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 recourse 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

Summary of CAO Cases: February 2018

February 13, 2018 - CAO’s 6-weekly summary of cases in assessment, dispute resolution, and compliance is available at the link below.Case Summary February 2018

CAO to Present to American Bar Association on Dispute Resolution Work

February 13, 2018 – CAO will present to the Mid-Atlantic Chapter of the American Bar Association (ABA) in Washington, D.C. on February 22, 2018, on CAO’s dispute resolution work. Learn more about this event

Uganda: CAO Concludes Dispute Resolution Process related to IFC’s Agri-Vie Fund/New Forests Company

February 12, 2018 - CAO has concluded a dispute resolution process in Uganda between the Mubende community and New Forests Company (NFC), an African forestry company supported by Agri-Vie Agribusiness Fund, an IFC client. The dispute resolution process addressed a community complaint concerning the impacts of evictions and displacement from a forestry plantation area.  CAO is closing the case after monitoring implementation of an agreement reached by the parties in 2013. A conclusion report is available in English, and will soon be available in Lugandan.Learn more

Uganda: CAO Concludes Dispute Resolution Process Regarding IFC’s Bidco Project

February 7, 2018 - CAO has concluded the dispute resolution process between IFC client, Bidco Africa Limited’s and a group of 38 smallholder farmers residing in Kalangala, Uganda. The complaint raised issues of  compensation and resolution of multiple claims over the land acquired by the Bidco Africa’s operations in Uganda through its subsidiary, Oil Palm Uganda Ltd (OPUL) for its palm oil operations. After the parties reached a settlement agreement in August 2017, CAO monitored the implementation of the agreement through to December 2017. In the absence of any outstanding issues in relation to the complaint, the case has been now closed. A dispute resolution conclusion report is available in both English and Lugandan.Learn more

Georgia: CAO Assessment of Complaint Regarding South Caucasus pipeline

February 6, 2018 - CAO has concluded the assessment of the issues raised in the complaint pertaining to the South Caucasus pipeline in Georgia, which is related to MIGA’s Trans-Anatolian pipeline (TANAP) project. Due to lack of agreement between the parties on pursuing a dialogue process under the auspices of the CAO’s Dispute Resolution function, CAO has referred the complaint to CAO’s Compliance function for appraisal of MIGA’s due diligence. An assessment report is available in both English and Georgian.Learn more

Myanmar: CAO Accepts Complaint regarding IFC's Investment in Myanma Awba Group Company Ltd., Myanmar

February 1, 2018 - CAO has accepted a complaint in relation to IFC's investment in Myanma Awba Group Company Ltd. to support the development of an agro- chemical formulation plant in Myanmar. The complaint raises concerns regarding water contamination, community health, community consultation, information disclosure, and compliance with IFC Performance Standards. CAO found the complaint eligible in October 2017, and has initiated an assessment. A summary of the complaint and more information about the case are available at the link below.Learn more

Input Requested: 5 Minute Online Communications Survey

January 31, 2018 – CAO is assessing its communications products (website, newsletter) and social media platforms (Facebook, Twitter) to ensure that they effectively communicate with CAO’s many stakeholders. Please take this five minute survey to help CAO strengthen its communication efforts. Your input will be greatly appreciated.Participate here

Philippines: CAO Accepts Complaint regarding IFC's Investment in Rizal Commercial Banking Corporation (RCBC)

January 29, 2018 - CAO has accepted a complaint in relation to IFC's investment in Rizal Commercial Banking Corporation (RCBC), one of the largest universal banks in the Philippines. The complaint concerns several environmental and social impacts on communities residing in proximity of 19 coal-fired power plants located across the Philippines. The complaint alleges that RCBC has provided financial support to the plants, either directly or through companies that own or operate them. The complaint additionally concerns issues related to climate change impacts and to RCBC’s environmental and social management system. CAO found the complaint eligible in November 2017 and has initiated its assessment. A summary of the complaint and more information about the case are available at the link below.
Learn more

