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

Financing Development through Financial Intermediaries: Exploring Best Practices in Transparency

May 18, 2018 - CAO hosted a policy dialogue during the recent Spring Meetings to discuss best practices in transparency related to financial intermediary investments. A high-level panel of representatives from IFC, the banking sector, and civil society, as well as over 100 attendees, discussed the challenges and opportunities for financial sector transparency. Learn more

Chile: CAO Initiates Compliance Investigation related to IFC's Alto Maipo Hydropower Project

May 16, 2018 - CAO has concluded a compliance appraisal related to IFC’s investment in Alto Maipo in Chile and determined that an investigation is warranted in relation to the issues raised in two complaints submitted in January and July 2017. The appraisal report is available in English and Spanish.Learn more about the Alto Maipo-01 case Learn more about the Alto Maipo-02 case

Summary of CAO Cases: May 2018

May 15, 2018 - CAO’s 6-weekly summary of cases in assessment, dispute resolution, and compliance is available at the link below.Case Summary April 2018

CAO Participates in IAIA Conference in Durban

May 15, 2018 - CAO staff are participating in the 38th Conference of the International Association for Impact Assessment (IAIA) being held this week in Durban, South Africa. CAO is partnering with other independent accountability mechanisms to host three sessions: a side event on access to recourse for affected communities; and two panel events on the role of assessments in triggering conflict and mediation, and the role of independent accountability mechanisms in international finance.Learn more

CAO Accepts Complaint regarding IFC & MIGA-supported Adjaristsqali Hydro Project

May 10, 2018 - CAO has accepted a complaint from Georgia regarding the Adjaristsqali Georgia LLC (AGL) hydropower project supported by IFC and MIGA. The complaint raises concerns regarding environmental and social impacts of the project. CAO has initiated an assessment. More information about this case is available at the link below.
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CAO Concludes Assessment of second Complaint Related to IFC Investment in Egyptian Indian Polyester Company

May 3, 2018 - CAO has completed its assessment of the complaint related to IFC’s investment in Egyptian Indian Polyester Company’s Polyethylene plant in Ain Sokhna, Egypt.  The parties have agreed to engage in a dialogue process convened by CAO. The assessment report is available in English.Learn more

Ghana: CAO Accepts Complaint regarding IFC's Investment in Meridian Port Services Limited (MPS)

May 1, 2018 - CAO has accepted a complaint regarding IFC's investment in Meridian Port Services Limited (MPS) in Ghana. The complaint raises allegations related to forced resettlement, lack of compensation, and occupational health and safety associated with the Tema Port Expansion Project. CAO has initiated an assessment. More information about this case is available at the link below.Learn more

CAO Newsletter: April 2018

April 25, 2018 - CAO's latest newsletter provides an update on progress that's been made through a dispute resolution process in Uganda, stakeholder feedback on CAO's communications, CAO's release of a compliance investigation related to a port project in India, advisory engagement around its Grievance Mechanism Toolkit, and outreach initiatives in the Africa region, amongst other updates.CAO Newsletter - April 2018

Stakeholders Provide Practical Feedback on CAO’s Communications

April 25, 2018 – CAO undertook a Communications User Survey to assess the usefulness and quality of its various communications products, including newsletters, publications, website, and social media. We are grateful to the stakeholders who completed the online survey and will be implementing several of the recommendations in the coming months, including revamping CAO’s website.
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Uzbekistan: CAO Concludes Assessment of Complaint Related to IFC Investment in Indorama Kokand Textile (ITK) and Hamkorbank

April 20, 2018 - CAO has completed its assessment of the complaint related to IFC’s investment in Indorama Kokand Textile (IKT), a cotton yarn producer in Uzbekistan, and Hamkorbank.  The parties have agreed to engage in a voluntary dialogue process convened by CAO. The assessment report is available in English, Russian and Uzbek.Learn more about this case

CAO Issues Reprisals Approach Following Extended Consultation

April 19, 2018 - CAO is releasing its Approach to Responding to Concerns of Threats and Incidents of Reprisals at the World Bank Group Spring Meetings on April 19th. The approach was finalized after addressing inputs from CAO stakeholders from an extended comment period, which concluded in December 2017. The Approach is available in English, and will be made available in French and Spanish shortly.Learn more about CAO's Approach

Uganda: CAO Concludes Appraisal of Complaint Regarding Bujagali Energy Ltd.

April 17, 2018 - CAO has concluded a compliance appraisal related to Bujagali Energy Ltd. CAO determined to merge this case with ongoing monitoring of the Bujagali-04 complaint. The appraisal report is available in English.Learn more

Ukraine: CAO Initiates Compliance Investigation Regarding IFC Investment in Axzon

April 13, 2018 - CAO has concluded a compliance appraisal related to a subsidiary holding of IFC’s client, Axzon. CAO determined to initiate a compliance investigation into IFC’s supervisions of environmental and social risk. The appraisal report is available in English.Learn more

Advisory Short-Term Consultant (STC) Position Open

April 17, 2018 - CAO is advertising a short-term consultant position (STC) to provide research and writing support for CAO’s advisory function. The deadline for applications is May 4, 2018. See link below to apply. Learn more

WBG Spring Meetings: CAO Session on Financial Intermediaries and Best Practices in Transparency

April 12, 2018 – CAO has organized a technical session on Financial Intermediary investments and exploring best practices in transparency that will take place from 4:00-5:30PM on Thursday, April 19 as part of the 2018 World Bank Group Spring Meetings. The session will feature leaders from the banking community, IFC, and civil society. Learn more about this event

