The Demise of Accountability at the World Bank?

TitleThe Demise of Accountability at the World Bank?
Annotated RecordNot Annotated
Year of Publication2016
Secondary TitleAmerican University International Law Review
Key themesHydropower, Safeguards

Recent trends at the World Bank are precipitating a shift from rules-based accountability to people affected by Bank projects to a more flexible and discretionary approach to addressing social and environmental risks and impacts. These trends, evident in both safeguard policies and accountability processes, are predominantly a response to changes in the development finance landscape in which the Bank, once the centerpiece, now competes with a range of prominent new actors. As the Bank strives to recast itself as an attractive lender to governments and public-private partnerships, there are emerging signs that it will sacrifice its system of accountability to project-affected people that it has built - albeit on wobbly foundations, and imperfectly - over the past three decades. This Article examines the trend away from clear policy entitlements and protections for project-affected people towards negotiated risk management, redress in the case of harms, and analyzes what it means in practice for the protection of human rights in cases of displacement.


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Global, Regional

Document Type

Journal Article

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