Arne Hoel, World Bank

CAO Outreach in South Africa

CAO Participates in the International Association for Impact Assessment (IAIA) Annual Conference in Durban

Participants at the Durban outreach event, May 2018

May 21, 2018 - CAO staff participated in the 38th Conference of the International Association for Impact Assessment (IAIA) held in Durban, South Africa in May 2018. CAO partnered with Independent Accountability Mechanisms (IAMs) from the African Development Bank, European Investment Bank, Inter-American Development Bank, and World Bank to host a plenary session on the role of independent accountability mechanisms in international finance. CAO staff also participated in two technical sessions on the role of assessments in triggering conflict and mediation, and ways to ensure community voice in impact assessments.

In addition, CAO co-organized a joint outreach event for South African civil society organizations with the Legal Resources Centre, a South African non-profit public interest law clinic. The objective of the event was to raise awareness about the work of the mechanisms and listen to civil society concerns regarding the effective resolution of grievances arising from development projects. Over 40 civil society representatives participated in the event, bringing expertise related to human rights, communal land management, and environmental protection, among others.

The session produced a lively and substantive discussion about the role and work of the mechanisms. Issues discussed included the nature of direct engagement with affected communities around development projects; how communities can access the mechanisms more easily to seek redress; and whether IFC effectively consults and engages affected communities during project planning and implementation. Participants expressed their appreciation for the opportunity to meet and learn more about the mechanisms, and requested continued engagement in the future.