• 27 January 2023

    DFIs Are Not Transparent and This Hurts Local Communities

    By Stephanie Amoako, Accountability Counsel
    This week, Publish What You Fund, launched its first DFI Transparency Index, the culmination of years of work to ensure that development finance institutions (DFIs) are transparent to stakeholders. The overwhelming conclusion of this year’s Index is that DFIs are largely not transparent, and this needs to improve. We have seen the devastating impacts of the lack of disclosure of information of DFI activities to affected communities and call on DFIs to respond to the Index by increasing their transparency and accountability to those most affected by their activities.
  • 24 January 2023

    What’s rest got to do with it? The confessions of a recovering workaholic

    By Robi Chacha Mosenda, Accountability Counsel
    This year marks seven years of my work in the human rights space. Throughout these years, my work has been fulfilling in so many ways – and I have also struggled so much with regard to rest, recovery, and unplugging.
  • 23 January 2023

    A Welcome Update for the United Nations Development Programme’s (Sort of) Independent Accountability Mechanism

    By Gregory Berry, Accountability Counsel
    A confounding trend of institutional defensiveness against Independent Accountability Mechanisms means that every review of an IAM policy risks resulting in weakened rather than improved tools for accountability. With this in mind, Accountability Counsel and endorsing organizations wrote to the United Nations Development Programme’s Social and Environmental Compliance Unit to commend certain proposed updates to its operational guidelines, as well as to challenge fundamental issues that stand to undermine its effectiveness for communities and the UNDP alike.
  • 19 January 2023

    Accountability Counsel and Inclusive Development International advise on new Chinese-led accountability mechanism for the mining sector

    By Accountability Counsel and Inclusive Development International
    As the first mechanism of its kind established by a Chinese industry association, the Responsible Critical Mineral Initiative’s new accountability mechanism has the potential to be a significant advancement in the corporate accountability landscape.
  • 4 January 2023

    WWF’s Ombudsperson Office: A Crucial Step Towards Accountability, but Challenges Remain

    By Radhika Goyal, Accountability Counsel
    Accountability Counsel along with 15 other organizations and individuals submitted comments on the WWF’s new accountability framework aimed towards strengthening the independence, transparency, and credibility of the Ombudsperson Office.
  • 12 December 2022

    New World Bank Accountability Procedures Include Improvements

    By Margaux Day, Accountability Counsel
    In early December 2022, the World Bank Accountability Mechanism, which offers a dispute resolution process to address allegations of environmental and social harm, and the Inspection Panel, which determines the eligibility of cases and conducts compliance investigations into such harm, each published new operating procedures. Accountability Counsel, along with 56…
  • 6 December 2022

    “Justice Delayed is Justice Denied,” Understanding Community Harm 7: Labor

    By Anthony Williams, Accountability Counsel
    In this month’s edition of the Console Newsletter, Research Fellow Anthony Williams continues our series in understanding community harm through their article about labor issues in complaints to IAMs. Representing five percent of all complaints, labor issues raise concerns about violations of appropriate labor standards related to the project, including issues regarding compensation, workplace conditions, retaliation, and child or forced labor. 
  • 7 November 2022

    How Should IAMs Choose Mediators?

    By Lama Almoayed, Accountability Counsel
    Mediators are impartial third parties who help facilitate the dispute resolution process. Given the significant power imbalance between communities and bank clients, a mediator’s role in an IAM dispute resolution process is often critical to reaching an agreement.
  • 1 November 2022

    IAMs and CSOs Discuss the Next Generation of Accountability Mechanism Reforms

    By Accountability Counsel
    Accountability Counsel led the International Advocates’ Working Group in coordinating CSO Day at the 19th annual meeting of the Independent Accountability Mechanism Network. Participants gathered in New York and virtually to discuss the continued evolution of accountability mechanisms in key areas, including monitoring, addressing reprisals, and facilitating remedy for project-affected communities.
  • 6 October 2022

    Accountability Counsel Files Brief Demanding Open Public Meetings at DFC

    By Accountability Counsel
    Accountability Counsel, supported by EarthRights International, filed an amicus brief to the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals to support transparency and stakeholder engagement at the U.S. International Development Finance Corporation (DFC). The brief argues against the DFC’s decision to exempt itself from the Government in the Sunshine Act, which requires federal agencies to open their meetings to the public. We highlighted the importance of transparency and stakeholder engagement in decision-making for project-affected communities and their advocates.  
  • 3 October 2022

