• 14 November 2018

    Accountability in Development Finance this Week in D.C.

    By Shuen Quek, Accountability Counsel
    This week, Accountability Counsel’s team is in full swing with a packed agenda in Washington, D.C., with a host of events centered around development finance institutions and their independent accountability mechanisms (IAMs). As our work shows, IAMs are crucial as they can provide access to remedy for individuals and communities who have been harmed by internationally financed activities.
  • 13 November 2018

    Press Release: EIB to Weaken Accountability Mechanism, Despite Civil Society Criticism

    By Counter Balance, Accountability Counsel & CEE Bankwatch Network
    (Brussels, November 13, 2018) – In a step backwards for the EU bank’s transparency and accountability, the Board of Directors of the European Investment Bank (EIB) has approved a controversial new policy of its Complaints Mechanism, a move that will take the bank further away from the communities affected by its operations – say NGOs.
  • 1 November 2018

    What Jam v. IFC Should Mean to Accountability at the World Bank Group

    By Kindra Mohr, Accountability Counsel
    Yesterday, the United States Supreme Court heard oral arguments in Jam v. International Finance Corporation, a landmark case challenging the World Bank Group’s claim to immunity in a lawsuit brought by Gujarati fishing communities and their lawyers at EarthRights International. As the Supreme Court deliberates, the International Finance Corporation (IFC) is claiming that because the IFC has its own “robust internal accountability mechanism,” it does not need to be sued. This internal mechanism is the Compliance Advisor Ombudsman (CAO).
  • 30 October 2018

    Ramanie Kunanayagam Appointed as Inspection Panel’s Newest Member

    By Shuen Quek, Accountability Counsel
    Today, the World Bank Inspection Panel announced that Ramanie Kunanayagam will be the newest member of the Inspection Panel. As advocates for people who seek justice through independent accountability mechanisms, Accountability Counsel welcomes Kunanayagam into her new role.
  • 22 October 2018

    Press Release: World Bank expert’s report says lack of community participation causing conflicts in Nepal’s energy sector

    By LAHURNIP & Accountability Counsel
    WASHINGTON DC, U.S.A – Monday, October 22, 2018 The World Bank finally released a report by international dispute-resolution expert, the Consensus Building Institute (CBI) late last week. The CBI report sheds new light on ways to prevent the “proliferation of conflicts” that had been occurring in Nepal between local communities…
  • 19 October 2018

    Repression of Civil Society at the World Bank Annual Meetings

    By Shuen Quek, Accountability Counsel
    During the 2018 World Bank Group annual meetings in Bali last week, Indonesian authorities forcibly shut down civil society convenings that have, for decades, met alongside the Annual Meetings.
  • 18 October 2018

    Shuen Quek Joins Accountability Counsel’s Team

    By Accountability Counsel
    Accountability Counsel welcomes Shuen Quek as our first Communications Fellow. In this new role, Shuen will support our teams’ strategic media to strengthen Accountability Counsel’s community cases, policy advocacy, and research initiatives.
  • 16 October 2018

    IFC Impact Investing Principles

    By Accountability Counsel
    The IFC recently released the Operating Principles for Impact Management (the Principles), a set of impact investing standards developed by asset owners, managers, and other industry experts. These Principles mark an important first step toward institutionalizing a uniform set of standards that impact investors of all sizes can reference when making investment decisions. They provide investors with guidance on how to manage investments so that they contribute to measurable positive social, economic, or environmental impact, while simultaneously generating financial returns. Investors may apply the Principles to their entire portfolio, or in the case of institutions that also engage in non-impact transactions, a smaller subset therein.
  • 15 October 2018

    Press Release: U.S. Treasury Secretary Mnuchin Calls for Increasing Accountability at the World Bank Group

    By Accountability Counsel, BIC and CIEL
    (Washington, D.C., October 15, 2018) – Accountability Counsel, Bank Information Center (BIC), and the Center for International Environmental Law (CIEL) welcome the statement from U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven T. Mnuchin supporting many of the key advances we have been seeking with regard to accountability at the World Bank Group.
  • 15 October 2018

    Equator Principles Annual Meeting and EP IV Review

    By Accountability Counsel
    This week, the Equator Principle Association (EPA) is holding its annual meeting in Washington, D.C. Member banks will deliberate proposed updates to the Principles as part of the Equator Principles IV Review (EP IV). The focus of the review covers four thematic areas: (1) social impact and human rights; (2) the scope of applicability of the Equator Principles (EPs); (3) climate change; and (4) the use of “designated countries” to determine where the EPs should apply.
  • 10 October 2018

