About the Inspection Panel
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 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.
In response to complaints from project-affected people, we have a mandate to review projects funded by the World Bank through the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD) and International Development Association (IDA). The Panel assesses allegations of harm to people or the environment and reviews whether the Bank followed its operational policies and procedures.
This often includes issues such as:
- Adverse effects on people and livelihoods as a consequence of displacement and resettlement related to infrastructure projects, such as dams, roads, pipelines, mines, and landfills;
- Risks to people and the environment related to dam safety, use of pesticides and other indirect effects of investments;
- Risks to indigenous peoples, their culture, traditions, lands tenure and development rights;
- Adverse effects on physical cultural heritage, including sacred places;
- Adverse effects on natural habitats, including protected areas, such as wetlands, forests, and water bodies.
Complaints related to the projects supported by other agencies of the World Bank Group - the International Finance Corporation (IFC) and Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency (MIGA) are dealt with by the Office of the Compliance Advisor Ombudsman (CAO).
The Panel is one of the oversight and accountability functions within the World Bank Group. This graphic briefly illustrates the responsibilities of each function.
The Inspection Panel consists of three members appointed by the Board of Executive Directors for a five-year non-renewable term. Members are selected on the basis of their ability to deal thoroughly and fairly with the complaints brought to them, their integrity and independence from Bank management, and their exposure to developmental issues and living conditions in developing countries.
The Panel has a permanent Secretariat that provides operational and administrative support. For its fact-finding and investigations, the Panel also hires independent, internationally recognized experts to ensure objective and professional assessment of the issues under review.