Chasma: A Case Study in Compliance


Chasma: A Case Study in Compliance

01 December 2010
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The Asian Development Bank (ADB)’s Accountability Mechanism provides an independent forum through which people claiming to be affected by ADB projects can raise issues with the bank and request the review of a project’s compliance with ADB’s policies and procedures.

The experience with the Chashma Right Bank Irrigation Project (Stage III) in Pakistan generated valuable advice on the conduct of compliance review.
In 2002, a request from five nongovernment organizations representing people claiming to be affected by the project was filed with the Board Inspection Committee. The claimants said ADB breached its policies and procedures in formulating and processing the project, and that this resulted in adverse effects on Chashma inhabitants. The issues raised included project-induced flooding and involuntary resettlement; inadequate compensation for loss of land, other assets, and livelihoods; adverse impacts on traditional farmers; and insufficient information for, consultation with, and participation of intended beneficiaries.

An inspection panel looked into the matter, and in 2004 the Board approved the panel’s recommendations and instructed the Compliance Review Panel to monitor implementation of those recommendations. After 5 years, the panel concluded that ADB had substantially complied with the recommendations. Taking into account the limitations imposed by the security, the panel recommended that no further monitoring was necessary.

The lesson here is that the most effective approach to compliance is for ADB to address the implementation of environmental and social safeguards at the earliest stages of a project.

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