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

Chile: CAO Accepts Second Complaint Related to IFC's Support to Hydroelectric Facilities

September 25, 2017 - CAO has accepted a second complaint in relation to IFC's investment in Alto Maipo SpA to support the construction of two run-of-the-river hydroelectric facilities in Chile. CAO found the complaint eligible for further assessment in August 2017 and has initiated its assessment. A summary of the complaint (in Spanish) and more information about the case are available at the link below.
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Bangladesh: CAO Concludes Dispute Resolution Process Related to United Ashuganj Energy Limited

September 15, 2017 - CAO has successfully concluded a dispute resolution process related to IFC’s investment in United Ashuganj Energy Limited. The complaint, which was filed by local residents, raised concerns regarding noise pollution and storm water management.  The parties reached agreement on a series of actions to address the concerns raised. CAO monitored the implementation of the agreement for a period of six months, as agreed by the parties, and closed the case after the parties confirmed that the complaint issues had been resolved to their satisfaction. The CAO Conclusion Report (in English and Bangla) and more information about the case are available at the link below.
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Georgia: Complaint Regarding South Caucasus pipeline

September 13, 2017 – CAO has accepted a complaint regarding working conditions at the Vale site of the South Caucasus pipeline in Georgia. MIGA is actively considering providing a guarantee to the Southern Gas Corridor (SGC) in respect of SGC’s investment in the Trans-Anatolian pipeline (TANAP). According to MIGA, the expansion of the South Caucasus Pipeline is considered an associated facility to TANAP. An assessment of the case is underway with relevant parties.
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Belarus: CAO Concludes Dispute Resolution Process related to IFC’s Strominvest Project

August 31, 2017 - CAO has concluded a dispute resolution process in Belarus between local Minsk residents and construction company Strominvest, to address concerns about possible forced evictions and resettlement. As the local parties were unable to reach agreement on resolution of the complaint issues, the case has been transferred to CAO Compliance for appraisal of IFC’s performance related to the project. On August 28, 2017, CAO issued a conclusion report summarizing the dispute resolution process. This report is available in both English and Russian.
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Morocco: Agreement Reached through Dispute Resolution Related to Zalar Holding’s Activities in Tiddas

August 30, 2017 - The CAO dispute resolution process related to Zalar Holding’s activities in Tiddas has resulted in a final agreement resolving the issues in the complaint. The parties have formalized the agreement and CAO will assist the parties in monitoring its implementation. The final agreement and more information about the case are available at the link below.Learn more about this case

Guatemala: CAO Sends Real LRIF Investigation Report to IFC for Official Response

August 24, 2017 - CAO has sent its investigation report of IFC's investment in Real LRIF as relates to the Santa Rita Hydropower Project (Guatemala) to IFC's management for official response. IFC has 20 working days to submit its response. Once CAO receives IFC's response, the report and IFC's response will be sent to the President of the World Bank Group for clearance and publication.Learn more about this case

Egypt: CAO Accepts Third Complaint Related to IFC's Support to Cement Plant

August 23, 2017 - CAO has accepted a third complaint in relation to IFC's investment in the Titan Group to support and expand its Egyptian operations through Titan's holding company Alexandria Development Limited (ADL). CAO found the complaint eligible for further assessment in July 2017 and has initiated its assessment. The complaint (in English and Arabic) and more information about the case are available at the link below.Learn more about this case

Summary of CAO Cases: August 2017

August 17, 2017 - CAO’s 6-weekly summary of cases in assessment, dispute resolution, and compliance is available at the link below.CAO Case Summary August 2017

Peru: CAO Assessment of Ninth Complaint Related to IFC’s Investment in Yanacocha

August 17, 2017 - CAO has concluded the assessment of the issues raised in the ninth complaint related to IFC’s investment in Yanacocha, in Cajamarca, Peru. 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.
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Video: Introduction to the Independent Accountability Mechanisms (IAMs)

