Inclusive Development International is joining with fellow community advocates around the world to sound the alarm about increasing threats to the independence of accountability mechanisms attached to international financial institutions and other development institutions. These “Independent Accountability Mechanisms,” or IAMs, are meant to facilitate access to justice for communities harmed by the projects those institutions finance, but too often their work has been impeded as a result of undue influence from the management of their parent institutions.
Today, Inclusive Development International joined more than twenty organizations that support communities to bring complaints to IAMs in sending an open letter about these concerns to the Independent Accountability Mechanism Network (IAMnet), a membership network meant to facilitate knowledge sharing and collaboration among IAMs.
The letter raises concerns about escalating threats to the independence of these mechanisms, including the “alarming trend of management interference with—and even capture of—IAMs that have made decisions and findings that the leadership and legal departments of their respective institutions did not like.” The specific instances detailed in the groups’ letter include:
- Widespread efforts to capture and undermine the World Bank Group’s twin accountability mechanisms—the Compliance Advisor Ombudsman and the World Bank Inspection Panel;
- Retaliation against a Panel member at the Independent Complaints Mechanism of the German, French and Dutch development banks (DEG, Proparco and FMO);
- Improper interference of general counsel offices with various IAMs, including the Compliance Review Panel of the Asian Development Bank and the Green Climate Fund’s Independent Redress Mechanism.
On the occasion of their annual meeting this week in London, the coalition is calling on IAMnet to:
- Reaffirm independence, both structural and operational, as a criteria for membership to the network;
- Establish a Standing Committee on the independence of IAMs, which reports regularly on the extent to which each IAMnet member meets the structural and operational criteria, as well as any specific threats to the independence of IAMnet members;
- Speak out against inappropriate interference and threats to the independence of IAMnet members by the management of parent institutions.