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

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

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

Guinea: CAO Refers Complaint Related to IFC-Supported Expansion of the CBG Sangaredi Mine Project to Dispute Resolution

August 27, 2019 - CAO found the complaint eligible for assessment in March 2019, and conducted a field visit to Guinea in April 2019 to discuss options for addressing the complaint with the relevant parties. During the assessment process the complainants and the IFC client agreed to engage in a dispute resolution process, which is now ongoing. The assessment report is available at the below links in both English and French, as well as IFC’s formal response.
Learn morePage relative au dossier en francais »

Join CAO: Advisory Seeks Extended-Term Consultant

CAO’s Advisory team is hiring an extended-term consultant to support the delivery of case and data analysis, research and recommendations, and monitoring and evaluation. Strong candidates will have demonstrated experience working with both quantitative and qualitative data, as well as an understanding of social and environmental development issues in a multilateral context. For more information on the position and how to apply, please see the Terms of Reference. Applications will be accepted through August 31, 2019.Apply here

Summary of CAO Cases: August 2019

August 19, 2019 - CAO’s 6-weekly summary of cases in assessment, dispute resolution, and compliance is available at the link below.Case Summary August 2019

Guatemala: CAO Publishes Compliance Monitoring Report Related to IFC’s Investment in Real LRIF

August 14, 2019 – CAO has released its compliance monitoring report of IFC’s investment in Real LRIF, as it relates to a complaint regarding the Hidro Santa Rita hydropower planet in Coban, Guatemala. CAO will continue to keep the case open for monitoring. The report is available in English and Spanish.Learn more

Albania: CAO Closes Kurum Hydro-01 Case After Appraisal

August 9, 2019 - CAO has completed its compliance appraisal of IFC’s investment in Kurum International related to the company’s steel operations in Elbasan, Albania. Considering measures taken by IFC and its client to mitigate adverse impacts and to resolve the lack of clarity on the application of IFC’s E&S standards to Kurum’s steel production activities, CAO concludes that a compliance investigation is not merited in response to this complaint. As a result, CAO has closed this case.Learn more

Peru: CAO Sends Yanacocha Investigation Report to IFC for Official Response

August 9, 2019 – CAO has completed its compliance investigation report of IFC’s investment in the Yanacocha mine in Peru, and has sent the investigation report to IFC’s management for official response. IFC has 20 working days to submit a response. The report and IFC’s response will then be sent to the President of the World Bank Group for clearance and disclosure.Learn more about Yanacocha-09 Learn more about Yanacocha-10

CAO Newsletter: July 2019

July 30, 2019 - CAO's latest newsletter provides an update on the conclusion of a CAO dispute resolution process in Mongolia, two new compliance monitoring reports related to cases in Togo and India, the closure of compliance cases in Honduras and Ghana, CAO outreach across four continents, and dispute resolution knowledge sharing activities.  Learn more

Cambodia: CAO Accepts Second Complaint Related to Hoang Anh Gia Lai Rubber Plantations

July 3, 2019 – CAO has accepted a complaint regarding IFC’s investment in two Financial Intermediary clients, TPBank and VPBank, related to their investments in Hoang Anh Gia Lai, a Vietnamese company operating rubber plantations in Ratanakiri Province, Cambodia. An assessment of the complaint is underway. More information about the case is available at the link below. Learn more about the TPBank and VPBank-01 case

CAO Advisory Comments on IFC Draft Good Practice Handbook on Land Acquisition and Involuntary Resettlement

July 2, 2019 - In response to IFC’s request for external peer review, CAO has provided comments on IFC’s Draft Good Practice Handbook on Land Acquisition and Involuntary Resettlement. CAO’s advice is drawn from the 22 percent of CAO complaints that have raised land and resettlement issues over the past 20 years. More information on CAO’s comments and a reference table with additional context are available at the link below. Learn more

Honduras: CAO Closes Investigation of IFC Investment in Banco Ficohsa after Monitoring

June 13, 2019 – CAO is closing its investigation of IFC’s investment Banco Ficohsa after monitoring. Overall, CAO found that IFC’s response only partially addressed its compliance findings, but is closing the case considering that IFC has divested its equity and loan investments in Ficohsa. CAO’s second monitoring report and case details are available at the links below.Learn more about the Ficohsa-01 caseLearn more about the Ficohsa-02 case »

