For the first time in three years, the International Accountability Mechanism Network (IAMnet) met in person for the IAMnet Annual Meetings. This year, the Social and Environmental Compliance Unit (SECU) of UNDP hosted the event, which took place in New York and featured four days of in-person and virtual panels, discussions and breakout groups.
On the first day, the IRM spoke on a panel that looked at how IAMs can measure the impact and effectiveness of their work. Sue Kyung Hwang, IRM Executive Assistant and Paco Gimenez-Salinas, IRM Compliance and Dispute Resolution Specialist spoke about the IRM’s experience in conducting a self-assessment based on the guidelines outlined in the OHCHR’s publication “Remedy in Development Finance.” Estafania Torres (IFC-CAP) and Hamid Sharif (AIIB-PPM) also shared their experience in measuring the impact of their respective organisations.
Discussions throughout the first two days focused largely on the importance two very important issues for the IAMnet community – remedy and reprisals. Participants discussed the importance of providing fair, just and timely remedy for affected communities. They also talked about the risk of reprisal for individuals who file complaints. IAMs emphasised the need to create strong and effective procedures to protect communities from retaliation and ensure they’re able to safely share their concerns about development projects.
On the third day, the IAMnet welcomed over 60 individuals from CSOs working in accountability, human rights, environmental protection and development. Discussions focused around identifying good practices and limitations within the existing mandates of IAMs. In the evening, participants headed over to the UN Headquarters for a cocktail reception. The IRM unveiled the beta version of its new board game, the Road to Redress, which takes players through different scenarios that may arise during the four major stages of the complaint process (Eligibility, Problem Solving, Compliance Review and Remedy/Monitoring).
On the final day of the Annual Meetings, the IAMnet welcomed Adam Shapiro from Frontline Defenders who facilitated a training session on how to anticipate retaliation against complainants, and how to mitigate retaliation risks and impacts. The IRM looks forward to continuing to engage with fellow IAMnet members and CSOs to increase awareness of our work and remain transparent and accessible to communities adversely impacted by GCF projects.