• 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…
  • 27 September 2019

    New Short Film “When the Dust Came In: Mongolian Herders Negotiate Their Future with a Massive Mine”

    By Caitlin Daniel, Accountability Counsel
    Nomadic herders in Mongolia’s South Gobi Desert are fighting to protect their way of life and livelihoods while living alongside the massive Oyu Tolgoi mine. In 2017, they reached historic agreements with the mining company and local government to address the impacts of the mine. Our new short film shares the collective work that led to these agreements and the path forward to ensure that the promises translate to a sustainable future for local herders.
  • 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.