    What Happens When Development Goes Wrong in the MENA? Part 2

    By Marisa Lenci, Accountability Counsel
    We spent months investigating why complaints in the Middle East-North Africa fall short and what can be done to improve accessibility and efficacy of IAMs for impacted communities, in the MENA and beyond.
  • 19 September 2022

    Nepal: UN Experts sound the alarm on violations of indigenous peoples’ rights and call for respect of the right to Free, Prior and Informed Consent (FPIC) in the development of Marsyangdi Corridor Transmission Line Project

    By FPIC & Rights Forum, LAHURNIP, and Accountability Counsel
    FPIC & Rights Forum, LAHURNIP, and Accountability Counsel released a statement to welcome the letters from the UN human rights experts who expressed serious concerns about ongoing human rights violations and retaliations against indigenous communities and members of FPIC and Rights Forum in Lamjung District, Nepal.
  • 16 September 2022

    Recommendations to Improve The World Bank’s Accountability Process From 57 Civil Society Organizations

    By Multiple Authors
    Accountability Counsel, along with 56 other organizations, submitted recommendations for making the World Bank’s accountability process more effective for communities harmed by World Bank projects.
  • 12 September 2022

    New Report, Our Last and Only Resort, Examines What Happens When Development Goes Wrong in the Middle East and North Africa

    By Marisa Lenci, Accountability Counsel
    Drawing on over 20 years of complaint and project data across the region, and first-hand accounts from nearly a dozen communities across five countries, our new report, co-authored by Accountability Counsel and the Arab Watch Coalition, finds that communities in the MENA face disproportionately severe limitations on access to accountability and remedy from harm.
  • 7 September 2022

    What happens when development goes wrong in the MENA? Part 1

    By Marisa Lenci, Accountability Counsel
    The MENA region has the fewest complaints to IAMs, and extremely low rates of those complaints reaching outputs from the process. Our upcoming report, Our Last and Only Resort, set to launch next week, details important findings about why complaints in the MENA region fall short relative to other regions. The report draws on research from 20 years of complaint and project data, and nearly a dozen interviews with groups in the MENA about their experiences in IAM complaint processes. This article provides a look at the complaint and project data that first waved a red flag about the implications of uneven IAM complaints for communities experiencing harm from projects in the MENA.
  • 1 August 2022

    What Accountability Mechanisms Tell Us About Greenwashing

    By Iris Vukovic, Accountability Counsel
    Many projects claim to help the environment, but what kinds of harmful impacts are hidden beneath the guise of eco-friendly objectives?
  • 5 July 2022

    Infrastructure Complaints in South and Southeast Asia

    By Samer Aarabi, Accountability Counsel
    167 complaints have been filed about infrastructure projects in South and Southeast Asia. What can they tell us about types of community harm, the role of private and bilateral investment, and the increasing presence of Chinese finance in the region and around the world?
  • 17 June 2022

    Understanding Community Harm Part 6: Cultural Heritage

    By Anthony Williams, Accountability Counsel
    Individuals, communities, and NGOs file complaints to international finance institutions (IFIs) for harm caused by IFI-funded development projects. In compiling these complaints into the Accountability Console database, our research team tries to ascertain and categorize the issues or concerns raised for each complaint. Of all these complaints, six percent detail…
  • 8 June 2022

    Accountability Counsel Commends Draft FinDev Canada Accountability Framework and Calls for Additional Accessibility Measures

    By Accountability Counsel
    FinDev Canada, Canada’s development finance institution, recently held consultations on draft procedures for its new independent accountability mechanism. Accountability Counsel provided comments on the document, and commends FinDev Canada for developing a robust accountability framework.
  • 7 June 2022

    AC Calls for New U.S. National Action Plan on Responsible Business Conduct to Champion Accountability and Remedy

    By Stephanie Amoako and Mireille Becerra, Accountability Counsel
    Accountability Counsel and Inclusive Development International recently submitted recommendations to ensure that accountability and remedy are key components of the revised U.S. National Action Plan on Responsible Business Conduct.