Project Glossary

Explanations of terms and phrases frequently used in ADB project documents are listed below. For a more comprehensive list of terms used in ADB operations, please see the glossary of terms for sovereign and non-sovereign operations.


Agreements - Define the terms and covenants of agreement between ADB and a borrower or recipient. Procedures for the signing of loans, grants and technical assistance agreements are outlined as part of preparatory actions in ADB’s project administration instructions.

Approval - Approval of the project by ADB's Board of Directors or the relevant ADB authority.

Approved projects - Projects that have been approved by ADB's Board of Directors or the relevant ADB authority. Project implementation starts after corresponding legal agreements are signed and effective. Documents submitted for the project's approval, such as Technical Assistance Reports, and the Report and Recommendation of the President, are posted on in accordance with ADB's Public Communications Policy.

Active projects - Approved projects that have met the conditions for effectiveness for at least one of its sources of financing and is ready for or already undergoing implementation.

Audit and performance evaluation report - Performance and procurement-related reviews conducted to help strengthen accountability, enhance transparency, and improve project oversight.

Audited project financial statements (APFS) - Annual audited project accounts for sovereign projects for which the invitation to negotiate is issued on or after the Public Communications Policy (PCP) 2011 effective date of 2 April 2012. See the project administration section of ADB’s operations manual for more information on project accounting, financial reporting, and auditing.


B-loan / Syndication - A cofinancing arrangement involving funds from various sources provided to a single borrower or grant recipient with the risk shared among the loan providers. More on this can be found on the nonsovereign financial products page.


Cancellation - Reduction of the principal amount owned in the case of partial cancellation of a loan, and the entire principal amount in the case of full cancellation.

Cancellation notice - Cancellation notices provide notice of the cancellation of a project or program.

Change in scope, amount, and implementation arrangements - Outlines changes to a project or program that alters or affects the purpose, components, costs, benefits, procurement, or other implementation arrangements.

Closing date or loan closure - The date that ADB may terminate the right of the borrower to make withdrawals from the loan account. Expenditures incurred after the loan closing dates are not financed under the loan.

Cofinancing - Shared financing with a third party on a transaction involving ADB funds, risk tasking, or adminitration. More on this can be found on the official cofinancing and commercial cofinancing pages.

Combined resettlement and indigenous peoples planning framework - Provides a framework to address the impacts and issues of involuntary resettlement and ethnic minorities.

Combined resettlement and indigenous peoples plan - Addresses project impacts and issues of involuntary resettlement and ethnic minorities.

Commitment - This is the financing approved by ADB’s Board of Directors or Management for which the investment agreement has been signed by the borrower, recipient, or the investee company and ADB. It is the amount indicated in the investment agreement that may or may not be equal to the approved amount, depending on the exchange rate at the time of signing.

Completion report - Evaluates the design, implementation, and performance of technical assistance, a project, or program, and provides overall assessments and recommendations.

Concept clearance - A preliminary fact finding on the project that assesses the likely development impact of the project and what value ADB's participation will have on the project, the sector and the country.

Concept paper - Provides general information and description on a proposed project.

Consulting services - ADB engages a wide range of experts as individual consultants and as consulting entities, such as companies, universities and non-government organizations. The procedures are explained on the consulting services page. A complete list of consulting opportunities can be found in ADB's consultant management system, where the process of engaging consultants takes place.

Consultants' report - Studies and reports prepared by consultants on the activities and outputs of technical assistance projects.


Design and monitoring framework (DMF) - Outlines quantified time-bound targets and measurable indicators for a project to identify key risks and assumptions used to monitor and evaluate project performance. The final version of this document is included as an appendix in the Report and Recommendation of the President and the Technical Assistance Report. See ADB’s guidelines for preparing a design and monitoring framework.

Documents produced under Grant/Loans/TA - Material produced during the implementation of a project or produced as part of the outputs of a project.

Drivers of change -  ADB identifies drivers of change that will be stressed in all its operations - developing the private sector, encouraging good governance, supporting gender equity, helping developing countries gain knowledge, and expanding partnerships with other development institutions, the private sector, and with community-based organizations. See the Strategy 2020 Midterm Review.


