• 15 April 2020

    World Bank and IFC Agree to Landmark Accountability and Transparency Reforms

    By Margaux Day and Stephanie Amoako, Accountability Counsel
    The World Bank Group recently agreed to reforms to improve its accountability, transparency, respect for human rights, and environmental, social, and governance risk management. These wide-ranging commitments are the result of successful negotiations with the U.S. House Financial Services Committee to include a $5.5 billion capital increase for the WBG’s private sector arm, the International Finance Corporation, in COVID-19 stimulus legislation.
  • 6 April 2020

    Reenvisioning Community Engagement in the Coronavirus Response

    By Sydney Speizman and Samer Araabi, Accountability Counsel
    While no other method can be nearly as effective as in-person engagement, innovative community engagement tools may hold answers for how to conduct sufficient consultations during a pandemic without putting lives at risk.
  • 6 April 2020

    Fast-Tracked COVID-19 Financing Requires Communities’ Expertise To Succeed

    By Margaux Day and Gregory Berry
    The need for financial support during this crisis is both immense and acute, and without a doubt, MDBs should rise to the challenge. The urgency of this moment means that every dollar of financing needs to deliver its intended impact; there is no room for unintended consequences.
  • 17 March 2020

    The World Bank’s New Accountability Mechanism Through a Communities’ Lens

    By Margaux Day and Gregory Berry, Accountability Counsel
    After nearly two years of deliberating internally, the World Bank Group (WBG) Board of Directors has approved significant changes to its accountability framework for public-sector lending. To date, limited information about the details of these changes has been publicly shared, leaving considerable ambiguity about how they will be operationalized. Drawing…
  • 9 March 2020

    The World Bank Creates a New Accountability Office and Changes the Inspection Panel’s Powers

    By Margaux Day, Accountability Counsel
    On March 5, 2020, the World Bank Group Board of Directors approved significant changes to the accountability framework for public-sector lending, including the creation of an entirely new accountability office called the World Bank Accountability Mechanism.
  • 2 March 2020

    In Deep Water: Will the World Bank honor its commitments to the poor in an Indian water project?

    By Anirudha Nagar, Accountability Counsel
    In the wake of a scandal revealing the World Bank may have suppressed knowledge of money for the poor being siphoned off by elites, all eyes are on the Bank to see whether its commitments to the poor hold water. Now, the Bank has a chance to demonstrate its commitment to vulnerable communities––and not the wealthy few––by righting its wrongs in a massive water scheme the Bank is financing in rural India.
  • 27 February 2020

    Peacebuilding Tools for Resource Conflicts: What’s Needed, Available, but Little Known

    By Natalie Bridgeman Fields and Caitlin Daniel, Accountability Counsel
    Where international investment from powerful actors uses natural resources like water or land that sustain life for local people, conflict is a predictable result. We have seen those conflicts near a breaking point, but we have also seen firsthand how communities, companies, governments and institutions can build interpersonal relationships, trust, and overcome seemingly insurmountable barriers to come to agreement on a peaceful path forward.
  • 21 February 2020

    Latest Jam v. IFC Decision Does Not Change What has Always Been True: Strong Accountability at the IFC Benefits Investors and Communities Alike

    By Margaux Day and Gregory Berry, Accountability Counsel
    Nearly one year after their landmark victory that removed the World Bank Group’s absolute immunity in U.S. courts, fishing and farming communities in Gujarat, India faced a setback in their struggle to access justice for harm caused by an International Finance Corporation (IFC) funded coal-fired power plant. On February 14,…
  • 18 February 2020

    Translating Community Experiences into Recommendations for Stronger Accountability at the IFC and MIGA

    By Accountability Counsel
    The accountability framework for the World Bank Group’s private sector arms is under review and, given the challenges that the International Finance Corporation (IFC) and Multilateral Guarantee Agency (MIGA) have faced in this area, the stakes are high. The accountability framework, which includes an accountability office known as the Compliance…
  • 17 February 2020

    Accountability Counsel Welcomes Margaux Day as Policy Director

    By Accountability Counsel
    We are pleased to welcome Margaux Day as Accountability Counsel’s Policy Director. As the head of our Washington, D.C. Policy team, Margaux oversees our advocacy to ensure that local communities can protect their rights and environment when impacted by international financial flows.
  • 25 January 2020

    Charting a more accountable era of U.S. development finance

    By Sydney Speizman, Accountability Counsel
    As the new U.S. International Development Finance Corporation (DFC) begins operations this month, its policies and practices will shape the legacy and effectiveness of this new era of U.S. development.
  • 9 January 2020

    When HOPE is POWER: Haitian Farmers Defend Land Rights in Historic Dialogue Process

