Rights

Background

Review and update of the World Bank’s safeguard policies

Status report

14 October 2013 | Minutes

Sponsor: WBG (Operations Communications, Operational Risk Management)

Panelists: Stefan Koeberle (Director, Operational Risk Management), Stephen Lintner (Senior Adviser, Operational Risk Management), Motoko Aizawa (Adviser, Social Development Network), Charles di Leva (Chief Counsel,Office of the General Counsel),

Chair: Sumir Lal (Manager, Operations Communication)

In 2012, the World Bank began a two-year process to review and update its environmental and social safeguard policies. Throughout the review process, the Bank has been seeking the views of a wide range of stakeholders to help shape the next generation of safeguard policies. Currently, the World Bank review team is carefully reviewing the feedback received as they are working on a proposal for an integrated framework. In this session, the safeguards review team will provide an update on the review process, explain the thinking around the framework, and respond to questions people may have.

Presentations

Stefan Koeberle

  • Safeguard policy review, opportunity to maintain our relevance and serve the need of the different countries
  • Fits with WB goals and strategy
  • Clear that WB emphasises goals need to be achieved in a sustainable way
  • Implementation need to be supported by comprehensive change agenda
  • Modernisation process, risk management is core and central to the change agenda
  • The safeguards review should be seen in this context
  • Proposal drafting after consultation, more than 2000 people participating, and 80 papers received – rich feedback, will inform the current drafting
  • Taking care to capture key messages, and summarising it properly
  • Summary will be available hopefully by November
  • Indigenous peoples consultation by end of 2013
  • Different Vice Presidencies involved, incl SDN and legal
  • Working on proposal for framework to meet several objectives, increase clarity of policies, incl responsibilities of client countries, identify opportunities to strengthen practices, looking at experience of other development banks and the IFC
  • Harmonise with other development partner incl in the WBG
  • First phase met with expert groups, incl labour, gender, FPIC, etc – all taken into account
  • Committee on development effectiveness also have strong views and opinions, so also consulting with them – will present draft and suggestions to them hopefully by early 2014
  • Phase two consultations following
  • Modernised more effective safeguards policies the aim

Stephen Lintner

  • Launch of approach paper in Tokyo, challenge of how much input we got – what are we really hearing
  • Spring meetings presentations, briefing to the Board in summer, both posted
  • Also taken on-board views heard during annuals, eg forests seminar yesterday
  • How do we evolve the safeguards system, to improve development outcomes
  • Ensure decision makers are adequately informed about social and environmental risks, also implementation
  • Provides good framework for public consultation and transparency – going back now 20 years
  • Convergence – word counts on feedback
  • Governments – implementation critical, development and development outcomes concern, requirements, operational issues – from commitment to realisation
  • CSOs – requirements but from different perspective, rights big issue, used in different ways – indigenous peoples, human rights, how to articulate what you are going to do and how to implement it, no opposition to development, but right kind – what do you do about disability and new issue of children – how can SGs promote inclusiveness of development
  • Multi stakeholder meetings – rights, development, implementation, issue of consultation – many ways of doing consultation, incl transparency
  • Have an emerging consensus – also need to address the underlying concern to now dilute, but evolve our policies, for more effective outcomes – how to address those in many different way
  • Safeguards review entry point for development discussion, eg disability – bigger issue than just safeguards
  • Trying to look at how to move forward with an open mind – also innovations elsewhere

Charles di Leva

  • Looking at other MDB models, harmonisation is a key element moving forward
  • Evolution of MDB safeguards model – some of the things to look at, do others have a framework approach, most do today
  • Distinction between aspirational statement, mandatory policy, procedure and guidance – most do
  • Differential treatment of financing instruments – WB has different safeguards for DPL and P4R
  • One set of safeguard requirements applied to public and private sectors – some do from inception, IFC does not
  • Enhanced clarity between lender & borrower responsibilities – in OP/BP responsibility sometimes mixed in WB on WB vs client responsibility, holdovers from other directives that were mixed
  • How are different safeguards looking at the country systems approach
  • Also looking at element of transparency, including access to document
  • Supervision focus, came out of 2010 IEG evaluation report
  • Accountability for compliance
  • Will share the results of this analysis going forward

