Social Safeguards

Social safeguard policies on involuntary resettlement and indigenous peoples aim to promote inclusion of the most vulnerable groups, to protect indigenous peoples and those who may be involuntarily displaced, and to mitigate the effects of resettlement on those who have been involuntarily displaced. These two policies can be used as entry points for addressing the social issues involved in investment lending operations and to mitigate and compensate adverse impacts on indigenous peoples and persons displaced by development projects. The details of both policies are described in the World Bank's Operational Manual.

Safeguards Review

Evolution of policies. The current safeguard policies have served the Bank, its client countries, and the development community well over the past two decades. In the spirit of continuous improvement in the face of changing contexts and circumstances, the Bank is evolving these crucial policies to better address new development demands and challenges and to better meet the varied needs of borrowers that range from middle-income countries with well-developed institutions and capacities to low-income countries with weaker governance and institutions, and to fragile and conflict-affected situations where more tailored and coordinated interventions are required. The safeguards review and update is part of a larger modernization effort within the Bank that includes separate but complementary reviews of investment lending, to which the safeguard policies are applied, as well as operational procurement policies.

In 2012, the World Bank launched a multiphased process to review and update its environmental and social safeguard policies. Currently, the framework is being drafted, a process that will continue until early 2015.

The multistage review, supported by several periods of global consultations with stakeholders, is being undertaken in response to the need to better address environmental and social issues that countries face today, to deliver better environmental and social outcomes in the projects and programs the Bank supports, to ensure treatment and coverage of environmental and social impacts and risks, to strengthen the ability to monitor and supervise actual impacts on people and the environment, to better meet the varied needs of borrowers, and to help strengthen country frameworks and institutions to deliver sustainable results on the ground.

IFC, MIGA, and Safeguards

As institutions engaged in private sector development, IFC and MIGA have adopted safeguards and standards applicable to the private sector. IFC's Sustainability Framework includes its Policy on Environmental and Social Sustainability, Performance Standards, and Access to Information Policy. MIGA also has a set of Performance Standards and a Policy on Environmental and Social Sustainability tailored to its specialized type of private sector investment. Both institutions adhere to the World Bank Group's Environmental, Health, and Safety Guidelines.

IFC's Environmental, Health, and Safety Guidelines

IFC's Performance Standards

IFC's Sustainability Framework

Inspection Panel

MIGA's Performance Standards

MIGA's Policy on Environmental and Social Sustainability

World Bank Environmental and Social Safeguards ODE7T0

World Bank Operational Manual

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