MJIEL Vol 6 Issue 1 2009 - Article 1

Abstract: Until 1993, there was no formal forum for people adversely affected by poorly-designed and/or implemented projects supported by multilateral development banks (MDBs) to file claims to redress their grievances. The World Bank was the first MDB to establish an accountability mechanism, its Inspection Panel, in 1993. Within the next 15 years, six other MDBs – Inter-American Development Bank, Asian Development Bank, International Finance Corporation, Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency, European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, and African Development Bank – followed suit with their own accountability mechanisms, each having its own system in attempting to fix problem projects. Grievance claims filed with these mechanisms have been increasing over the years, and citizens are still clamoring for MDBs to adopt new approaches or ways to hear their voices and handle their grievances.

This article will first discuss the establishment and raison d’�tre of MDB accountability mechanisms. An overview of these mechanisms is provided, and an analysis is made on the emerging trends and directions of these mechanisms. The article concludes with a discussion on the challenges that lie ahead for MDBs and their accountability mechanisms and makes suggestions on how these banks and their mechanisms can meet these challenges

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