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

CAO Launches 2019 Digital Annual Report

October 10, 2019 - CAO's 2019 Annual Report features outcomes from our dispute resolution, compliance, advisory, and outreach activities this year. Learn about CAO’s casework in 35 countries and explore highlights from our year working with communities, companies, IFC and MIGA staff, and other stakeholders for positive impact.
CAO’s 2019 Digital Annual Report

CAO Annual Meetings Event: Remediation for Project-Affected Communities

October 10, 2019 - CAO is co-hosting a panel event on “The Role of Financiers in Enabling Remediation for Project Affected Communities” at the WBG Annual Meetings Civil Society Policy Forum. The session, which is co-hosted with SOMO and moderated by Devex, will take place on Wednesday, Oct 16, 9:00-10:30 AM and bring together experts from private sector, academia, civil society and IFC to discuss challenges, good practices, and lessons for achieving effective remedy in cases of business-related environmental and social impacts on communities.Learn more about this event

Join CAO: Compliance Team Seeks Extended-Term Consultant

October 10, 2019 - CAO is hiring an extended-term consultant to join its compliance team. The consultant will provide research and analytical support for the compliance team with a focus on compliance casework. The successful candidate will have a degree in a relevant field including law, social sciences, environment, business or engineering and at least 2 years relevant post qualification experience. For more information on the position and how to apply, please see the Terms of Reference here. Applications will be accepted through October 19, 2019.Learn more

Philippines: CAO Initiates Compliance Investigation Regarding IFC Investment in Rizal Commercial Banking Corporation

October 9, 2019 - CAO has completed its compliance appraisal regarding IFC's investment in Rizal Commercial Banking Corporation (RCBC) in the Philippines, particularly in relation to RCBC-supported coal-fired power plants. CAO determined to initiate a compliance investigation into IFC’s review and supervision of the client’s environmental and social risk. The appraisal report is available in English on CAO’s website.Learn more about this case

Albania: CAO Refers Second Complaint Related to IFC-Supported Enso Albania Hydropower Project to Compliance

October 9, 2019 - CAO found the complaint eligible for assessment in May 2019, and conducted a field visit to Albania in July 2019 to discuss options for addressing the complaint with the relevant parties. During the assessment, there was a lack of consensus amongst the parties to engage in a CAO dispute resolution process. Given that CAO dispute resolution is voluntary, the complaint has been referred to CAO’s Compliance function for appraisal in accordance with CAO’s Operational Guidelines. The assessment report is available in English and Albanian, as well as IFC’s formal response.Learn more about this case

Nicaragua: CAO Closes Condor Gold-01 Case After Appraisal

October 3, 2019 - CAO has completed its compliance appraisal of IFC’s investment in Condor Gold’s La India mining exploration project in Nicaragua. 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 E&S 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 this case

Ukraine: Call for Expressions of Interest for Joint Fact-Finding Study

October 1, 2019 – The parties to a dispute resolution process in Ukraine facilitated by CAO and EBRD’s Project Complaint Mechanism invite qualified experts to submit Expressions of Interest for independent studies on environmental impacts and damage to roads and houses. See links below for more details.
Call for Expressions of Interest and ToR for the study on environmental impactsCall for Expressions of Interest and ToR for the study on the damage to roads and houses »
Learn more about this case »

Summary of CAO Cases: September 2019

September 30, 2019 - CAO’s 6-weekly summary of cases in assessment, dispute resolution, and compliance is available at the link below.Case Summary September 2019

Liberia: CAO Accepts Complaint Regarding IFC Investment in Salala Rubber Corporation

September 10, 2019 – CAO has accepted a complaint regarding IFC’s investment in Salala Rubber Corporation, related to the company’s rubber plantation operations in Liberia. An assessment of the complaint is underway. The complaint and more information about the case are available at the link below.Learn more

Guinea: CAO Refers Complaint Related to IFC-Supported Expansion of the CBG Sangaredi Mine Project to Dispute Resolution

August 27, 2019 - CAO found the complaint eligible for assessment in March 2019, and conducted a field visit to Guinea in April 2019 to discuss options for addressing the complaint with the relevant parties. During the assessment process the complainants and the IFC client agreed to engage in a dispute resolution process, which is now ongoing. The assessment report is available at the below links in both English and French, as well as IFC’s formal response.
Learn morePage relative au dossier en francais »

Guatemala: CAO Publishes Compliance Monitoring Report Related to IFC’s Investment in Real LRIF

