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 IN CAO'S WORK DUE TO COVID-19

Case Update

Summary of CAO cases: September 30, 2020

October 7, 2020 - CAO's end-of-month summary of cases in assesssment, dispute resolution, and compliance is available at the link below.Case summary September 2020

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

October 6, 2020 - CAO has accepted a new complaint regarding IFC’s project with Karot Power Company Limited (KPCL), in Pakistan. The complaint raises concerns about working conditions, freedom of association, the company’s grievance mechanism and use of security forces at the project site. CAO has begun an assessment of the complaint.Learn more about this case

Liberia: CAO decides to initiate compliance investigation of IFC’s performance regarding Salala Rubber Corporation investment

October 5, 2020 - CAO completed its compliance appraisal of IFC’s investment in the Salala Rubber Corporation project in Liberia. CAO has decided to initiate a compliance investigation in relation to IFC’s environmental and social performance in this investment. CAO’s appraisal report is available in English. Learn more about this case

Jordan: CAO Accepts New Complaint Regarding IFC Project with Alcazar Energy

September 30, 2020 - CAO has accepted a new complaint regarding IFC’s project with Alcazar Energy in Jordan. The complaint entails a concern about the potential impact of the wind farm on the complainant’s unit, including noise and flashing lights from the project site. The complainant requested confidentiality. CAO has commenced an assessment of the complaint. Learn more about this case

Jordan: CAO Accepts New Complaint Regarding IFC Project with Daehan Wind Power Company

September 16, 2020 - CAO has accepted a new complaint regarding IFC’s project with Daehan Wind Power Company in Jordan. The complaint was filed by a local community member raising concerns about the impact of project construction and potential future impact of the wind farm’s operations. CAO has commenced an assessment of the complaint.Learn more about this case

Jordan: Complaint Related to IFC’s Masdar Baynouna Project Referred to Dispute Resolution

September 15, 2020 - CAO has completed its assessment of a complaint related to the IFC-supported Masdar Baynouna solar photovoltaic project in Jordan. The parties have agreed to engage in a CAO dispute resolution process. The assessment report is available in English and Arabic.Learn more about this case

CAO Dispute Resolution: Joint Fact-Finding Publication Now Available in French

September 2, 2020 - CAO is releasing its Dispute Resolution "Reflections from Practice" series in additional languages.  Our Joint Fact-Finding publication is now available in French and French translations of its sister publications "Getting Started with Dispute Resolution" and "Representation" will follow soon. Learn more about CAO's Reflections from Practice Series

External Review of IFC/MIGA Environmental & Social Accountability: Review Report Released

August 12, 2020 - The World Bank Group has published the report of the External Review of IFC/MIGA’s Environmental & Social Accountability, Including CAO’s Role and Effectiveness. The External Review was initiated in 2019 by the IFC and MIGA Boards and was conducted by a panel of six independent experts led by Peter Woicke. The Board has opened up a public comment period through September 12, 2020.Learn more about the External Review here

CAO Guidance Note on Gender-Inclusive Dispute Resolution

August 6, 2020 - CAO has launched a new Guidance Note on How to Adopt a Gender-Inclusive Approach to Dispute Resolution. This practical tool, developed by CAO's dispute resolution staff, mediators and gender experts, identifies common challenges in adopting gender-inclusive processes and provides strategies and tools to address those challenges.Learn more

Selection Process for CAO Vice President

The World Bank Group announced the selection process for the next Vice President and Compliance Advisor Ombudsman for IFC and MIGA in June 2020 with a deadline for applications on July 31, 2020. The current CAO Vice President, Osvaldo L. Gratacós, concludes his term at the end of December 2020. A Selection Committee has been appointed by President David Malpass to conduct an objective, transparent and participatory selection process including representatives from the civil society and business communities, and from the Board. Learn more about the Selection Process, Commitee, and Terms of Reference

Malaysia: CAO Closes Case Regarding Paper Factory Labor Rights Concerns After Compliance Monitoring Header

July 16, 2020 – CAO has released its compliance monitoring report of an IFC investment in Bilt Paper B.V. in Malaysia, and has decided to close the case. CAO finds that IFC’s response at the level of the project was Unsatisfactory, as IFC has taken no actions to address IFC’s findings in relation to the project. CAO finds that IFC’s response at the level of its systems is Partially Unsatisfactory. The report notes that, while IFC has increased its attention to contextual risk screening, other systemic aspects of CAO’s findings have not been addressed. CAO’s compliance monitoring report is available at the link below.Learn more about the Bilt Paper-02 case

India: CAO Closes Cases Regarding Impacts of Proposed Kerala Port After Compliance Monitoring

