Dr. Bambang Susantono

Vice-President of Knowledge Management and Sustainable Development, Asian Development Bank (ADB)

Knowledge Management is fundamental to all aspects of development work and ultimately to the attainment of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). It is a powerful way of adding real value to our support for countries as they strive to attain the SDGs. In Asia and the Pacific, many countries have reached middle-income status. Nevertheless, there are persistent challenges blocking the path to inclusive, green, and sustainable growth. The size and complexity of these challenges are increasingly daunting in a world still grappling with the pandemic, unprecedented digital transformation, and worsening climate change.

None of us can afford to take a business-as-usual approach. We need to continuously innovate and mobilize all our knowledge to promote development. At the Asian Development Bank (ADB), we know that knowledge management is not a stand-alone process. It is part of a bigger strategy to promote innovation, transform organizational culture to share knowledge and expertise more openly, and empower and invest in people.

That is why our new Knowledge Management Action Plan (KMAP), 2021-2025 brings together these institutional reform initiatives as part and parcel of ADB’s knowledge management approach. In this context, it is important to remember that knowledge-sharing does not stop within the organization, but should expand across our developing members, development partners, and the broad spectrum of stakeholders with whom we share the common goal of attaining the SDGs. This kind of knowledge management allows us not only to harness knowledge effectively but to offer evidence-based solutions to the development challenges that our members are facing. We aspire to become a “knowledge solutions bank” through implementing the KMAP, 2021-2025.

To guide ADB’s approach to knowledge management I have coined the phrase “3Ds of Knowledge for Development” which stands for “Deploy, Demonstrate, and Disseminate”. We are committed to generating high-quality knowledge and then deploying it in the field; demonstrating how it offers viable solutions to concrete problems, and then widely disseminating the lessons learned. By taking this approach, we can adapt knowledge to the local context. Each step of these 3Ds requires that new technology and innovations are harnessed, and effective partnerships are forged. None of us alone can achieve the impact needed for the SDGs, but together we can make a difference through effective knowledge management. The Knowledge for Development Partnership (K4DP) is an exciting opportunity for us all to join hands in this common aspiration.