Accountability Counsel assists communities to defend their human and environmental rights through complaints using the mechanisms tied to the projects that cause harm. We specialize in assisting communities with non-judicial accountability mechanisms, which may involve dispute resolution through mediation, compliance audits, or use of other accountability methods.
Accountability Counsel’s assistance to communities, in both In Depth and Strategic Support cases, begins with a request for support from the community itself or a local NGO, followed by initial factual research and a needs assessment.
In Depth Cases
Our In Depth cases involve intensive and comprehensive assistance to local communities and their partners throughout the complaint process.
After an initial assessment, we conduct trainings for local communities about the mechanisms available to hold international financial institutions and corporations to their social and environmental commitments. At the completion of a training session, we work with communities to support their complaints to accountability mechanisms. If a community decides to move forward with a dispute resolution and/or compliance review complaint, we assist with factual research, drafting of the complaint, support with the filing of the complaint to the accountability mechanism, and assistance throughout the dispute resolution and/or compliance review process.
We have provided In Depth support to communities in the following countries, where the type of project and source of international finance is indicated:
- Liberia: Biomass Project (OPIC)
- Mexico: Hydroelectric Project (OPIC)
- Papua New Guinea: Palm Oil Project (World Bank)
- Peru: Petroleum Project (IFC)
We also provide assistance through our Strategic Support program to local community groups and organizations where there is strong local capacity but specific help has been requested.
Our Strategic Support cases are variable because we become involved at different stages of a case and the local partners with whom we work request different types of support. In general, our local partners manage the day-to-day work of community capacity building and complaint follow up, while we focus on using our expertise with regard to accountability mechanisms to add value to these locally-led complaint processes. Depending on the needs of the local groups, we may assist with community trainings, factual research, drafting of the complaint, support with the filing of the complaint to the accountability mechanism, help with correspondence, and assistance throughout the dispute resolution and/or compliance review process.
We provide Strategic Support to communities in the following countries, where the type of project and source of international finance is indicated:
- Bangladesh: Phulbari Coal Mine (Corporation Governed by the OECD Guidelines)
- Kenya: Lamu Port Project (AfDB)
- Mongolia: OT Mining Project (IFC, MIGA and EBRD)
- Nepal: High Voltage Transmission Line (World Bank)
- Panama: Pando and Monte Lirio Dams (IFC and IDB)
- Russia: Sakhalin II Oil and Gas Project (Banks & Corporations Governed by the OECD Guidelines)
- United States: West Virginia Mountaintop Removal Coal Mine (Banks Governed by the OECD Guidelines)
We have also provided strategic support to communities in Brazil, Cambodia, Ecuador, India, Malawi, Mexico, Peru and Serbia, assisting with a diverse set of grievances, such as involuntary displacement without compensation, water contamination, gender impacts of livelihood destruction and harm to critical ecosystems. These cases relate to projects financed by each of the world’s international financial institutions.