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

Brazil: CAO Accepts New Complaint Regarding IFC supported Valor Fund

June 14, 2021 - CAO has accepted a new complaint regarding IFC’s investment in Valor Venture Fund in Brazil. The complaint raises concerns about the health and saftey issue relating to the fund supported Tembici/iFood joint venture. CAO has begun an assessment of the complaint. Learn more about the case

Monthly Case Highlights - May 2021

May 31, 2021 - Our end-of-month outline of cases in assessment, dispute resolution, and compliance is available via the link below. Case Highlights May 2021

Event Invitation: 2021 Virtual Mediator Summit

May 14, 2021 – Join our innovative event, “Looking Back, Moving Forward,” which pulls lessons from a decade of mediation and dispute resolution in development. Focusing on environmental and social accountability, the summit brings communities, civil society, mediators, private sector professionals, and development specialists together to sharpen the effectiveness of grievance redress mechanisms to achieve remedy for project-affected communities. The virtual event takes place at 8 a.m. EST on Wednesday, May 26, 2021. Register here

Job Opportunity: Vacancy for a Principal Specialist Ombudsman

May 13, 2021 - CAO is seeking a new Principal Specialist Ombudsman to lead its Dispute Resolution function. This is a full time staff position based in Washington, DC. Click on the link below to view the Terms of Reference and apply. The deadline for applications is May 31, 2021.
Apply here

Quarterly Newsletter: Quarter 3, Fiscal Year 2021

This issue showcases how our dispute resolution work builds trust, the release of a monitoring report on a hydropower project in Costa Rica, the completion of an assessment of garment manufacturing project in Haiti, casework related to investments in low-cost schools in Kenya, and ongoing public consultation on the draft CAO policy.
Learn more

Ongoing: Public Consultations on Draft CAO Policy

May 07, 2021 - Public consultations on the new draft CAO policy, which outlines CAO’s purpose, mandate and functions, core principles, and governance, are ongoing. The draft policy was developed by a Joint CAO/IFC/MIGA Working Group in response to recommendations from the External Review of IFC’s/MIGA’s Environmental and Social Accountability, including the CAO's Role and Effectiveness (the External Review). Learn more about the consultation process via the link below. Learn more

Jordan: Complaint Regarding IFC-supported Alcazar Energy Referred to Compliance

May 3, 2021 - CAO completed an assessment of a complaint related to the IFC-supported Alcazar Energy project in Jordan. The parties elected to resolve the issues through the CAO dispute resolution process. Following this, the complainant withdrew from the dispute resolution process, and became unreachable for CAO to understand the reasons behind the withdrawal. The complaint will now be transferred to CAO’s Compliance function for appraisal in accordance with CAO’s Operational Guidelines. The conclusion report is available in English and Arabic. Learn more about the case

Ukraine: Dispute Resolution Parties Release Joint Statement on Mediation Process

April 30, 2021 - Parties to a dispute resolutoin process—related to the IFC-supported Myronivsky Hliboproduct project in Ukraine—signed a joint statement outlining agreements reached in the process of mediation. The mediation process is facilitated by CAO and EBRD’s Independent Project Accountability Mechanism. The statement is available in English and Ukrainian.Learn more about the case

Monthly Case Highlights – April 2021

April 30, 2021 – Our end-of-month outline of cases in assessment, dispute resolution, and compliance is available via the link below.Case Highlights April 2021

Costa Rica: CAO Closes Reventazón 01 & 02 After Compliance Monitoring

April 8, 2021 – CAO has released its compliance monitoring report of an IFC investment in the Reventazón Hydropower Plant project. CAO concludes that IFC’s response is unsatisfactory, as IFC’s response only partially addressed the non-compliance findings and has not addressed associated risk of under-compensation. CAO has decided to close the case considering that IFC no longer has an investment in the Company and IFC has not committed to any further project-level actions. The monitoring report is available in English and Spanish.
Learn more about the case

Pakistan: Complaint Regarding IFC-supported Karot Hydro Referred to Compliance

April 8, 2021 - CAO has completed its assessment of a third complaint related to the IFC-supported Karot hydro project in Pakistan. During CAO’s assessment, a consensus could not be reached with regard to engaging in dispute resolution. The case has thus been referred to CAO’s Compliance team for appraisal in accordance with CAO’s Operational Guidelines. The assessment report is available in English. Learn more about this case

Monthly Case Highlights – March 2021

April 2, 2021 - CAO's end-of-month outline of cases in assessment, dispute resolution, and compliance is available at the link below. Case Highlights March 2021

Argentina: CAO Accepts Complaint Regarding IFC Investment in Pan American Energy (PAE)

March 26, 2021 – CAO has accepted a complaint related to IFC’s investment in Pan American Energy (PAE) in Argentina. An assessment of the complaint is underway. The complaint and more information about the case are available at the link below. Learn more about this case

