The World Bank is set to begin a second round of global consultations with various development partners — including civil society groups — about its newly proposed, albeit highly scrutinized, environmental and social safeguards.
The first draft of the bank’s safeguard document was leaked last week to different development groups, which felt the proposed frameworks are “watered down.” Several aid groups argued the new guidelines “fail to adequately respond to or incorporate years of input from civil society and experts around the world.”
Bank officials denied this accusation, explaining that the new standards will improve the institution’s efficiency and effectiveness in implementing development projects in a sustainable manner.
“This is a broadening and strengthening of the existing policies and not watering it down,” Kyle Peters, World Bank vice president for operations policy and country services, said during a phone conference attended by Devex. “We’re aiming to get a new and strong set of environmental and social standards that will uplift sustainable development [while] being mindful of economic burdens that development can place on future generations.”