Independent Review of CAO Approach to Responding to Concerns of Threats and Reprisals

21 Jun 2024

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Five years after the launch of its Approach to Responding to Concerns of Threats and Reprisals, CAO commissioned an independent review of the Approach, conducted by an external consultant. Completed in 2024, the Independent Review examines the evolution of CAO’s procedures and practices related to responding to concerns of threats and reprisals and summarizes developments in the field – including best practices by other independent accountability mechanisms (IAMs). The Independent Review also includes feedback from civil society organizations (CSOs) and other stakeholders regarding CAO’s approach.

Key Recommendations from the Independent Review include the following:

  • Make options to file a complaint to CAO more accessible and user-friendly.  
  • Strengthen data collection and documentation, to allow for more analytical reporting.  
  • Strengthen tools and actions taken in response, to facilitate CAO learning, knowledge-sharing, and reporting.  
  • Develop internal protocols for greater understanding of contextual risk. 
  • Ensure “continuity of care” throughout the case-handling process for affected individuals to maintain relationships of trust established through the process.  
  • Improve management of security for complainant(s) during field missions. 
  • Improve digital security through encrypted applications and coordination with the WBG IT department.  
  • Dedicate additional resources for CAO staff well-being to help address challenges encountered, especially in particularly difficult cases. 
  • Establish formal and regular channels for cooperation and/or collaboration with other IAMs, IFC/MIGA, and CSOs. 

The Independent Review aims to inform CAO’s update to its protocols and procedures related to responding to concerns of threats and reprisals.

For more information, including CAO’s policies related to threats and reprisals, please review the CAO Policy and additional details here.

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