World Bank Enhances Its Accountability

WASHINGTON, March 9, 2020-The World Bank Board of Executive Directors has approved enhancements to the Inspection Panel toolkit and the Bank’s accountability system, creating an expanded independent accountability mechanism housing both the Panel and a new Dispute Resolution Service.

When the World Bank provides governments with financing to invest in projects – such as building roads, improving health systems, or connecting people to electricity – these projects can benefit millions of people, boost economic growth, and reduce poverty. As the Bank finances these investments, it aims to ensure that people and the environment are protected from potential adverse impacts. However, in cases where there may have been harm, the Bank has avenues of recourse available to people and communities to ensure accountability, including the Inspection Panel.

Since its establishment in 1993, the Inspection Panel has been a leader in the field of accountability and has provided an avenue for people who believe that they have been, or are likely to be, harmed by a Bank-financed project to raise their concerns.

“The World Bank’s accountability mechanisms, including the independent Inspection Panel, have been instrumental in ensuring accountability and improving compliance with the World Bank’s policies and procedures,” said World Bank Group President David Malpass. “These important changes to the Inspection Panel Toolkit will enhance the independence and Board oversight of the accountability framework and will give further recourse for people and communities.”

Over the last two years, the Board – which represents the World Bank’s 189 member countries – has analyzed the findings of an External Review of the Inspection Panel Toolkit and engaged with a broad range of stakeholders, including authorities in client countries, Inspection Panel Requesters, civil society organizations and academics. The Board also held discussions with other financial institutions to learn lessons and practices from their accountability mechanisms.

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