• 21 October 2021

    Talking Accountability at the 2021 SOCAP Conference

    By Natalie Bridgeman Fields
    Let’s zoom out a moment. Decisions about the rights and resources of local people continue to be made by officials and executives in world capitals, depriving communities of the agency and dignity they deserve. For farmers we have supported around the world, including the farmer pictured below in Liberia, a…
  • 20 October 2021

    World Bank Accountability Mechanism Publishes Interim Procedures for Dispute Resolution

    By Margaux Day, Accountability Counsel
    On October 13, 2021, the World Bank Accountability Mechanism issued Interim Operating Procedures for its new dispute resolution function, called the Dispute Resolution Service. The publication of procedures provides greater predictability to communities who avail themselves of the Accountability Mechanism to seek redress for environmental and social harm. A dispute…
  • 19 October 2021

    As the Second Annual Finance in Common Convenes to Discuss the Future of Agribusiness, Banks Must Confront a History of Environmental and Social Harm

    By Caitlin Daniel and Gregory Berry, Accountability Counsel
    Public development banks are convening once again to discuss ways to “transform development finance” and meet the challenges of climate change and worsening global economic and social disparities. Building on the commitments of last year’s inaugural Finance in Common (FiC) Summit and a joint statement by several Latin American, African, and Asian banks focused on agriculture, this year’s FiC Summit will focus on the themes of agriculture, food security, and agribusiness. To make progress on sustainable agricultural solutions, FiC institutions must confront the history and ongoing status of agricultural investments causing harm to earnestly consider risk categorizations, and they must commit to building the necessary accountability frameworks to underpin new sustainability commitments.
  • 14 October 2021

    Incorporating Accountability Counsel Feedback, Reporting on Effective Grievance Redress is Now a Feature of the Global Reporting Initiative’s Universal Standards

    By Gregory Berry, Accountability Counsel
    The Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) has released its updated Universal Standards for disclosure of sustainability impacts across business sectors. By reflecting principles of responsible business conduct and human rights due diligence as outlined by the OECD and the UN, the GRI Standards now include crucial stakeholder engagement and grievance redress disclosures for institutions that seek to contribute to sustainable development. Community stakeholders can look to the standards to understand sustainability reporting expectations, and they can utilize disclosures under the standards to assess how they have been or could be affected by organizational activities.
  • 13 October 2021

    IAMs and CSOs Address COVID-19’s Impact on Communities’ Access to Justice

    By Megan Pearson, Accountability Counsel
    The COVID-19 pandemic has posed challenges in all aspects and sectors of life, including in the handling of complaints of harm caused by internationally financed projects. Last month, representatives from 50 civil society organizations, including many members of the International Advocates’ Working Group, and the independent accountability mechanisms of 19 development finance institutions gathered for a virtual roundtable to discuss how to address these challenges as part of the 18th Annual Meeting of the Independent Accountability Mechanism Network.
  • 12 October 2021

    The World Bank Funds Gender Discrimination in Tanzania

    By Lani Inverarity and Caitlin Daniel, Accountability Counsel
    Tanzania is violating pregnant girls’ rights to education – to self-determination, to safety, to a future – with support from the World Bank. A recent Human Rights Watch report confirms what we have heard from partners and girls in Tanzania.
  • 4 October 2021

    African Development Bank Improves its Accountability Office to Better Serve Communities

    By Stephanie Amoako, Accountability Counsel
    The African Development Bank (AfDB) recently announced sweeping changes to its accountability office, now known as the Independent Recourse Mechanism (IRM). As a result of stakeholder engagement in the recent review of the IRM, the accountability office will now be more accessible and equitable to African communities seeking redress for negative environmental and human-rights impacts from AfDB-financed projects.
  • 27 September 2021

    The World Bank’s Accountability Mechanism Turns One: Reflections On The First Year And Expectations For The Next

    By Margaux Day, Accountability Counsel
    One year ago, in September 2020, the World Bank Board of Directors published two resolutions: one codifying updates to the Inspection Panel’s mandate, and the other establishing the Bank’s new Accountability Mechanism. The communities who have filed complaints to the Bank’s accountability office during the past year are without updated…
  • 8 September 2021

    Communities in Nepal resist forcible land acquisition by harmful EU funded infrastructure project

    By FPIC & Rights Forum, LAHURNIP, Accountability Counsel
    Communities in Western Nepal are taking action to challenge forcible land acquisition by an EU-funded hydropower project that was recently condemned by an official, independent investigation of the European Investment Bank (EIB).
  • 31 August 2021

