• 25 September 2019

    Launching Our Second Decade With Vision, Urgency, and Joy

    By Natalie Bridgeman Fields, Accountability Counsel
    Amidst a decade of profoundly gratifying moments I’ve experienced since founding Accountability Counsel, a pinnacle was this month’s gathering in Washington, D.C. with our board, staff team, and global partners from seven of the 50 countries in which we’ve worked. We came together to celebrate a decade of Accountability Counsel, to reflect, and to draw inspiration from one another as we launch our second decade.
  • 2 September 2019

    IFC Escapes Responsibility for Lamu Coal Plant Contributions

    By Lani Inverarity, Accountability Counsel
    Community members and activists have bravely and tirelessly resisted plans to construct a 1,050-megawatt coal-fired power plant on the Lamu coastline, in Kenya, despite intimidation, repression and smear campaigns. They have left no stone unturned in their efforts to hold the actors responsible for this disastrous project accountable. Yet a group of investors, led by the World Bank Group’s International Finance Corporation (IFC), has narrowly avoided responsibility for its contributions to date. Steps must be taken to close this accountability gap.
  • 27 August 2019

    Civil Society Groups Call for an Accountability Mechanism for the Equator Principles

    By Accountability Counsel and BankTrack
    Seventy-nine civil society organisations and partners have submitted a joint statement to the Equator Principles Association (EPA) and signatory banks today, expressing disappointment that the current review process of the Equator Principles does not go far enough to strengthen accountability and ensure access to remedy. With the EPA currently revising the fourth iteration of the Equator Principles, the “EP4” review should be a moment of ambition for advancing accountability in project finance.
  • 9 August 2019

    Indigenous Communities in Myanmar Are Taking Action Against Top-Down Conservation

    By Anirudha Nagar, Accountability Counsel
    On this International Day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples, the need to put Indigenous Peoples at the center of conservation efforts could not be clearer. Evidence is mounting that Indigenous stewardship of natural resources is key to combating the climate crisis and protecting the biodiversity that sustains the planet. Meanwhile, Indigenous Peoples the world over are increasingly seeing access to their lands and resources restricted by top-down conservation projects that violate their rights. In Southeast Myanmar’s Tanintharyi Region, international organizations, financial institutions, and government have the opportunity to reverse this harmful approach to conservation that ignores Indigenous voices and rights.
  • 24 July 2019

    Press Release: UN Watchdog Visits Myanmar to Investigate Conservation Project Jeopardizing Indigenous Peoples Rights

    By Accountability Counsel and Conservation Alliance Tanawthari (CAT)
    The United Nations Development Program’s (UNDP) independent watchdog visited Myanmar last week to investigate a large conservation project posing grave risks to Indigenous communities in Tanintharyi Region, which has seen decades of armed conflict during Myanmar’s 70-year civil war.
  • 2 July 2019

    Abidjan Meetings on Accountability in International Finance

    By Stephanie Amoako, Accountability Counsel
    Last week, members of Accountability Counsel’s Communities, Policy, and Research teams attended a series of meetings in Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire centered around international finance institutions and their accountability offices, also known as independent accountability mechanisms (IAMs).
  • 5 June 2019

    Una Conversación con Gabino Vicente: Prevención del Daño Ambiental en el Desarrollo Internacional

    By Carlos Flores, for Accountability Counsel
    En celebración del Día Mundial del Medio Ambiente, Accountability Counsel habló con Gabino Vicente, un líder de la comunidad indígena Chinanteco en Oaxaca, México, quien tomó medidas para garantizar la protección de un arroyo que estaba amenazado por el proyecto hidroeléctrico Cerro de Oro, financiado internacionalmente.
  • 5 June 2019

    A Conversation with Gabino Vicente: Preventing Environmental Harm in International Development

    By Shuen Quek, Accountability Counsel
    In celebration of World Environment Day, Accountability Counsel spoke to Gabino Vicente, a Chinanteco Indigenous community leader in Oaxaca, Mexico who took action to ensure protection of a freshwater creek that was threatened by the internationally-financed Cerro de Oro hydroelectric project.
  • 20 May 2019

    U.S. Senate Restores EXIM Bank’s Financing Capacities, EXIM Board Must Prioritize Accountability Moving Forward

    By Stephanie Amoako, Accountability Counsel
    For the first time in nearly four years, the U.S. Export-Import Bank (EXIM) has the ability to make deals over $10 million following the confirmation of three EXIM board nominees this month. As this renewed spending power opens the door for EXIM to support larger – and potentially riskier – projects, the export credit agency needs a strong accountability framework to minimize those risks and effectively address harm when it occurs.
  • 16 May 2019

    New Mandarin Chinese Translation of Glass Half Full, The Seminal Report on Accountability in Development Finance

    By Accountability Counsel
    In 2016, Accountability Counsel worked collaboratively with 10 other civil society organizations to evaluate how the accountability system for development finance is – and is not – working. The result of this major research project was Glass Half Full? The State of Accountability in Development Finance. We are pleased to share the Mandarin Chinese version for the first time today.
  • 9 May 2019