Effective date - The date, as determined by ADB, when disbursements may be made from a loan account.

Environmental and social aspects: environmental aspects - The manner in which the project will affect the environment. See ADB's Safeguard Categories.

Environmental and social aspects: indigenous peoples - The manner in which the project will affect indigenous peoples in the project area. See ADB's Safeguard Categories.

Environmental and social aspects: involuntary resettlement - Whether or not the project requires the involuntary resettlement of people and if so a summary of the circumstances and requirements. See ADB's Safeguard Categories.

Environment and social compliance audit report - Describes project compliance with environmental safeguards requirements and includes information on consultations and participation of affected people, as well as conclusions and recommendations.

Environmental and social management system arrangement - Describes policies, procedures, reporting mechanisms and organizational capacity to manage environmental and social issues arising out of operations and activities.

Environmental and social monitoring report - Reports on the status of environmental or social issues or mitigation measures related to project implementation.

Environmental assessment and measures - Assessments and measures used to ensure the environmental soundness and sustainability of ADB-financed projects according to ADB’s safeguard policy statement such as Initial Environmental Examinations, Environmental Assessment and Review Frameworks, Environmental Impact Assessments, Environment and Social Impact Assessments, Summary Environmental Impact Assessments, Summary Initial Environmental Examinations, and Environmental Management Plans.

Equity investment - A direct investment in a company for its shareholdings with payment made directly to the company, or an investment with a group of other investors in a private equity fund taking a share holding.

Executing agencies - The government/non-government agencies that are working with ADB to implement the project or program.

Exposure - The outstanding balance of a loan; or in the case of a guarantee, the value of the obligation held by ADB. For an equity investment, the exposure is the market value or fair value of the investment.

Extension of validity - Documents an extension to the period of validity of ADB approval as agreed between the borrower or the recipient, and the regional department concerned.


Facility administration manual - Provides guidance for monitoring multitranche financing facilities (MFF) and evaluating their performance.

Fact finding - An examination of the project's technical, financial, economic, environmental, marketing, and management aspects, as well as potential social impact.

Faster approach to small nonsovereign transactions (FAST) - A streamlined approval process for small nonsovereign transactions.

Faster approach to small nonsovereign transactions (FAST) report - Describes the objectives, terms, and conditions of a nonsovereign project for consideration for approval by ADB under the Faster Approach to Small Nonsovereign Transactions (FAST) framework.


Gender equity and mainstreaming - Projects involving gender equity directly address gender equality and women's empowerment by narrowing gender disparities through a variety of means. Gender mainstreaming involves the process of assessing the implications for women and men of any planned action, including legislation, policies or programs, in all areas and at all levels. See ADB's Policy on Gender and Development.

Gender action plan (GAP) - Strategies, mechanisms, project components, budget provisions and other measures identified to address gender concerns. This includes clear targets, quotas, gender design features and quantifiable performance indicators to ensure women’s participation and benefits. See ADB’s policy on gender and development.

Geographical location - The location in which the project is being implemented.

Grant – a sum of money provided to an ADB developing member country that does not need to be paid back and has the overall objective of promoting sustainable social and/or economic development. Information on grant regulations, requirements and guidelines may be found in ADB's Operations Manual, Special Operations Grant Regulations, or the policy paper on Externally Financed Grant Regulations.

Grant assistance report - Describes the background, project features, impacts, expected outcomes, and conditions for approved grant assistance projects including the rationale for grant funding rather than lending.

Grant implementation manual - Administrative and management requirements for the implementation of grant projects.

Guarantee - A commercial and/or political risk assumed by ADB.


Impact - The expected beneficial consequences measured three to five years after project completion.

Indigenous peoples planning document - Describes assessments and measures to facilitate compliance to ADB's indigenous peoples safeguard requirements in ADB-financed projects.

Initial poverty and social analysis (IPSA) - Provides an initial poverty and social assessment of people who may be beneficially or adversely affected by a project.


Last review mission - Monitoring visit to the ADB project by the project officer or other concerned ADB staff.

Loan - a sum of money provided to an ADB developing member country or private company that is paid back with interest and has the overall objective of promoting sustainable social and/or economic development. More information on ADB loans can be found on the following pages: Operations - Project Design and Management, Public Sector (Sovereign) financial products, or Private Sector (non-sovereign) financial products.


