In November, US-based civil society organisation Accountability Counsel launched the Accountability Console, a new tool to provide communities, investors, policy-makers and researchers with comprehensive data on all Independent Accountability Mechanism (IAM) complaints to date. The tool includes cases from 24 IAMs of multilateral and regional development banks and other international finance institutions. Resulting from community-driven demand, the Accountability Console provides a body of rare community-level feedback about human rights and environmental grievances tied to internationally financed projects, including deep levels of information and comparative views about policies governing every aspect of the complaint process at each IAM.
The tool comes at a particularly crucial time as civil society organisations and human rights defenders are increasingly being threatened in development contexts (see Observer Summer 2019), amidst fears of a race to the bottom of environmental and social safeguards between competing public finance institutions (see Observer Winter 2018). The potential that the current reviews of the Inspection Panel and the Compliance Advisor Ombudsman, the World Bank and International Finance Corporation IAMs respectively, may result in the erosion of their mandates and capacities (see Observer Winter 2019), highlights the importance of efforts like the Accountability Console, which strengthen community campaigns for justice (see Observer Winter 2018).