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18 Apr 2023

Submission by the Office of the Compliance Advisor Ombudsman (CAO) to consultation on IFC/MIGA remedial action approach

IFC/MIGA’s consultation draft sets out multiple ideas for enhancing IFC and MIGA practice. However, it falls short of proposing a robust framework that can effectively meet the challenge of bringing about remedy for harms suffered by people impacted by IFC/MIGA projects. To bridge this gap, CAO recommends that IFC/MIGA revise the draft Approach in ways that: 

  • Clearly establish IFC/MIGA’s responsibility to contribute to remedy when they have contributed to harm. 
  • Apply remedy enhancements to all relevant projects unless there is a compelling reason not to, rather than to select projects as currently proposed. 
  • Replace tentative and vague language in the draft with a clear, actionable plan setting out concrete, time-bound and measurable commitments. 
  • Include a commitment and a work plan to ensure that project-affected people receive accessible information about their grievance redress options, including access to CAO. 
  • Address how remedy will be pursued in portfolio projects and CAO cases; and commit to include remedy planning in both Board and project documents going forward.

In addition, the revised Approach should directly respond to the recommendations of the 2020 External Review of IFC/MIGA’s E&S Accountability, Including CAO’s Role and Effectiveness, which was initiated by the IFC and MIGA Boards of Executive Directors (the Board). This is critical since the External Review findings (summarized below) triggered the IFC/MIGA’s decision to develop an enhanced approach to remedy. Moreover, CAO recommends that the revised Approach take into account, and build on, CAO’s analysis of the reasons for the current lack of remedy for IFC/MIGA project-related harms and how the proposed enhancements respond to these root causes.

Under the current timeline, IFC and MIGA will consider feedback from stakeholders in developing a Management Directive for the new Approach’s pilot phase. CAO recommends that they first provide a process for further stakeholder feedback on the revised Approach. This would help ensure full transparency and a robust outcome that reestablishes IFC/MIGA leadership in this space.

NB: The CAO has issued several recent advisory publications related to remedy, which are available here and include: