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Office of the Ombudsperson

The Office of the Ombudsperson is an informal resource providing impartial and confidential consultation, facilitation, and conflict management and prevention services to all members of the ADB community.

Key Messages

  • The Office of the Ombudsperson provides a neutral, independent, and safe setting, where members of the ADB community can hold discussions under the strictest confidence.
  • As an off-the-record, impartial, and autonomous resource, we can supplement the insider’s view with a broader outsider’s perspective.
  • We analyze concerns and formulate recommendations for institutional changes, when appropriate.

Nature and Scope of the Office of the Ombudsperson

The Asian Development Bank (ADB) established the Office of the Ombudsperson on 27 April 2011 through Administrative Order 2.14. ADB joined an increasing number of organizations that find considerable benefits in providing staff with informal resources to help prevent and manage workplace conflicts. The Ombuds Office adheres to the Standards of Practice and Code of Ethics of the International Ombudsman Association.

We are committed to helping members of the ADB community find creative solutions to complex problems. Our team supports colleagues through careful analysis of issues and concerns, coaching, and provision of relevant and timely advice. We educate the ADB community on healthy conflict management practices through targeted presentations, group discussions, and other forums. We provide upward feedback to the President and Management team and, as needed, to members of the Board of Directors and other decision makers, with a view of recommending policy reviews and/or organizational evaluation to make working in ADB a more meaningful experience to everyone.

We arrange confidential meetings at a time and venue or virtual platform convenient and safe for the concerned member(s) of the ADB community. Appointments can be scheduled over the phone, Viber, WhatsApp, or text messages. Sharing confidential or sensitive issues over email and/or via Microsoft Teams is greatly discouraged as OOMP cannot guarantee the confidentiality of information relayed electronically.

For the Ombuds Office, no concern is too insignificant. However, it is important to note that in some instances, our jurisdiction does not extend to all members of the ADB community—for example, in the case of ADB affiliates or the employer of contractors, to name a few. Still, we benefit from each conversation and consider each consultation a learning opportunity for us and the organization.

  • Turn no one away
    Some members of the ADB community have expressed their willingness and confidence to approach us with complex and sensitive matters. They expect empathy, honest discussions, advice, and strategic solutions. They feel assured they will not be turned away.
  • Treat everyone with the same level of dignity and respect
    We are strongly committed to treating everyone with the same level of dignity and respect.
  • Give honest feedback
    We believe that honesty and candid feedback inculcate trust and make our office more approachable.
  • Empower the ADB community
    We aim to empower colleagues by helping them reframe issues and find creative ways out of their problems. We give voice to those members of the community who may feel they have none.

Can Do

  • Practice active listening without judgement.
  • Conduct conflict analysis and conflict mapping.
  • Provide guidance on problem-solving and assist in strategizing the next steps.
  • Conduct informal information gathering or fact-finding.
  • Conduct informal mediation.
  • Facilitate difficult conversations.
  • Shuttle diplomacy.
  • Move information between parties who may not know who the other is.
  • Offer executive, negotiation, team, and conflict management coaching.
  • Provide training on conflict management when requested.
  • Help build a risk-aware culture and recommend changes to address systemic organizational issues.

Cannot Do

  • Create policies.
  • Conduct formal investigations.
  • Offer legal advice.
  • Provide psychological counselling.
  • Participate in formal processes.
  • Overrule decisions of those that have the authority to make them.
  • Serve as an advocate.

Talk to Us

Our communication channels are open to all members of the ADB community.

Fast Facts

The Office of the Ombudsperson compiles data and other findings to identify and analyze trends and problem areas that may require attention. Then, without disclosing its sources, the office shares this information with ADB Management and other decision-makers to resolve systemic issues and recommend institutional changes.