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Internal Justice Services

  • The Internal Justice Services (IJS) offers World Bank Group staff support ranging from counseling to formal review of concerns to preserve fairness in the workplace. IJS services are available to staff in addressing their workplace concerns.


    Respectful Workplace Advisors
    Ombuds Services
    Mediation Services
    Peer Review Services

    The Respectful Workplace Advisors (RWA) Program consists of volunteer peers in Bank Group work units in Washington and in country Offices. RWAs serve as an informal avenue of assistance to staff facing harassment, disrespectful behaviors, or other sources of stress at work. RWAs do not become directly involved in resolving the issues brought to them by colleagues. The RWA Program is overseen by the Ombuds Services office.


    Ombuds Services is a confidential, impartial and informal service independent from the World Bank Group's formal management channels that facilitates the resolution of workplace issues. An Ombudsman helps staff analyze problems and assists in identifying options and can, only if requested by the visitor, become involved in trying to resolve issues. Ombuds Services also provides information to staff members on the Bank Group's policies and procedures. Additionally, Ombuds Services alerts management to systemic trends and issues and makes recommendations for change.


    The Office of Mediation provides World Bank Group staff with processes for resolving workplace disputes, including mediation and group facilitation. In mediation, an impartial mediator helps parties better understand their issues, concerns, needs and interests. The mediator also helps parties make decisions on how to resolve their matter. The mediation process is informal and confidential. When issues are settled through mediation, a memorandum of understanding sets out the specific agreements reached by the parties, and the parties’ agreement is final and binding.


    The peer review process is an independent review of managerial decisions, actions, or inactions affecting a Bank Group staff member by a panel of impartial volunteer staff members. The Peer Review panel considers whether the Bank Group’s actions are consistent with the staff member’s contract of employment and/or terms of appointment, including the pertinent Bank Group rules and policies. The Peer Review panel may recommend that the Bank Group award relief to the staff member and/or take other corrective measures.



    The World Bank
    1818 H Street N.W.
    Washington, DC 20433

  • The IJS supports the World Bank Group’s objective of eliminating extreme poverty and promoting shared prosperity by supporting a work culture in which staff collaborate and work effectively with others and handle conflicts in a constructive manner, at the earliest opportunity and the lowest level possible. To achieve this, IJS units:

    Deliver services in a timely and responsive fashion and following best practices.

    1.       Conduct outreach activities that make their services visible and understandable.

    2.      Collaborate with each other for the benefits of the units and its end users.

    3.      Give systemic feedback and early warning to WBG management to provide opportunities for improvement of policies and practices.

    4.      Improve conflict competence among staff and managers.

    5.      Share knowledge within the IJS, across the WBG and with external counterparts ​

    1. Our Vision

    2. Our Mission

    3. Other IJS Services


    Our Vision:

    ·        Conflict management is shared by all staff.

    ·        An open honest environment that seeks all voices and fosters effective communication.

    ·        Concerns can be surfaced and managed with minimal fear.

    ·        Concerns are managed at the earliest opportunity among the parties.

    ·        Seeking help is a strength.

    ·        We are aware of our responsibility to help others in difficulty.

    Our Mission:

    The CRS Mission is to promote a positive, respectful workplace through advancing an integrated conflict management system.

    Conflict Happens!

    Conflict is a natural occurrence in the workplace that is to be expected and managed. Staff regularly experience disagreements in connection with programmatic choices, budget priorities and personal interactions. Staff choose every day how they are going to handle these types of conflicts. They may choose to do nothing, address them directly, or seek assistance in addressing their concerns.

    The Bank Group wants all staff to raise their concerns so that they can be addressed, and we can have a better and more productive working environment for everyone. Staff are encouraged to treat interpersonal conflicts with the same professionalism and normalcy as other work conflicts. The Bank Group does not view conflict as necessarily harmful or destructive. The resolution of conflict may be a catalyst for creativity and may lead to improved working relationships.


    Respect other’s ideas and concerns, provide fair, neutral processes with compassion, professionalism and integrity.

    Other IJS Services

    Human Resources Officers (HRO's): are available to advise staff on their rights and obligations under Staff Rules and how their complaints might best be resolved. HRO's at times assist in resolving disputes between a staff member and a manager. more...