    By Lani Inverarity, Accountability Counsel
    Accountability Counsel is proud to announce the launch of our new case study – ‘When HOPE is POWER: Haitian Farmers Defend Land Rights in Historic Dialogue Process.’ ‘When HOPE is POWER’ tells the story of the Kolektif Peyizan Viktim Tè Chabè, a collective of Haitian farmers and their families representing nearly 4,000 people, who were displaced by the internationally-financed Caracol Industrial Park (CIP).
  • 10 December 2019

    Our 2018-2019 Annual Report on Human Rights Day

    By Accountability Counsel
    This Human Rights Day, we are honoring the communities and advocates at the frontlines of struggles to protect their human rights and environment. Human rights defenders like Seliana Marcelus (pictured above) and Ilna St. Jean (pictured below) in Haiti whose organizing has resulted in historic progress toward restoring the farming…
  • 22 November 2019

    Investors in Nepal’s hydropower sector must address concerns of local communities and Indigenous Peoples

    By Accountability Counsel and Lawyers' Association for Human Rights of Nepalese Indigenous Peoples (LAHURNIP)
    Discussions taking place at this week’s Power Summit must focus on addressing the concerns of project-affected communities and Indigenous Peoples on whose lands hydropower and transmission line projects will be built, said Accountability Counsel and Lawyers’ Association for Human Rights of Nepalese Indigenous Peoples (LAHURNIP) today. The Power Summit 2019, organized by the Independent Power Producers Association of Nepal, is being held from November 21 – 22 in Kathmandu, Nepal.
  • 14 November 2019

    Introducing the Accountability Console: A Database of Human Rights and Environmental Grievances

    By Natalie Bridgeman Fields, Accountability Counsel
    Today we are thrilled to share our new tool, the Accountability Console, with the world. After years in the making and as a result of community-driven demand, this tool provides communities, investors, policy-makers, and researchers with the world’s most comprehensive data on all Independent Accountability Mechanism (IAM) complaints. These complaints…
  • 6 November 2019

    News of Progress in the Movement to Advance Accountability for Chinese Overseas Finance

    By Natalie Bridgeman Fields and Brian McWalters, Accountability Counsel
    As Chinese commercial banks and state institutions finance projects overseas, communities negatively affected by these projects lack avenues to raise grievances. But this may soon change. In a positive move, a new policy framework released today may shape standards Chinese investments follow and accountability options for local communities.
  • 31 October 2019

    “When the Dust Came In” Screening at the San Francisco International South Asian Film Festival

    By Accountability Counsel
    We’re thrilled to announce that our short film “”When the Dust Came In: Mongolian Herders Negotiate Their Future with a Massive Mine” will be featured at the Annual San Francisco International South Asian Film Festival. Our film, directed by the talented filmmaker Abhi Singh, will be shown first in the festival’s signature shorts program, Coast to Coast, beginning at 6:45pm on November 10, 2019. If you’re in the Bay Area, we hope you will join us!
  • 30 October 2019

    Shifting Risk from the Poor to the Powerful Through Accountability: 2019 World Bank Group Annual Meetings Read Out

    By Accountability Counsel
    When development institutions like the World Bank Group (WBG) talk about their “risk-management services,” as President David Malpass did in his speech at the WBG Annual Meetings that just concluded, the risk being managed is that of losses to governments and corporations that benefit from public development finance. Accountability Counsel and many of our colleagues participating in the Civil Society Policy Forum, held during the Annual Meetings, highlighted the WBG’s duty to urgently reframe thinking about risk. Rather than financial loss, the WBG should think about risk in terms of the people, and the environments they depend on, that the bank exists to serve.
  • 24 October 2019

    Accountability Counsel and Partners Call for Greater Transparency and Stakeholder Engagement in the IFC/MIGA Accountability Framework Review Process

    By Accountability Counsel
    Accountability Counsel and 74 global partners submitted a joint statement to the World Bank Group’s Board of Directors, expressing concerns about the lack of transparency and external stakeholder engagement in the accountability framework review of the International Finance Corporation (IFC) and Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency (MIGA). This process includes a review of IFC/MIGA’s independent accountability mechanism (IAM), the Compliance Advisor/Ombudsman (CAO).
  • 11 October 2019

    IFC & MIGA Environmental and Social and Accountability Review

    By Accountability Counsel
    This week, the World Bank Group announced the review of the IFC and MIGA’s environmental and social (E&S) accountability. The announcement is here. The external review will include evaluation of “the role and effectiveness of the Office of the Compliance Advisor Ombudsman (CAO), the independent accountability mechanism for IFC and…