• 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.
  • 18 September 2018

    Advisor Profile: Lisa Trainer Fields

    By Sydney Speizman, Accountability Counsel
    Lisa Trainer Fields brings over 20 years of experience as a senior human resource leader to her role as an Advisor at Accountability Counsel. We are fortunate to benefit from Lisa’s passion and energy for inspiring change in two major ways. First, this October, with Lisa’s support, our Executive Director Natalie will join Lisa in a challenge to climb the equivalent elevation of Mt. Everest by summiting a mountain in Vermont 17 times. For each of their climbs, Lisa and Natalie will honor one of the 17 audacious people who inspire Accountability Counsel’s work.
  • 22 August 2018

    Pillars for the Future of Development Finance in Asia

    By Stephanie Amoako, Accountability Counsel, for NGO Forum on ADB
    After much anticipation, the Asian Development Bank (ADB) recently released Strategy 2030, its long-term corporate strategy to respond effectively to Asia’s changing needs. As the ADB looks to the future of development finance in Asia, it must keep community engagement, including access to effective remedy, at the forefront.
  • 9 August 2018

    5 Benefits of Engaging in a Facilitated Dialogue Process: the Case of Myronivsky Hliboproduct

    By Caitlin Daniel, Accountability Counsel
    In June 2018, villagers from the Vinnytsia region of Ukraine filed complaints to the independent accountability offices of the International Finance Corporation (IFC) and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) about harmful impacts from an industrial chicken farm run by Myronivsky Hliboproduct (MHP). Community members have asked the accountability offices to facilitate a Dispute Resolution process to allow them to negotiate solutions directly with MHP. When both parties come to the table ready to participate in a meaningful way, a dispute resolution can serve as a valuable opportunity for companies, as well as the communities impacted by its operations. Here are five reasons why MHP stands to benefit from a dispute resolution with local community members.
  • 9 August 2018

    Press Release: Communities in Lamjung district (Nepal) demand Free, Prior, and Informed Consent (FPIC) on International Day of Indigenous Peoples

    By LAHURNIP & Accountability Counsel
    On August 9, 2018, International Day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples, Indigenous communities in Lamjung district, Nepal are demanding that the 220 kV Marsyangdi Corridor transmission line project respect their rights and seek their Free, Prior, and Informed Consent (FPIC). The communities, through the FPIC & Rights Forum, and supporting organizations, have sent a letter to the European Investment Bank (EIB), which is funding the project.
  • 2 August 2018

    Press Release: Experts Call on Supreme Court to Reverse Decision Protecting IFC’s Absolute Immunity

    Accountability Counsel is pleased to submit a joint amicus brief before the U.S. Supreme Court in support of the Indian fishing communities and farmers who are challenging the International Finance Corporation (IFC)’s claim to absolute immunity in Jam v. IFC. We are submitting the amicus brief together with Center for International Environmental Law (CIEL), Center for Constitutional Rights, the Centre for Research on Multinational Corporations (SOMO), Global Witness, Inclusive Development International (IDI), International Accountability Project (IAP), Dr. Erica Gould, and Jennifer Green.
  • 26 July 2018

    Ukrainian agribusiness giant MHP responds to media coverage of community complaints

    By Caitlin Daniel, Accountability Counsel
    Ukrainian news outlet Bihus.info recently aired an episode of “Our Money with Denis Biggus” featuring complaints filed by local community members about the operations of Myronivsky Hliboproduct’s (MHP) Vinnytsia Poultry Farm. Accountability Counsel, together with the CEE Bankwatch Network and Ecoaction, supported these community complaints.
  • 20 July 2018

    Accountability Counsel, C20 Call on G20 to Improve Access to Remedy in Infrastructure Development Projects

    By Kindra Mohr & Diana Kearney, Accountability Counsel
    In anticipation of the upcoming G20 meetings in Argentina, Accountability Counsel has been collaborating with civil society partners as part of the C20 coalition around the impacts of investment and infrastructure on human rights. The C20 Investment and Infrastructure working group has released a statement calling on G20 countries to approach infrastructure development finance in a manner that respects the voices and human rights of the communities affected by these projects. While recognizing that building sound infrastructure remains vital to economic development, the statement presses the G20 to protect the human rights of local communities, and ensure that funding flows do not contribute to climate change.
  • 15 June 2018

    MHP Complaint Found Eligible by the World Bank’s Accountability Office, the CAO

    By Caitlin Daniel, Accountability Counsel
    Today, the International Finance Corporation’s (IFC) accountability office, the Compliance Advisor Ombudsman (CAO), notified community members in the central Ukraine region of Vinnytsia that their complaint about the ‘largest poultry farm in Europe’ is eligible. Three communities affected by the massive poultry operation recently filed complaints to the World Bank’s IFC and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), criticizing the lack of transparency and surrounding environmental and health risks posed by the project. The CAO will now begin its assessment process, during which it will work with complainants and other stakeholders to determine how the complaint will proceed.