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AfDB workshop on Independent Review Mechanism outlines complaints procedures for Bank-financed projects

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The Compliance Review and Mediation Unit (CRMU) of the African Development Bank Group (AfDB) is organizing an information workshop on “Handling complaints from people affected by AfDB-financed projects” on April 4-5, 2016 in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso.

The meeting will bring together some 75 stakeholders from civil society organizations, project implementation units, the media and the government.

The meeting is intended to equip participants with the needed tools to provide support to people adversely affected by Bank-financed projects when they want to complain to the AfDB as a result of non-compliance with the Bank’s own applicable policies and procedures.

According to Sekou Toure, Director of CRMU, “Bank financed-projects are characterized by their impact on beneficiaries. Performed under optimum conditions, these projects improve the living conditions of the population while they contribute in a broader sense to the development of the economies of African countries. Despite the enormous efforts made to extend the project benefits to all, it happens often that some people are negatively impacted because of these projects. When this happens, they can use us as a recourse system and submit their complaint that will be handled in line with the procedures of the Independent Review Mechanism (IRM).”

Coming to CRMU implies that the Independent Review Mechanism (IRM) is well known. It is for this purpose that the Compliance Review and Mediation Unit of the Bank that administers the IRM organizes a set of outreach activities to raise awareness about the IRM. The Unit works also to establish frameworks for collaboration with relevant stakeholders for the purpose of ensuring that the concerns of the affected people are addressed adequately.

During the two-day workshop, Bank experts will brief the participants on issues of accountability, compliance review and problem-solving/complaint-handling approaches. The workshop will also discuss information and mediation training needs and result in a collaboration framework between CRMU and project implementation units, and between CRMU and civil society organizations.

The Ouagadougou workshop is the second in a series of similar events planned for 2016. CRMU organized a workshop with the same objective in Tunis on December 14-15, 2015, which was attended by about 50 participants from Morocco, Tunisia, Egypt and Mauritania.

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