IFI governance


Compliance Advisory Ombudsman review of standards for Bank’s private sector lending

27 April 2009 | Minutes

The Compliance Advisory Ombudsman (CAO), the compliance mechanism for the IFC will be holding a review of the IFC’s performance standards. The CAO review will take place parallel to a review that the IFC will undertake itself. It is not clear as to exactly how the two reviews will be linked. However, the CAO will make comments on the IFC review report to the Bank’s board and on management’s response to the overall review. Furthermore, the Independent Evaluation Group of the Bank will be carrying out an analytic review of safeguard policies across the World Bank Group including public and private sector lending, scheduled to be finished in December of this year.

The CAO’s review will primarily be based on the voices and experiences of affected communities. The review will therefore focus on implementation of existing performance standards rather than looking at whether or not the performance standards encompass all of the issues they should. It will assess policy areas of most direct impact on project affected communities as well as the effectiveness of local stakeholder engagement.

The objectives of the review include:

  • Positive development impacts
  • Transparency and predictability of outcomes and processes at project level
  • For communities and companies

The CAO is asking for;

  • Civil society inputs/ interest in contributing to the review process
  • Topics/ issues of most interest and concern
  • Input on how to encourage participation of and access to host communities to promote collaborative learning

CAO plans to have a review report at the end of 2009, which will go to the President of the Bank. Then it will be made available to the Board and the public.

The CAO is currently solidifying its concept note on the review which it aims to submit to the IFC roughly between the end of April and mid-May and particularly welcomes input from civil society with respect to design of the review in this time. From July to September, they plan to review their portfolio of cases brought to the complaint mechanism as the basis for their review, as well as supplementing it with information from communities outside of that portfolio.


For information contact: Julia Gallu at the CAO, JGallu1@ifc.org