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

Changes to CAO’s Work due to COVID-19 (Coronavirus)

The rapidly evolving global situation with COVID-19 (Coronavirus) is impacting all of us in unexpected ways. CAO sends its sympathies and support to all our teams, friends, colleagues, and partners around the world who are being adversely affected by this outbreak. World Bank Group offices in Washington DC, and the majority of country offices, are now conducting home-based work and all mission travel is suspended worldwide. These restrictions apply to all CAO staff and consultants. In light of these measures, CAO case handling will be adjusted as needed in discussion with the parties.  CAO will adopt a flexible approach and will continue to manage cases remotely, wherever feasible, and guided by the availability and unique circumstances of the parties. If you have questions or concerns related to CAO, whether concerning a pending complaint, the status of a case in assessment, dispute resolution or compliance, or other aspects of our work, please click here

Case Update

Summary of CAO Cases: March 31, 2020

March 31, 2020 - CAO’s end-of-month summary of cases in assessment, dispute resolution, and compliance is available at the link below.Case Summary March 2020

Cameroon: CAO Closes Second Case Related to the Chad-Cameroon Pipeline Project after Dispute Resolution

March 31, 2020 - CAO has closed the dispute resolution process related to the Cameroon portion of the Chad-Cameroon Pipeline Project, after monitoring implementation of settlement agreements between the project operator, Cameroon Oil Transportation Company (COTCO), and affected community representatives. CAO’s conclusion report is available in both English and French.Learn more about the Chad-Cameroon Pipeline-02 case

Liberia: CAO Refers Complaint Related to IFC Investment in Salala Rubber Corporation to Compliance

March 31, 2020 - CAO has completed its assessment of a complaint related to IFC’s investment in Salala Rubber Corporation (SRC) in Liberia. 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 of IFC’s environmental and social performance, in accordance with CAO’s Operational Guidelines. CAO’s Assessment Report is available in English, as well as IFC’s response. Learn more about the Salala Rubber Corporation-01 case

Azerbaijan: CAO Closes Second Case Regarding Trans-Anatolian Pipeline After Compliance Appraisal

March 19, 2020 - CAO has completed its compliance appraisal of the second complaint regarding MIGA’s guarantee for the Trans-Anatolian Pipeline (TANAP) in Azerbaijan. CAO’s appraisal has determined that an investigation is not the appropriate response to this complaint and has thus closed this case. The appraisal report is available in English and Azeri at the link below.
Learn more about the TANAP-02 case

POSTPONED: CAO Accountability Symposium to Commemorate 20th Anniversary

March 12, 2020 - In light of the ongoing uncertainties and risk to health and security with COVID-19 (Coronavirus), CAO’s 20th Anniversary Symposium co-hosted with American University Washington College of Law, which was planned for April, has been postponed. CAO is developing alternative plans for CAO at 20 themed events and will provide updates in due course.Learn more

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

March 5, 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 27, 2020 in English. See links below for more details. Invitation for Expressions of Interest & ToRInvitation pour une Manifestation d’Intérêt & TDR »

Cambodia: CAO Refers Complaint Related to IFC Investment in TPBank and VPBank to Dispute Resolution

February 28, 2020 - CAO has completed its assessment of 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. During the assessment, the parties agreed to engage in a dispute resolution process convened by CAO. Given the overlap of parties in dialogue and issues for discussion with CAO’s Cambodia/VEIL II-01/Ratanakiri Province case, the two cases will be merged and handled by CAO through one dispute resolution process. The assessment report is available in English and Khmer, as well as IFC's official response.Learn more about the TPBank and VPBank-01 case

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

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

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

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

What's New

CAO Newsletter: January 2020

January 28, 2020 - This issue provides an update on a final mediation agreement reached through CAO dispute resolution in Nicaragua, the release of a compliance investigation report concerning a hydropower project in Costa Rica, the initiation of new compliance investigations in Kenya and Nigeria, and outreach in Geneva and Washington, D.C., along with other recent activities.
Learn more