Asia Development Outlook (ADO) Series

Asia Development Bank

ADO 2023
This publication highlights brighter economic prospects for Asia and the Pacific amid ongoing challenges. It forecasts growth across the region’s developing economies of 4.8% this year and in 2024, up from 4.2% in 2022. Read it here.

ADO 2022
The 2022 report outlines economic prospects in developing Asia amid global turbulence and lingering pandemic risks. It discusses the implications of school closures and the conflict in Europe, and explores mobilizing taxes for development. Read it here.

ADO 2021
The 2021 report reflects on the fallout of Covid-19 and its impact on growth trajectories in Asian economies. It pinpoints new virus outbreaks and vaccine delays as key short-term risks to the region’s economic outlook, with long-term risks being consequences of prolonged unemployment and disrupted education. A thematic chapter explores the drivers and impacts of green and social finance. The infusion of private capital will be critical in boosting the funding necessary for a resilient and inclusive recovery in Asia. Read it here.

Realizing the promise of digital technology for Asia’s social sector

Economist Impact

The benefits of the digital age extend to the social sector, but how can we ensure equitable access? Across Asia, digital technology has enabled greater connectivity and flow of information and resources. The social sector has largely benefited from this shift, drawing on digital tools and platforms to increase effectiveness, expand access to social support services, and supercharge fundraising efforts. Continue reading here.

Asia’s social sector sees a funding decline

SME Horizon

COVID-19 has exacerbated income inequalities and social disparities across Asia, serving as a force multiplier for trends already in place. Assessing performance across four sub-indexes – Regulations, Tax and Fiscal Policy, Ecosystem, and Procurement – CAPS’ biennial flagship study, the Doing Good Index 2022, examines the social investment landscape in Asia. Read here.

In Conversation With Ruth Shapiro, Founder and Chief Executive of Centre for Asia Philanthropy and Society


According to the Doing Good Index 2022, which analyses the social investment landscape in Asia, Covid-19 has exacerbated social disparities and income inequalities and across the region. We talk to Dr. Ruth Shapiro, the Co-Founder and Chief Executive of the Centre for Asian Philanthropy and Society (CAPS), which conducts the study biennially, about the pandemic’s impact on people in Asia, her work and improving Hong Kong’s social sector. Read here.

Unlocking Cross-Border Philanthropy in Asia


“While Asia has seen enormous economic growth and development in recent decades, income disparity remains and with millions across the continent continuing to live in poverty. As the number of high-net-worth individuals in Asia increases, so is cross-border giving, as wealthier Asians communities look beyond the needs of their own economy.

Give2Asia’s new report identifies some of the impediments to cross-border giving, such as donor preference, regulatory hurdles and lack of institutional readiness. The report describes an “overall stringent regulatory environment” with “varying levels of enabling policies regarding cross-border giving.” Much of this comes down to restrictions placed by individual economies on the sending and receiving of donations across borders.”

English version available here.

日本語: Japanese translation (abridged) available here.


Funding for Asian NGOs falls amid tighter regulations

Philanthropy Age

Almost half of Asia’s social delivery organisations have reported a decline in funding in the last 12 months, some as much as 50 percent, according to new research. The Hong Kong-based Centre for Asian Philanthropy and Society (CAPS) surveyed more than 2,000 entities and some 120 experts across 17 Asian economies, including India, Pakistan, China, and Singapore. Read here.

The Doing Good Index Reveals Asia’s Social Sector Sees a Funding Decline Despite Having the Highest Pandemic-Induced Poverty Globally

Yahoo Finance

Covid-19 has exacerbated income inequalities and social disparities across Asia, serving as a force multiplier for trends already in place. A new social impact study released today by the Centre for Asian Philanthropy and Society (CAPS) shows how to maximize philanthropic and policy responses to cope with these post-Covid challenges. Read here.

Doing Good Index 2022

Assessing the Health and Well-being of Asia’s Social Sector

Doing Good Index microsite

Our interactive microsite lets you visualize, explore and compare our data. Use our graphics and maps to help you understand Asia at a glance. The data dashboard allows you to compare economies and track changes across time. Economy profiles present a visual and digestible deep dive into each economy.

What is the Doing Good Index?

The Doing Good Index 2022 is the most comprehensive social impact index in Asia to date, highlighting the factors that drive or hinder private capital flowing towards social and economic challenges across 17 Asian economies.

The Doing Good Index comes at a critical time when economies have been heavily impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic. Inequalities have been exacerbated, and hard-won progress in social and economic growth has been undone. An estimated two-thirds of those newly forced into poverty live in South Asia, East Asia and the Pacific.

To address these shared challenges, all parts of society—individuals, companies, government and the social sector—must work together to drive more resources towards building a better future together. The Doing Good Index shows how. It provides a roadmap of the policies and practices that can unleash this capital by mitigating the trust deficit; leveraging local support; and facilitating cross-sector collaboration.

In 2022 we surveyed 2,239 SDOs and interviewed 126 experts across 17 Asian economies. In mapping the landscape of social investment, the study examines four sub-indices: Regulations, Tax and Fiscal Policy, Ecosystem, and Procurement. We also include a section on how the Covid-19 pandemic impacted the social sector.

The Doing Good Index is published every two years. Read the inaugural edition from 2018 and our 2020 edition.

The Dark Side of Microfinance


This video from Bloomberg explores how microfinance has changed from being hailed as a “miracle cure for poverty” to a “system run amok”, with the most vulnerable exposed to the worst impacts. Microfinance has been held up as a key tool in the fight against systematic poverty, but the industry’s commercialization and expansion has created new problems. Banks are “lending ever-larger amounts of money to poor, mostly financially-illiterate people, who are getting stuck in a vicious cycle of debt.” In economies like Sri Lanka and Cambodia, lack of regulatory oversight has given way to predatory lending practices and ballooning debt from microfinance. Watch it here.

Economic and Social Survey of Asia and the Pacific


This report assesses the investment needed for the Asia Pacific region to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by 2030. It argues that stable economic growth in recent years has come at the cost of heightened inequality and environmental degradation. Prioritizing GDP growth at all costs is no longer feasible nor desirable. An estimated US$1.5 trillion is needed per year for the region to meet the SDG 2030 target. The report charts the course to achieving this, highlighting the economic policies that can support structural transformations, necessary investments into human capital and the environment, and the regional and cross-sector collaborations that should be maximized.

2022 edition: Economic policies for an inclusive recovery and development
This 75th-anniversary issue of the Survey argues that Asia-Pacific economies must prioritize inclusive growth – whereby citizens of all socio-economic groups are able to improve their livelihoods, incomes, health, and education levels. Given the constrained fiscal space and other challenges posed by the pandemic, it is difficult but very much possible. Read it here.

2021 edition: Towards post-COVID-19 resilient economies

2020 edition: Towards sustainable economies

2019 edition: Ambitions beyond growth