Motoko Aizawa

  • Expert focus groups meetings, the need to think beyond safeguards, upstream and downstream activities
  • Eg feedback from indigenous peoples that when safeguards kick in all decisions are already made, you will just train us to work on the progress
  • Labour – why not conversation first about violations in countries
  • Need upstream of safeguards to make them more effective, and downstream to make them more effective
  • Integrated framework diagram
  • Strategic conversation about borrower country sustainable development aspirations, WB environmental and social sustainability statement framework – may lead to country action plan, including where the WB might be able to help
  • Inform borrower institutions, practices
  • Borrower requirement, need to be concrete consistent to public side of activities (separate to private side), WB own requirement, broken down into public and private procedures
  • Social and environmental assessment from borrower, WB reviewing and possible project action plan, part of borrowers legal action plan
  • Mandatory on project level – borrower country guidance notes, case studies and tools, WB implementation guidance information & management systems – also knowledge exchange and capacity building
  • How to fit on a country level, Country Partnership Framework and country diagnostic tool – hope these will be integrated
  • We are trying to connect the dots between the sustainability elements of the strategy, where does safeguards sit, business model, internal procedures, etc

Q&A

Q

Absence of rights in government cloud is interesting, hesitation to deal with rights and wouldn’t know what we are talking about. Where has there been progress from your side on what this means, international law, custom or vague ethical construct – would help the conversation to further define this, eg outcome vs process.

Q

Safeguards review presented momentum for CSOs to get further engaged, with the prolongation of the review and unclear time frame – how to maintain the momentum. Concern that we would loose the dialogue. Disability, impression of commitment on this from the WB, but also still not sure what approach it will take on this, whether mainstreamed in language, or a stand alone policy. Each with advantage and disadvantage – what are the remaining concerns.

Q

WB standards critical benchmarks around the world. Encouraged by upstream and downstream focus, how to make the first stream have some guidance, who decides what is public interest, will have development impact etc

di Leva

  • No specific answer at this point, looking at different approaches in other systems, eg MDBs, how they look at rights. Aware of different proposals, some advocating compliance with international treaties, question around countries not ratifying these treaties, others on rights within project development finance and address them in rights terms – eg transparency, governance, meaningful consultation
  • Our presentation to the board laid out different types of proposals – different ways of presenting the issue

Koeberle

  • Are at the stage when we are digesting, when review was launched didn’t expect the changes now on-going in the WB, incl fundamental restructuring into global practices, a lot of energy going into the architecture – so timing implications
  • Early next year we hope, but a bit ambitious, in the meantime hope to continue discussion
  • Parallel process of procurement reform programme, country systems discussion there too – informative on how the board are coming to terms with some of these proposals, eg fit for purpose approach depending on country circumstances

Lintner

  • Disability, in consultations those concerned have spoken that this need to be considered in development – eg AusAID has disability policy
  • How does one reflect on consultations where we hear about the bigger development agenda, eg on indigenous peoples policy we heard about how we deal with indigenous peoples more broadly, as well as on the policy
  • Not sure where we will end up

Aizawa

  • Drafting suggestions on disability appreciated, now thinking about fit within the framework, on all the emerging areas and approach to due diligence
  • Institutional upheaval a distraction and an opportunity, also comments on strategy re citizen voice on a country level

Q

Integrated framework, three level dialogue – see problem with borrower institutions, how can WB be involved in this, institutions don’t have monitoring etc, how will this be mentioned

Q

Human rights based approach, IFC review was careful to go through all the principles as identified by the UN – are you looking to integrate all of these principles. Human rights approach would lead to difficult conversations with governments, what would be required

Q

Supervision reference, in the IL reform supervision requirements were weakened. What have you found so far with comparing with other MDBs on policy instruments.

Lintner

  • How do we support governments undertaking their obligations, look at government capacity, provide training, capacity building – but dynamic, lot of turnover – need to look at how to retain capacity
  • Multiple points of entry for developing capacity, have to ensure proposal is within this or provide support

Di Leva

  • Country dialogue and rights, when they want support we will do this, eg convention of the rights of disability, implementation need resources, hope governments will come to the WB as part of country dialogue
  • Supervision, not so much a legal issue, structural and budgetary issues – this was the result of IEG and other reports
  • Aware that ADB, IDB also provide policy lending, also tools of strategic ESAs – not yet seen final AfDB policy, still at the board

Koeberle

  • Have departed from traditional model of WB flying in to supervise, now much more programmatic approach – present in the country and work together with the country, who ultimately are implementing the project
  • But need to clearly define responsibilities

Q

In Mongolia Oyu Tolgoi lending approved Feb this year, IFC applied 2006 safeguards as due diligence process started then – funding decision made without the business plan, EBRD also part of this group, decide not to use their environmental safeguards since damage already done despite funding for next 10 years. Question regarding decisions on high risk projects in these kind of

Q

Human rights include right to healthy environment, can’t pick and choose as rights interdependent.

Strategy potential opportunity, country diagnostic tool, would be interested to help with this. But strategy process somewhat tumultuous, impact on safeguard team – is this part of your thinking.

Q

How safeguards affect DPLs, eg in Egypt pushing borrowing ratio, can safeguards be embedded in policy making. Feedback longer along the line happening as may not be clear on impact initially.