    After the IPCC Report, What’s Next If You Want to Fund Climate Solutions? Start With Listening to Communities

    By Anirudha Nagar and Natalie Bridgeman Fields
    As the world focuses on how to reorient economies away from fossil fuels and toward solutions, there is a welcome, new focus on centering communities in climate solutions.
  • 27 August 2021

    Ugandan Government Suspends 54 NGOs in Latest Attack on Civil Society

    We are deeply concerned by the statement released by the government of Uganda last Friday announcing the suspension of 54 civil society organizations. The suspension order by the National Bureau for Non-Governmental Organisations affects organizations including environmental, human rights, religious and electoral advocacy groups. This move is the latest escalation in a rapidly worsening environment for civil society actors in Uganda over the past year.
  • 23 August 2021

    Five lessons the European Investment Bank must learn from its mistakes in an infrastructure project in Nepal

    By Brian McWalters and Sutharee Wannasiri, Accountability Counsel
    This month, Accountability Counsel provided feedback to the European Investment Bank (EIB) as part of its public consultation process to review the Bank’s draft Environmental and Social Sustainability Framework (ESSF). Our concerns and recommendations to improve the draft ESSF were grounded in our support to communities in Nepal who have waged a long struggle for an EIB funded transmission line to respect their rights.
  • 2 August 2021

    What Do We Know About Unknown Complaints?

    By Marisa Lenci, Accountability Counsel
    What are “unknown complaints,” and why are there so many of them? Research Associate Marisa Lenci explores why over two hundred complaints appear to have almost no information associated with them, where they come from, and what they mean for transparency and accountability.
  • 29 July 2021

    Impact Investors Recognize that Accountability Mechanisms Help Manage Unintended Impacts

    By Margaux Day, Accountability Counsel
    Last year, Accountability Counsel reviewed the first set of disclosures from investors who signed onto the Operating Principles for Impact Investment to see who reported having an accountability mechanism to measure unintended investment impact. We’ve undertaken that analysis again this year and see an increase in the number of Signatories…
  • 22 July 2021

    AC Hosts Training for Grievance Mechanisms on Ensuring Access and Safety for Communities

    By Accountability Counsel
    Over the past over 25 years, the options for communities seeking accountability and redress for negative impacts from internationally financed projects outside of the judicial system have steadily increased. There are now dozens of non-judicial grievance mechanisms housed at the institutions that finance these projects, and the number of these…
  • 19 July 2021

    New Board Guidelines at the Green Climate Fund Codify Governance of Environmental & Social Accountability

    By Gregory Berry
    In July 2021, the Board of the Green Climate Fund (GCF) adopted guidelines for how the Board responds to findings of its accountability office, the Independent Redress Mechanism (IRM). By clarifying how the GCF Board engages with IRM findings, the guidelines affirm the importance of Board responsiveness and transparency in managing environmental and social issues.
  • 19 July 2021

    Civil Society Organizations Comment on MICI Evaluation, Call For Effective Implementation

    By Accountability Counsel
    This month, Accountability Counsel and partners published a civil society response to an evaluation of the Inter-American Development Bank’s independent accountability mechanism, the Independent Consultation and Investigation Mechanism (MICI). Our response focuses on how to best implement the evaluation’s recommendations so that communities harmed by IDB Group projects have an effective way to seek justice.
  • 8 July 2021

    Complaint to the World Bank highlights impacts of forced eviction during COVID-19 lockdowns

    By Accountability Counsel & Witness Radio
    Community members in Kawaala Zone II in Kampala, Uganda have filed a complaint to the World Bank’s Inspection Panel following attempts to evict them from their homes and farmland without adequate compensation to make way for the Lubigi drainage channel expansion.
  • 7 July 2021

    New CAO Policy Comes Into Effect

    By Margaux Day, Accountability Counsel
    The International Finance Corporation’s and Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency’s accountability mechanism, the Compliance Advisor Ombudsman, has a new policy that governs its process for addressing complaints from communities alleging harms caused by IFC and MIGA projects. The new policy is the first major outcome of a nearly year-long process to…
  • 4 July 2021

    How to Compare Independent Accountability Mechanisms on the Console

    By Samer Araabi, Accountability Counsel
    To support communities through the complaint process and as an ongoing knowledge sharing effort, the Accountability Console hosts information on all IAMs in a searchable database that links to complaints filed, IAM policy documents, projects about which complaints are filed, and other relevant information that communities and their advocates can use.