Peru: CAO Releases Terms of Reference for Yanacocha 09 & 10 Investigation

January 26, 2018 - CAO has released the Terms of Reference (ToR) for its upcoming investigation of IFC’s investment in the Minera Yanacocha S.R.L, a large open-pit gold mine located in the Andes mountains of Peru. The ToR in English and Spanish, and more information about the case, are available at the link below.
Learn more about the Yanacocha 09 case »
Learn more about the Yanacocha 10 case »

Cambodia: Airports-01/Phnom Penh Case Moves to Dispute Resolution Monitoring Phase

January 23, 2018 - After consultations with complainant representatives and Société Concessionnaire de l'Aéroport (SCA), CAO is formally moving the Cambodia Airports-01/Phnom Penh case to the dispute resolution monitoring phase. The Government of Cambodia decided not to resettle households living along the airport fence, and SCA is renovating and enhancing the existing airport fence to meet safety and security requirements. CAO will continue to monitor the situation until the fence construction and renovations are completed.Learn more

Mongolia: Scholarships awarded to 24 students as part of Dispute Resolution Agreement

January 17, 2018 – 24 students residing in Khanbogd soum, Umnugovi, Mongolia, were awarded scholarships to begin or continue their Bachelor studies, thereby increasing the number of scholarships received in the Khanbogs soum in the period 2010-2017 to 218. The scholarships were awarded as part of the mediation agreement reached between Oyu Tolgoi LLC and the Khanbogd soum herders through a CAO-facilitated dispute resolution process.Learn more

Uganda: CAO Releases Compliance Investigation Related to IFC’s Bujagali Energy Project and Issues of Compensation

January 16, 2018 - CAO has released a compliance investigation in relation to IFC’s investment in the Bujagali hydropower project in Uganda. The investigation responds to a complaint from over 200 community members concerning inadequate compensation for assets and crops. A summary of the investigation findings, full report and IFC’s response are available at the link below. Learn more

Guinea: CAO Finalizes Assessment of Complaint Related to IFC’s Nedbank Project  

January 9, 2018 - CAO has completed its assessment of a complaint related to the expansion of the Siguiri gold mine in Guinea. The mine is operated by a Guinean subsidiary of AngloGold Ashanti, la Société AngloGold Ashanti de Guinée S.A. (SAG).  AngloGold Ashanti has received funding from Nedbank Group Ltd, an IFC client. During CAO’s assessment SAG and the Complainants expressed the desire to meet to exchange information about the issues raised in the complaint, and to decide whether and how the parties should engage towards dialogue facilitated by CAO. The assessment report and further information about the case is available the link below.Learn more

CAO Assessment of second Complaint Related to IFC’s Alto Maipo project

January 8, 2018 - CAO has concluded the assessment of the issues raised in the second complaint related to IFC’s investment in Alto Maipo SpA, in Cajon del Maipo, Chile. Due to lack of agreement between the parties on pursuing a dispute resolution process under the auspices of the CAO’s Dispute Resolution function, CAO has referred the complaint to CAO’s Compliance function for appraisal of IFC’s due diligence. An assessment report is available in both English and Spanish. Learn more

Uganda: CAO sends Bujagali-07 Investigation Report to IFC and MIGA for Official Response

December 18, 2017 - CAO has finalized its investigation report of IFC's investment and MIGA's guarantee in the Bujagali hydropower project in Uganda, related to the Bujagali-07complaint. IFC/MIGA's management has 20 days to submit a response to the investigation report. Learn more

Uganda: CAO Releases Compliance Investigation Related to IFC’s Bujagali Energy Project and Issues of Worker Health and Safety

