The World Bank Group consists of five closely associated institutions. All five are governed by member countries, and each institution plays a distinct role in the group’s stated mission, i.e. to combat poverty and elevate living standards for people in the developing world. The term ’World Bank Group’ encompasses all five of the following institutions:

  • the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD), which focuses on middle income and credit-worthy poor countries;
  • the International Development Association (IDA), which focuses on the poorest countries in the world;
  • the International Finance Corporation (IFC), which which supports private sector investments in developing countries;
  • the Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency (MIGA), which provides insurance to private corporations for investments in developing countries, and
  • the International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID), which provides for a neutral forum to resolve international investment disputes between its member states and the nationals of other member states

The World Bank Inspection Panel and Grievance Redress Service (GRS) hear complaints regarding projects financed by the IBRD and IDA, which are often collectively referred to as the “World Bank.” The Compliance Advisor Ombudsman (CAO) hears complaints regarding projects supported by the IFC or MIGA. the inspection panel, the GRS and the caO complaints processes are discussed below.