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Panel Chair Conducts Civil Society Outreach in Fiji, participates in ADB Annual Meeting

Imrana Jalal speaking at the ADB Annual Meetings in FIJI

Inspection Panel Chair Imrana Jalal, in Fiji to participate in the annual meeting of the Asian Development Bank (ADB), met with Fiji civil society members in the capital Suva and with representatives of Asia-Pacific civil society in Nadi to explain the Panel’s mandate and operations.

At the Suva event on April 26, 2019, Ms. Jalal said that multilateral development banks need to be accountable to the communities they serve and the projects they finance must comply with the institution’s environmental and social policies.

“The Inspection Panel plays an essential role in ensuring projects comply with the World Bank’s policies and procedures, and it is independent from the World Bank management, reporting directly to the World Bank Board,” Ms. Jalal told about 60 community representatives attending the event and another 10 who watched via livestream.  “Accountability is the cornerstone of good governance and it’s important that people are aware of mechanisms like the Panel and how they can access them.”

The event was organized in partnership with the Fiji Women’s Rights Movement and the Pacific Community’s Regional Rights Resource Team. 

In Nadi, site of the ADB annual meeting, on May 3, 2019, Ms. Jalal hosted a light lunch for a small group of civil society representatives working in the Asia-Pacific region for a discussion about the Panel’s work.

Representatives of civil society raised the issue of what tools are needed for an independent accountability mechanism to be most effective. Ms. Jalal explained that the Board’s Committee on Development Effectiveness was currently doing a review of the Panel’s toolkit and was considering whether to extend the time limit on eligibility of Requests for Inspection to the Panel, allow the Panel to monitor the implementation of post-investigation Management Actions Plans, and permit the Panel to undertake dispute resolution as part of its process.

At the annual meeting, Ms. Jalal took part in a session sponsored by ADB’s independent accountability mechanism and discussed recent Panel cases involving gender-based violence. In her remarks she described the essential elements of an effective grievance mechanism and the importance of including gender analysis in project design, planning and implementation to ensure better development outcomes.