Albania: CAO Accepts Second Complaint Regarding IFC-Supported Enso Albania Hydropower Project

June 7, 2019 – CAO has accepted a complaint regarding the IFC-supported Enso Albania Mati hydropower plant in Albania. An assessment of the complaint is underway. More information about the case is available at the link below. Learn more about the Enso Albania-02 case

CAO Insights from the Field Featured in New IFC Podcast

June 3, 2019 - As part of IFC’s ‘In Their Own Words’ podcast series, CAO Dispute Resolution lead Gina Barbieri discusses engaging with communities and the different ways of helping people with Mimi Keita of IFC’s Infrastructure and Natural Resources Advisory team. The new series features candid conversations between sustainable development experts.Listen here

Ireland: CAO Participates in Sustainable Finance Conference

May 30, 2019 – CAO Vice President, Osvaldo L. Gratacós, participated in a high level conference in Dublin, Ireland on May 16, 2019, hosted by the Government of Ireland and Sustainable Nation Ireland. The conference, “Catalyzing Global Savings to Advance our Sustainability Goals”, convened bond issuers, investors, and other key market participants for action on the Sustainable Development Goals. Learn more

Ghana: CAO Releases Compliance Appraisal Report of IFC’s Investment in Meridian Port Services

May 20, 2019 – CAO has released its compliance appraisal report of IFC’s investment in Meridian Port Services, for the extension project of the Port of Tema in Ghana. CAO has determined that IFC’s approach to the appraisal and supervision of this project in relation to the issues raised in the complaint did not meet the threshold for compliance investigation. As a result, CAO has decided to close this case.Learn more about the MPS-01 case

Indonesia: CAO Accepts Complaint Regarding Palm Oil Plantation

May 16, 2019 - CAO has accepted a complaint related to environmental and social impacts of a palm oil plantation in Indonesia. An assessment of the complaint is underway. More information about the case is available at the link below. Learn more

Costa Rica: CAO Sends Reventazón Investigation Report to IFC for Official Response

May 13, 2019 – CAO has completed its compliance investigation report of IFC’s investment in the Reventazón Hydropower Project in Costa Rica, and has sent the investigation report to IFC’s management for official response. IFC has 20 working days to submit a response. The report and IFC’s response will then be sent to the President of the World Bank Group for clearance and disclosure.Learn more about the Reventazon-01 caseLearn more about the Reventazon-02 case »

What's New

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

CAO Newsletter: July 2019

July 30, 2019 - CAO's latest newsletter provides an update on the conclusion of a CAO dispute resolution process in Mongolia, two new compliance monitoring reports related to cases in Togo and India, the closure of compliance cases in Honduras and Ghana, CAO outreach across four continents, and dispute resolution knowledge sharing activities.  Learn more

CAO Insights from the Field Featured in New IFC Podcast

June 3, 2019 - As part of IFC’s ‘In Their Own Words’ podcast series, CAO Dispute Resolution lead Gina Barbieri discusses engaging with communities and the different ways of helping people with Mimi Keita of IFC’s Infrastructure and Natural Resources Advisory team. The new series features candid conversations between sustainable development experts.Listen here

Mongolia: Parties Involved in CAO Mediation Related to the IFC/MIGA Supported Oyu Tolgoi Mining Project Release New Video

May 1, 2019 - The Khanbogd Tripartite Council (TPC) has released a new video about their experience in the CAO mediation process, which can be viewed here. The TPC was established by the local parties as part of the CAO process, and is comprised of representatives of local herders, Oyu Tolgoi mining company, and local Khanbogd government.
Learn more about the Oyu Tolgoi-01 caseLearn more about the Oyu Tolgoi-02 case »

CAO Dispute Resolution Event at 2019 World Bank Group Spring Meetings

April 15, 2019 - CAO co-hosted a panel discussion during the Civil Society Policy Forum at the World Bank Group Spring Meetings on “Maximizing the Benefits of Independent Dispute Resolution to Address Community Grievances”. The session, co-hosted with Accountability Counsel, took place on Wednesday, April 10, from 9:00-10:30 AM and included speakers from civil society, private sector, and IFC. CAO also participated in the orientation session for civil society on April 9 to kick off the CSO forum.Learn more about the event