August 8, 2017 - In the the 1990s, international financial institutions began establishing Independent Accountability Mechanisms (IAMs) to provide recourse for people who believe they have been, or could be, harmed by IFI-supported projects. Today, a large number of multilateral and bilateral financial institutions have mechanisms. This animation, which is available in English, French, and Spanish, explains their work.Video: IAMs - Promoting Citizen Driven Accountability for Sustainable Development

Armenia: CAO Releases Investigation of IFC's Investments in Lydian International Related to the Amulsar Gold Mine

August 4, 2017 - CAO releases an investigation of investments made by the IFC in Lydian International and its Amulsar gold mine project in Armenia. The investigation was initiated in response to two complaints filed to CAO in 2014 by communities living near the mine. IFC has released a public response to CAO’s investigation. CAO will monitor IFC's response to the investigation findings and issue a monitoring report within a year. The investigation report in English and Armenian, IFC's response, a communique and more information about the case are available at the link below.Learn more about this case

Cambodia: Company Commits to Return Spirit Mountains to 11 Communities in Ratanakiri Province Dialogue Process

July 27, 2017- Following a series of meetings facilitated by CAO's Dispute Resolution function, the representatives of 11 affected villages, HAGL and NGO representatives issued a Joint Statement setting out new agreements made. As noted in the Joint Statement, HAGL committed to return spirit mountains, grant villagers access to forest, and implement an earlier agreement to restore water sources and repair roadways. The parties agreed to cooperate with the Government to allow the full implementation of these agreements and to continue working together through CAO-facilitated Dispute Resolution process to address the remaining issues. The Joint Statement is available in both English and Khmer. Learn more about this case

CAO Monitoring and Evaluation: Compliance Peer Review

CAO has released a peer review of its compliance reports initiated in 2016 as part of ongoing enhancements to CAO's Monitoring and Evaluation (M&E) system. The review, which was conducted by a former member of the Asian Development Bank's Compliance Review Panel, found CAO reports to be robust with evidence even-handedly set out and analyzed prior to reaching conclusions. The review also found there was solid justification for the decision to investigate in each of the cases that proceeded to the compliance investigation stage. The review makes recommendations in relation to structuring of reports and improving their readability. CAO expects to conduct regular peer reviews as part of its M&E work. More details about the peer review process are available here. The report summary, as prepared by the external peer reviewer, is available at the link below.
Read CAO's Compliance Peer Review

Guinea: Complaint Regarding Siguiri Mine

July 10, 2017 – CAO has accepted a complaint regarding impacts from the expansion of the Siguiri mine. Nedbank Group LTD, based in South Africa, is the IFC client that has provided financing to AngloGold Ashanti. AngloGold Ashanti’s sole operation in the Republic of Guinea is the Siguiri mine. An assessment of the case is underway with relevant parties.Learn more about this case

Costa Rica: CAO Assessment of Second Complaint Related to IFC’s Investment in Reventazón HPP- 02

June 28, 2017 - CAO has concluded the assessment of the issues raised in the second complaint related to IFC’s investment in Reventazón HPP, in Siquirres, Costa Rica. 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 about this case

Uganda: CAO Assessment of Complaint Related to IFC’s Investment in Bidco Bev. & Det. Project

June 26, 2017 - CAO has concluded the assessment of the issues raised in the third complaint related to IFC’s investment in Bidco Bev. & Det. (Project #33385), in Kalangala, Uganda. The complainants and the company stated their preference to engage with one another through CAO-facilitated dialogue to try to resolve the complaint. Therefore, in accordance with CAO’s Operational Guidelines, the complaint was referred to CAO’s Dispute Resolution function. This report is available in both English and Luganda.
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Honduras: CAO Releases Compliance Appraisal of Two Dinant Complaints

