Finance for international development can impact people’s lives in innumerable ways. At a fundamental level, however, if that finance does not respect the rights of local communities, so-called “development” can, and sometimes does, leave the very people it aims to support even more impoverished. In order to ensure that affected communities and civil society have a meaningful role in setting development policy and priorities there is an urgent need for stronger and more effective human rights-based protections and mechanisms. Systems of accountability also must be strengthened to effectively monitor and evaluate development projects and to provide redress to communities who have been harmed.
CIEL works on these efforts at various levels: supporting communities directly affected by a development project, ensuring they have the expertise and tools to defend their rights and demand remedy for damages; helping grow and coordinate an international coalition working to ensure human rights are respected in development policy and practice by sharing strategies and using human rights impact assessment to identify potential risks and to avoid harmful impacts; and advocacy at the Banks themselves to strengthen social and environmental safeguards and creating and strengthening accountability mechanisms for communities to access justice in cases where violations have occurred.