Kenya: Bridge International Academies-04/Kenya

Date Filed
03 Sep 2020
Status
Open
Phase
Compliance
Country
Kenya

Case Tracker

Eligibility
Eligibility
Assessment
Assessment
Dispute Resolution
Compliance
Appraisal
Investigation
CURRENT Status
Investigation (COMPLIANCE)

Complaint Overview

Complainant

CAO Vice President Request

Concerns

Child Abuse

Cross-Cutting Issues
Children Risk Management Community Health and Safety Discrimination Coercion Unfulfilled Commitments Industry Standards and Certifications Labor Access to Information Policy

Project Information

Region
Africa
Institution
IFC
Name & Number
Bridge International Academies 32171
Company
NewGlobe Schools Inc
Sector
Health and Education
Department
Manufacturing, Agribusiness & Services
Category
B
Commitment

USD 10 million equity investment

Synopsis

Project Overview

In 2013 and 2016, IFC invested a total of US$13.5 million of equity in Bridge International Academies (BIA), Africa’s largest chain of low-cost schools. According to IFC, at the time of its investment, Bridge operated 211 schools serving over 57,000 students in Kenya and aimed to provide quality education to children from families earning less than $2 per person per day. The investment was intended to support an increase in the number of schools in Kenya and expansion to 3 new countries. IFC completed a divestment of Bridge International Academies effective March 3, 2022.

Complaint

In April 2018, CAO received a complaint from the East Africa Centre for Human Rights, a Kenyan NGO, on behalf of current and former parents and teachers regarding IFC’s investment in Bridge schools in Kenya (BIA-01). The BIA-01 complaint was transferred to CAO’s compliance function for appraisal and CAO initiated a compliance investigation in October 2019.  During the BIA-01 investigation, CAO became aware of several allegations of child sexual abuse at Bridge schools in Kenya. In September 2020, CAO’s Vice President initiated a compliance appraisal to consider these issues.

CAO Action

CAO’s initial review of the project documentation raised questions as to whether IFC’s pre-investment review and subsequent supervision of the project properly considered the requirements of Performance Standards 1 and 4 as relevant to child safeguarding and protection risks. 

Overall, CAO determined that an investigation was the appropriate response to the issues raised in the appraisal. In making this decision, CAO considered the seriousness of the risks and impacts raised as well as the above compliance questions regarding IFC’s review and supervision of the project. 

CAO completed its appraisal in December 2020 and initiated a compliance investigation in January 2021. Details on scope of the investigation are set out in the Terms of Reference, released in October 2021. Both the appraisal report and Terms of Reference are available under Case Documents below. 

CAO completed the investigation and submitted its report to the Board on October 3, 2023. In response, IFC Management has submitted a management report, including a Management Action Plan (MAP), to the Board for approval.

Status

On January 25, 2024, the IFC Board held a meeting on the CAO investigation report, and IFC management response and MAP. A formal Board meeting to consider the MAP will be convened within one month. Bank Group management and IFC’s Board of Executive Directors released a statement after the meeting.


Following Board approval of the MAP, CAO will publish the investigation report and IFC’s management report, including the MAP, on this site.


An overview of CAO’s cases related to Bridge International Academies is available in this communiqué.


Status as of January 25, 2024

Case Documents

  • Compliance

    Appraisal Report(s)
    COMPLIANCE APPRAISAL: SUMMARY - Bridge 04
    Dec 23, 2020
    English
    COMPLIANCE APPRAISAL: SUMMARY - Bridge 04
    Case Communiqués
    CAO Communiqué - CAO Cases Regarding IFC’s Investment in Bridge International Academies in Kenya - October, 2023
    Oct 04, 2023
    English
    CAO Communiqué - CAO Cases Regarding IFC’s Investment in Bridge International Academies in Kenya - October, 2023
    Terms of Reference
    Terms of Reference for CAO Compliance Investigation
    Oct 21, 2021
    English
    Terms of Reference for CAO Compliance Investigation
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