Photo: Chevron's Toxic Legacy / Rainforest Action Network

The Compliance Advisor Ombudsman (CAO) is the grievance mechanism for projects supported by the World Bank Group’s International Finance Corporation (IFC) and Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency (MIGA). IFC provides loans, equity, structured finance and risk management products and advisory services to build the private sector in developing countries. MIGA promotes foreign direct investment into developing countries through loans and political risk insurance.

The CAO has three functions: Ombudsman, Compliance and Advisor. The Ombudsman function is a problem‑solving function that helps parties identify alternatives for resolving the issues of concern.

The Compliance function is an audit function that assesses whether IFC or MIGA followed their own policies and standards when approving financial support or political risk insurance. This function does not assess the compliance of a project or company.

The Advisor function provides advice to the IFC and MIGA about their policies based on lessons learnt from handling cases. For more information on how the CAO works, see the brochure.