Accountability Counsel is launching a new, public database, the Accountability Console, that will transform the transparency around harm from international finance and the accountability system to address that harm.

The interactive database contains searchable information and analytics on all complaints ever filed with the accountability offices of international financial institutions (around 1,300 cases).

The database will provide unprecedented transparency into the unintended harm caused by internationally financed projects. Its tools allow users to better understand how and why communities are harmed, and to identify the main roadblocks and bottlenecks in reaching effective remedy through accountability offices. In addition, the Accountability Console contains benchmarking tools to compare policies and practices across financial institutions, and analytics that layer complaint data onto these comparisons. Together, this information can support communities in filing more effective complaints, advocates in pushing for policy change, and investors in improving due diligence.

Examples of key users who will benefit from the database include:

Communities and their advocates: people who are harmed can use the data to understand the complaint systems at different accountability offices, what a complaint process can achieve and its limitations, and what successful or unsuccessful complaints look like. They can use the benchmarking data to compare the accountability offices to one another, using the complaint and benchmarking data to inform recommendations for policy change as part of wider advocacy strategies.

Investors: people making investment decisions, including individuals and public or private institutions, can use the data to understand the type harm detailed in complaints filed to accountability offices and trends those complaints show by institution, region, sector, and type of project. Investors can use this information to inform their social and environmental due diligence in areas where the data shows that risk factors are likely to be present.

Policy-makers: people charged with the design and oversight of accountability offices can use the data to understand how their accountability office operates in policy and practice compared with other institutions. They can see the difference that policy variance makes to case outcomes. Presidents and boards of directors of institutions can use the information about harm in complaints to inform accountability office policy, and also take lessons learned from trends in the data and specific case studies about harm to inform broader institutional policy and practice.

Accountability office professionals: people charged with receiving complaints, conducting compliance investigations, and facilitating dispute resolution can use the data to see how their own cases fit within the broader complaints system and to learn lessons from the practices of people at other institutions. For example, documentation for complaints that reached a successful outcome can provide valuable lessons learned to inform future practice.

Researchers: people working to understand how global financial flows affect local communities can, for the first time, uncover how the accountability system is functioning as a whole. These trends and patterns can provide valuable insights, such as “darkspot” geographies and/or sectors with high levels of overseas investment but a relatively small number of complaints, that can inform advocacy to strengthen the accountability system and support communities to protect their rights.

We are currently beta testing our database with partners, and plan to publicly launch in early 2019. If you are interested in seeing a demo of the Accountability Console, please contact sydney@accountabilitycounsel.org.