Grievance Redress Service


The Grievance Redress Service (GRS) ensures that complaints are being promptly reviewed and addressed by the responsible units in the World Bank.

The objective is to make the Bank more accessible for project affected communities and to help ensure faster and better resolution of project-related complaints.

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Who can submit a complaint?

Complaints are eligible if they meet the following criteria:

  • The complaint relates to a World Bank-supported project (IBRD or IDA) that has not closed.
  • The complaint is filed by project-affected individuals and/or communities who believe that they are, or may be, adversely affected by the project.
  • The identity of the complainant will be kept confidential if requested, but anonymous complaints will not be accepted.

How to file a complaint?

  • Complaints must be in writing and addressed to the World Bank Grievance Redress Service (GRS).
  • Complaints will be accepted by mail, fax, email and by hand delivery to the GRS at the World Bank Headquarters in Washington or World Bank Country Offices.

Email: grievances@worldbank.org
Fax: +1-202-614-7313
By letter post:
The World Bank
Grievance Redress Service (GRS)
MSN MC 10-1018
1818 H St NW
Washington, DC 20433, USA

This GRS complaint form may be used.

Language: The GRS accepts complaints in the official language of World Bank borrowers. Complaints received in working languages other than English, however, will require translation which will add time to the review process. 


Complaints are considered eligible if they meet the following criteria:

  • The complaint relates to a World Bank-supported project (IBRD or IDA) for which appraisal has already begun and that has not yet closed.
  • The complaint is filed by project-affected individuals and/or communities, or their representative, who believe that they are or may be adversely affected by the project.
  • Procurement related complaints pertaining to Bank-financed operations could also be submitted by bidders or potential bidders (companies or individuals) to the Bank through the GRS. These complaints will be processed in line with Bank Procedure (BP) 11.00 (Annex D) and will not follow the GRS procedures.

The GRS cannot address the following matters:

  • Award damages or provide direct compensation
  • Issues not related to World Bank-supported project
  • Matters already considered by the GRS unless the complainants have new evidence previously not available to them
  • Issues pertaining to a Bank-supported project which has closed already
  • Allegations of fraud and corruption in Bank-supported projects
  • Complaints related to the adequacy or suitability of a Bank policy or procedure
  • Issues related to Bank personnel matters
  • The GRS does not review complaints involving issues related to fraud or corruption. For complaints involving fraud or corruption, please contact the World Bank Office of Institutional Integrity (INT).

Review Process:

Upon receipt, the GRS reviews and determines if the complaint meets the eligibility criteria.

Registration and Notification: Within 10 business days, the complainant is notified that the complaint has been received, registered and forwarded to the project team for action.

  • If complaint is unclear, the complainant will be requested to submit additional information.
  • If the complaint is not eligible, the complainant will be notified and/or referred to the relevant institution.

Proposed Resolution:

Within 30 business days following registration, the project team will respond to the complainant. Where warranted the team will advise the complainant how the issues will be addressed, including a time frame.

  • If the complainant accepts the proposal, the project team implements, monitors and communicates the results of the process in a timely manner to the complainant and the GRS.
  • If the proposed process is rejected by the complainant and/or the issue cannot be resolved, the complainant will be informed that the complaint is closed without resolution and referred to other options for remedy such as responsible country authorities, appropriate local/national grievance redress mechanisms or the Inspection Panel.
  • Implementation and Monitoring: the GRS will monitor the implementation of the proposed resolution until satisfactory resolution of issues.

Why use the Grievance Redress Service?
The GRS’ objective is to support the identification and resolution of legitimate project related concerns. Resolving issues upstream will result in faster and better resolution of complaints. 

Will a complaint to the GRS suspend the project?

No. Submitting a complaint does not suspend or otherwise affect the formulation, processing or implementation of the project unless agreed to by the borrowing country concerned and by the Bank.

Who can submit a complaint?
Any project-affected individual or community can submit a complaint if they believe that they are or are likely to be adversely affected by an active World Bank-supported project. 

