Dilek Barlas

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Through the lens of important cases, this essay reflects on major developments that occurred at the Panel during the tenure of the author as the Executive Secretary of the World Bank Inspection Panel and shows how the Panel has evolved to improve accessibility, has influenced overall development policies, and has become a catalyst for institutional change. The essay observes that the Panel’s success has largely been due to its structural and operational independence, reporting as it does directly to the Bank’s Board of Executive Directors. However, there are challenges facing the Panel on certain issues, including most importantly its independence, as a result of the 2020 review. This essay argues that any future changes to the Panel’s structure must consider and support the factors that ensured its past success.



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