July 16, 2020 – CAO has released its compliance monitoring report of an IFC advisory services project in relation to an IFC Advisory Services PPP project for construction of a port in Vizhinjam, Kerala. CAO focused its monitoring on measures taken by IFC at the level of its systems, and found that IFC’s response is Satisfactory. The report notes that IFC outlined several changes to its supervision of PPP advisory services that potentially increase focus on identifying and managing environmental and social issues. CAO’s compliance monitoring report is available at the links below.Learn more about the Vizhinjam-01/Kerala case Learn more about the Vizhinjam-02/Kerala case »
Learn more about the Vizhinjam-03/Mulloor case »

Summary of CAO Cases: June 30, 2020

July 6, 2020 - CAO’s end-of-month summary of cases in assessment, dispute resolution, and compliance is available at the link below.Case Summary June 2020

Ukraine: CAO Closes Case Regarding Galnaftogaz Gas Filling Station Project After Compliance Appraisal

June 30, 2020 - CAO has completed its compliance appraisal of IFC’s investment in Galnaftogaz (GNG) and has determined that an investigation is not warranted in regard to this case. CAO found indications that IFC’s review and supervision of the project may not have complied with relevant environmental and social requirements but noted that GNG appears to have abandoned the project site that was the subject of the complaint. Per CAO’s Operational Guidelines, CAO decided to close the case. CAO’s compliance appraisal report is available in English and in Ukrainian at the link below. Learn more about the Galnaftogaz-01 case

Ukraine: Call for Proposals for Joint Fact Finding Study

June 25, 2020 – The parties to a dispute resolution process facilitated by CAO and EBRD’s Project Complaint Mechanism (PCM) in Ukraine invite qualified experts to submit Calls for Proposals for an independent study on damage to homes and buildings. See link below for more details. Link to Call for Proposals and ToR for the study on the damage to homes and buildingsLearn more about the MHP-01 case»

Chad: CAO Closes Chad-Cameroon Pipeline-03 Case After Compliance Appraisal

June 25, 2020 - CAO has completed its compliance appraisal of IFC’s investment in the Chad-Cameroon Petroleum Development and Pipeline Project. CAO’s appraisal concluded that an investigation is not merited for the two remaining issues that were transferred to Compliance following the closure of the Dispute Resolution process. Per CAO’s operational guidelines, CAO has thus decided to close this case. More information is available at the link below, along with CAO’s appraisal report in English and French.Learn more about the Chad-Cameroon Pipeline-03 Case

Jordan: CAO Accepts New Complaint Regarding IFC Project with Masdar Baynouna Solar Energy

June 24, 2020 - CAO has accepted a new complaint regarding IFC’s project with Baynouna Solar Energy Company, in Jordan. The complaint was filed by a local community member, raising concerns about the company’s stakeholder engagement plan, Environmental and Social Impact Assessment,, and Environmental and Social Management System. Issues related to the company’s grievance mechanism, the appointment of the “Community Liaison Officer”, and employment opportunities and livelihood restoration to the local community were also mentioned.Learn more about the Masdar Baynouna-01 case

Myanmar: CAO Transfers Case Related to IFC Investment in Myanma Awba from Dispute Resolution to Compliance

June 23, 2020 - CAO has concluded the dispute resolution process in Myanmar related to IFC’s investment in Myanma Awba Corporation following a split in the Complainant group, which resulted in one group wishing to continue the dispute resolution process, and the other group requesting to transfer the case to CAO’s Compliance function. Given that CAO dispute resolution is voluntary and requires a unanimous mandate, after consulting all parties, CAO thus transferred the case to its compliance function for appraisal of IFC’s environmental and social performance, in accordance with its Operational Guidelines. The dispute resolution conclusion report is available in English and Burmese at the link below.
Learn more about the Myanma Awba Group Company Ltd.-01 case

Kenya: CAO Accepts Two New Complaints Regarding IFC Project with Bridge International Academies

June 18, 2020 - CAO has accepted two new complaints regarding IFC’s project in Kenya with Bridge International Academies in Kenya, Africa’s largest chain of low-cost schools. The complaints were filed by the parents of two students of enrolled at one of Bridge’s schools in Kenya, with support from the East Africa Centre for Human Rights. The complaints concern an electrocution incident that occurred while the students were at school, and which resulted in the death of one student and injury of the other.Learn more about the Bridge International Academies-02 caseLearn more about the Bridge International Academies-03 case »

Guatemala: CAO Publishes Compliance Investigation Regarding IFC Investment in CIFI

