We address the 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)—the private sector arms 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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CAO was established with three complementary roles to handle complaints, address systemic concerns, and catalyze learning.
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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.

Compliance

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

Advisory

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

  • Outreach

    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.

    /outreach
  • 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.

    /approach-to-reprisals
  • Filing a Complaint

    Filing 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.

    /filing-a-complaint
Policies & Guidelines

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

policies and guidelines
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CAO's independence and impartiality are of primary importance to foster the trust and confidence of stakeholders involved in a dispute. CAO is not identified with or beholden to any sector or interest, and reports directly to the President of the World Bank Group.