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

Case Update

Join CAO: Dispute Resolution Seeks Research Analyst

December 12, 2019 - This is a full time staff position with CAO’s Dispute Resolution function. CAO Dispute Resolution works to identify the causes of conflict and help parties resolve concerns using practical and innovative approaches. For more information on this position and how to apply, please see the World Bank Group career portal page linked below. Applications will be accepted through January 3, 2020. Learn more

Nigeria: CAO Initiates Compliance Investigation Regarding IFC’s Investment in Indorama Eleme Fertilizer and Chemicals

December 9, 2019 - CAO has completed its compliance appraisal regarding IFC’s investment in Indorama Eleme Fertilizer and Chemicals in Nigeria, and has determined that an investigation is merited in response to this case. The appraisal report and the Terms of Reference for the investigation are available in English at the link below.Learn more about the Eleme Fertilizer-01 case

Albania: CAO Releases Compliance Monitoring Report of IFC’s Investment in Enso Albania’s Lengarica Hydropower Project

December 6, 2019 – CAO has released its first compliance monitoring report of IFC’s actions in response to the October 2018 investigation of IFC’s investment in Enso Albania, regarding the impacts of the Lengarica hydropower project in southern Albania. CAO will keep the case open for monitoring. The report is available in English and is being translated into Albanian.
Learn more about the Enso Albania-01 case

Join CAO: Advisory Seeks Operations Officer

December 3, 2019 - This is a full time staff position with CAO’s Advisory function. The job will involve strategic thinking around advisory work, product development including research and data analysis, as well as monitoring and evaluation. For more information on this position and how to apply, please see the World Bank Group career portal page linked below. Applications will be accepted through December 13, 2019.Learn more

CAO at the UN Business and Human Rights Forum

December 2, 2019 - CAO was at the UN Business and Human Rights Forum in Geneva, Switzerland this week participating in a discussion on gender guidance for the UN Guiding Principles and conducting outreach with Indigenous Peoples’ representatives.Learn more

Summary of CAO Cases: November 2019

December 2, 2019 - CAO’s monthly summary of cases in assessment, dispute resolution, and compliance is available at the link below.Case Summary November 2019

Indonesia: CAO Refers Complaint Related to IFC-Supported Wings Group Project to Dispute Resolution

November 22, 2019 - CAO found the complaint eligible for assessment in February 2019, and conducted a field visit to Indonesia in May 2019 to discuss options for addressing the complaint with the relevant parties. During the assessment process the complainants and Gawi Plantations, part of the Wings Group, agreed to engage in a dispute resolution process, which is now ongoing. The assessment report is available at the below link in both English and Bahasa Indonesia, as well as IFC’s formal response.Learn more about the Wings-01 case

Kenya: CAO Accepts Complaint Regarding IFC Investment in Delonex and Africa Oil

November 14, 2019 – CAO has accepted a complaint related to IFC’s investment in Delonex and Africa Oil in Kenya. An assessment of the complaint is underway. The complaint and more information about the case are available at the link below. Learn more about the Delonex and Africa Oil-01 case

Nicaragua: Community Members and IFC Client Sign Final Mediation Agreement Regarding the Montelimar Sugar Mill

November 12, 2019 - The parties to the CAO dispute resolution process in Nicaragua regarding the Montelimar Mill, which is operated by IFC client Corporación Montelimar, have signed a final mediation agreement. The agreement between the affected community and the company concluded the CAO dispute resolution process. CAO is currently monitoring implementation of the agreement to assist in ensuring its smooth implementation, sustainability, and success. The agreement is available in English and Spanish at the link below.
Learn more about the Montelimar-01 case

Kenya: CAO Initiates Compliance Investigation Regarding IFC’s Investment in Bridge International Academies

October 24, 2019 - CAO has completed its compliance appraisal regarding IFC’s investment in Bridge International Academies in Kenya, and has determined that an investigation is merited in response to this case. The appraisal report is available in English at the link below.Learn more about the Bridge-01 case

Costa Rica: CAO Releases Compliance Investigation Regarding IFC’s Investment in the Reventazón Hydropower Project

October 24, 2019 - CAO has released its compliance investigation report of IFC’s investment in the Reventazón Hydropower Project in Costa Rica. The investigation assessed issues arounds land acquisition, livelihoods restoration, stakeholder engagement, and disclosure of information. The investigation report is available in English and Spanish, as well as IFC’s official response.Learn more about the Reventazon-01 caseLearn more about the Reventazon-02 case »

Azerbaijan: CAO Refers Complaint Related to MIGA-Supported Trans-Anatolian Pipeline Project to Compliance

October 15, 2019 - CAO found the complaint eligible for assessment in November 2018, and conducted a field visit to Azerbaijan in May 2019 to discuss options for addressing the complaint with the relevant parties. During the assessment, there was a lack of consensus amongst the parties to engage in a CAO dispute resolution process. Given that CAO dispute resolution is voluntary, the complaint has been referred to CAO’s Compliance function for appraisal in accordance with CAO’s Operational Guidelines. The assessment report is available at the link below in English and Azeri, along with MIGA’s formal response.Learn more about this case

Philippines: CAO Initiates Compliance Investigation Regarding IFC Investment in Rizal Commercial Banking Corporation

