This week internal World Bank review documents identified serious shortcomings in the implementation, oversight and management of its resettlement policies and practices.
An audit of over two decades of World Bank projects involving possible resettlements, found that oversight of those projects often had poor or no documentation, lacked oversight to ensure that protection measures were implemented, and some projects were not sufficiently identified as high-risk for populations living in the vicinity.
FPP welcomes the release of this information into the public domain and the Bank's commitment to address the serious problems revealed in the review documents appended to this statement. These background documents make for grim reading. They reflect the view of many in civil society that the implementation track record of the Bank in applying its own safeguard policies is often woefully inadequate. It is these weaknesses in the Bank's implementation that underlies the significant concerns being expressed by academics, affected peoples and NGOs about the new Environmental and Social Framework (ESF) and its transfer of implementation responsibility to borrowers, as well as about the increased need for the Bank to play an effective monitoring role. These documents now released raise questions about whether the Bank is currently able to play such an increased monitoring role, and what fundamental changes are needed to achieve this.