World Bank's Inspection Panel: Wikis


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The Inspection Panel

Inspection Panel Logo
Abbreviation IPN
Formation 22 September 1993
Type Accountability Mechanism
Location Washington, DC
Chairman Roberto Lenton
Parent organization IDA,IBRD

The Inspection Panel is the independent accountability mechanism of the World Bank. It was created in 1993 by the World Bank’s Board of Executive Directors to ensure accountability in Bank operations with respect to its policies and procedures during the design, appraisal, or implementation stages of a Bank-financed project. The Panel was created as the first body to give voice to private citizens in an international development context and to provide an independent forum to private citizens who believe that they or their interests have been or are likely to be directly harmed by a project.



The Inspection Panel is an independent accountability mechanism of the World Bank, functioning completely separate from World Bank Management, which it investigates. The Inspection Panel provides a forum for people who may be adversely affected by Bank-financed operations to bring their concerns to the highest decision-making levels, the Board of Executive Directors of the World Bank. The Inspection Panels mandate allows it to investigate on Projects funded by the IBRD and IDA, both part of the World Bank Group, and to determine whether they are complying with their policies and procedures in the design, appraisal, and implementation of a project. These policies and procedures are not limited to the Bank’s social and environmental safeguard policies, but include other Operational Policies, Bank Procedures, and Operational Directives, as well as other Bank procedural documents.

The Inspection Panel is designed to use a community-led, or “bottom-up,” accountability. Complaints from two or more people who allege harm as the result of World Bank–financed projects trigger action by the Panel. This type of accountability is complementary to “top-down” forms of accountability, such as evaluations initiated by the World Bank itself.

The Inspection Panels Operation

The World Bank & Inspection Panel's headquarters in Washington, D.C.

The Panel

The Panel consists of three Panel members who serve a 5-year term. The Panel is independent of Bank Management and is provided with sufficient resources to discharge its functions. In addition to the three Panel members, an Executive Secretariat was established to assist and support all Panel activities. The Panel process begins when it receives a Request for Inspection from a party of two or more Requesters, claiming that the Bank has violated its policies and procedures. Most of the Requests submitted have concerned some of the Bank’s safeguard policies, such as the policies on environmental assessment, involuntary resettlement, and indigenous people. If, based on the criteria outlined in the 1993 Resolution establishing the Panel and in the 1999 Clarifications, the Request and Requesters are deemed eligible and the Panel may recommend conducting an investigation, which then commences subject to Board approval.

Examples of the Kinds of Projects and Harm Considered by the Panel

Under Panel rules, Requests for Inspection can be submitted with regard to any project or program financed at least in part by the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD) or the International Development Association (IDA). This means that a Request may relate to projects such as the following:

  • Projects financed by an investment loan or credit, such as infrastructure projects (for example, roads and transport, dams, pipelines, irrigation and drainage systems, and waste management), natural resource management and regulatory reform (for example, forestry, mining, biodiversity), and rural development and land use (for example, agriculture systems, land tenure, land-use planning)
  • Programs funded through development policy lending (formerly known as structural adjustment operations), such as economic, sector, and legal or regulatory reforms (for instance, public reform, land administration programs, and so forth)
  • Projects financed through a trust fund administered by the Bank, for example, Global Environment Facility–funded projects
  • Projects or programs for which IBRD or IDA has provided only a guarantee (not an actual loan or credit)
  • Projects or programs cofinanced with other international financial institutions.

See also



External links


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