Make Your Voice Heard

The Office of the Compliance Advisor Ombudsman gives a voice to people who believe they are negatively impacted by IFC and MIGA projects. Learn about our process of independent accountability

Arne Hoel, The World Bank

Our Mandate

The Compliance Advisor Ombudsman (CAO) is the independent accountability mechanism for the International Finance Corporation (IFC) and Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency (MIGA). The CAO responds to complaints from project-affected communities with the goal of enhancing social and environmental outcomes on the ground. Learn More

Case Update

Share Your Perspective: 5-Minute 'CAO at 20' Stakeholder Survey

February 26, 2020 – This year marks CAO’s 20th year of operations. As we reflect on the last two decades, we are conducting a short survey to get perspectives from our stakeholders on CAO’s work and the future of the office. Please take this 5 minute survey to help us learn from your experiences, and forward to any others who have been involved with CAO's work to allow us to hear from as many voices as possible. CAO has extended the deadline of this survey to Monday, March 2, 2020.Participate here

Peru: CAO Publishes Compliance Investigation Regarding IFC Investment in the Yanacocha Gold Mine

February 24, 2020 - CAO has released its compliance investigation report of IFC's investment in the Minera Yanacocha gold mine in the Department of Cajamarca, Peru. The investigation assessed issues related to occupational health and safety conditions at the mine and impacts on worker health. The investigation report is available in English and Spanish, as well as IFC's official response. Learn more about the Yanacocha-09 caseLearn more about the Yanacocha-10 case

Guinea: Call for Expressions of Interest for Experts to Conduct Resettlement Assessment and Livelihood Improvement Planning

February 21, 2020 – The parties to a dispute resolution process facilitated by CAO in Guinea invite qualified experts to submit Expressions of Interest for an independent study on Resettlement, to include conducting a Resettlement Assessment and providing Livelihood Improvement Planning for the area where the communities have been resettled to. Expressions of Interest documents should be submitted prior to 5:00pm GMT, on March 06, 2020. See links below for more details. Invitation for Expressions of Interest & ToRInvitation pour une Manifestation d’Intérêt & TDR »

Kenya: Communiqué Regarding CAO Visit Related to IFC Investment in Bridge International Academies

February 14, 2020 – A CAO team visited Kenya from February 9-14, 2020 to meet with stakeholders as part of its ongoing compliance investigation related to IFC’s investment in Bridge International Academies. More details on the visit and case are outlined in the communiqué linked here. Learn more about the Bridge International Academies-01 case

Cambodia: CAO Releases Progress Report Related to the VEIL II Dispute Resolution Process

February 12, 2020 - CAO has released a progress report related to an ongoing dispute resolution process between Hoang Anh Gia Lai, a Vietnamese operator of rubber plantations in Ratanakiri province, and locally impacted villages. The report provides an overview of the CAO’s dispute resolution process and outlines the efforts made to date by the parties. The report is available in English and Khmer. Learn more about the VEIL II-01 case

Albania: CAO Closes Enso-02 Case After Compliance Appraisal

February 10, 2019 - CAO has completed its compliance appraisal of the second complaint regarding IFC’s investment in the Enso Albania hydropower project in Albania. CAO concluded that IFC’s approach to the review and supervision of this project in relation to the issues raised in the complaint did not meet the threshold of raising substantial concerns regarding Environmental & Social outcomes and/or issues of systemic importance to IFC that would warrant a compliance investigation. CAO has thus decided to close this case.Learn more about the Enso Albania-02 case

Ukraine: Dispute Resolution Parties Release Joint Statement on Mediation Process

February 7, 2020 - The parties to a dispute resolution process related to the IFC-supported Myronivsky Hliboproduct project in Ukraine, facilitated by CAO and EBRD's Project Complaint Mechanism, signed a Joint Statement outlining the efforts and progress made to date in the mediation process. The document is available in English and Ukrainian.Learn more about the MHP-01 case

Summary of CAO Cases: January 31, 2020

February 4, 2020 - CAO’s end-of-month summary of cases in assessment, dispute resolution, and compliance is available at the link below. Case Summary January 2020

Pakistan: CAO Accepts New Complaint Regarding IFC-Supported Karot Hydro

February 4, 2020 - CAO has accepted a new complaint regarding the IFC-supported Karot hydropower project in Pakistan. The complaint raises concerns about lack of payment of exit wages, discrimination against local workers, and irregularities about employment contracts and salary increases.Learn more about the Karot-02 case

CAO to Hold Accountability Symposium to Commemorate 20th Anniversary

January 31, 2020 - This year marks CAO’s 20th year of operations. To celebrate this significant milestone CAO will be hosting a series of learning events in April following the World Bank Group Spring Meetings, including an Accountability Symposium on April 21, 2020 co-hosted by American University Washington College of Law. More details to follow. Learn moreRSVP here

Panama: CAO Initiates Compliance Investigation Regarding IFC’s Advisory Services Project with Empresa de Transmisión Eléctrica, S.A.