Management review meeting (MRM) - When the project is initially reviewed by ADB Management.

Modality - A financial instrument such as a loan, equity investment, grant, project cofinancing, or guarantee that is used as project financing, support for government policies, or other technical and advisory support.

Multitranche financing facility (MFF) - A flexible financing instrument that provides loan payments in stages, based on project readiness and the long-term needs of a client.


Nonsoveriegn projects - Nonsovereign operations include investments in companies, both privately-held and state-sponsored. See Private Sector (Nonsovereign) Financing.


Outcome - The aims of the project as measured against the delivered outputs by the end of project implementation.

Outputs - The physical and/or tangible goods and/or services delivered by the project.


Periodic financing request report - Summarizes project financing requests for multitranche financing facility (MFF) Tranches.

Prepayment - Full or partial payment on a loan paid off ahead of schedule.

Procurement - ADB procures a variety of goods, works and services in order to carry out projects and programs. A listing of the latest procurement notices can be found on the business opportunities page and or delivered to your email inbox via the ADB e-Alerts system.

Procurement plan - A detailed outline and schedule, prepared according ADB’s procurement guidelines, of the goods, services and works that will be contracted by the recipient of an ADB loan or grant.

Program safeguard systems assessments - Prepared under results-based lending (RBL) programs to assess positive and negative impacts and risks related to the environment, resettlement, and indigenous peoples.

Progress Report - Provides updates on the status of a project during project implementation such as remedial actions, documentation by executing agencies, and the fulfillment of requirements for the authorization of tranche releases under a multitranche financing facility.

Project design advance - Describes detailed engineering design and preparatory work, including feasibility studies and due diligence, safeguards and pre-implementation work, advanced procurement actions and transaction advice, as well as legal services. Read more on ADB’s project design advance facility.

Project/program administration manuals (PAM) - Essential administrative and management requirements for project or program implementation as outlined in ADB’s project administration instructions.

Project cofinancing - Loans, grants and other financial assistance provided by sources other than ADB. More on this can be found on the official cofinancing, commercial cofinancing, and private sector partnership pages.

Project data sheet (PDS) - A summary of an ADB project or program. Project data sheets are works in progress. Some information may not be included in initial versions but will be added as it becomes available. Documents produced during the project cycle are linked to the PDS.

Project implementation - The period between when a loan or grant becomes effective and its closing date.

Project name - The name of the project.

Project number - A unique 8-digit number assigned to the project by ADB during preparation.

Project rating - ADB projects are rated using the five performance indicators: technical, contract awards, disbursement, financial management, and safeguards. The rating system includes green, which means the project is on track; amber, which indicates a potential problem; and red, which connotes a problem or risk to the project. When two of the five indicators are rated at risk, then the project overall is considered at risk.

Project rationale and linkage to country/regional strategy - The broad context and reason for the project and how it links to the overall strategy of ADB in that country and region, and the country’s development priorities. More about the role of country partnership strategies can be found under the project cycle page.

Project status - Classifies projects as proposed, approved, active, closed, or cancelled/terminated.

Project type / modality of assistance - Sovereign projects, involving work with governments, are generally classified as loans, technical assistance, or grants. Non-sovereign projects, or those in partnership with companies, are generally classified as loans, equity investments, grants, project cofinancing or guarantees.

Proposed Projects - Projects undergoing due diligence and assessment prior to being submitted for approval to ADB's Board of Directors or the relevant ADB authority. If the project requires the resettlement of people or might adversely impact the environment, or indigenous peoples, safeguard assessments are prepared during this stage. Results of these assessments are disclosed to affected people and other interested stakeholders in accordance with ADB's Public Communications Policy and Safeguard Policy Statement.


Quarterly status of completion reports - Summarizes the achievement of program targets.


Repayment - Paying back money previously borrowed from a lender.

Reports and recommendations of the president (RRP) - Documents the recommendation of a project for approval and describes the objectives, terms, and conditions of the project for consideration by ADB’s Board of Directors.

Resettlement planning documents - Describes assessments and measures to facilitate compliance wirh ADB's involuntary resettlement safeguard requirements in ADB-financed projects.

