Engaging Civil Society and Local Organizations in Vietnam
From June 1 - 2, the CAO organized an outreach webinar with civil society organizations in Vietnam. The event was co-hosted by the Inspection Panel and the Project-affected People’s Mechanism of the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank, two other Independent Accountability Mechanisms (IAMs), along with several international civil society organizations, including the International Accountability Project, Inclusive Development, and Oxfam.
About 20 Vietnamese civil society organizations from a variety of sectors—including community development, human rights, donor accountability, and indigenous people’s groups—participated in the five-hour webinar over two days. Presentations highlighted the role of accountability within independent mechanisms, and how these mechanisms can benefit project-affected communities. The agenda also featured information on how communities can submit complaints to mechanisms, and insights from civil society and community representatives based on their respective experiences. Discussion plenaries were interactive, with numerous questions and comments from both civil society and independent accountability representatives. Highlights of the issues discussed included: how the dispute resolution process works, whether the CAO handles complaints of projects financed by financial intermediaries such as banks, what kinds of complaints are eligible, how IAMs can protect complainants from reprisals, and lessons learned from recent complaints cases.
These outreach events serve to enable the network of independent accountability mechanisms broaden their contact with civil society in Vietnam, particularly regarding local organizations and communities who may be affected by IFC and MIGA-financed projects. These events also allow civil society organizations (CSOs) to become better acquainted with the network of independent accountability mechanisms, the dispute resolution and compliance services they provide, and offer IAMs and CSOs opportunities to exchange views on current challenges, past experiences, and ways to improve access to recourse for communities impacted by public and private-sector development projects.
Similar outreach events will take place in Cambodia and Uzbekistan throughout June 2021.