    Personal and Work Stress Counseling Unit of the Health Services Department (HSD): offer confidential psychological counseling on personal problems that may be associated with performance or work-related difficulties. It is also a consultation service for managers who may need guidance on how to help staff having personal concerns or performance problems. 

    The Office of Diversity Programs: is available to staff and managers for consultation on matters of bias, discrimination or harassment based on race and gender, as well as other aspects of diversity (e.g., nationality, disabilities, sexual orientation). The Office of Diversity Programs can advise staff on options for resolving the situation and direct them to the appropriate sources of assistance. 

    Staff Association: provides advice for staff who wish to go through the Bank Group's grievance process, including counseling, referral, and, in some instances, legal assistance, in total confidentiality. 

  • Frequently Asked Questions
    1. Do I have to use the IJS?
    2. You are not forced to request any of the informal services (RWA, Ombuds and Mediation), although you may need to go to just one mediation session when such service has been requested by another staff member. However, you must use one of the formal services (Peer Review and the Tribunal) if you want to get a review of a manager’s decision, action or inaction

    3. How do I get advice about possible conflicts of interest?
    4. The Office of Ethics and Business Conduct responds to questions about potential conflicts of interest.

    5. Why are there so many units?
    6. Due to its Immunities from local labor laws, the World Bank Group must provide its staff with effective internal services to handle all types of problems and conflicts. These include informal services to help staff understand the Bank's policies and get confidential guidance regarding their options –provided by RWAs and Ombuds- as well as confidential spaces for communicating with each other with the objective of resolving them – provided by Mediation.

      The World Bank must also to offer its staff formal services to check whether a manager's decisions, actions or inactions was consistent with the staff terms of appointment and/or conditions of employment. Almost all such independent reviews are conducted initially by Peer Review Services, which make recommendations to line VP's. Staff that are not satisfied with the VP's final decision can request a final, binding decision from the World Bank Administrative Tribunal. In addition, the World Bank has two investigative services the review allegations of staff misconduct – Ethics and Business Conduct, or allegations of fraud and corruption – the internal investigations function of the Integrity Vice-presidency. All of these

    7. What if I want to report misconduct by a staff member?
    8. The Office of Ethics and Business Conduct is the appropriate place to report allegations of staff misconduct, except for allegations of fraud or corruption, which should be reported to the Integrity Vice Presidency.

    9. Can I go to the wrong place?
    10. Not really. If you go first to Peer Review Services or Mediation, the staff there can also explain to you the different options that you have to pursue your concerns. Often, Peer Review Services will refer cases to mediation to see if they can be settled before they go to a hearing. So, CRS personnel can suggest to staff that they might benefit from starting at a different service, at least as a first option. The only place where it is not appropriate to start is the Administrative Tribunal, with a few limited exceptions. Typically, staff are required to file a matter with Peer Review Services before they can take a case to the Administrative Tribunal. But termination cases, misconduct cases, and cases challenging the validity or implementation of a memorandum of understanding may be filed directly with the Administrative Tribunal without going to Peer Review Services first.

    11. Why Start here?
    12. Two reasons. First, RWAs and the Ombudsman practice strict confidentiality. You can speak to them and be assured that they will not discuss your case with anyone. It won’t go in your personnel file, they won’t speak with your manager, and they won’t report your concerns to another CRS office. You remain in control of what happens with your concerns. Second, you can obtain advice from an RWA or Ombudsman about all of the other conflict resolution services and then decide whether you want to use one of the other offices, or none at all. Either way, you will have benefitted from the advice of someone who is knowledgeable about the different CRS services and can explain how they work. But note: Confidentiality works both ways. Speaking to an RWA or the Ombudsman does not “put the organization on notice” of your concerns because both the RWA and the Ombudsman are bound to maintain confidentiality and will not discuss your concerns with anyone else unless expressly authorized to do so.

    13. Where do I start?
    14. Not all employment conflicts are the same, and therefore they should not all be handled in the same way. This is why the World Bank Group offers staff different types of services to assist in the resolution of their concerns, from the informal (Respectful Workplace Advisors, Ombuds Services and Mediation) to the formal (Peer Review Services and Administrative Tribunal). The Conflict Resolution System has an “open door” policy that gives staff direct access to its units, offering them multiple points of entry without unnecessary restrictions. 



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