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How to file a complaint
A complaint is submitted by complainants or their representatives that alleges that they have suffered or may suffer harm due to the failure of the IDB Group to comply with one or more of its Relevant Operational Policies within the context of an operation financed by one of the institutions that are part of the Group.
The MICI receives complaints from communities in the region alleging that they have been harmed by projects financed by one of the Group’s institutions as a result of noncompliance with one or more of its operational policies under which projects are designed, implemented and monitored. It is an entity to where those people potentially affected can appeal if their efforts to resolve their concerns with Management (country office and / or officials at the IDB Group directly responsible for the particular project) do not obtain positive results given a prudential time.
This includes public and private sector operations and projects that have been approved for total or partial financing by any institution of the IDB Group, or by one of the funds managed by the IDB Group, such as loans, technical cooperation, non-refundable financing, and guarantees.
MICI’s mandate excludes the following:
- Accountability issues that are covered by other offices of the IDB Group:
Specific acts of employees of the IDB Group: Ethics Office
Prohibited practices or corruption: Institutional Integrity Office
- Administrative or financial matters of the IDB Group.
- Complaints that are anonymous or clearly groundless.
- Matters that have already been reviewed by MICI, unless justified by new evidence or circumstances not available at the time of the initial complaint.
- Particular matters raised in a complaint that are under arbitral or judicial review in an IDB-member country.
- Complaints related to operations that have not yet been approved.
- Complaints that are filed more than 24 months after the last disbursement of the relevant operation.
If you have any questions about this information, contact us.
WHO CAN FILE A COMPLAINT?
The MICI can receive complaints filed by two or more persons residing in the country where an IDB, MIF, or IDB Invest-Financed Operation is implemented, and who believe that they are being harmed or may be harmed in the future, by such operation. These persons are called Requesters or complainants.
► Complaints filed must include the full names and contact information of each complainant.
Complainants may choose to have a representative file the complaint to MICI on their behalf. In such cases, the following information must be provided:
► Names and contact information of each complainant represented.
► Written evidence of the authority to represent the complainants.
The representative is not required to live in the country where the operation financed by an institution of the IDB Group is being carried out.
The MICI does not accept anonymous complaints. However, the identity of the complainants may be kept confidential if they request it due to fears of retaliation.
►In the event that complainants believe it is necessary for the MICI to treat their identity as confidential, that information should be indicated in the complaint.
WHAT INFORMATION MUST THE COMPLAINT CONTAIN?
There is no specific format for the filing of complaints; they can be submitted in any language common to the region; however, they must contain the following information:
I. Complainants or requesters
Complainants or requesters are the persons directly harmed (or who anticipate being harmed) by the project.
- Name and address of each person who considers him or herself to be harmed by the operation financed by an institution of the IDB Group (must always be 2 or more individuals).
- Contact information: complainants’ telephone number (landline or mobile); email address; mailing address.
The MICI may keep the identity of complainants confidential if they request it due to fears of retaliation. In their complaint they may specify:
- Confidential handling of their names, addresses, and/or contact information .
- Reasons for which they are requesting confidentiality.
- Any additional information they consider useful for keeping their information confidential.
Complainants may decide to file their complaint through a representative, in which case the representative will be MICI’s point of contact. In such case, the following information is required in addition to that specified in Section I:
- Representative’s name.
- Contact information.
- Document signed by the complainants authorizing the representative to act on their behalf.
The MICI only receives complaints in connection with operations financed by institutions of the IDB Group and will respond more quickly if the complainants can include all of the information they have with respect to the project in question:
- Description of the operation or project that could be causing the harm to the complainants. If known, specify the IDB Group institution that is financing the operation, as well as the project name and number.
- Country and location where the project is being implemented.
The MICI handles complaints referring to allegations of harm caused to the complainants by an operation financed by one of the institutions of the IDB Group due to its failure to comply with the Relevant Operational Policies. Accordingly, it is extremely useful to have a detailed description of the following points:
- Detailed description of the harm they are suffering or may suffer as a result of the project.
- Description of the reasons why they believe the IDB Group is responsible for that harm and, if known, the operational policy or policies allegedly not being adhered to.
Links to the Operational Policies of each institution are available in the Operational Policies section in the box to the right.
