AfDB Board approves revised Resolution establishing Bank’s Independent Review Mechanism

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The Board of Directors of the African Development Bank Group (AfDB) approved on Wednesday, January 28 in Abidjan the revised version of the Resolution establishing the Independent Review Mechanism (IRM) and its operating rules and procedures. These procedures simplify the process of filing complaints from persons adversely affected by a project or programme financed by the Bank. They also enable the IRM to provide advisory service to the Bank.

Administered by the Bank’s Compliance Review and Mediation Unit (CRMU), the IRM gets involved when two or more affected persons submit a complaint on the ground accusing the Bank of failing to comply with any of its policies and procedures. As a result, such failure threatens to affect them adversely.

Under the approved resolution, the IRM is to undertake problem-solving, compliance review and advisory functions. The CRMU is to disseminate information about the IRM to Bank staff, civil society organizations, affected communities and the general public. The Bank’s management is required to mainstream information about the IRM in Bank policies and project documents.

The IRM’s problem-solving function will be applicable in cases where complaints or grievances can benefit from techniques that try to address underlying issues. These techniques will include independent fact-finding, mediation, conciliation, and dialogue facilitation, taking into consideration best customary practices for handling complaints.

The compliance review function will focus on issues of non-compliance by an institution within the Bank Group.

The advisory function shall come into play after the President and/or the Board shall have been provided with sufficient information detailing how the Bank Group can benefit from IRM’s role to strengthen the social and environmental impact of Bank-funded projects.