October 9, 2019 - CAO has completed its compliance appraisal regarding IFC's investment in Rizal Commercial Banking Corporation (RCBC) in the Philippines, particularly in relation to RCBC-supported coal-fired power plants. CAO determined to initiate a compliance investigation into IFC’s review and supervision of the client’s environmental and social risk. The appraisal report is available in English on CAO’s website.Learn more about this case

Albania: CAO Refers Second Complaint Related to IFC-Supported Enso Albania Hydropower Project to Compliance

October 9, 2019 - CAO found the complaint eligible for assessment in May 2019, and conducted a field visit to Albania in July 2019 to discuss options for addressing the complaint with the relevant parties. During the assessment, there was a lack of consensus amongst the parties to engage in a CAO dispute resolution process. Given that CAO dispute resolution is voluntary, the complaint has been referred to CAO’s Compliance function for appraisal in accordance with CAO’s Operational Guidelines. The assessment report is available in English and Albanian, as well as IFC’s formal response.Learn more about this case

Nicaragua: CAO Closes Condor Gold-01 Case After Appraisal

October 3, 2019 - CAO has completed its compliance appraisal of IFC’s investment in Condor Gold’s La India mining exploration project in Nicaragua. CAO concluded that IFC’s approach to the review and supervision of this project in relation to the issues raised in the complaint, did not meet the threshold of raising substantial concerns regarding E&S outcomes and/or issues of systemic importance to IFC that would warrant a compliance investigation. CAO has thus decided to close this case.
Learn more about this case

Ukraine: Call for Expressions of Interest for Joint Fact-Finding Study

October 1, 2019 - The parties to a dispute resolution process in Ukraine facilitated by CAO and EBRD’s Project Complaint Mechanism invite qualified experts to submit Expressions of Interest for independent studies on environmental impacts and damage to roads and houses. See links below for more details.
Call for Expressions of Interest and ToR for the study on environmental impactsCall for Expressions of Interest and ToR for the study on the damage to roads and houses »
Learn more about this case »

Liberia: CAO Accepts Complaint Regarding IFC Investment in Salala Rubber Corporation

September 10, 2019 - CAO has accepted a complaint regarding IFC’s investment in Salala Rubber Corporation, related to the company’s rubber plantation operations in Liberia. An assessment of the complaint is underway. The complaint and more information about the case are available at the link below.Learn more

What's New

CAO Newsletter: November 2019

November 21, 2019 - This issue provides an update on the release of CAO's compliance monitoring report related to a hydropower project in Guatemala, the launch of CAO's 2019 Annual Report, the assessment of a case regarding bauxite mining in Guinea, engagement with IFC on learning from involuntary resettlement cases, and outreach in Bangladesh, along with other recent activities. Learn more

Bangladesh: CAO Reaches Out to Civil Society in South Asia

November 7, 2019 - CAO co-hosted an outreach workshop with Civil Society Organizations in Dhaka, Bangladesh on September 26 and 27, 2019 as part of its outreach efforts in the South Asia region. The meeting was organized together with the World Bank’s Inspection Panel, Green Climate Fund’s Independent Redress Mechanism, UNDP’s Social and Environmental Compliance Unit, ADB’s Compliance Review Panel, and with local, regional, and international CSOs.Learn more about this event

CAO Releases Reprisals Approach in Chinese, Portuguese, and Russian

October 25, 2019 - CAO has released its ‘Approach to Responding to Concerns of Threats and Incidents of Reprisals in CAO Operations’ in three new languages. The Approach provides practical guidance to staff and consultants on how to handle situations involving threats and reprisals, and is now available in English, Spanish, French, Arabic, Chinese, Portuguese, Russian, and Ukrainian. More information on CAO’s Approach is available at the link below.Learn more about CAO's Approach

CAO Launches 2019 Digital Annual Report

October 10, 2019 - CAO's 2019 Annual Report features outcomes from our dispute resolution, compliance, advisory, and outreach activities this year. Learn about CAO’s casework in 35 countries and explore highlights from our year working with communities, companies, IFC and MIGA staff, and other stakeholders for positive impact.CAO’s 2019 Digital Annual Report

CAO Annual Meetings Event: Enabling Remediation for Project-Affected Communities

October 21, 2019 - CAO hosted a panel discussion on “The Role of Financiers in Enabling Remediation for Project Affected Communities” at the WBG Annual Meetings Civil Society Policy Forum on October 16, 2019. The session, which was co-hosted with SOMO and moderated by Devex, brought together experts from Shift, ABN Amro, IFC, American University, and SOMO to discuss challenges, good practices, and lessons for enabling more effective remedy in cases of business-related environmental and social impacts on communities. A full summary of the event will be posted soon.Learn more about this event

CAO Dispute Resolution Launches Good Practice Publication on Joint Fact-Finding

September 5, 2019 - CAO’s Dispute Resolution function has released the third publication in a series on Reflections from Practice. The new publication provides information on the tool known as Joint Fact-Finding, a collaborative process in which parties in conflict work together with experts to address disputes of fact. The Reflections from Practice series provides guidance for CAO Dispute Resolution staff, mediators, and consultants, and informs parties about the foundational principles guiding CAO's dispute resolution work.Explore the series