This report presents findings from a study of the Office of the Compliance Advisor Ombudsman (CAO), an accountability mechanism the World Bank Group (World Bank) created to ensure that it finances development projects that are sustainable and benefit the poor. In the 1970s and 1980s, the World Bank prompted an international outcry for greater transparency and accountability when it financed infrastructure projects that devastated the lives and environment of several communities. In 1999 the World Bank created CAO to review complaints from private citizens who believe they have been harmed by private sector development projects financed by the World Bank?s International Finance Corporation (IFC) and the Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency (MIGA). CAO was the first independent oversight body among international financial lenders to review complaints about private companies. In the last two decades, CAO has facilitated agreements between communities and private companies and issued reports that critique failures by World Bank officials to follow the bank?s social and environmental policies.
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