August 14, 2019 – CAO has released its compliance monitoring report of IFC’s investment in Real LRIF, as it relates to a complaint regarding the Hidro Santa Rita hydropower planet in Coban, Guatemala. CAO will continue to keep the case open for monitoring. The report is available in English and Spanish.Learn more

Albania: CAO Closes Kurum Hydro-01 Case After Appraisal

August 9, 2019 - CAO has completed its compliance appraisal of IFC’s investment in Kurum International related to the company’s steel operations in Elbasan, Albania. Considering measures taken by IFC and its client to mitigate adverse impacts and to resolve the lack of clarity on the application of IFC’s E&S standards to Kurum’s steel production activities, CAO concludes that a compliance investigation is not merited in response to this complaint. As a result, CAO has closed this case.Learn more

Peru: CAO Sends Yanacocha Investigation Report to IFC for Official Response

August 9, 2019 – CAO has completed its compliance investigation report of IFC’s investment in the Yanacocha mine in Peru, and has sent the investigation report to IFC’s management for official response. IFC has 20 working days to submit a response. The report and IFC’s response will then be sent to the President of the World Bank Group for clearance and disclosure.Learn more about Yanacocha-09 Learn more about Yanacocha-10

Cambodia: CAO Accepts Second Complaint Related to Hoang Anh Gia Lai Rubber Plantations

July 3, 2019 – CAO has accepted a complaint regarding IFC’s investment in two Financial Intermediary clients, TPBank and VPBank, related to their investments in Hoang Anh Gia Lai, a Vietnamese company operating rubber plantations in Ratanakiri Province, Cambodia. An assessment of the complaint is underway. More information about the case is available at the link below. Learn more about the TPBank and VPBank-01 case

CAO Advisory Comments on IFC Draft Good Practice Handbook on Land Acquisition and Involuntary Resettlement

July 2, 2019 - In response to IFC’s request for external peer review, CAO has provided comments on IFC’s Draft Good Practice Handbook on Land Acquisition and Involuntary Resettlement. CAO’s advice is drawn from the 22 percent of CAO complaints that have raised land and resettlement issues over the past 20 years. More information on CAO’s comments and a reference table with additional context are available at the link below. Learn more

Honduras: CAO Closes Investigation of IFC Investment in Banco Ficohsa after Monitoring

June 13, 2019 – CAO is closing its investigation of IFC’s investment Banco Ficohsa after monitoring. Overall, CAO found that IFC’s response only partially addressed its compliance findings, but is closing the case considering that IFC has divested its equity and loan investments in Ficohsa. CAO’s second monitoring report and case details are available at the links below.Learn more about the Ficohsa-01 caseLearn more about the Ficohsa-02 case »

Albania: CAO Accepts Second Complaint Regarding IFC-Supported Enso Albania Hydropower Project

June 7, 2019 – CAO has accepted a complaint regarding the IFC-supported Enso Albania Mati hydropower plant in Albania. An assessment of the complaint is underway. More information about the case is available at the link below. Learn more about the Enso Albania-02 case

What's New

CAO Launches 2019 Digital Annual Report

October 10, 2019 - CAO's 2019 Annual Report features outcomes from our dispute resolution, compliance, advisory, and outreach activities this year. Learn about CAO’s casework in 35 countries and explore highlights from our year working with communities, companies, IFC and MIGA staff, and other stakeholders for positive impact.CAO’s 2019 Digital Annual Report

CAO Dispute Resolution Launches Good Practice Publication on Joint Fact-Finding

September 5, 2019 - CAO’s Dispute Resolution function has released the third publication in a series on Reflections from Practice. The new publication provides information on the tool known as Joint Fact-Finding, a collaborative process in which parties in conflict work together with experts to address disputes of fact. The Reflections from Practice series provides guidance for CAO Dispute Resolution staff, mediators, and consultants, and informs parties about the foundational principles guiding CAO's dispute resolution work.Explore the series

CAO Newsletter: July 2019

July 30, 2019 - CAO's latest newsletter provides an update on the conclusion of a CAO dispute resolution process in Mongolia, two new compliance monitoring reports related to cases in Togo and India, the closure of compliance cases in Honduras and Ghana, CAO outreach across four continents, and dispute resolution knowledge sharing activities.  Learn more

CAO Insights from the Field Featured in New IFC Podcast

June 3, 2019 - As part of IFC’s ‘In Their Own Words’ podcast series, CAO Dispute Resolution lead Gina Barbieri discusses engaging with communities and the different ways of helping people with Mimi Keita of IFC’s Infrastructure and Natural Resources Advisory team. The new series features candid conversations between sustainable development experts.Listen here