Inspection Panel Operations During the COVID-19 Pandemic

The Inspection Panel is continuing with its work during the COVID-19 pandemic. Following the directive of the World Bank, Panel members and staff are working from home and although unable to travel for missions, the Panel is able to accept and respond to Requests for Inspection and queries from interested stakeholders. If you wish to contact the Panel, please call our main number, + 1 202-458-5200, or email All case developments will be posted on the Panel website as usual. The Panel, of course, hopes you and your loved ones are able to stay safe during this global health crisis.

Board Approves Enhanced Accountability Mechanism to House Panel, New Dispute Resolution Service

The World Bank Board of Executive Directors has approved enhancements to the Inspection Panel’s toolkit and the Bank’s accountability system, creating an independent accountability mechanism housing the Panel and a new Dispute Resolution Service (DRS). The Board also announced it had approved measures to (i) extend for 15 months beyond project closure the time limit under which Requesters can submit a complaint to the Panel, and (ii) allow independent and proportionate risk-based verification, when approved by the Board, of the implementation of Management Action Plans developed in response to Panel Investigation Reports. All three changes will take effect later this year. Although under the same umbrella, the DRS will be organizationally separate from the Panel to avoid conflicts of interest. While administratively part of the new accountability mechanism, Panel members will remain fully independent and continue to report directly to the Board on all compliance investigation matters. More

Imrana Jalal’s Term as Panel Chair Extended Through June 2021

Members of the Inspection Panel have unanimously voted to extend Imrana Jalal’s term as Panel chair through June 2021. Ms. Jalal became chair in December 2018 and in April 2019 was elected to a second one-year term that will end on December 15th of this year. The Panel recently voted to have her continue to serve as chair until June 30, 2021. A gender specialist, lawyer and development practitioner, Ms. Jalal joined the Panel as a member on January 1, 2018. A Fiji national, she brings to the Panel more than 30 years of experience across diverse geopolitical and multicultural environments in the private and public sectors. Immediately prior to becoming a Panel member, Ms. Jalal was a principal social development specialist for the Asian Development Bank, where she gained an intimate knowledge of multilateral development bank operations in various sectors. More


INDIA: Rural Water Supply and Sanitation Project for Low Income States – Panel Investigation Report with Board

The Panel’s Investigation Report is with the World Bank Board of Executive Directors. The Panel had submitted the report on January 15, 2020. As permitted under changes approved by the Board in October 2018, the Panel shared the report with Requesters on a confidential basis so they could be more meaningfully involved in the development of the Management Action Plan (MAP) in response to the Panel’s findings. Preparation of the MAP has been delayed because travel restrictions as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic have affected the Bank’s ability to complete consultations with the affected communities. The Request for Inspection claims that a water treatment plant and an elevated storage reservoir financed by the project were built on land that has religious and cultural significance to tribal communities. More

BRAZIL: Teresina Enhancing Municipal Governance and Quality of Life Project Additional Financing – Panel Preparing Investigation Report

The Panel is preparing its Investigation Report in the case following the Panel’s team visit to Brazil from March 9-18, 2020. While in the country, the team met with Bank staff, representatives of the Federal Ministry of Economy, the Teresina Municipality, the Requesters, their representatives and other project-affected community members, the State and Federal Public Prosecutor’s and Defender’s Offices and the Human Rights Commission of the Archdiocese of Teresina. The Requesters express their support for the project but oppose their resettlement and claim alternate project designs would enable them to stay in their homes. They contend community members have been living in these locations for several decades and that, by displacing and dislocating their community, the project will cause cultural, social and economic harm. More

SRI LANKA: Ecosystem Conservation and Management Project – Board Approves Panel Recommendation Not to Investigate

The Board on March 10, 2020, approved a Panel recommendation not to investigate the project. The Panel had received a Request for Inspection of the project in October 2019 from two individuals representing 106 community members from around the Kudawa area in the Sinharaja Forest Reserve. They alleged the project is causing harm to the natural environment and community livelihoods through road construction activities in the reserve, a World Biosphere Reserve and UNESCO World Heritage Site. They expressed concern over the adverse impact of the Kudawa access road construction on several endemic species of fauna and flora and local livelihoods and claimed a lack of consultation and disclosure of information. In recommending the project not be investigated, the Panel noted that the existing access road rehabilitation was not initially included in the World Bank-funded project, and that the harm alleged by the Requesters is focused on a time period before the World Bank was involved.  More

BRAZIL: Piauí Pillars of Growth and Social Inclusion Project – Board Approves Panel Recommendation Not to Investigate

The Board on April 3, 2020, approved a Panel recommendation not to investigate the project. The Request – submitted on December 6, 2019, by three members of communities in the savannas region of Piauí – alleged that local traditional communities have been left out of the land tenure regularization process under the project. The Requesters argued that the project promotes regularization mainly for agribusiness and large landowners whose farming practices destroy biodiversity, soil and water. They claimed that the region has a history of land grabbing, which is being legitimized through the project. As a result, they argued, local traditional communities are losing their lands, crops and subsistence. In recommending the project not be investigated, the Panel found the alleged harm has not occurred as a result of the World Bank supporting the land tenure regularization component of the project. More

KENYA: Transport Sector Support Project and its Additional Financing – Panel To Prepare Eligibility Report

The Panel will be preparing its eligibility report for the Board recommending whether an investigation is warranted in the case. The Board in December 2019 approved a Panel recommendation to defer for a second time its decision on whether an investigation is warranted of the project. The second deferral was for four months. Both deferrals aimed to provide Bank management time to implement actions to respond to the Requesters’ concerns about the project. In recommending the four-month deferral, the Panel stated it had reviewed the progress achieved so far in the implementation of the various actions to which management had committed and was satisfied that these actions are on track. However, the Panel noted that some actions required more time for completion. More


The Inspection Panel is an independent complaints mechanism for people and communities who believe that they have been, or are likely to be, adversely affected by a World Bank-funded project. The Board of Executive Directors created the Inspection Panel in 1993 to ensure that people have access to an independent body to which to express their concerns and seek recourse. The Panel is an impartial fact-finding body, independent from the World Bank management and staff, reporting directly to the Board. The Inspection Panel process aims to promote accountability at the World Bank, give affected people a greater voice in activities supported by the World Bank that affect their rights and interests, and foster redress when warranted.