24th September, 2021
By Temitope Ponle
The Board of Directors of the African Development Bank (AfDB) Group has approved a new policy framework for the Independent Recourse Mechanism (IRM).
IRM provides individuals or communities who are adversely affected by bank-financed operations with an independent mechanism through which they can raise their concerns.
They can also seek redress and hold the bank to account for ensuring it complies with its policies and procedures related to sustainability.
According to a statement from the AfDB on Friday, the policy framework is the result of series of internal and public stakeholder consultations that began in December 2019.
This process was part of the third policy review of the bank’s Independent Review Mechanism.
It further marked the first time that the IRM had engaged in such a comprehensive public consultation process.
David Simpson, Director, Compliance Review and Mediation Unit, AfDB, said the new policy represented a significant step forward for the IRM.
He said “The new policy framework restructures the complaints’ mechanism, to make it more accessible, efficient and predictable.
“It also simplifies the complaint process for users of the Independent Recourse Mechanism, while enhancing its transparency, and providing clearer guidelines for case management.”
Stephanie Amoako, a Senior Policy Associate at Accountability Counsel, an international civil society organisation said: “The new accountability policy, if properly implemented, better serves the needs of communities across Africa.
”This is by removing barriers to access the IRM and creating a more equitable process for those using the mechanism.”