India: CAO Accepts New Complaint Regarding IFC-supported Shapoorji Pallonji

March 24, 2021 - CAO has accepted a new complaint regarding IFC’s project with Pallonji Company Limited (SPCL) in India. The complaint raises concerns about impacts on farmland to develop affordable housing units. CAO has begun an assessment of the complaint.Learn more about this case

CAO Newsletter: Quarter 2, Fiscal Year 2021

This issue highlights a new transition in CAO leadership, mediation between in Guinea, the publication of our Reflections from Practice series in French, a new compliance investigation in Myanmar, and the release of a report concluding the monitoring process in Peru.
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Summary of CAO cases: February 26, 2021

March 03, 2021 - CAO's end-of-month summary of cases in assesssment, dispute resolution, and compliance is available at the link below. Case summary February 2021

Kenya: Complaint Related to IFC’s Bridge International Academies Project Referred to Dispute Resolution

January 25, 2021 - CAO has completed its assessment of a third complaint related to the IFC-supported Bridge International Academies project in Kenya. The parties have agreed to engage in a CAO dispute resolution process. The assessment report is available in English and Kiswahili.  A communique regarding CAO cases related to IFC's investment in Bridge International Academies in Kenya is available here.
Learn more about this case

Haiti: Complaint Regarding IFC’s Project with Grupo M and CODEVI Referred to Dispute Resolution

January 20, 2021 - CAO has completed its assessment of a complaint related to an IFC garment manufacturing project with Grupo M and CODEVI, in Haiti. The parties have agreed to engage in a CAO dispute resolution process. The assessment report is available in English and Creole.
Learn more about this case

Kenya: CAO Completes CAO Vice President Request for Compliance Appraisal of IFC's Investment in Bridge International Academies

January 13, 2021 - CAO has completed its compliance appraisal of IFC's investment in Bridge International Academies and determined that an investigation is an appropriate response to the compliance issues. The investigation will consider the adequacy of IFC’s due diligence and supervision against the requirements of its Sustainability Framework. More details available in the appraisal report via link below. A communique regarding CAO cases related to IFC's investment in Bridge International Academies in Kenya is available here.Learn more about this case

Jordan: Complaint Regarding IFC’s Project with Daehan Wind Power Company Referred to Dispute Resolution

December 15, 2020 - CAO has completed its assessment of a complaint related to the IFC Project with Daehan Wind Power Company 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

Pakistan: Complaint Regarding IFC-supported Karot Hydro Referred to Compliance

December 7, 2020 - CAO has completed its assessment of a complaint related to the IFC supported Karot hydro project in Pakistan. The case is automatically being referred to CAO’s compliance function for appraisal as CAO was unable to locate the Complainant during the assessment process. The assessment report is available in English and Urdu.Learn more about this case

Liberia: CAO Releases Terms of Reference for Salala Rubber Corporation Investigation

November 25, 2020: CAO has released the Terms of Reference (ToR) for its upcoming investigation of IFC’s investment in the Salala Rubber Corporation project in Liberia. The ToR is available via the link below:Learn more about this case

Myanmar: CAO Releases Terms of Reference for Myanma Awba Investigation

November 18, 2020: CAO has released the Terms of Reference (ToR) for its upcoming investigation of IFC’s investment in the Myanma Awba project in Myanmar. The ToR is available via the link below:Learn more about this case

Jordan: Complaint Regarding IFC Project with Alcazar Energy Referred to Dispute Resolution

November 16, 2020 - CAO has completed its assessment of a complaint related to the IFC Project with Alcazar Energy 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

Georgia: Case Regarding IFC/MIGA AGL Hydropower project Transferred to Compliance

November 11, 2020 - CAO has concluded a dispute resolution process in Georgia related to the IFC/MIGA-supported Adjaristsqali Georgia LLC (AGL) hydropower project as the parties did not reach final agreement. The case is being transferred to compliance appraisal. CAO’s dispute resolution conclusion report is available in English and Georgian.Learn more about this case

Kenya: Complaint Related to IFC’s investment in Delonex and Africa Oil Referred to Dispute Resolution

November 3, 2020 – CAO has completed its assessment of a complaint regarding IFC’s investment in Delonex and Africa Oil in Kenya. The case is being referred to dispute resolution. CAO’s assessment report is available in English and Kiswahili. Learn more about this case

Janine Ferretti Appointed Next Vice President, Compliance Advisor Ombudsman (CAO)

October 27, 2020 – The World Bank Group has announced the appointment of Janine Ferretti as the next Vice President, Compliance Advisor Ombudsman (CAO) for IFC and MIGA following the completion of the selection process. Ms. Ferretti’s appointment is effective January 1, 2021.Learn more

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: 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

What's New

CAO Newsletter: November 2020

November 5, 2020 - This issue highlights progress toward implementing mediated agreements in Nicaragua, the closure of CAO investigations in India and Malaysia after monitoring, a new CAO guidance note on gender-inclusive dispute resolution, the Annual Meeting of the Independent Accountability Mechanisms, and virtual outreach in Brazil and Central America.
Learn more

Resources: 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