    Press Release: European Development Bank Significantly Strengthens its Grievance Mechanism – Reformed Mechanism Now More Independent

    By Accountability Counsel, CEE Bankwatch Network, and SOMO
    Civil society organizations welcomed the new grievance mechanism policy for the London-based European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD). Most development banks have a grievance mechanism, also known as an independent accountability mechanism, to receive complaints from people harmed by activities they finance. Once operational, the new Independent Project Accountability Mechanism (IPAM)—which will replace the EBRD’s current grievance mechanism, the Project Complaint Mechanism—will be removed from the operational structure of the bank and have senior-level leadership and a direct reporting line to the bank’s Board of Directors.
  • 3 May 2019

    Reflections on the IAWG 2019 Annual Retreat

    By Accountability Counsel
    Last week, we joined civil society groups from around the world in Córdoba, Argentina for the International Advocates’ Working Group (IAWG) 2019 Annual Retreat. This year’s retreat, hosted by FUNDEPS, brought together over 30 advocates working to support communities to defend their human rights and environment.
  • 2 May 2019

    Working Together for Corporate Accountability: 2019 ICAR Annual Meeting Recap

    By Accountability Counsel
    Accountability Counsel’s Policy team joined a diverse group of organizations working to ensure that corporations act responsibly and transparently, and provide remedy for harm tied to their activities, for the International Corporate Accountability Roundtable (ICAR) annual meeting last week.
  • 10 April 2019

    IFC Commitment to Accountability Will Be Tested in Short Order

    By Accountability Counsel
    We welcome this morning’s statement from International Finance Corporation (IFC) CEO Philippe Le Houérou on accountability, which comes on the heels of the recent U.S. Supreme Court decision to end IFC absolute immunity from lawsuits in U.S. courts and as its accountability system undergoes a review. In order to matter in practice, this statement must transform into immediate IFC action to implement concrete changes and make the institution truly accountable to the people its investments harm.
  • 20 March 2019

    Press Release: European Union Bank Watchdog Visits Communities in Nepal Concerned About Marsyangdi Transmission Line

    By Accountability Counsel, FPIC & Rights Forum, and LAHURNIP
    The European Investment Bank (EIB)’s independent watchdog – known as the Complaints Mechanism – visited the Lamjung district of Nepal from March 15 to 18, 2019, to hear concerns of communities affected by the EIB-funded 220 kV Marsyangdi Corridor, a high voltage transmission line project which is being implemented by the Nepal Electricity Authority (NEA).
  • 14 March 2019

    IFC Publishes Impact Investing Principles

    By Brian McWalters, Accountability Counsel
    This week, the IFC published the final version of its ‘Impact Investing: Operating Principles for Impact Management’ (the Principles). The Principles are a set of voluntary guidelines for impact investors, touching on impact strategy, assessment, and monitoring.
  • 12 March 2019

    Accountability Counsel Presents on Community Feedback in Impact Investing for Transform Finance Webinar

    By Accountability Counsel
    Accountability Counsel gave a webinar presentation on incorporating community feedback into impact investments. The presentation, ‘How Community Feedback and Accountability Mechanisms Can Advance the Field of Impact Investing’, is part of a series of webinars hosted by Transform Finance.
  • 8 March 2019

    Accountability Counsel Submits Joint Comments on EBRD Accountability Mechanism Policy Review

    By Brian McWalters, Accountability Counsel
    Earlier this week, Accountability Counsel and 24 CSOs submitted joint comments and recommendations on the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development’s (EBRD) accountability mechanism policy review. The joint submission urges the EBRD to build on its draft Project Accountability Policy by retaining the good practices the Project Complaint Mechanism (PCM) already adheres to and addressing the remaining gaps in the policy.
  • 6 March 2019

    Peer Review Calls for Strengthening of U.S. NCP; Fails to Account for Key Stakeholder Input

    By Accountability Counsel, International Corporate Accountability Roundtable (ICAR), and International Labor Rights Forum (ILRF)
    As the global business landscape continues to expand and shift, there is a pressing need for corporate accountability in the world. Effective avenues where people can seek remedy for harm caused by businesses are crucial. In the United States, the U.S. National Contact Point (U.S. NCP) is meant to serve as a forum in which people harmed by American companies’ activities and operations can raise grievances. 
  • 27 February 2019

    World Bank Group Absolute Immunity Ends in Landmark U.S. Supreme Court Decision

    By Accountability Counsel
    Today, the United States Supreme Court issued its decision in Jam et al. v. International Finance Corp., a landmark case challenging the World Bank Group’s claim to absolute immunity in a lawsuit brought by fishing communities in India and their lawyers at EarthRights International. In a 7-1 ruling, the justices have ended the International Finance Corporation’s (IFC) absolute immunity from lawsuits in U.S. courts. The immunity upset at the IFC, the private sector arm of the World Bank Group, will have wide-ranging and global implications.