The Practice of Independent Accountability Mechanisms (IAMs)

Towards Good Governance in Development Finance

Multilateral development banks and other development agencies have adopted environmental and social safeguard policies setting due diligence standards for the provision of project finance. Such policies are evolving in terms of the activities covered and in their normative requirements. Recent iterations incorporate human rights requirements, recognising the imperative of adopting human rights-based approaches to development. Each institution has also established independent accountability mechanisms (IAM), variously functioning to ensure compliance with the applicable safeguards, to advise management regarding the application of the obligations involved, and to facilitate communication with affected communities and individuals with a view to resolving project-related disputes. IAMs are central to the implementation, interpretation, and ongoing elaboration of safeguard policies, and thus to the environmental and social good governance so essential for sustainable development.

This edited volume presents a series of in-depth examinations by leading experts from banking institutions, academia and civil society, of key aspects of the rapidly evolving practice of IAMs, and of the implications of such practice for environmental and social governance.

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Owen McIntyre, is a Professor at the School of Law, University College Cork (UCC), specializing in Environmental and Natural Resources Law. He has served as a member of the EBRD Project Complaints Mechanism (2004-2019).
Suresh Nanwani is Professor in Practice at the School of Government and International Affairs, Durham University. He has extensive development work experience at international financial institutions and has published extensively on governance and accountability. He is on the roster of subject experts for environmental and international law at the GCF Independent Redress Mechanism.
"The rich and varied experience and expertise of the contributors make the book an extraordinary tour de force on the subject....[A]n illuminating and valuable resource for activists, government officials, MDB staff and consultants, academics, students, and other stakeholders on institutional accountability and compliance issues." -Vikram Raghavan, Rilwan Shittu, and Walter Abah, in The Law and Practice of International Courts and Tribunals, 2022
List of Figures and Tables
Notes on Contributors

1 Introduction
Owen McIntyre and Suresh Nanwani

2 Origin and Evolution of International Accountability Mechanisms
Richard E. Bissell

3 Independent Accountability Mechanisms as Agents of “Global Administrative Law”
Owen McIntyre

4 Addressing and Resolving Problem Projects through Independent Accountability Mechanisms and Other Avenues
Suresh Nanwani

5 Innovating Conflict Resolution Mechanisms for International Finance
Karen Wendt

6 Human Rights Standards in International Finance and Development: the Challenges Ahead
Mara Tignino

7 Evaluating the Access to Information Policies of the Multilateral Development Banks
Maeve McDonagh

8 The Independent Accountability Mechanisms and International Standards of Accountability
Susan Park

9 Comprehensive Methodologies to Facilitate Learning within the IAM Community of Practice
Andria Naudé Fourie

10 Interpretation and Application of the World Bank’s Operational Policies and Bank Procedures Relating to Environmental Issues by the World Bank Inspection Panel
Wei-Chung Lin

11 Independent Accountability Mechanisms in Further Pursuit of Accountability: Directions, Cooperation and Engagement
Suresh Nanwani

12 Civil Society in the Independent Accountability Mechanism Community of Practice
Komala Ramachandra

13 Independent Accountability Mechanisms as Guardians of a Kaleidoscopic Legal Accountability
Vanessa Richard

14 Independent Accountability Mechanisms: Promotion of Standards, Good Governance and Accountability
Suresh Nanwani and Owen McIntyre

15 Conclusion
Owen McIntyre and Suresh Nanwani

Bank and development agency officials, civil society actors, professional consultants, academic researchers and students working on environmental and social governance, integrity, compliance and accountability in the field of international development project finance.
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