June 22, 2017 – CAO releases a compliance appraisal report in relation to the Dinant 02 and 03 complaints, filed with CAO in 2014 and transferred to CAO’s compliance function in February 2017. The appraisal notes that a number of issues raised in the complaints are similar in substance to those covered in a 2014 CAO audit of IFC’s investment in Dinant. As a result, CAO has decided to consider the issues raised by these complaints as part of its ongoing monitoring of the 2014 audit. The report in English and Spanish and more information is available at the link below. Learn more about this case

Egypt: CAO Concludes Dispute Resolution Process Related to Egyptian Indian Polyester Company

June 20, 2017 - CAO has successfully concluded a dispute resolution process related to IFC’s investment in the Egyptian Indian Polyester Company, which concerned lack of compensation for work done. The parties came to an agreement which resulted in the company paying all outstanding monies to the complainants. The CAO Assessment and Dispute Resolution Conclusion Report and more information about the case are available at the link below.
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Armenia: CAO Sends Lydian Investigation Report to IFC for Official Response

June 19, 2017 - CAO has sent its investigation report of IFC's investment in Lydian International (Armenia) to IFC's management for official response. IFC has 20 working days to submit its response. Once CAO receives IFC's response, the report and IFC's response will be sent to the President of the World Bank Group for clearance and publication.Learn more about this case

Honduras: CAO Releases Appraisal Report in Relation to Ficohsa Case

June 9, 2017 - CAO releases a compliance appraisal report regarding IFC’s performance in relation to its supervision of Banco Ficohsa as it relates to the Tela Bay project in Honduras. CAO has decided to consider the issues raised by the Tela Bay complaint as part of its ongoing monitoring of IFC’s investment in Ficohsa (Ficohsa-01 case). The appraisal report in English and Spanish, and more information about the case, are available at the link below.Learn more about this case

Mongolia: Agreements Reached through Dispute Resolution Related to Oyu Tolgoi Mine

June 5, 2017 - The CAO dispute resolution processes related to the Oyu Tolgoi copper and gold mine have resulted in final agreements resolving the issues in the complaints. The parties have formalized the agreements and CAO will assist the parties in monitoring their implementation. The agreements and joint statements by the parties are available in English and Mongolian on each case’s respective page.Learn more about these cases

South Africa: Conclusion of CAO Dispute Resolution Process Related to IFC’s investment in Lonmin

June 1, 2017 – The CAO dispute resolution process related to IFC’s investment in Lonmin has been brought to a close after the parties were unable to reach agreement on a way forward. As per its Operational Guidelines, CAO has referred the complaint to CAO’s Compliance function for appraisal of IFC’s due diligence. A conclusion report summarizing the process is available here.Learn more about this case

Peru: CAO Accepts Ninth Complaint Related to IFC's investments in Minera Yanacocha

April 28, 2017 - CAO has accepted a ninth complaint in relation to IFC's investment in the Yanacocha gold mine project in the Department of Cajamarca, Peru. CAO found the complaint eligible for further assessment in March 2017 and has begun an assessment of the complaint. More information about the case is available at the link below.Learn more about this case

Belarus: CAO Assessment of Complaint Related to IFC’s Investment in Strominvest Project

April 28, 2017 - CAO has concluded the assessment of the issues raised in the complaint related to IFC’s investment in Strominvest (Project #26107 & 31993), in Minsk, Belarus. The complainants and Strominvest stated their preference to engage with one another through CAO-facilitated dialogue to try to resolve the complaint. Therefore, in accordance with CAO’s Operational Guidelines, the complaint was referred to CAO’s Dispute Resolution function. This report is available in both English and Belarusian.Learn more about this case

Egypt: CAO Accepts Second Complaint Related to IFC's Support to Cement Plant

April 24, 2017 - CAO has accepted a second complaint in relation to IFC's investment in the Titan Group to support and exand its Egyptian operations through Titan's holding company Alexandria Development Limited (ADL). CAO found the complaint eligible for further assessment in March 2017 and has initiated its assessment. The complaint and more information about the case are available at the link below.Learn more about this case

