We address the environmental and social concerns of people and communities affected by IFC and MIGA projects.

Our Mandate

The Office of the Compliance Advisor Ombudsman (CAO) is the independent accountability mechanism for projects supported by the International Finance Corporation (IFC) and the Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency (MIGA)—members of the World Bank Group. CAO was established in 1999 and reports directly to the Boards of IFC and MIGA. For more than 20 years, we have worked to:

  • Address the concerns of individuals or communities affected by IFC and MIGA projects
  • Enhance the social and environmental outcomes of IFC and MIGA projects
  • Foster greater public accountability of IFC and MIGA
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Our Functions

CAO works via three complementary roles to resolve complaints, enhance environmental and social outcomes, and foster accountability and learning.

our function
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Dispute Resolution

Through our dispute resolution function, we provide an independent forum for communities and companies to address concerns together and seek joint solutions.


Through our compliance function, we investigate cases that raise substantial concerns about a project’s environmental and social outcomes.


Through our advisory function, we gather insights from our cases to catalyze learning and help enhance IFC's and MIGA's environmental and social performance.

Access to CAO

  • CAO outreach


    Our outreach program proactively liaises with communities and civil society groups to inform them about our work. We also engage the private sector, governments, and other stakeholders to promote environmental and social accountability and good practice in relation to grievance redress.

  • Approach to Reprisals

    Approach to Reprisals

    We take the safety of complainants and others that engage in our processes seriously. We work to exercise our mandate in a manner that maximizes our ability to respond to threats and incidents of reprisals appropriately.

  • Filing a Complaint

    File a Complaint

    We work with communities and civil society organizations all over the world to help resolve issues of concern around IFC and MIGA projects. Complaints are submitted in writing, and may be in any language.

Policies & Guidelines

Our purpose, mandate, core principles, and how we work are articulated in CAO's Policy.

policies and guidelines

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