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Asian Development Bank
|Alma mater||St. Stephen's College, Delhi
Western Michigan University
University of Chicago
Vinod Thomas (born in Thiruvananthapuram, India) is Director General of Independent Evaluation at the Asian Development Bank (ADB). He reports to ADB’s Board of Directors through the Development Effectiveness Committee. His work aims to assess ADB’s development effectiveness while providing lessons to help inform ADB’s actions going forward. He is responsible for evaluating policies, programs, projects and technical assistance, as well as thematic issues at the regional, country, and sector levels. Taken together, the evaluations address the effectiveness of ADB’s strategies, policies, practices, and procedures. He also heads the review and selective validation of project and program completion reports from operational departments. He is in charge of tracking the response to evaluation recommendations, as well as supporting evaluation capacity development in member countries.
Prior to this, Thomas was the Director-General and Senior Vice-President of the Independent Evaluation Group at the World Bank Group. He was formerly Country Director for Brazil and Vice-President, a position that he held from October 2001 to July 2005. Prior to that, he was Vice-President of the World Bank Institute, where he led the Institute’s efforts to improve its focus, quality, and impact. He joined the World Bank in 1976 and held several positions, including Chief Economist for the East Asia and Pacific region, Director for the World Development Report, Chief of Trade Policy and Principal Economist for Colombia, and Economist for Bangladesh.
After completing his Bachelor's degree from St. Stephen's College, Delhi, Vinod went on to acquire a PhD in Economics from the University of Chicago and authored numerous books, articles, and reports. He has taught at Vassar College, New York and the University of São Paulo, Brazil, has addressed professional and academic fora in all regions, and is a member of the Cosmos Club.
Recent oped and blog articles
- As engines of growth, cities need to be made more resilient to natural hazards (12 July 2016, Business Times)
- The Shift from Social Development to Infrastructure – How to Build Greener (1 July 2016, Inter Press Service)
- From preserving ecosystems to building airports, Asia needs to work together (27 April 2016, The Guardian)
- Is infrastructure investment the answer to sluggish economic growth? (5 April 2016, Brookings)
- New global poverty line of $1.90 at 2011 purchasing power parity – is it too high? (22 March 2016, ADB Blog)
- The controversy over safeguard policies (1 February 2016, Devex)
- Economists’ climate failure must be reversed (22 January 2016, Financial Times)
- Economic motivation must spur climate action (8 January 2016, Brookings)
- Green safeguards yield higher economic returns (6 January 2016, The Hindu)
- Top 5 surprising independent evaluation results (4 January 2016, ADB Blog)
- Responding to floods in a new climate economy (16 December 2015, Financial Times)
- The climate deal is in our own interest (14 December 2015, Manorama)
- Climate — the new danger to our well-being (27 November 2015, Japan Times)
- Building on greener methods (27 November 2015, China Daily)
- More frequent disasters show urgency of climate deal at COP21 (27 November 2015, ADB Blog)
- When evaluation makes a decisive difference (27 November 2015, ADB Blog)
- It's high time we set up defences against climate changes (26 November 2015, Manorama)
- Chance to make infrastructure climate-friendly (29 October 2015, Economic Times)
- Evaluations make a real difference (28 October 2015, Bangkok Post)
- Infrastructure and safeguards (6 October 2015, ADB blog)
- Time to bolster safeguards, not dilute them (23 September 2015, Financial Times)
- Making sustainability work (14 September 2015, ADB blog)
- Multilateral Development Banks and Safeguards (8 September 2015, Huffington Post)
- The New Climate-Inequality Nexus (7 July 2015, Huffington Post)
- ADB's unique moment in Asia (6 July 2015, Devex)
- Infrastructure financing must be built on social protection (10 June 2015, Jakarta Post)
- Infrastructure financing must come with safeguards (10 June 2015, Bangkok Post)
- Aim for green infrastructure expansion in Asia (10 June 2015, Japan Times)
- Environment, social protection crucial in infrastructure investment (9 June 2015, Korea Herald)
- Infrastructure lending must be based on environmental and social safeguards (1 June 2015, Brookings)
- Learning from Disasters (5 May 2015, Nepali Times)
- Better governance to feature at ADB meet in Baku (4 May 2015, Azer News)
- Productivity gains key to growth (30 April 2015, Bangkok Post)
- Boost trade finance for Asia's poorer countries and smaller companies (12 March 2015, Business Times Singapore)
- Global accord on climate won’t be enough (9 February 2015, Japan Times)
- In one's own interest (20 January 2015, Philippine Star)
- Impact evaluations to guide policy (3 September 2014, Devex)
- Asia's transformation through better governance (29 August 2014, Devex)