January 24, 2020 - CAO has completed its compliance appraisal regarding IFC’s Advisory Services project with Empresa de Transmisión Eléctrica, S.A. (ETESA) in Panama, and has determined that an investigation is merited in response to this case. The appraisal report and the terms of reference for the investigation are available in English and Spanish at the link below.Learn more about this case

Uzbekistan: Dispute Resolution Parties Announce Agreement Signing

January 16, 2020 – A group of CAO complainants and Hamkorbank, an IFC client, signed an interim mediation agreement in October 2019. The parties decided to keep the original agreement confidential and have jointly drafted two public communiques, available at the link below in English, Russian and Uzbek.Learn more about this case

Chad: CAO Concludes Dispute Resolution Process Related to the Chad-Cameroon Petroleum Development and Pipeline Project

January 10, 2020 - CAO has concluded the dispute resolution process between Esso Exploration and Production Chad, Inc., the operator of the Chadian portion of the pipeline, and representatives of local communities affected by the oil development and production of the pipeline. Issues that were not part of the dialogue process, specifically concerns around security and resource management, have been transferred to CAO compliance for appraisal of IFC’s performance. A dispute resolution conclusion report is available in both English and French.Learn more about this case

Nigeria: CAO Initiates Compliance Investigation Regarding IFC’s Investment in Indorama Eleme Fertilizer and Chemicals

December 9, 2019 - CAO has completed its compliance appraisal regarding IFC’s investment in Indorama Eleme Fertilizer and Chemicals in Nigeria, and has determined that an investigation is merited in response to this case. The appraisal report and the Terms of Reference for the investigation are available in English at the link below.Learn more about the Eleme Fertilizer-01 case

Albania: CAO Releases Compliance Monitoring Report of IFC’s Investment in Enso Albania’s Lengarica Hydropower Project

December 6, 2019 – CAO has released its first compliance monitoring report of IFC’s actions in response to the October 2018 investigation of IFC’s investment in Enso Albania, regarding the impacts of the Lengarica hydropower project in southern Albania. CAO will keep the case open for monitoring. The report is available in English and is being translated into Albanian.
Learn more about the Enso Albania-01 case

CAO at the UN Business and Human Rights Forum

December 2, 2019 - CAO was at the UN Business and Human Rights Forum in Geneva, Switzerland this week participating in a discussion on gender guidance for the UN Guiding Principles and conducting outreach with Indigenous Peoples’ representatives.Learn more

Indonesia: CAO Refers Complaint Related to IFC-Supported Wings Group Project to Dispute Resolution

November 22, 2019 - CAO found the complaint eligible for assessment in February 2019, and conducted a field visit to Indonesia in May 2019 to discuss options for addressing the complaint with the relevant parties. During the assessment process the complainants and Gawi Plantations, part of the Wings Group, agreed to engage in a dispute resolution process, which is now ongoing. The assessment report is available at the below link in both English and Bahasa Indonesia, as well as IFC’s formal response.Learn more about the Wings-01 case

Kenya: CAO Accepts Complaint Regarding IFC Investment in Delonex and Africa Oil

November 14, 2019 – CAO has accepted a complaint related to IFC’s investment in Delonex and Africa Oil in Kenya. An assessment of the complaint is underway. The complaint and more information about the case are available at the link below. Learn more about the Delonex and Africa Oil-01 case

Nicaragua: Community Members and IFC Client Sign Final Mediation Agreement Regarding the Montelimar Sugar Mill

November 12, 2019 - The parties to the CAO dispute resolution process in Nicaragua regarding the Montelimar Mill, which is operated by IFC client Corporación Montelimar, have signed a final mediation agreement. The agreement between the affected community and the company concluded the CAO dispute resolution process. CAO is currently monitoring implementation of the agreement to assist in ensuring its smooth implementation, sustainability, and success. The agreement is available in English and Spanish at the link below.
Learn more about the Montelimar-01 case

What's New

CAO Newsletter: November 2019

November 21, 2019 - This issue provides an update on the release of CAO's compliance monitoring report related to a hydropower project in Guatemala, the launch of CAO's 2019 Annual Report, the assessment of a case regarding bauxite mining in Guinea, engagement with IFC on learning from involuntary resettlement cases, and outreach in Bangladesh, along with other recent activities. Learn more

Bangladesh: CAO Reaches Out to Civil Society in South Asia

November 7, 2019 - CAO co-hosted an outreach workshop with Civil Society Organizations in Dhaka, Bangladesh on September 26 and 27, 2019 as part of its outreach efforts in the South Asia region. The meeting was organized together with the World Bank’s Inspection Panel, Green Climate Fund’s Independent Redress Mechanism, UNDP’s Social and Environmental Compliance Unit, ADB’s Compliance Review Panel, and with local, regional, and international CSOs.Learn more about this event