Tanzania, November 11, 2008 - CRMU, in collaboration with the TZFO and Lawyers' Environmental Action Team (LEAT), organized a seminar under the title "Civil Society and Communities: Information and Access to the Independent Review Mechanism of the African Development Bank" on 11th -12th November, 2008 at Blue Pearl Hotel in Dar Salaam. The event was attended by forty participants, representing NGOs, the media, and local communities from nine different regions in Tanzania. Mr. Per Eldar Sovik, the Director of the CRMU opened the workshop. Mr. Evans Ntagwabira, Infrastructure Specialist of TZFO, briefed the participants on the Bank’s operations in the country since 1971. Mr. Sovik presentations covered different key issues: the IRM mandate, operational structure and primary functions; the relevance of the IRM in strengthening the compliance with the Bank’s policies and procedures and extending the projects benefits to local communities; and finally, the Unit’s efforts to raise the awareness of local communities and civil society of the IRM goals. The presentation of Mr. Elias Mwashiuya, the acting Director of LEAT, grounded the discussion on the local realities and challenges facing both NGOs and communities to access information; and together with participants acknowledged the Bank’s establishment of IRM as a prime opportunity for people to become actors in projects developed in their country. The event came out with a number of recommendations including the proactive role that NGOs should play in conveying information to communities about their rights to access accountability mechanisms such as the IRM.