The World Bank has initiated a two-year review process (2012-2014) to overhaul its environmental and social safeguard policies. These policies symbolize core values of the institution and are the cornerstone of the Bank's efforts to protect people and their environment and to ensure sustainable development outcomes.

What are Safeguards?

"The World Bank's environmental and social safeguard policies are a cornerstone of its support to sustainable poverty reduction. The objective of these policies is to prevent and mitigate undue harm to people and their environment in the development process. These policies provide guidelines for bank and borrower staffs in the identification, preparation, and implementation of programs and projects."

These safeguards help to raise different voices from the community in the Institution's decision making process, to prevent the occurrence of any harm in the developmental process and to seek justice when harm does occur.

The Safeguards review

The World Bank was the first international organization to adopt safeguard policies, and since then it has been the most influential model, now being adopted by many other developmental banks and governments throughout the world.

Currently, these policies do not address the issue of disability rights. People with disabilities, often from the poorest parts of the world are left out of the design and implementation of many World Bank projects. Thus, it is important for them to get involved in the Safeguard review process and ensure that all Bank funded projects are inclusive in design, implementation and ensure a strong clear policy language on disability.

This review gives an opportunity to change the existing structure of these safeguards and include disability!

The review of these safeguards, in consultation with multiple stake holders and governments will have a much deeper global impact in the process of development. A range of CSOs and stakeholders from various countries participated in the review process, bringing in their own issues and priorities to the forefront.

Many of DPI's members have actively participated in these in-country consultations. Please click on the following links to read their feedback:

Please click on the following documents to know more about the process:

Full report submitted by the RDO-Asia Pacific on the focus group meeting ( KB) Word File

Click here to go to the World Bank website and view a complete list of the consultation meetings External Website that opens in a new window

To know more about the safeguard process, please write to us at secretariat.dpi(at)gmail[dot]com