• 11 March 2020

    World Bank finally approves Inspection Panel reforms after 2-year standoff

    By Sophie Edwards, Devex
    After more than two years of wrangling, the World Bank’s board of directors this week finally approved a package of reforms aimed at boosting accountability of its public sector lending. Campaigners described the reforms as a “watershed” moment but said they were just the beginning of changes that would need to be made.
  • 14 January 2020

    Haiti farmers eager to receive compensation after ‘groundbreaking’ land deal

    By Jacob Kushner, Thomson Reuters Foundation
    Located in Haiti’s northern region, the $300 million Caracol Industrial park opened in 2012 and now employs approximately 15,000 people, most of whom work in clothing factories there, according to the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), one of the park’s main financial backers. In 2018 farmers like Augustin who had been evicted from their land in 2011 struck a rare deal with the IDB to provide Caracol’s 100 most vulnerable families with new, titled land. But 10 years after the earthquake that killed more than 200,000 people and made 1.5 million homeless, the farmers are still waiting to receive compensation for their land used to build the Caracol park.
  • 14 January 2020

    What the US International Development Finance Corporation needs to do in year 1

    By Adva Saldinger, Devex
    Touted as the most significant change to the foreign aid ecosystem in the United States in more than 15 years and a critical tool for countering China, the U.S. International Development Finance Corporation, or DFC, has a lot of expectations to live up to as it opens its doors. Accountability Counsel’s Stephanie Amoako shares recommendations for the building blocks needed to ensure that the DFC invests in a responsible manner.
  • 12 January 2020

    10 Years Ago, We Pledged To Help Haiti Rebuild. Then What Happened?

    By Isabel McDonald, In These Times
    The earthquake that struck Haiti on Jan. 12, 2020, unleashed one of the worst humanitarian crises in decades. In hard-hit places like Port-au-Prince, Haiti’s capital and most densely populated city, schools and medical centers collapsed. More than 300,000 homes were damaged or destroyed. The disaster is estimated to have killed at least 220,000 Haitians and displaced 2.3 million—about a quarter of the population.
  • 13 December 2019

    The case for public reforms to the World Bank’s Inspection Panel

    By Natalie Bridgeman Fields, David Hunter, and Kristen Genovese, in Devex
    More than 25 years have passed since the World Bank Group’s board of directors created the first independent accountability mechanism, the Inspection Panel, to allow communities harmed by bank-funded public sector projects to be heard and seek redress. Now a committee of the bank’s board is moving to make significant changes to the panel’s mandate and structure and without any public input. Without input from the very people the panel was designed to serve — communities impacted by the bank — the board risks making decisions in the dark that could lead to a weakened mechanism because it lacks the knowledge and insight gained by people who stand to both gain and lose the most from the reforms.
  • 12 December 2019

    Accountability Counsel launches key tool for accountability community

    By Bretton Woods Observer
    In November, US-based civil society organisation Accountability Counsel launched the Accountability Console, a new tool to provide communities, investors, policy-makers and researchers with comprehensive data on all Independent Accountability Mechanism (IAM) complaints to date. The tool includes cases from 24 IAMs of multilateral and regional development banks and other international finance institutions.
  • 18 November 2019

    New complaints database aims to strengthen accountability in development

    By Catherine Cheney, Devex
    The complaints that communities file to development agencies provide valuable lessons to prevent future harm. Now, for the first time, these complaints will not remain in the accountability offices where they were filed, or in an Excel spreadsheet accessible only to the accountability staff, but rather in an online database. Last week, Accountability Counsel launched a database that includes every complaint ever filed to the independent accountability mechanisms of bilateral and multilateral development finance institutions.
  • 31 October 2019

    Calls for IFC to create ‘remedy fund’ to compensate harmed communities

    By Sophie Edwards, Devex
    The World Bank’s private sector arm — the International Finance Corporation — should put a percentage of its profits into a “remedy fund” to compensate communities harmed by IFC-backed projects, accountability advocates have said.
  • 22 October 2019

    IFC fails to ensure proper work protection for tea workers in India

    By Amruta Byatnal, Devex
    IFC’s failure to ensure proper working conditions for tea plantation workers like Bhuyan has been highlighted by its watchdog, the Office of the Compliance Advisor and Ombudsman or CAO — first in an investigation report in 2016, and later, in a monitoring report in January this year. In response, the World Bank’s private sector arm vowed to take the necessary steps to adhere to IFC’s performance standards. But almost 10 months later, the situation on the ground remains unchanged.
  • 4 October 2019

