Arne Hoel, The World Bank

CAO Operational Guidelines

CAO Operational Guidelines


CAO's Operational Guidelines explain how CAO carries out its work in response to complaints regarding IFC and MIGA supported projects. The Operational Guidelines aim to provide a predictable process to guide complainants, IFC/MIGA clients, staff, civil society, and other stakeholders through CAO's complaint-handling process. The guidelines are available in the seven official languages of the World Bank Group: Arabic, Chinese, English, French, Portuguese, Russian and Spanish.


CAO has updated its Operational Guidelines regularly in response to recommendations from external reviews of CAO's effectiveness. In 2013, CAO issued its current Operational Guidelines in response to recommendations from an independent review commissioned by CAO in 2010 and a review by the World Bank Group Board's Committee on Governance and Executive Directors' Administrative Matters (COGAM) in 2011. This was the third update to the CAO Operational Guidelines. Two prior independent reviews of CAO were conducted in 2003 and 2006, respectively, which resulted in version 2 (2004) and version 3 (2007) of CAO's Operational Guidelines.

The 2013 update involved a year-long review of CAO's procedures and practice, a 90-day public consultation period and solicitation of written comments on the revised Operational Guidelines from IFC/MIGA staff, local and international civil society groups, and other stakeholders.  CAO's 2013 Operational Guidelines are available below in 7 languages, as well as the 3 prior versions of CAO's Guidelines from 2000, 2004, and 2007.


Operational Guidelines 2013 (current)

CAO Operational Guidelines (English)
العربية (Arabic)


Français (French)

Português (Portuguese)

Pусский (Russian)

Español (Spanish) »


Operational Guidelines 2007

Operational Guidelines - English 

Directive opérationelles - Français

Diretrizes operacionais - Portugues

Directrices operacionales - Español

Оперативное руководство - русский (Russian)

业务准则 - 中国 (Chinese)

(Arabic) المبادئ التوجيهية التشغيلية -- العربية 


Operational Guidelines 2004

Operational Guidelines - English




Operational Guidelines 2000

Operational Guidelines - English