Moving Forward on Strengthening Country Safeguard Systems

Houseal, Brian
Oct 2013
The Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) Environmental and Social Safeguards Unit (ESG) is currently exploring how best to strengthen Country Safeguard Systems (CSS) while maintaining Bank and government accountability intended to ensure that investments do not result in adverse impacts to people or the environment. The objectives of this three-month consultancy are to assist the IDB's ESG Unit in scaling up efforts to strengthen country safeguard systems and promote harmonization of safeguard approaches and practices in the LAC region, consistent with international good practice. This report reviews the international context for strengthening and using country safeguard systems; summarizes IDB efforts and experience to date; and examines related developments in other multilateral development banks (MDBs). Recommendations are provided to position the IDB to be more effective in its efforts to help LAC member countries strengthen their safeguard systems and develop their capacity to address environmental and social issues in development projects. This report provides the basis for next steps in developing a strategy that would be reflected in ESG"s 2014 Business Plan.