Chile: Alto Maipo Hydropower Case Assessment

April 11, 2017 - CAO is in Chile April 11-18, 2017 to assess a complaint regarding IFC’s support for the Alto Maipo hydropower project. The complaint was filed to CAO in January 2017 by Chilean organizations on behalf of communities neighboring the project.  Read the case communique here in English and Spanish.Learn more about this case

Costa Rica: CAO Assessment of Complaint Related to IFC’s Investment in Reventazón HPP- 01

April 6, 2017 – CAO has concluded the assessment of the issues raised in the first complaint related to IFC’s investment in Reventazón HPP, in Siquirres, Costa Rica. 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.
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Kenya: CAO Compliance Appraisal in Relation to the Bidco Bev. & Det.-01 Complaint

April 4, 2017 – CAO releases its compliance appraisal report in relation to Bidco Bev. & Det. Ltd. CAO has decided that the issues raised in the complaint are substantial related to IFC’s review of the company’s labor practices and IFC’s supervision of the client labor and occupational health and safety performance. A compliance investigation is now underway. More details on this case, as well as the compliance appraisal report and investigation ToR are available at the link below. Learn more about this case

Uzbekistan: Indorama Kokand/Hamkor Bank-01 - CAO Complainant Released

March 24, 2017 - CAO has confirmed that Elena Urlaeva, a CAO complainant on the Indorama Kokand/Hamkor Bank-01/Uzbekistan case, has been released from the psychiatric hospital and is at home with her family. Elena was involuntarily committed to a psychiatric hospital in Tashkent on March 1, 2017. A CAO representative was able to meet with Elena at the hospital on March 7 and CAO continued to monitor her situation. The assessment period for the case has been extended and CAO intends on having more in-depth discussions with Elena, as part of the case assessment. For more details on the case, click this link.
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CAO Launches New Interactive Grievance Mechanism Toolkit

March 22, 2017 - CAO has launched its new interactive Grievance Mechanism Toolkit (http://www.cao-grm.org/) which is designed to respond to challenges faced by small and medium companies in implementing effective grievance mechanisms. CAO is hosting a discussion and lunch event as part of its launch of the toolkit on Wednesday, April 5, 2017, 12:00-1:00 PM. Learn more about the toolkit and event here

CAO Releases its Third Monitoring Report Related to the Financial Intermediaries (FI) Audit

March 8, 2017 - CAO releases its third monitoring report in relation to IFC's response to the 2012 Audit of a Sample of IFC Investments in Third-Party Financial Intermediaries. In order to provide an enhanced measure of the effectiveness of IFC’s response to the FI Audit, CAO decided to review a sample of active FI investments committed under the 2012 Sustainability Framework for this third monitoring report. The report and more information about this case are available at the link below.Learn more about this case

What's New

CAO Newsletter: Summer Issue 2017

August 31, 2017 - CAO's latest newsletter features a landmark agreement in Mongolia following a CAO dispute resolution process related to the Oyu Tolgoi mine, compliance activities in Honduras related to various cases, facilitation of a new agreement in Nicaragua, and outreach in Bangkok. CAO Newsletter - Summer Issue 2017

Spring Meetings 2017: CAO Events

April 20, 2017 - CAO hosted a session during the Spring Meetings Civil Society Policy Forum on Accountability in Development: The Principles and Practice of Mediation in a Local and Global Context. The session took place on Thursday April 20. Learn more about this event

CAO ANNUAL REPORT 2016: Solutions + Accountability + Learning

October 6, 2016: A Focus on Impacted Communities—In Cambodia, a company in dialogue with local communities agrees to halt land clearance around rubber plantations. In Indonesia and India, CAO publishes compliance reports in relation to the environmental and social impacts of IFC investments. For a full report on CAO's activities in FY2016, click the below link. A summary of the report is also available below in both English and Spanish.
CAO Annual Report 2016

CAO Annual Report 2016 (Spanish)
Summary Leaflet (English)
Summary Leaflet (Spanish)