Three safeguards policy experts say the World Bank now proposes replacing its safeguard policies with weaker and aspirational "standards" that may be met "flexibly" during a project's execution.

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About the authors

  • Michael Cernea

    Michael Cernea is a professor of social anthropology and international affairs. He is a former World Bank senior adviser for social policy and sociology, and a world-renowned expert on population resettlement issues. During his long career at the bank he initiated several safeguard policies and published widely on development issues.
  • Vinod Thomas

    Vinod Thomas is director general of the Asian Development Bank's Independent Evaluation Department since 2011. Thomas also has 35 years experience with the World Bank, where his last position was director general and vice president of the Independent Evaluation Group.
  • Rob van den Berg

    For 10 years Rob van den Berg was the director of the Independent Evaluation Office of the Global Environment Facility situated in the World Bank. As a visiting professor at King's College London and a visiting fellow at the Institute of Development Studies he has become more convinced than ever of the need to incorporate these safeguards, as this is essential for ensuring sufficient financial rates of return and sustainable development. He is the president of the International Development Evaluation Association.