June 10, 2020 - CAO has released its compliance investigation report of IFC’s investment in Corporación Interamericana para el Financiamiento de Infraestructura, S.A (CIFI), a financial intermediary. The investigation responds to a complaint related to the Santa Cruz hydropower project in Guatemala, a former CIFI investment. CAO makes several non-compliance findings concerning IFC’s review and supervision of its investment in CIFI, including IFC's response to an incident related to the Santa Cruz sub-project. CAO's investigation report, a summary in Spanish, and IFC’s response are available through the link below.Learn more about the CIFI-01 case

Uganda: CAO Publishes Second Compliance Monitoring Report Regarding IFC and MIGA’s Investment in the Bujagali Energy Power Plant

May 18, 2020 – CAO has released its second compliance monitoring report of IFC and MIGA’s investment in the Bujagali Energy Power Plant, as it relates to the Bujagali Energy 04, 06, 07, and 08 cases. The report notes significant delays in IFC’s implementation of the actions it committed to in response to these investigations. Given that key items from IFC’s response remain in the process of implementation, CAO will keep these cases open for monitoring. The report is available in English.Learn more about the Bujagali 04 caseLearn more about the Bujagali 06 case »
Learn more about the Bujagali 07 case »
Learn more about the Bujagali 08 case »

Mongolia: CAO Closes Cases Related to the Oyu Tolgoi Project after Dispute Resolution

May 12, 2020 - CAO has closed the dispute resolution process related to the IFC and MIGA-supported Oyu Tolgoi mining project, after monitoring implementation of agreements reached between Oyu Tolgoi, representatives of local herders, and the Khanbogd Soum Government. CAO’s conclusion report is available in both English and Mongolian.Learn more about the Oyu Tolgoi-01 caseLearn more about the Oyu Tolgoi-02 case »

Haiti: CAO Accepts New Complaint Regarding IFC Project with Grupo M and CODEVI

May 8, 2020 - CAO has accepted a new complaint regarding IFC’s project in Haiti with Grupo M and its fully owned subsidiary CODEVI, one of the largest garment manufacturing operations in the Central America and Caribbean region. The complaint was filed by a local individual on behalf of 174 farmers’ households in the Special Economic Zone of Ouanaminthe and raises concerns regarding the economic displacement of the complainants due to CODEVI’s construction there in 2002, as well as concerns regarding improper waste disposal by CODEVI.Learn more about the Grupo M and CODEVI II-01 case

Cambodia: CAO Closes Case Related to IFC’s Cambodia Airports Project after Dispute Resolution

May 7, 2020 - CAO has closed the dispute resolution process related to the IFC-supported Cambodia Airports Project, after monitoring implementation of agreements reached between the project operator, Societe Concessionaire de l'Aeroport, affected community representatives, and the Government of Cambodia. CAO’s conclusion report is available in both English and Khmer. Learn more about the Cambodia Airports-01-Phnom Penh case

Nicaragua: Community and Company Continue Working Together to Prevent COVID-19 Years After Conclusion of CAO Dialogue Process

April 30, 2020 - Several years after the conclusion of a CAO dispute resolution process in Nicaragua which addressed concerns in the sugarcane sector related to Chronic Kidney Disease, the parties have taken their collaboration to the next level during the COVID-19 pandemic. ASOCHIVIDA, an association of 2,000 former sugarcane workers and their families, and Nicaragua Sugar Estates Limited, have implemented a joint strategy to prevent the spread of the virus among ASOCHIVIDA members, staff, and their communities. The parties’ joint statement about this effort is available at the link below.Learn more

What's New

Latin America & the Caribbean: CAO Collaborates in Virtual Outreach Initiatives

June 5, 2020 - During May and June, CAO has been partnering in an outreach webinar series for civil society in the Latin America region hosted by the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights in Colombia, as well as other Independent Accountability Mechanisms, OECD National Contact Points, and civil society partners. The events have reached several hundred participants from fifteen countries in the region.Learn more

CAO Newsletter: April 2020

May 8, 2020 - This issue provides an update on changes to CAO's casework due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the closure of dispute resolution processes in Chad and Cameroon, the release of CAO's compliance investigation report related to the Yanacocha Gold Mine in Peru, and the closure of a case regarding a gas pipeline in Azerbaijan after compliance appraisal. 
Learn more

New Resource: One-Pager on Changes to CAO's Casework due to COVID-19 and Health Information

April 17, 2020 - CAO has prepared a one-pager on changes to CAO's casework due to coronavirus, which is available at the link below for download and printing. The one-pager also includes an infographic from the Pan-American Health Organization with guidance on how to 'be aware, prepare, and act' with regard to the coronavirus. Additional translations are forthcoming and will be posted in due course.Download here