Photo: Deborah W. Campos / World Bank CC BY-NC-ND 2.0
Although safeguards are not singled out in the FY15 budget, reforms to the allocation of the Bank’s administrative budget are central to the effective implementation of a new safeguard policy framework. To date, the issue of incentives has been excluded from ongoing safeguard policy consultations. The World Bank reorganization and shifts in allocation of the administrative budget create both an opportunity to strengthen the safeguard enabling environment (budget, location, capacity, leadership and accountability, among other factors) as well as a threat to further stigmatize and undercut effective safeguard implementation.
The absence of a safeguard implementation plan and the reluctance of management to open the discussion of safeguard reorganization to public input suggests that safeguards could easily be sacrificed in the name of austerity. Unless the Bank moves to align the ongoing safeguard policy review with an informed public debate about strengthening safeguard implementation, meaningful protections for people and the environment could fall farther from World Bank priorities in the pursuit for restored relevance.
Download the full paper here: Fixing World Bank Incentives for Effective Safeguard Implementation