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.
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 Recourse Mechanism.
Preface List of Figures and Tables Notes on Contributors
Introduction Owen McIntyre and Suresh Nanwani
Origin and Evolution of International Accountability Mechanisms Richard E. Bissell
Independent Accountability Mechanisms as Agents of “Global Administrative Law” Owen McIntyre
Addressing and Resolving Problem Projects through Independent Accountability Mechanisms and Other Avenues Suresh Nanwani
Innovating Conflict Resolution Mechanisms for International Finance Karen Wendt
Human Rights Standards in International Finance and Development: the Challenges Ahead Mara Tignino
Evaluating the Access to Information Policies of the Multilateral Development Banks Maeve McDonagh
The Independent Accountability Mechanisms and International Standards of Accountability Susan Park
Comprehensive Methodologies to Facilitate Learning within the IAM Community of Practice Andria Naudé Fourie
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
Independent Accountability Mechanisms in Further Pursuit of Accountability: Directions, Cooperation and Engagement Suresh Nanwani
Civil Society in the Independent Accountability Mechanism Community of Practice Komala Ramachandra
Independent Accountability Mechanisms as Guardians of a Kaleidoscopic Legal Accountability Vanessa Richard
Independent Accountability Mechanisms: Promotion of Standards, Good Governance and Accountability Suresh Nanwani and Owen McIntyre
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.