefficiencies due to highly bureaucratic processes, more emphasis and investments in managing perceptions rather than investing in actual change and development.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Listening to concerns of staff and undertaking changes or providing logical reasoning of why concerns cannot be addressed can go a long way to improving staff relationships.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
  10.  

    Multilateral Development Bank

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Senior Environment Specilialist in Manila, Manila (Philippines)
    Former Employee - Senior Environment Specilialist in Manila, Manila (Philippines)

    I worked at Asian Development Bank full-time (more than 10 years)

    Pros

    Working with a range of professionals from many countries.

    Cons

    Cronyism and collusion among management.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Replace cronyism and collusion with professional ethics.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
  11.  

    Consultant working on several international projects

    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I have been working at Asian Development Bank full-time

    Pros

    Good to work with, good support in the field, and helpful on contract management

    Cons

    Bureaucratic, can take a long time to get a project moving due to the slowness of development partners

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Be selective in who you choose for consultant positions

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