Responsible ADB department - The ADB department in which the project is being administered.

Responsible ADB divison - The ADB division in which the project is being administered.

Responsible ADB officer - The ADB staff, who is responsible for overseeing the project or program.

Results-based lending (RBL) - Loans in which disbursements are directly linked to specific achievements of program results.


Safeguard categories - See ADB's Safeguard Categories and ADB's Safeguard Policy Statement.

Safeguard categories: environment - Proposed projects are screened according to type, location, scale, and sensitivity and the magnitude of their potential environmental impacts, including direct, indirect, induced, and cumulative impacts. 

Safeguard categories: indigenous peoples - The impacts of an ADB-supported project on indigenous peoples.

Safeguard categories: involuntary resettlement - The involuntary resettlement impacts of an ADB-supported project are considered significant if 200 or more persons will be physically displaced from home or lose 10% or more of their productive or income-generating assets.

Safeguards due diligence reports - Prepared as part of safeguards due diligence and review to ensure compliance with ADB's safeguards policy due diligence requirements.

Sector / Subsector - In its work with governments, the sectors in which ADB operates are the environment; education; regional cooperation and integration; finance sector development, and infrastructure, including transport and communications, energy, water supply and sanitation, and urban development. In its work with private companies and governments, ADB focuses on infrastructure and the development of capital markets and the financial sector. See ADB’s Project Classification System.

Small-scale technical assistance (SSTA) monthly/quarterly reports - Summarizes the approved (A) preparatory technical assistance projects not exceeding $1,500,000; (B) technical assistance projects not exceeding $225,000; and (C) technical assistance cluster subprojects.

Sovereign projects - Sovereign operations include loans, grants, and technical assistance to the governments of developing countries that are members of ADB. See Public Sector (Sovereign) Financing.

Source of funding / amount - The ADB project or program which is providing the funding and the corresponding amount. More information on sources of ADB funding can be found on the funds and resources page.

Stakeholder communication, participation, and consultation during project design - Details regarding how people affected by the project will be/were consulted during the design phase.

Stakeholder communication, participation, and consultation during project project implementation - Details regarding how people affected by the project will be/were consulted during the project implementation phase.

Strategic agendas - ADB focuses on three complementary strategic agendas to pursue its vision and mission. These include fostering inclusive growth; promoting environmentally sustainable growth; and encouraging regional cooperation and integration. See the Strategy 2020 Midterm Review.

Summary poverty reduction and social strategies - Summary of poverty and social analysis and strategies for a project. These are now disclosed as a linked document to the Report and Recommendation of the President.

Syndication / B-loan - A cofinancing arrangement involving funds from various sources provided to a single borrower or grant recipient with the risk shared among the loan providers. More on this can be found on the nonsovereign financial products page.


Technical Assistance – ADB-financed activities for project preparation, capacity development, research and development, and studies that help developing member countries promote sustainable social and/or economic development. This may include the following:

  • Capacity Development TA − This assistance offers to undertake institutional and organizational capacity development and to support the implementation,
  • operation, and management of ADB-financed projects.
  • Project Preparatory TA − This assistance helps in preparing private sector projects for financing by ADB and/or other external sources.
  • Policy and Advisory TA − This assistance helps the public sector by financing sector-, policy-, and issues-oriented studies.
  • Research and Development TA − This assistance helps strengthen ADB’s role as a knowledge platform to address development issues of a global or Asia and
  • Pacific-wide nature.
  • Regional TA − This assistance helps in project preparation, policy advice, or capacity development for operations covering more than one country-specific borrower. Research and development is by ADB definition considered a regional activity.
  • Small-scale TA − This assistance is defined by its size, for amounts up to $225,000, and employs streamlined processing.

Information on technical assistance regulations, requirements and guidelines may be found in ADB's Operations Manual or the page for Operations - Project Design and Management.

Technical Assistance Cofinancing - Technical assistance provided by sources other than ADB.

Technical Assistance Report (TAR) - Provides the context, background, impacts and outcomes, key activities, estimated costs, financing, and implementation arrangements for an approved technical assistance project.

Translated Project Data Sheet (PDS) - Translations of summary information on projects or programs.