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Indian Journal of International Economic Law


More than 25 years ago the multilateral development banks (MDBs) began establishing independent accountability mechanisms (IAMs), such as the World Bank’s Inspection Panel, to address concerns about MDB accountability to those communities and groups who were harmed by their decisions and actions. This essay argues that these mechanisms need updating. In the interests of promoting new and creative thinking about these mechanisms, it makes an ambitious two-part proposal designed to improve the efficacy of the IAMs, while also respecting the sovereignty of their member states and protecting an appropriate level of immunity for the MDBs. First, the MDBs should jointly create a super- IAM that can receive requests for investigations from people who allege that they have been harmed by the failure of any MDB to comply with its own policies and procedures. Second, the MDB stakeholders should create an independent fund, financed by contributions from individuals, corporations, foundations, states and international organizations, that can provide support to communities and individuals who the super-IAM found were harmed by a non-compliant MDB-funded project.



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