Cambodia: Parties Conduct Joint Land Demarcation Process in Ratanakiri Province

April 9, 2018: After conducting a joint land demarcation process, representatives of 12 affected villages and HAGL released a Joint Statement on March 20, 2018 committing to continue working together through the CAO process to implement agreements reached, and to address the communities’ remaining concerns. The Joint Statement was issued in Khmer, Vietnamese and English.Learn more

Uganda: CAO Concludes Assessment of Complaint Regarding IFC & MIGA-Supported Bujagali Project

April 4, 2018 - CAO has concluded the assessment of the issues raised in the eight complaint pertaining to the IFC & MIGA-supported Bujagali Project, in Uganda. While the Complainant had expressed an interest in participating in a dispute resolution process, the Company declined to participate due to reasons that are reported in the CAO Assessment Report. Therefore, in accordance to CAO’s Operational Guidelines the complaint was referred to CAO’s Compliance function for appraisal of IFC and MIGA’s due diligence. The assessment report (in English) and more information about the case are available at the link below.Learn more

Summary of CAO Cases: April 2018

April 4, 2018 - CAO’s 6-weekly summary of cases in assessment, dispute resolution, and compliance is available at the link below.Case Summary April 2018

CAO Convenes Civil Society Dialogue in Senegal

April 3, 2018 - CAO organized an outreach meeting via videoconference with Senegalese civil society organizations (CSOs) in Dakar on March 13, 2018. The meeting was part of CAO’s broader outreach effort in the Africa region, and followed similar dialogues in Ghana and South Africa. The event was co-organized with two leading Senegalese CSOs, Lumière Synergie pour le Développement (LSD) and Enda Lead Afrique Francophone, and had logistics support from the IFC office in Dakar.Learn more about this event

Togo: CAO Releases First Monitoring Report Related to its Investigation of IFC’s Investment in Lomé Container Terminal

April 2, 2018 – CAO has released its first monitoring report of IFC’s actions in response to CAO’s October 2016 investigation of IFC’s investment in Lomé Container Terminal (LCT) in Togo. While CAO’s monitoring report welcomes a number of actions proposed and taken by IFC, it finds that the actions implemented to-date have not substantially addressed the investigation findings at project level. The monitoring report (in English and French) and more information about this case are available at the link below.Learn more

Georgia: CAO Concludes Appraisal of Complaint Regarding MIGA’s Guarantee for TANAP

March 19, 2018 - CAO has concluded a compliance appraisal related to an associated facility of the proposed MIGA guarantee for the Trans Anatolian Natural Gas Pipeline (TANAP). CAO determined that a compliance investigation is not the appropriate response to this complaint, and has closed the case. An appraisal report is available in English and is being translated into Georgian.Learn more

Kenya: CAO Concludes Appraisal of Fourth Complaint Regarding IFC's Bidco Project

March 15, 2018 - CAO concluded a compliance appraisal of the IFC-supported Bidco Bev. & Det. Project, in Kenya. Parties to the complainants allege that Bidco Oil Refineries Limited unfairly terminated their contracts, subjected them to poor working conditions, and prevented them from joining a trade union. CAO’s appraisal merged this case with the ongoing investigation of Bidco Bev. & Det.-01/Thika. Learn more

CAO Participates in Learning Session with Dutch Public and Commercial Banks

March 14, 2018 – CAO participated in a learning session with Dutch public and commercial banks in Amsterdam March 12-13, 2018, on due diligence, effective remedy, and multi-stakeholder initiatives. As one of the session’s guest speakers, CAO Vice President, Osvaldo L. Gratacós, facilitated a discussion on the management of environmental and social risks and Environmental and Social Management Systems (ESMS), sharing lessons from CAO’s work. CAO also met with European CSOs while in Amsterdam. Learn more

India: CAO Releases Compliance Investigation Related to IFC’s Advisory Services Project with Vizhinjam International Seaport Limited

March 06, 2018 - CAO has completed a compliance investigation in relation to IFC Advisory Services Project with Vizhinjam International Seaport Limited. The investigation responds to three complaints received by CAO from coastal village communities located near to the port. The investigation finds that IFC took on the role of lead transaction advisor without a reasonable assurance of the client’s commitment to the Performance Standards. The investigation also identified shortcomings in the project environmental and social impact assessment, particularly in relation to land acquisition and impacts on livelihoods. The compliance investigation report and further information about the case is available at the links below.
Learn more about the Vizhinjam-01 case Learn more about the Vizhinjam-02 case Learn more about the Vizhinjam-03 case

Kenya: CAO Concludes Assessment of Fourth Complaint Regarding IFC's Bidco Project

March 7, 2018 - CAO has concluded the assessment of the issues raised in the fourth complaint pertaining to the IFC-supported Bidco Bev. & Det. Project, in Kenya.  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 IFC’s due diligence. An assessment report is available in English.Learn more about this case

CAO to Participate in PDAC 2018

February 28, 2018 - CAO will participate in a panel at the Prospectors & Developers Association of Canada (PDAC) 2018 Convention in Toronto on March 6, 2018. The session, chaired by the International Council on Mining and Metals (ICMM), focuses on ensuring effective access to remedy to address community concerns.Learn more about this event

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

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.
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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: April 2018

April 25, 2018 - CAO's latest newsletter provides an update on progress that's been made through a dispute resolution process in Uganda, stakeholder feedback on CAO's communications, CAO's release of a compliance investigation related to a port project in India, advisory engagement around its Grievance Mechanism Toolkit, and outreach initiatives in the Africa region, amongst other updates.CAO Newsletter - April 2018

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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