The World Bank Inspection Panel

In this two-semester project Seminar (Summer Semester 2016 & Winter Semester 2015/16), students were required to do independent research on cases that have been handed in to the complaint office of the World Bank: The Inspection Panel (IP). These included projects such as Hydroelectric Dams against which affected populations sued, citing lack of compliance to the World Bank’s (WB) own environmental and social standards. At its inception, the Inspection Panel, as an accountability mechanism “for the people” within an international organisation, was widely celebrated as a huge sign of progress. However, a pertinent question which guided the Seminar remains: can the Inspection Panel really fulfill these expectations?”

The seminar also delved into the World Bank itself: its history, institutional structure and decision making procedures as well as its critique and protests that it has triggered over the years.