- A troubling conundrum (16 June 2014, Philippine Daily Inquirer)
- Sustaining GDP growth through greater inclusion (3 May 2014, Bangkok Post)
- Asia’s exclusive growth is leaving too many behind (10 April 2014, South China Morning Post)
- Reduce inequality to sustain economic growth (31 March 2014, China Daily)
- Countries need to start investing in disaster readiness (10 January 2014, Bangkok Post)
- Climate change, food security in Asia (27 November 2013, Bangkok Post)
- Typhoon Haiyan should spur climate change action (18 November 2013, The Guardian)
- Beating climate change impact with preparedness(29 September 2013, The Nation Sri Lanka)
- Skirting the Middle-Income Trap (17 September 2013, Daily Mirror)
- Spike in climate-related disasters (6 September 2013, Marshall Islands Journal)
- A green agenda will nurture Asia's growth (5 September 2013, South China Morning Post)
- Why the food security bill matters to developing Asia (16 August 2013, Economic Times)
- Preparing better for more frequent natural disasters (17 July 2013, Philippine Daily Inquirer)
- Environment issues hitting the economy (20 June 2013, Business Times Singapore)
- A post-2015 agenda for Asia (5 June 2013, The Korea Herald)
- Faster progress in education and health (22 May 2013, Philippine Daily Inquirer)
- A new growth paradigm (21 February 2013, Philippine Daily Inquirer)
- The unfinished poverty agenda (28 September 2012, China Daily)
- New Development Goals for the planet of Earth (21 September 2012, Jakarta Post)
- Making growth more inclusive (19 September 2012, Business Times Singapore)
- Inclusive growth will lift Asia's boats (31 August 2012, Bangkok Post)
- Essential to sustain high growth (27 July 2012, China Daily)
- The new roadblock to prosperity (30 April 2012, Philippine Daily Inquirer)
- Time to see climate action as pro-growth (23 April 2012, South China Morning Post, Straits Times)
- Solutions for economy and climate (20 January 2012, The Korea Herald)
- 3 ideas that are good for both economy and environment (6 January 2012, The Guardian)
- Insight: Tap the potential of the masses to lift growth (29 November 2011, South China Morning Post)
- Floods in Thailand cause rising tide of concern (4 November 2011, China Daily)
- Climate Change and Natural Disasters: Transforming Economies and Policies for a Sustainable Future. Transaction Publishers. 2017.
- Remembering our Future Results for Development. April 2015.
- Evaluation for Better Results. 10 Year of Independent Evaluation at Asian Development Bank, with others. Asian Development Bank: Manila. September 2014.
- Multilateral Banks and the Development Process: Vital Links in the Results Chain, with Xubei Luo. Transaction Publishers. 2012.
- From Inside Brazil: Development in a Land of Contrasts, Stanford University Press, 2006 (English and Portuguese).
- The Quality of Growth, with Yan Wang, Nalin Kishor, Dani Kaufmann, Ramon Lopez and Ashok Dhareshwar. Oxford University Press, 2000.
- The Lessons of East Asia: An Overview of Country Experience, with Danny Leipziger, A World Bank publication, 1993.
- Sustaining Rapid Development in East Asia and the Pacific, with R. Agarwala. A World Bank publication, 1993.
- The Challenge of Development, World Development Report 1991, with others, Oxford University Press, 1991.
- Best Practices in Trade Policy Reform, with J. Nash, Oxford University Press, 1991.
- Restructuring Countries in Distress, ed. with others, Oxford University Press, 1991.
- Adjustment Lending: How It Has Worked, How It Can Be Improved, ed. with A. Chhibber, The World Bank, 1989.
- The Economics of Urbanization and Urban Policies in Developing Countries, ed. with G.S. Tolley, World Bank publication, 1987.
- Linking Macroeconomic and Agricultural Policies for Adjustment with Growth: The Colombian Experience, Johns Hopkins University Press, 1985. Spanish version published by the Central Bank of Colombia.
- Agricultural Price Policies and the Developing Countries, with G.S. Tolley and C.M. Wong, Johns Hopkins University Press, 1982.
Journal Articles and Working Papers
- Global Increase in Climate-Related Disasters with R. Lopez (November 2015, Asian Development Bank Economics Working Paper No. 466)
- Contributors to the Frequency of Intense Climate Disasters in Asia-Pacific Countries, with J.R. Albert and C. Hepburn, Climatic Change, Springer. 2014.
- Climate-Related Disasters in Asia and the Pacific with J.R. Albert and R. Perez (July 2013, Asian Development Bank Economics Working Paper No. 358)
- Development Imperatives for the Asian Century with P. Petri (July 2013, Asian Development Bank Economics Working Paper No. 360)
- "Evaluation Systems, Ethics, and Development Evaluation" American Journal of Evaluation, vol 31, number 4, December 2010.
- "Evaluation for Better Development Results" with Jiro Tominaga, Journal of Development Effectiveness. October, 2010.
- "Development Evaluation in an Age of Turbulence" with Jiro Tominaga, Forthcoming
- "O Brasil e os paises do BRICC em um novo mundo", in A crise global e o novo papel munidal dos BRICS, Forum Nacional, Brasil, 2009, pp. 43–73.
- "Income Disparity." Global Journal of Emerging Market Economies 2009, 1:63.
