The process of the World Bank reforming the Inspection Panel (IPN) to adapt it to the changing environment, the newly adopted Environmental and Social Framework (ESF) started in 2017. The World Bank’s Committee on Development Effectiveness initiated a Inspection Panel Toolkit Technical Workshop for various stakeholders including civil society organisations on the new measures to enhance the Inspection Panels tool kit. Based on the discussion and review of the Board paper, Civil Society Groups including CFA wrote to the German and Indian Executive Directors of the World Bank making recommendations on key issues.
The recommendations pressed upon the independence of the Inspection Panel as well as the whole Accountability Mechanism (AM) as paramount and that the Board should entrust the professionals they hire to lead the mechanism with the discretion and autonomy required to do the job appropriately. Accountability Mechanism staff should not be put into positions where their independence from management is compromised, and any reforms to the current system should protect and enhance this independence. The process of implementing any reforms to the World Bank Inspection Panel, particularly changes to its structure, should honor the fact that the Panel was created for and exists to serve project-affected people. It was recommended that those drafting the resolutions resolve each decision point with the focus of providing agency to the communities impacted.