What is the Independent Accountability Mechanism and how can it help my community?

The Independent Accountability Mechanism addresses environmental or social concerns and conflicts that emerge around DFC-supported projects, including environmental impacts, human rights, indigenous rights, and labor rights issues. The Independent Accountability Mechanism provides an avenue for affected stakeholders (e.g. nearby communities and project workers) to raise such concerns and seek to have them addressed.

What types of services does the Independent Accountability Mechanism offer?

The Independent Accountability Mechanism offers two services: problem-solving and compliance review.

What can I expect from these services?

For the problem-solving mechanism, the Independent Accountability Mechanism will seek to create conditions that are conducive for affected communities and the DFC client to resolve the conflict in a mutually acceptable manner. The Independent Accountability Mechanism does not take a position on any allegations that may be associated with the dispute.

For the compliance-review process, the Independent Accountability Mechanism will investigate and report on the DFC’s implementation of relevant policies. The report may include recommendations for how the DFC could strengthen its application of policies to the project in question or to future projects.

How do I know whether problem-solving or compliance review is right for me?

Requests for service can be made for problem-solving or compliance review, both of them, and in either order. If you are uncertain which of these services is appropriate for you, your request does not have to specify them and you may contact the Director of Accountability for guidance.

What information do I need to include in my request?

Requests should include the following information:

  • The requester’s identity and contact information
  • The identity, contact information, and credentials of any representative for the requestor and evidence of the representative’s authority to represent the requestor
  • Whether the requester wishes his/her identity and/or information provided to the Independent Accountability Mechanism to be kept confidential, citing valid reasons
  • The nature and location of the project that is the subject of the request, the identity of the project sponsor and whether the project is currently supported by the DFC
  • A statement of perceived harm or risk of adverse environmental, social, worker rights, or human rights impacts associated with the project
  • Any supporting information deemed appropriate by the requestor
How do I request service?

You have several options to submit a written request, depending on which is most convenient for you. Your request may be written in English or your native language.

You may send an email to Accountability@dfc.gov with the above information included in the body of the email.

You may fill out the following form (Request Form for Affected Parties or Their Representatives) and send it as an attachment to an email to Accountability@dfc.gov

You may send a letter with the above information by mail or hand delivery.

Contact the Independent Accountability Mechanism:

Director, Independent Accountability Mechanism
U.S. Development Finance Corporation
1100 New York Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20527  USA

Telephone: +1 (202) 357-3910
E-mail: Accountability@dfc.gov 

How will the Independent Accountability Mechanism decide whether or not my request is eligible?

The Independent Accountability Mechanism will evaluate your request according to the following criteria:

  • If the requestors are eligible: any individual, group, community, or other party affected or likely to be affected by a DFC-supported project, or worker at a DFC-supported project
  • If any representatives for the requestors clearly identify the people s/he represents and explicit evidence of the representative authority is provided to DFC
  • Whether DFC currently has an active financial relationship with the project
  • If the request contains allegations of material, direct and adverse impacts or risks
  • If there is a plausible relationship between the project and alleged impacts
What happens to the request after it is submitted?

The Independent Accountability Mechanism will notify you that it has received your request, and will inform you as to whether or not your request is eligible. If your request is eligible, the Independent Accountability Mechanism will make a site visit to determine appropriate next steps. If your request is not eligible, the Independent Accountability Mechanism will so inform you, provide reasons for its ineligibility, and suggest other ways that your concerns might be addressed. For example, grievance mechanisms are established for some DFC projects.

How will the Independent Accountability Mechanism treat confidential information?

In general, the Independent Accountability Mechanism seeks to be transparent in its functions. When explicitly requested, the Independent Accountability Mechanism will maintain confidentiality of the identities of requestors who so wish, proprietary business information, and other non-public information. The Independent Accountability Mechanism does not accept anonymous requests for service.

What situations are excluded from the Independent Accountability Mechanism services?

The Independent Accountability Mechanism does not accept requests from ineligible requestors, or that do not contain minimum required information. The Independent Accountability Mechanism does not address concerns about corruption or other criminal activities, commercial/contractual issues, or the adequacy of DFC policies to prevent harm.