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About the Ombudsperson

The Ombudsperson is an independent, confidential and impartial resource to help employees address work-related issues. The Ombudsperson supplements the Bank’s regular channels for workplace issues by providing informal, confidential assistance in resolving concerns, problems, or conflicts fairly and equitably. The Ombudsperson also monitors trends that arise out of casework to contribute to the early detection of issues of potential significance at the institutional level. In doing so, the Office helps foster a respectful, harmonious and productive work environment, promotes good practices in personnel management, and contributes to the Bank’s institutional development.

The Office of the Ombudsperson practices according to the principles of confidentiality, independence, impartiality, informality and accessibility. In performing the function, the Bank Ombudsperson adheres to the applicable rules and procedures of the Bank, and is further guided by the principles established for the organizational Ombudsman profession as articulated in the International Ombudsman Association’s Code of Ethics and Standards of Practice. To the extent of any inconsistency, the Bank's rules and procedures prevail.

The Ombudsperson:

  • Acts impartially and confidentially.
  • Advocates for fairness and equality.
  • Provides a mechanism for early problem resolution.
  • Considers all sides of an issue in an informed, unbiased fashion.
  • Promotes better communication.

To this ends, the Ombudsperson:

  • Provides a safe place to share confidences.
  • Listens without judging.
  • Helps the visitor evaluate situations, organize thoughts, assess feelings, and explore possible actions.
  • Works with each situation objectively, and treats all concerned parties equally.
  • Strives for a fair resolution to the issue, and for the observance of due process.
  • With the visitor’s consent, can make inquiries and/or follow up with other offices to facilitate resolution of problems.
  • Explores ways to get a problem to the surface without risk of retaliation.
  • Explores with the visitor resources available in the system, such as Bank’s policies and procedures.
  • Helps the visitor identify and refer a concern to the appropriate places for formal documentation or investigation when the visitor is considering filing a formal grievance.
  • Identifies trends and systemic problems.

The Ombudsperson does not:

  • Serve as part of any formal grievance or complaint process, testify or serve as a witness.
  • Advocate for individuals.
  • Share information in a way that violates confidentiality.
  • Conduct formal investigations, or issue investigative reports of any kind.
  • Make or change policy or administrative decisions.
  • Arbitrate, adjudicate, or make binding decisions or determine rights.
  • Require anyone to follow Ombudsperson recommendations.

If you are not sure where to go for help with a concern, the Ombudsperson is a good place to start.

Contact information

  • Marta I. Abello, Ombudsperson
  • Telephones:
    (202) 623-3542 - Main
    (202) 623-2135 - Private line answered only by the Ombudsperson
    (202) 623-2474 - Assistant to the Ombudsperson

  • E-mail: martaab@iadb.org
  • E-mail Office: ombuds@iadb.org
  • Mailing Address:
    Office of the Ombudsperson 1300 New York Ave. NW, Stop E-203 Washington, DC 20577 USA
  • Fax: (202) 623-2051
  • Office Location: Room 200SE. 2nd floor, South East, corner closest to Macy's

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