We support communities to use their own power to demand
justice on equal footing with corporations and institutions.
We use the lessons from our community work to create
policy change to prevent future harm.
Making Rules Matter
We accompany communties as they hold corporations
and institutions to the global rules meant to protect their rights.
Exposing Patterns Through Data
We track and analyze how accountability offices
function to enable informed advocacy toward best practice.
Accountability Counsel amplifies the voices of communities around the world to protect their human rights and environment. As advocates for people harmed by internationally financed projects, we employ community driven and policy level strategies to access justice.
Our impact in 40 communities includes redesigned projects that now reflect community needs, harm stopped and prevented to defend water resources, and agreements resulting in compensation and other remedies.
We advocate for the world's 66 accountability offices to be independent, transparent, fair, and effective. Our impact is improved global policy and practice at multilateral and bilateral development institutions, U.N. agencies, and within the OECD.
Accountability Data Exposed24k
We expose patterns in the accountability office system related to 24,450 data points that we track and evaluate. Our analysis has influenced global policy and is a tool for advocates. This database goes live later in 2018.
5 June, 2018Today, three communities in the central Ukraine region of Vinnytsia filed complaints to the World Bank and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) criticizing the lack of transparency and surrounding environmental and health risks posed by the ‘largest poultry farm in Europe’. Together with CEE Bankwatch and Kyiv-based Ecoaction, Accountability Counsel is supporting these communities throughout the complaint process.
21 May, 2018Today, the U.S. Supreme Court agreed to hear Jam v. IFC, which will consider whether the World Bank’s International Finance Corporation (IFC) and other similar international organizations are immune from lawsuits in U.S. courts. The blanket immunity that the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit affirmed last year invites impunity for international organization conduct, even in egregious cases of human rights and environmental abuses.
16 May, 2018In another case from India, tea workers alleged labor rights abuses, in violation of international law and the IFC’s own rules, on IFC-funded tea plantations. Tea workers also appealed to the CAO, which found numerous shortcomings in IFC’s assessment of risks associated with child labor, fair compensation, and freedom of association. They also found IFC wasn’t providing a way out of poverty for workers, contrary to its goal of alleviating poverty. But local civil society say that little has changed for tea workers in the nine years since IFC invested in the tea plantations.
10 May, 2018Impact Investment can be hard to get right and easy to get wrong. How can they avoid the unintended consequences for their investments? Impact investors seek social change and sustainability. Yet for investments in areas with weak rule of law, local conflicts can undermine both financial and impact returns and unintended consequences can harm the very people and environments that investors are trying to help. What tools do investors have to understand the local context and address conflicts? New and emerging tools are needed. Accountability Counsel, a global legal advocacy nonprofit, partnered with Stanford Law School’s Law and Policy Lab to investigate these tools and develop guidelines for adoption. This interview with Accountability Counsel founder and Executive Director Natalie Bridgeman Fields describes the tools needed for effective philanthropy.
4 May, 2018The first complaint about the conditions in the APPL-run plantations to the CAO was filed in February 2013. In November, 2016, the CAO released its findings — and in response, the IFC formulated an action plan based on its 2014 audit by independent NGO Solidaridad. As part of this plan called Project Unnati, the body has set certain goals to improve the living and working conditions of the workers by 2017. The complainants, however, feel that none of the promises have been met. “The World Bank has utterly failed to exercise its leverage to address the CAO’s damning findings,” said Anirudha Nagar, South Asia Director of Accountability Counsel, a supporting organisation. “While APPL management lines their pockets, the Bank should be providing funding and ensuring budgets are appropriately directed towards the health and safety of workers in the face of preventable deaths. The Bank is not being the honest, neutral broker it holds itself out to be.”