Q

Implementation, since initial call for input was limited to existing safeguards, how can input  on a more holistic view be captured. Indigenous peoples consultations starting much later than rest, only starting now – what is the plan for this going forward

Di Leva

  • On Mongolia, have to look at the applicable safeguards policy and the details, in some private sector projects can have some more flexibility to phase in compliance over time.
  • At the end the board decides – language in policy is critical, but also when it is appropriate to have some flexibility
  • Words count, depends on what degree of flexibility is inbuilt and checks and balances built into the system

Koeberle

  • Establishment of global practices, centres allowing free flow of information of knowledge, customised to the need of individual clients
  • Global practices of certain topics, some of these are around similar topics, others around bringing different parts of the institutions coming together
  • Due diligence on safeguards need to be maintained in an independent way, with no conflict of interest, but also benefit from bringing together global practices

Lintner

  • Indigenous peoples consultations, planning process started in Manila, laid out scope and objective, looking at the policy and implementation issues
  • Call for targeted discussions with us, as well as broader. Need to run these meetings into January, commitment is there, but a little bit slower than originally anticipated.

Koeberle

  • Different instruments different policies, safeguards IL, separate from P4R and DPL – designed for projects with geographic impact and footprint. Environmental considerations, what are the environment and social institutions, do we think there will be a direct impact – policies broad with generally indirect impact, but sometimes direct

Aizawa

  • Engagement in upstream and downstream consultation, need to ensure consultation to explore this. Keep asking us how it will work

Q

Matrix on MDBs, main convergence on public and private sector – can this consultation look at this.

Q

Senior staff in WB seen safeguards in isolation, no connection to country diagnostic tool and upfront strategy discussion

Q

Upfront emphasis, but not so much after implementation, will there be a conversation around this – room for clear minimum standards, can this be put into the policy itself

Aizawa

  • This is just the current mapping of the current situation, IFC difficulty applying PS on public element
  • Other MDBs procedural distinctions, will continue this dialogue
  • We are looking at innovation of various benchmark points, including others

Koeberle

  • We have separate institutions, not joint balance sheet
  • Country Partnership Framework relatively new concept, combined with country diagnostic – help the WB focus more on twin goals, upstream diagnostics and analysis important
  • Effort need to be on having these, but not necessary the same instruments, to not make unwieldy – not necessarily in the CPF

Lintner

  • Historically a lot of emphasis upfront, what about later? For governments implementation overriding issue, IEG report makes same commentary – moving from supervision to implementation support
  • Bank wants to be a knowledge bank, so need to take full advantage of this, will allow us to make this transition
  • Also have legal requirements, and on social and environmental issues – but has to have flexibility

Q

Problems in terms of WB projects and safeguards consultation, reminder of significant problems with the process in Indonesia. Consultation discussions with government separate from private sector and CSOs, couldn’t interact with other parties. Consultation notes weakened. Concern that there is a need for more open communication, follow highest international standards, including on human rights.

Scope, should apply to all WB activities, policy and TA loan can create projects with impacts

Move to CPF and transparency, have had similar processes in country, but been difficult and still problems with transparency and respect for human rights. Need to meet highest mandatory standards, unless clear standards difficult to implement.

Q

WBG strategy, the need to increase risk, but these should not be transferred to those most vulnerable and poor, how does this relate to the push for transformational projects – standards need to be strong and clear, including human rights. Human rights in WGB strategy, what does this mean for the dialogue.

Q

In Cambodia WB didn’t speak to us, gave funding to the government, which only benefit one per cent, we don’t benefit at all, shouldn’t the main policies impact on the other 99% – people are losing livelihoods, shouldn’t the WB first focus on policy reduction before reengaging with the government – before the problems have been solved.

Q

Colombian organisation, monitoring several WB projects. Hope for improvement in the safeguards, human rights harmonisation, strengthen project outcomes in all types of lending, including DPL. Colombia not included in first round of consultation, hope in the second, concentration of landholding throughout Latin America, will issue of undue land concentration be addressed?

Q

Proposal for integration of human right welcome. Also active and substantive rights too

Lintner

  • Consultation process, was in Indonesia, need to have more effective multi stakeholder meetings. Upward harmonisation, we will be in the session this afternoon.
  • Land consolidation, we have examination as an emerging issue – hear the message

Di Leva

  • No proposal on human rights, just looking at all the issues as with all the emerging issues.

Koeberle

  • Hear strongly the importance of human rights, harmonisation across instruments and across WBG, interested in what has worked or not worked.
  • Will test a few ideas with some of our practitioners in countries over the next few weeks. Intensive process looking at substantive issues you have raised, what has or hasn’t worked.
  • On Cambodia, meet with us colleagues representing the WB in Cambodia – important to take your concerns seriously. Complex being engaged in a country, need to be in dialogue in a country.

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