The Secretary-General had launched a client survey in 2004 to identify areas of possible improvements in the Centre’s services and to also assess the importance of the role played by ICSID in supporting the legal framework for investment in member countries.
A questionnaire prepared in the Centre’s three official languages (English, French and Spanish) was sent to over 3,000 recipients—member governments, arbitrators/panelists, parties and counsel in ICSID proceedings, and others. The survey recipients were asked a series of questions related to their evaluation of ICSID’s role in encouraging foreign investment, the ICSID process and the services provided by the Centre.
The results revealed that 79% of those who responded attributed to ICSID an important role in their country’s legal framework for foreign investment, and 61% of the participating governments said that ICSID membership has contributed to an improved investment climate. The results also revealed an overwhelmingly positive assessment of the Centre and its functioning. This was evidenced by the fact that 93% of the respondents indicated that they were likely to recommend ICSID’s dispute settlement facilities in future. Some 97% of the respondents rated the overall performance of the Secretariat in case administration as good or excellent and ICSID staff was regarded as knowledgeable and efficient (99% and 98%, respectively).
Conciliation, another means of dispute settlement offered by the Centre, was widely viewed as a useful mechanism. The majority of the respondents (93%) considered ICSID’s conciliation procedures as useful in at least some cases.
Participants in the survey, when asked to provide suggestions for improvement, recommended that ICSID process be made more transparent and that ICSID do more to raise awareness of its activities. Similar suggestions were made in the framework of a communications assessment of the Centre completed earlier this year. The Centre is working to implement these suggestions. As part of a broader undertaking to expand its outreach efforts, ICSID plans in due course to redesign and improve its website in order to make it more user friendly to various audiences.
The client survey and its results are available in PDF format ICSID Client Survey (2004).