Africa

African Development Bank adopts new policy to strengthen accountability and support people affected by its operations

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African Development Bank adopts new policy to strengthen accountability and support people affected by its operations

The new policy framework restructures the complaints mechanism to make it more accessible, efficient and predictable

ABIDJAN, Ivory Coast, September 24, 2021 / APO Group / –

The Board of Directors of the African Development Bank Group (www.AfDB.org) approved a new policy framework for the Independent Recourse Mechanism (IRM) aimed at strengthening accountability and providing more effective remedies to those affected. through operations financed by the Bank.

The policy framework is the result of a series of internal and public consultations with stakeholders that began in December 2019. This process was part of the Third Policy Review of the Bank’s Independent Review Mechanism and marked the first time that the MII was embarking on such a comprehensive study. public consultation process.

The new policy represents an important step forward for MRI, according to its director, David Simpson. “The new policy framework restructures the complaints mechanism to make it more accessible, efficient and predictable,” said Simpson. “It also simplifies the complaints process for users of the independent recourse mechanism, while improving its transparency and providing clearer guidelines for case management. “

Stephanie Amoako, Senior Policy Associate at Accountability Counsel, an international civil society organization that supports communities affected by internationally funded projects, commented that “the new accountability policy, if properly implemented, responds better to the needs of communities across Africa by removing barriers to accessing the ITN and creating a more equitable process for those who use the mechanism.

Highlights of the new MRI policy

A new name accompanies the new policy as the independent review mechanism will now be known as the independent recourse mechanism. The new mechanism has been restructured, replacing the old model of an external expert panel with a fully integrated unit that will now lead all problem-solving and compliance review functions. The new policy strengthens accessibility for complainants by allowing a single person to lodge complaints and allowing the mechanism to advise communities on how to submit complaints if necessary. It adopts a zero tolerance standard for reprisals against complainants and rejects any form of threat, intimidation, harassment, violence or discrimination against those who raise concerns through the independent redress mechanism. It also requires that African Development Bank management raise awareness of the independent recourse mechanism among affected communities by disclosing information about the IRM at the project level.

The new operational rules and procedures approved by the Board of Directors of the African Development Bank:

Provides IRM with the ability to initiate compliance review processes in certain circumstances without a formal complaint from affected communities. Increases the involvement of complainants in the complaints process by giving them the opportunity to comment on draft compliance review reports before they are presented to Council. Calls on the IRM to pursue a culturally appropriate and gender sensitive complaints process: Allows the IRM to consider the eligibility of a complaint even in the case of parallel judicial or non-judicial proceedings; and, empowers the independent recourse mechanism to make recommendations to the Bank on issues related to reparation and reparation when individuals and communities are adversely affected as a result of Bank-financed operations, as well as ” ensure that agreements reached by parties in problem-solving activities are aligned with international standards.

While the new policy is effective immediately and will apply to all new complaints, it is anticipated that the independent recourse mechanism will require a reasonable transition period to fully implement the new policy. If applicable, pending complaints will be transferred to the new policy over time.

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