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

CAO Monitoring and Evaluation: FY17 Compliance Peer Review

The continued development of CAO’s monitoring and evaluation (M&E) system is an important part of ensuring that it remains. Over the past two years, CAO has undertaken revisions to this system to make it more robust and, thus to help CAO to improve its work. In 2016, CAO implemented the latest addition to its M&E system, an external peer review of CAO’s compliance reports. For this review, CAO selected Dr. Lalanath de Silva, who was at the time a member of the Asian Development Bank’s Compliance Review Panel and a Director at the World Resources Institute. Dr. de Silva was selected for this role given his extensive background in the areas of environmental policy and compliance review. Since completing the review Dr. de Silva has taken up a position as head of the Independent Redress Mechanism at the Green Climate Fund.

The review finds CAO’s reports to be robust with evidence being even handedly set out and analyzed prior to reaching conclusions. The review also finds there was solid justification for the decision to investigate in each of the cases that proceeded to the investigation stage of the compliance process. The review makes recommendations in relation to structuring of CAO compliance reports and improving their readability for members of the public. CAO expects to conduct regular peer reviews of this type as part of its M&E system.

The report summary, as prepared by Dr. de Silva, is posted on CAO’s website.

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

Summary of CAO Cases: June 2017

June 26, 2017 - CAO’s 6-weekly summary of cases in assessment, dispute resolution, and compliance is available at the link below.CAO Case Summary June 2017

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 the Dinant 02 and 03 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-02 Complaint

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 in CAO Dispute Resolution processes related to Oyu Tolgoi cases

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

Colombia: CAO Monitoring and Closing Report of IFC's Response to the Avianca Investigation

May 16, 2017 - CAO releases a monitoring report of IFC's actions in response to the investigation published in May 2015 regarding IFC's investment in Avianca in Colombia. Overall CAO found that IFC's response had only partially addressed the investigation findings. Nevertheless, CAO has decided to close its monitoring. The monitoring report and more information about the case are available at the link below.Learn more about this case

India: CAO Assessment of second complaint related to IFC’s investment in Tata Ultra Mega

May 15, 2017 – CAO has concluded the assessment of the issues raised in the second complaint related to IFC’s investment in Tata Ultra Mega, in Gujarat, India. 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 Gujarati.
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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: Spring Issue 2017

April 20, 2017 - CAO’s latest newsletter features an agreement in Chad following a CAO dispute resolution process related to the Chad-Cameroon Pipeline, CAO’s monitoring of IFC regarding the Tata Ultra Mega power plant in India, and CAO’s monitoring of IFC related to investments in financial intermediaries (FIs).  This newsletter is also available in Spanish and French.CAO Newsletter - Spring 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)