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Panel Hosts Discussion on What the Toolkit Reforms Mean for Project-Affected Communities

Inspection Panel Toolkit Reform Session

The Inspection Panel on October 21, 2020, hosted a virtual discussion about the changes recently approved by the Board of Executive Directors to the World Bank’s environmental and social accountability framework and what they mean for project-affected communities. 

In September, the Board concluded a three-year review of the Inspection Panel by approving two resolutions. One resolution established the World Bank Accountability Mechanism to house both the Panel and the new Dispute Resolution Service, or DRS.

A second resolution added new tools to the Inspection Panel. The Board agreed to allow communities more time -- up to 15 months after the closure of new projects -- to file complaints and gave the Panel the authority, with Board approval, to verify the implementation of Management Action Plans (MAPs) in some cases. The Board also permitted the sharing of the Panel’s Investigation Report with complainants before it is considered by the Board to allow them to be more meaningfully involved in consultations on the development of the MAP, and authorized the Panel to provide advisory services in the form of lessons from its cases to support institutional learning. The Panel has already begun using these latter two tools.

The discussion about what these changes will mean for communities was moderated by Panel Executive Secretary Dilek Barlas and included comments from World Bank Executive Director Juergen Zattler, chair of the Board’s Committee on Development Effectiveness, Panel Chair Imrana Jalal and Jolie Schwarz, policy director for the Bank Information Center. Among the topics covered in the discussion were why the Board decided to create a new accountability mechanism comprised of the Panel and DRS, how the Panel and DRS will interact and the importance to communities of the Panel being able to verify MAP implementation in certain instances.

To watch a video of the discussion, click here.