What constitutes an eligible complaint?
Complaints are eligible if they meet the following criteria:

  • The complaint relates to a World Bank-supported project (IBRD or IDA) that has not closed
  • The complaint is filed by a project-affected individual and/or community who believes that they are, or may be, adversely affected by the project

What types of complaints are not eligible for review by GRS?
The GRS does not review complaints involving issues related to fraud or corruption. For complaints involving fraud or corruption, please contact the World Bank Office of Institutional Integrity (INT). For more details see Eligibility and exclusion.

Does the GRS accept complaints about IFC or MIGA projects?
No. Complaints related to IFC or MIGA projects should be submitted to the Compliance Advisor Ombudsman (CAO) of the IFC. 

What about complaints regarding projects that are funded by both IFC/MIGA and IBRD/IDA?
For projects that are funded by both IFC/MIGA and IBRD/IDA, the GRS will accept complaints related to the IBRD/IDA portion of the project and/or refer to the CAO.

Is it necessary to produce any evidence?
Supporting evidence is not necessary but may be helpful in reviewing and resolving the complaint.

Is confidentiality of identity available?
If requested, the complainant’s identity will be kept confidential beyond the GRS and project team. However, in order to effectively address complainants’ concerns, it is important for the GRS and project team to know the identity of the complainant.

Is there a statute of limitations on making complaints?
No. The GRS will attempt to help resolve every eligible concern in active projects; however, issues related to closed projects cannot be reviewed.

What languages are acceptable for submitting complaints?
The GRS accepts complaints in the official language of World Bank borrowers. Complaints received in working languages other than English, however, will require translation, which will add time to the review process. 

How can complaints be submitted?
Complaints can be filed in several ways: 

Via online form
Via email: grievances@worldbank.org
Via fax: +1 202-614-9127
Via mail:

The World Bank
Grievance Redress Service (GRS)
OPSOR (MSN MC 10 - 1018)
1818 H St NW
Washington, DC 20433 USA

What is the GRS’s process for handling complaints?
Registration and Notification:
Within 10 business days, the complainant is notified that the complaint has been received, registered and forwarded to the project team for action.

If complaint is unclear, the complainant will be requested to submit additional information.
If the complaint is not eligible, the complainant will be notified and/or referred to the relevant institution.

Proposed Resolution:
Within 30 business days after registration, the project team will propose to the complainant how the complaint will be processed, including a time frame.

If the complainant accepts the proposal, the project team implements, monitors and communicates the results of the process in a timely manner to the complainant and the GRS. 

If the proposed process is rejected by the complainant and/or the issue cannot be resolved, the complainant will be informed that the complaint is closed without resolution and the complainant will be referred to other options for remedy. 

Can I submit complaints regarding procurement issues?
Yes. Procurement related complaints pertaining to Bank-financed operations could be also submitted by bidders or potential bidders (companies or individuals) to the Bank through the GRS. These complaints will be processed in line with BP 11.00 (Annex D) and will not follow the GRS procedures.

What is the GRS’ relationship to the Inspection Panel?
There is no formal relationship between the GRS and the Inspection Panel. The Inspection Panel is the Bank’s independent compliance mechanism which reports to the World Bank Board of Directors. If requested, and subject to approval by the Bank’s Board, the Panel may undertake a compliance audit to determine whether harm has occurred as a result of the Bank’s non-compliance with World Bank Policies and Procedures.

Does using the GRS restrict access to the Inspection Panel?
No, the use of the GRS does not restrict access to the Inspection Panel. In line with the Panel Resolution, project affected communities and individuals may submit their complaint to the Panel at any time after bringing their concerns directly to the World Bank's attention and giving Bank Management a reasonable opportunity to respond (per Inspection Panel’s eligibility criteria).

Is there a way to provide feedback on the GRS itself? 
Complainants are encouraged to provide feedback on the GRS. Feedback may be sent via the GRS’ email address:grievances@worldbank.org

How to file a complaint?

  • Complaints must be in writing and addressed to the World Bank Grievance Redress Service (GRS).
  • Complaints will be accepted by mail, fax, email and by hand delivery to the GRS at the World Bank Headquarters in Washington or World Bank Country Offices.

This GRS complaint form may be used.

Email: grievances@worldbank.org
Fax: +1-202-614-7313
By letter post:
The World Bank
Grievance Redress Service (GRS)
MSN MC 10-1018
1818 H St NW
Washington, DC 20433, USA