    Corporate Accountability: The Elephant in the Room for Assam’s Tea Industry

    By Anirudha Nagar, Accountability Counsel
    Anirudha Nagar, our Communities Co-Director, writes about the conditions tea workers face on APPL plantations in Assam for Corporate Responsibility Watch’s “Status of Corporate Responsibility in India 2019” report.
  • 3 October 2019

    Board decision could signal “vote of no confidence” in Inspection Panel

    By The Bretton Woods Observer
    The World Bank’s executive board is expected to make a decision on proposed reforms to the Inspection Panel (IPN), the Bank’s independent accountability mechanism (IAM), ahead of the World Bank and IMF Annual Meetings in Washington DC in October. However, the review, due to be completed in October 2018, has been long-delayed. Our Acting Policy Director Stephanie Amoako is quoted in the Autumn 2019 edition of The Bretton Woods Observer, calling on the Board to decide on the Inspection Panel’s review in a way that results in an improved process that delivers accountability and meaningful remedy to affected communities.
  • 23 September 2019

    Gas shortages paralyze Haiti, triggering protests against failing economy and dysfunctional politics

    By Vincent Joos, The Conversation
    Vincent Joos discusses failings of Haiti’s economic model to serve its citizen’s needs that have contributed to gas shortages and political unrest throughout the country, with the Caracol Industrial Park in Cap-Haitien as an example.
  • 23 September 2019

    Helping communities defend their rights

    By Andrew Clarke, Luminate
    Accountability Counsel empowers communities to seek their own redress in the face of projects financed by international institutions and works to strengthen their accountability standards through direct advocacy. Luminate Group’s Andrew Clarke explains why they invested.
  • 22 August 2019

    Fears grow World Bank board could ‘compromise’ on accountability reforms

    By Sophie Edwards, Devex
    Civil society groups have urged the World Bank’s board of directors to give its inspection panel tougher powers in order to effectively hold the institution to account, as a long-delayed review looks set to end in “compromise.” After nearly two years of deliberations, insiders told Devex that the bank’s board plans to finalize a package of reforms to the panel ahead of the upcoming annual meetings in October.
  • 20 August 2019

    Indigenous Communities in Myanmar Take Action Against Top-Down Conservation

    By Anirudha Nagar, Accountability Counsel
    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 the government have the opportunity to reverse this harmful approach to conservation that ignores indigenous voices and rights.
  • 15 August 2019

    European donor to audit power utility’s compliance with rules

    By Prahlad Rijal, The Kathmandu Post
    The European Investment Bank has decided to investigate claims of trampling on the concerns of indigenous communities of Lamjung by the Nepal Electricity Authority while building power lines under the Euro Marsyangdi Corridor Project.
  • 10 August 2019

    Utility refuses to join resolution process proposed by Complaints Mechanism

    By Prahlad Rijal, The Kathmandu Post
    The Nepal Electricity Authority, the implementing agency for the European Investment Bank financed Marshyangdi Corridor 220 kV transmission line project, refused to take part in a resolution process proposed by the Complaints Mechanism of the European donor to resolve the issue of indigenous people’s rights affecting the 95-million euro national priority project.
  • 9 August 2019

    UN Team Meets Locals to Discuss Issues with Tanintharyi Conservation Project

    By Kyaw Soe Htet, Myanmar Times
    A United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) watchdog unit visited Myanmar in July to investigate the Tanintharyi conservation project, which could threaten the land and forest rights of people in the area. The Social and Environmental Compliance Unit (SECU) met with 150 people from indigenous Karen villages to hear their concerns.
  • 17 June 2019

    Advocates welcome IFC reforms, but with some caveats

    By Sophie Edwards, Devex
    Advocates have welcomed “significant” reforms by the International Finance Corporation to improve its record on environment and social issues as its CEO struggles to deliver on his ambitious promise to put development impact back at the heart of IFC.
  • 12 June 2019

    China’s promise of responsible belt and road investments is in the hands of its bankers

    By Natalie Bridgeman Fields, Accountability Counsel, in South China Morning Post
    All along the belt and road, from Myanmar to Peru, ignoring community feedback is costing Chinese investors dearly. China’s banks and financial institutions need to quickly adopt an accountability framework for Chinese investments abroad.