    European Investment Bank Complaints Mechanism Policy Not Approved

    By Brian McWalters, Accountability Counsel
    Accountability Counsel is pleased to report that, on October 9, 2018, the Board of Directors of the European Investment Bank (EIB) refrained from approving a problematic new policy for its Complaints Mechanism (CM). Rather than strengthen the CM – as Accountability Counsel and 24 partner CSOs called for in 2017 – the proposed policy would have further undermined the CM’s independence and hindered local communities’ ability to seek meaningful redress for environmental and social harms.
  • 8 October 2018

    Accountability Counsel is in Nairobi for the ACCA General Assembly

    By Accountability Counsel
    Accountability Counsel’s Stephanie Amoako will be in Nairobi this week for the annual African Coalition for Corporate Accountability (ACCA) General Assembly (GA).
  • 8 October 2018

    Press Release: Communities in Nepal Request European Investment Bank Complaints Office for Mediation

    By LAHURNIP & Accountability Counsel
    On October 8, 2018, communities affected by the European Union funded 220 kV Marsyangdi Corridor transmission line have filed a complaint with the Complaints Mechanism, the European Investment Bank’s independent watchdog and mediation office in Luxembourg.
  • 5 October 2018

    In their own voice: why access to information matters to communities

    By Gloria Molina, Director of Comunidades Unidas
    Last week, on the International Day for the Universal Access to Information (28 Sept. 2018), 30 civil society organizations wrote to the private sector arm of the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB Invest), demanding that it provide safe, timely and accessible information to communities about the projects it finances. Comunidades Unidas – a community organization based in Bogotá – has direct experience with the innumerable obstacles facing communities who try to access that information under existing bank policies. Gloria Molina, the director of Comunidades Unidas, writes:
  • 4 October 2018

    BUILD Act Creates New U.S. Development Finance Institution

    By Accountability Counsel
    On October 3, 2018, the U.S. Senate passed the Federal Aviation Administration Reauthorization Act of 2018, which includes the Better Utilization of Investments Leading to Development Act (BUILD Act). Passed in the House last week, the legislation now awaits the president’s signature. The BUILD Act creates a new development finance institution for the United States, subsuming the Overseas Private Investment Corporation and some United States Agency for International Development functions. Since the legislation was first introduced in February 2018, Accountability Counsel and partners have worked hard to ensure that the legislation required the new agency, the U.S. International Development Finance Corporation (USDFC), to have strong environmental and social practices as well as accountability. From years of experience working with communities negatively impacted by internationally financed projects, we know that sustainable development is impossible without these pillars.
  • 1 October 2018

    Comments on the Review of the Inspection Panel’s “Toolkit”

    By Kindra Mohr, Accountability Counsel
    On September 30, Accountability Counsel submitted joint comments to the World Bank Board of Directors on the review of the Inspection Panel’s “toolkit.” Our comments address seven issues flagged by the Bank’s notice.
  • 28 September 2018

    Gaps in World Bank’s Access to Information Approach are Failing Nepali Communities and Perpetuating Violence

    By Siddharth Akali, Accountability Counsel, & Shankar Limbu, LAHURNIP
    The World Bank’s approach towards freedom of information and citizen engagement is perpetuating violent conflicts between Nepal’s hydropower sector and its affected communities in two ways. Firstly, the bank is funding hydropower sector projects that forcibly displace Indigenous Peoples, and other marginalized groups, without providing project information and opportunities for consultation. Secondly, the bank is refusing to share important conflict mitigation information with the communities.
  • 26 September 2018

    World Bank Inspection Panel “Toolkit” Comments Open

    By Kindra Mohr, Accountability Counsel
    The World Bank Board of Directors is accepting public comments from now until September 30th about potential changes to the functions of the Inspection Panel. The Panel was the first independent accountability mechanism. It was established in 1993 for people who believe that they have been, or are likely to…
  • 26 September 2018

    Meet Accountability Counsel and Founder Natalie Bridgeman Fields

    By Fabrica Collective
    We recently had the honor of hosting an event celebrating Accountability Counsel, an innovative organization working to protect human and environmental rights around the world. Over the past few months, I have gotten to know Accountability Counsel’s founder Natalie Bridgeman Fields, who is a fierce advocate and pioneer in international human rights and environmental law.
  • 21 September 2018

    Cornell Policy Review Features Accountability Counsel

    By Sydney Speizman, Accountability Counsel
    Listen to the Cornell Policy Review podcast interviewing Accountability Counsel’s founder and director, Natalie Bridgeman Fields. She talks about Accountability Counsel’s founding, mission, our approach to policy work and where we are going as an organization. Thank you to Nida Mahmud, Editor-in-Chief of the Cornell Policy Review, for her thoughtful interview.