Orsolya Szekely Appointed World Bank Accountability Mechanism Secretary

The World Bank on May 3 announced the appointment of Orsolya Szekely as Secretary of the World Bank Accountability Mechanism (AM). The AM was established by the World Bank’s Board of Executive Directors in September 2020 to house both the Inspection Panel to carry out compliance reviews and a newly created Dispute Resolution Service. A lawyer and senior conflict-resolution professional, Ms. Szekely, a Hungarian national, has more than 20 years’ experience working with a broad range of multilateral organizations and the private sector. In her latest function, she serves as the Senior Advisor and Coordinator in the Executive Office of the Secretary General, with responsibility for enhancing good governance at the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe. More

Imrana Jalal Extended as Panel Chair Through December 2021;
Ramanie Kunanayagam to Become Chair in January 2022

Inspection Panel members have unanimously voted to extend the term of Imrana Jalal as Panel chair through the end of 2021 and selected Panel Member Ramanie Kunanayagam to succeed her as chair in January 2022. Ms. Jalal became chair in December 2018. Her current term as chair was to have ended on June 30, 2021. A gender specialist, lawyer and development practitioner, Ms. Jalal, a Fiji national, became a Panel member in January 2018. Ms. Kunanayagam, a Sri Lankan-born Australian citizen, was appointed to the Panel in December 2018. Before joining the Panel she was the Global Head for Social Performance and Human Rights for BG Group. More

Video Series: Chair Imrana Jalal Explains Changes Approved by the Board
Following its Panel Review 

The World Bank Board of Executive Directors completed its review of the Inspection Panel in 2020 and put in place a number of changes to the Bank’s social and environmental accountability framework. Those changes are enshrined in the Inspection Panel Resolution and the World Bank Accountability Mechanism Resolution, both of which were approved by the Board on September 8, 2020. In a series of short videos, Inspection Panel Chair Imrana Jalal discusses the changes and their importance. The videos can be accessed here.

Panel Accepting Feedback on its Draft Updated Operating Procedures Through May 7

In September 2020, the World Bank Board approved two resolutions, one that established the World Bank Accountability Mechanism and another that added tools to the Inspection Panel. Based on those resolutions and the Framework for Independent Verification of Management Action Plans, the Panel is updating its Operating Procedures. The draft updated Operating Procedures are available in a clean version and another version that shows changes from the current procedures. Those interested in providing feedback on the draft updated procedures may do so through close of business on May 7 by emailing comments to ipanel@worldbank.org.

Panel Publishes Framework for Independent Verification of MAP Implementation

The Inspection Panel on March 1, 2021, published the framework for the proportionality criteria and modalities for the independent verification of the implementation of Management Action Plans (MAPs). As part of its review of the Panel, the World Bank Board last year authorized the Panel and the Bank’s Group Internal Audit (GIA) to carry out independent risk-based proportionate verification of MAP implementation when approved by the Board. The verification function is similar to the monitoring functions utilized by other independent accountability mechanisms. In approving the function, the Board directed the Panel, GIA and Bank management to elaborate on the framework for the proportionality criteria and modalities for verification and present the framework for consideration by the Board’s Committee on Development Effectiveness and the Executive Directors. The framework can be accessed here.


UGANDA: North Eastern Road-corridor Asset Management Program – Board Approves Panel’s Recommendation to Investigate

The Board of Executive Directors on March 12, 2021, approved a Panel recommendation to investigate the project. The Request for Inspection was submitted on October 1, 2020, by 10 community members representing eight families from the project area. The Request pertains to four interlinked issues. Among their claims, the Requesters allege a large rock in their community that the project planned to use as a stone quarry was not properly valued and that the resulting compensation is insufficient. They also allege some community members were coerced into signing “unfair” lease agreements for the use of the rock and the surrounding land. The Panel published its investigation plan on April 8, 2021. More

KAZAKHSTAN: South-West Roads: Western Europe-Western China International Transit Corridor Project – Board Approves Panel Recommendation Not to Investigate

The Board on April 26, 2021, approved a Panel recommendation not to investigate the project. The Request for Inspection was submitted on December 24, 2020, by a representative on behalf of four community members of the village of Shakpak Baba. Among their allegations, the Requesters claimed that in 2017 eight houses were flooded and sustained material damage as a result of poorly maintained drains for which the project was responsible but not all homeowners were compensated. In its eligibility report, submitted to the Board on April 13, 2021, the Panel stated that it did not find sufficient grounds to recommend an investigation. More 

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

The Panel Investigation Report remains with the Board. The Panel submitted the report in January 2020 and shared it with Requesters in February 2020 so they could be involved in the development of the Management Action Plan (MAP). Preparation of the MAP continues to be delayed because travel restrictions resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic have affected Bank management’s ability to finish consultations with the affected communities. More

NEPAL: Nepal-India Regional Trade and Transport Project – Panel Investigation Recommendation Remains on Hold

A Panel recommendation on whether to investigate the project remains on hold. Last September, the Board approved the Panel’s request to postpone the deadline for its recommendation. In making the request, the Panel cited its inability to conduct its eligibility visit to Nepal due to travel restrictions related to the COVID-19 pandemic and determined it could not make an informed decision without a field visit. The Panel had requested a postponement until four weeks from the date that Bank missions to Nepal are reauthorized and national travel restrictions that would inhibit the Panel team from visiting the project area have been lifted. More


Panel Explains Mandate and Operations to Civil Society, Community Representatives in Fiji

The Inspection Panel on March 16 explained its mandate and operations to civil society and community representatives in Fiji. The virtual seminar was organized with the University of the South Pacific’s School of Economics and at the invitation of the non-governmental organization FRIEND, the Foundation for Rural Integrated Enterprises & Development. Panel members and staff discussed the Panel’s role at the World Bank, how to access project information on the World Bank website, who can submit a complaint to the Panel and how to do so, and the process the Panel follows once a complaint is filed. More

Panel Chair Discusses GBV in Development Projects at Johns Hopkins University Seminar

Panel Chair Imrana Jalal on April 8 discussed the topic of gender-based violence (GBV) in development projects at a virtual seminar sponsored by the Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies Europe. In her remarks, Ms. Jalal discussed the prevalence and impact of GBV worldwide, the costs of GBV to women and economies, the lessons from two Panel investigations that responded to complaints about GBV in World Bank-funded projects and the “transformative impact” those cases have had on the Bank. More

Panel Discusses Efforts to Reduce Retaliation Against Complainants

Panel Member Ramanie Kunanayagam on April 28 joined a virtual workshop sponsored by the independent accountability mechanism of the African Development Bank and the Graca Machel Trust to discuss the issue of reprisals against those who bring cases to the Panel and ways to lessen such retaliation. At the workshop for civil society representatives in eight southern African nations, Ms. Kunanayagam spoke about efforts by the Panel and World Bank to address reprisals against complainants and the challenges they face in those efforts. The Panel is preparing an advisory report on intimidation and reprisals against complainants. It will be published later this year. 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. Once the World Bank Accountability Mechanism becomes operational in 2021, it will house both the Panel to carry out compliance reviews and a new Dispute Resolution Service.