What is it about?

Recently, the World Bank strengthened its dispute resolution mechanism and issue a self-critical report on its previous performance in addressing the gender impacts of World Bank-funded projects. In this case, community members complained that the Nachtigal Hydropower Project in Cameroon caused environmental, social, and livelihood damage which was not adequately addressed by the project - particularly in the case of women affected by the project. Using new tools resulting from recent reforms of its process, the World Bank Inspection Panel affirmed the allegations of harm and recommended that an investigation be conducted.

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Why is it important?

This comment is important because the case discussed is one of the first examples of application of a gender sensitive analysis by the World Bank Inspection Panel. By highlighting harms caused to women by a World Bank-funded project, the World Bank Inspection Panel created an opportunity to address those harms.


After two decades of studying dispute resolution mechanisms adopted to address human, labor and social issues under trade agreements and other international economic frameworks, this is one of the few reports I've seen that actually takes the concerns of and impacts on women into consideration. In this case, women were excluded from livelihood restoration programs in part because their livelihoods were earned in the informal economy - fish mongering and restaurants. It would be nice to see these women have their livelihoods restored.

Tequila Brooks

Read the Original

This page is a summary of: World Bank Inspection Panel Recommends Investigation of Harm Caused by the Nachtigal Hydropower Project in Cameroon, International Labor Rights Case Law, February 2023, Brill,
DOI: 10.1163/24056901-09010021.
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