VI. Contact with Bank Management or IDB Invest Management
The MICI is a last-resort mechanism to be used once other remedies have been exhausted. This means that, prior to reaching out to MICI, the complainants must have made efforts to contact IDB or IDB Invest’s Management (that is, the personnel responsible for the design of the project within the institution and/or the IDB Group’s country office in the respective country) to report their problem and seek a solution. In order to substantiate this, the complaint must include:
- A detailed description of the efforts made to contact Management and, if relevant, copies of the communications sent and replies received.
- MICI can provide the complainants with contact information for Management, if needed.
VII. The MICI process
Complainants may choose one or both of the two possible MICI processes (Consultation Phase and Compliance Review Phase), depending upon their objectives. Their decision must be stated in the complaint.
The options they have are as follows:
- Consultation Phase
- Compliance Review Phase
- Both Consultation Phase and Compliance Review Phases sequentially
If you are uncertain about the phases, you can request additional information about the scope of each Phase in order to make a decision. You can view our model complaint letter as an example.
If you have any questions about this information, Contact us.
HOW DO I SEND THE COMPLAINT?
Complaints must be addressed to the Director of the Independent Consultation and Investigation Mechanism and submitted in writing through one of the following:
- Email: email@example.com
- Fax: +1 (202) 312.4057
- By mail:
Independent Consultation and Investigation Mechanism
1300 New York Av., NW
Washington, D.C. 20577, Estados Unidos
Complaints can also be sent by mail to any of the IDB Group’s country offices in the region: IDB Country Offices.
Complaints may be filed in any language. The official languages of the IDB Group are Spanish, French, English, and Portuguese. For complaints filed in other languages, processing times will be longer than specified in the Policy because they will require translation.
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HOW IS THE COMPLAINT PROCESSED?
This section presents a summary of the steps that MICI follows upon receiving a complaint. For additional information, please, refer to the MICI-IDB Policy, the MICI-IDB Invest Policy, or contact our staff.
♦ Step 1: Receipt of the Complaint
Complainants or their representatives submit the complaint to the MICI Director by email, regular mail, or fax.
♦ Step 2: Registration of the Complaint
Within a maximum of 5 business days from the date of receipt, the MICI Director reviews the complaint and makes one of the following decisions:
Contacts the complainants and grants a period of 10 business days for them to provide missing information
In the event that the complaint does not include all of the required information, the Director will ask the complainants to complete the complaint within the established time period of 10 business days. If the complainants fail to provide the missing information by the deadline, the process will be deemed to have terminated. However, they can file a new complaint once they have the missing information.
Does not register the complaint and terminates the process
This determination is made if, following the preliminary analysis, the complaint is clearly related to one of the complaints eligibility exclusions.
Registers the complaint and begins the eligibility stage,
This determination is made if the complaint includes all of the required information, refers to the mandate of MICI, and does not clearly involve one of the complaints eligibility exclusions.
Whatever the decision taken, MICI will inform the complainants, Management, Board of Executive Directors, and the general public through the Public Registry.
♦ Step 3: Eligibility of the complaint
Once a complaint has been registered, the MICI Director will forward the complaint to the relevant IDB Group Managers, who must respond to the MICI in writing regarding the issues raised in the complaint within a maximum time period of 21 days.
Within 21 business days of receipt of Management’s response, the MICI Director will examine the complaint and all of the relevant documentation, and will determine whether the complaint is eligible for a MICI process.
The Director will be supported in this analysis by the Coordinators of the Consultation and Compliance Review Phases.
If it is deemed relevant, MICI staff may make an on-site visit to the project location prior to issuing the determination on the eligibility of the complaint.
- If the complaint is declared ineligible, the process will be considered terminated.
- If the complaint is declared eligible, the MICI Director will transfer the case to the Coordinator of the respective phase the complainants selected when they filed their complaint.
For eligible complaints
The process will initiate with the Consultation Phase when the complainants have asked for both Phases or for the Consultation Phase only.
If the complainants have asked only for the Compliance Review Phase, the case will go directly to the Compliance Review Phase without having to go through the Consultation Phase.
The Consultation Phase Coordinator is responsible for conducting the consultation process.
The Consultation Phase provides the opportunity to address the concerns raised in the complaint and for the interested Parties to reach an agreement through a process of dialogue and the use of flexible and agreed-upon criteria.
Compliance Review Phase
The Compliance Review Phase Coordinator is responsible for conducting the investigation process.
The Compliance Review Phase consists of an impartial and objective investigation of the issues raised in a complaint, which alleges that the IDB Group has failed to comply with its Relevant Operational Policies and there by caused harm to the complainants.
The flow chart below illustrates the steps of the MICI process from the time the complaint is received to the end of its processing.