The Grievance Redress Service (GRS) was created in 2016 to “enhanc[e] the World Bank’s responsiveness and accountability to project-affected communities by ensuring that grievances are promptly reviewed and addressed.” 1

The GRS is a corporate-level mechanism that reports to World Bank Senior Management.

What are the issues that can be dealt with?

Complaints brought to the GRS cover a wide spectrum of project-related issues, including the following:

  • harm to people’s livelihoods
  • environmental degradation
  • involuntary resettlement
  • occupational health and safety concerns
  • violation of indigenous peoples’ rights, or rights of affected communities to meaningful consultation.

Who can file a complaint?

Any individual or group of individuals directly impacted or likely to be impacted by social or environmental impacts of an IBRD and IDA project, or their authorized representatives.

A complaint may be lodged by an organisation or individual representing those affected, if they provide explicit evidence of authority to present the complaint on their behalf.

Under what conditions?

Complaints brought to the GRS cover a wide spectrum of project-related issues, including the following:

  • Relates to an active World Bank-supported project (IBRD and IDA)
  • Alleges environmental and social harm caused or likely to be caused by the project
  • Is submitted by a complainant, a group of complainants directly affected by the project, or their authorized representatives
  • A complaint cannot relate to procurement, allege fraud and/or corruption, pertain to issues declared eligible for an investigation by the Inspection Panel, concern employment or pursuit of employment with the World Bank

Process and Outcome 2

When the Panel receives a request, it has two business days to send a notification of receipt to the complainant. It has the option of requesting additional information at this point.

Within 10 business days of the receipt of the complain, the GRS completes the evaluation phase, where it reviews the complaint and determines whether it meets the criteria set out in its Procedure. During the 10-day assessment period, the GRS has the option to request further information from the Complainant, who has 10 days to respond.

The GRS then notifies the Complainant regarding the status of the complaint. If the complaint does not proceed to the next phase, the GRS notifies the Complainant of any decision not to proceed and the reasons for it. The GRS then closes the complaint.If the complaint process continues, the GRS follows the steps below

The GRS contacts the Complainant to review the concerns and possible actions to address the complaint. Within 30 business days from the notification of the decision to process the complaint, the GRS sends the Bank’s proposal to the Complainant(s). 3 “The proposal includes an action plan with a timeframe for its implementation. The GRS consults with and seeks the input of the Complainant(s) on the proposal.”

If the proposal is accepted by the Complainant, the Bank implements it according to the process and timeframe set forth in the proposal and the GRS will monitor implementation. The GRS and the Complainant agree on the proposal within 30 business days after the initial proposal has been presented. If the proposal is rejected by the Complainant and/or the complaint cannot be resolved through the process outlined in this Procedure, the GRS informs the Complainant that no resolution can be reached and closes the complaint.

NB: The use of the GRS does not, at any time, restrict access to the Inspection Panel.