- Measuring Education Inequality: Gini Coefficients of Education with Y. Wang, X. Fan (January 2001, World Bank Policy Research Working Paper No. 2525)
- Education, Trade Reform and Investment Returns with Y. Wang (January 2001, World Bank Policy Research Working Paper)
- "Revisiting the Challenge of Development." in Frontiers of Development Economics: The Future in Perspective, (eds. G. M. Meier and J. E. Stiglitz), Oxford University Press, 2001, pp. 149–182.
- "From The Economist – CON and PRO: Quantity and Quality and Why Quality Matters." Development Outreach, World Bank Institute, Vol. 3, No. 1, Winter 2001.
- "Why quality matters." The Economist, Economics Focus, 7 October 2000.
Honors and Awards
- World Bank Green Award, 2004
- Distinguished Alumni Award, Western Michigan University, 2004
- Global Award 2002, Kerala, Kala Kendram
- Outstanding Alumni Achievement Award from Mar Ivanios College, Kerala, 2004
- Awarded Distinguished Malayalee by the Chief Minister, Kerala, 2001
- Award for Excellence, World Bank, 1995
- National Foundation Fellowship, University of Chicago, 1973–75
- Ford Foundation Fellowship, University of Chicago, 1971–73
- Research and Teaching Assistantships, The University of Chicago and W. Michigan University
- W. Michigan University Award for Best Student
- Selected for exchange scholarship from St Stephen’s college to W. Michigan University
- Honors from W. Michigan University and Delhi University
- National and State Merit Scholarships, India
- Member American Economic Association
- Member, Cosmos Club, Washington DC
- "Vinod Thomas profile". Non Resident Indian. Retrieved 5 November 2015.
- "Independent Evaluation | Asian Development Bank". Adb.org. Retrieved 2013-09-29.
- "Director General". adb.org. Retrieved 5 November 2013.
- "Vinod Thomas profile". The Guardian. Retrieved 5 November 2013.
- Vinod Thomas book. Google Books. Retrieved 5 November 2013.
- "A Troubling Conundrum". Inquirer.net. Inquirer.net. Retrieved 27 August 2014.
- Climate Change and Natural Disasters: Transforming Economies and Policies for a Sustainable Future. Transaction Publishers. 2017. p. 182. ISBN 978-1-4128-6440-4.
- Multilateral Banks and the Development Process: Vital Links in the Results Chain. Transaction Publishers. 2011. p. 179. ISBN 978-1412847674.
- From Inside Brazil : Development in a Land of Contrasts. Stanford Economics and Finance. 2006. p. 224. ISBN 978-0804755313.
- The Quality of Growth. World Bank Publications. 2000. p. 298. ISBN 978-0195215939.
- Lessons of East Asia: An Overview of Country Experience. World Bank. 1996. p. 36. ISBN 978-0821326077.
- Sustaining Rapid Development in East Asia and the Pacific. World Bank. 1993. p. 144. ISBN 0-8213-2386-5.
- World Development Report 1991 : The Challenge of Development. World Bank. 1991. p. 306. ISBN 978-0-19-520868-9.
- Best Practices in Trade Policy Reform. World Bank. 1991. p. 226. ISBN 9780195208719.
- Restructuring Economies in Distress: Policy Reform and the World Bank. World Bank. 1995. p. 566. ISBN 019521109X.
- Thomas, Vinod (29 August 2014). "Contributors to the frequency of intense climate disasters in Asia-Pacific countries". Climatic Change. 126: 381–398. doi:10.1007/s10584-014-1232-y. Retrieved 22 September 2014.
- Thomas, Vinod (7 September 2010). American Journal of Evaluation (PDF). 31: 540–548 http://aje.sagepub.com/content/31/4/540.full.pdf. Retrieved 27 August 2014. Missing or empty
- Thomas, Vinod (24 Sep 2010). "Evaluation for better development results". Journal of Development Effectiveness. 2: 371–386. doi:10.1080/19439342.2010.499175.
- Thomas, Vinod and Xubei Luo (2012). "Multilateral Banks and the Development Process: Vital Links in the Results Chain", Transaction Publishers. 2012.
- Thomas, Vinod (2006). "From Inside Brazil: Development in a Land of Contrasts", Stanford University Press.
- Thomas, Vinod with Yan Wang, Nalin Kishor, Dani Kaufmann, Ramon Lopez and Ashok Dhareshwar (2000). "The Quality of Growth", Oxford University Press.
- Thomas, Vinod and Danny Leipziger (1993), "The Lessons of East Asia: An Overview of Country Experience", World Bank.
- Thomas, Vinod and R. Agarawala (1993), "Sustaining Rapid Development in East Asia and the Pacific", World Bank.
- Thomas, Vinod, et. al, (1991), "The Challenge of Development", World Development Report 1991 Oxford University Press.
- Thomas, Vinod and J. Nash (1991), "Best Practices in Trade Policy Reform", Oxford University Press.
- Thomas, Vinod (1991), "Restructuring Countries in Distress", Oxford University Press.