December 12, 2017 - CAO has completed a compliance investigation in relation to IFC’s investment in Bujagali Energy Ltd, a power plant on the River Nile in Uganda. The investigation responds to complaints from two groups of workers who were involved in the construction of the project. The investigation identifies shortcomings in IFC’s review and supervision of occupational health safety risk on the construction site. The investigation also raises concerns that the workers who died or sustained injuries leading to permanent incapacity due to their work on the project were not provided with appropriate compensation. The compliance investigation report and further information about the case is available at the links below.
Learn more about the Bujagali-04 complaint Learn more about the Bujagali-06 complaint

South Africa: CAO Initiates Compliance Investigation Related to IFC’s Lonmin Project

December 07, 2017 - CAO has completed a compliance appraisal in relation to IFC’s investment in Lonmin Plc, a platinum producer in South Africa. The appraisal determined that an investigation of IFC’s performance is merited in relation to the investment. CAO’s involvement in the case was initiated by complaints from local community members. The appraisal report and further information about the case is available at the link below.Learn more

What's New

CAO Newsletter: December 2017

January 26, 2018 - CAO's latest newsletter features a reflection on the past year from CAO’s Vice President, Osvaldo L. Gratacós. It also reports on progress reached through dispute resolution in Albania and Cameroon, two new compliance investigations related to a hydropower project in Uganda, and outreach in South Africa and China, amongst other updates. CAO Newsletter - December 2017

CAO Launches Digital Site for 2017 Annual Report

December 12, 2017 - CAO has launched the digital version of its 2017 Annual Report. Browse the interactive site to explore data and outcomes from CAO’s work over the past year, including landmark agreements through dispute resolution; new compliance investigations; advisory work; and outreach activities.Access the digital site

CAO Approach to Responding to Concerns of Threats and Incidents of Reprisals

October 17, 2017 – CAO's Approach to Responding to Concerns of Threats and Incidents of Reprisals in CAO Operations is now available. The Approach provides practical guidance to CAO staff and consultants on how to handle situations involving threats and reprisals targeting individuals that have engaged, or are seeking to engage, in a CAO process. The Approach is set to become fully operational by the end of December 2017.Learn more about the Approach here

CAO Event: WBG Annual Meetings 2017 - The Role of Effective Mediation in Achieving Sustainable Development

October 16, 2017 – At this year's Annual Meetings, CAO hosted a discussion focused on the use of mediation in development disputes, with views from the private sector, civil society, and mediation professionals. The discussion included a short film about a CAO mediation process in Nicaragua. Learn more about the event and panelists

CAO Releases 2017 Annual Report

October 13, 2017 - CAO’s FY2017 report highlights landmark agreements reached between communities and companies through CAO dispute resolution processes in Cambodia, Chad, and Mongolia; new compliance investigations in the agribusiness, infrastructure, and mining sectors; advisory work focused on grievance mechanisms, supply chains, and learning from agribusiness projects; and CAO's outreach activities around the world. The report can be downloaded at the link below. Look out for our interactive digital report in the coming weeks.
CAO Annual Report FY2017
CAO Informe Anual FY2017 (Spanish)

Nicaragua: Short Film - Building Hope and Health Through Dialogue

October 11, 2017- This 10 minute film depicts the positive outcomes of a CAO mediation process in Nicaragua between a large sugar producer, Nicaragua Sugar Estates Ltd (NSEL) and former workers and local community members affected by chronic kidney disease. The film captures the diverse voices and perspectives of key stakeholders involved in the dialogue process, and highlights key lessons and challenges. More information about this case is available here.Short Film - Buidling Hope and Health Through Dialogue in Nicaragua

Video: Introduction to the Independent Accountability Mechanisms (IAMs)

August 8, 2017 - This short video, which was produced by the Independent Accountability Mechanisms Network (IAMnet), provides an overview of the role of the IAMs in providing recourse for people affected by projects supported by international financial institutions around the world. The video is available in English, French, and Spanish.
Video: IAMs : Promoting Citizen Driven Accountability for Sustainable Development 
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