MICI is an office of the IDB Group, independent of the Bank’s management and project teams, which addresses the environmental and social grievances of communities potentially affected by the Group’s operations. This independence allows us to work impartially and objectively to seek solutions with all parties involved: the communities alleging harm; the IDB Group, as the financier of the operation; and the borrower (company or government) executing the project.

We offer two courses of action for those who fear possible harm from projects financed by the Inter-American Development Bank, IDB Invest, or IDB Lab:

  • Dispute resolution (Consultation Phase): we can mediate to help the three parties involved reach an agreement that resolves the problem, and we can monitor the implementation of a satisfactory solution.
  • Investigation (Compliance Review Phase): we can conduct an independent investigation to verify whether the IDB Group complied with its environmental, social, and access to information standards, recommend corrective actions, and monitor their implementation.

Both phases provide a final opportunity to address environmental and social concerns when the environmental and social policies and standards or due diligence processes that all Bank projects must comply with have failed to achieve the expected objectives. In this way, the Mechanism strengthens the IDB Group’s commitment to sustainable development in Latin America and the Caribbean.

What does MICI do?

MICI works impartially and independently with all stakeholders to enhance the sustainability of IDB Group projects and achieve positive impacts in the region:

together we can

  • MICI listens to you. MICI is here to listen to the environmental and social concerns of people and communities potentially affected by any project financed by the IDB, IDB Lab, or IDB Invest.
  • Remedy. MICI works with claimants, the IDB Group, and the project borrower to seek joint solutions through dispute resolution or a compliance investigation and to implement those solutions with the parties.
  • Learn. The Mechanism draws lessons from the complaints managed, the harm alleged, and the findings and recommendations of the investigations, and it generates lessons learned for the institution.
  • Improve. The lessons learned from the cases have made it possible to improve the sustainability of the projects in question and of new operations, and have led to changes in environmental and social standards and their implementation, both by the IDB Group and by some of its public and private borrowers.
Our two courses of action

Dispute resolution: Consultation Phase


Investigation: Compliance Review Phase

What is it?
A free and voluntary dispute resolution process in which MICI acts as an independent facilitator between the three parties involved: the complainants, the borrower executing the project, and the IDB Group.

What is its objective?
For the parties to find a collaborative and mutually agreeable solution to the concerns raised.

Desired outcome
To implement a solution, agreed upon by the parties, that resolves the concerns raised in the complaint.


What is it?
A fact-finding process, similar to an internal audit, in which MICI acts as an independent investigator.

What is its objective?
To determine whether the IDB Group has complied with its social and environmental policies and standards in designing and executing the project, and to recommend corrective measures to ensure compliance. 

Desired outcome
To implement corrective measures to bring the project back into compliance following the investigation. These measures may relate to a particular project or to the Group’s general way of operating (the application of its operational policies).


COSTA RICA. “We came back to life”: how MICI’s mediation facilitated the survival of a livestock farm

ARGENTINA. An agreement that transformed with greater consensus the tourist center of Bariloche

ECUADORThe Importance of Timing in Dispute Resolution



CHILEA new approach towards gender issues: lessons learnt in Alto Maipo

PARAGUAYBetter understanding economic displacement in urban areas

MEXICOA turning point for projects impacting indigenous communities

Learning and knowledge: a lasting impact

Besides addressing the specific concerns of complainants affected by a specific project, the complaints managed by MICI directly affect core aspects of the IDB Group’s operation, structure, and mission. MICI helps to generate lessons on environmental and social sustainability issues based on the analysis of the cases managed and the findings of its investigations. These lessons enable the Bank to take corrective actions, prevent the problems identified from recurring, and make institutional changes to continue improving lives in Latin America and the Caribbean.

To foster this process of continuous improvement, MICI implements an institutional learning program, MICI Reflections, which analyzes the results of our case management experience. It also maintains an active dialogue with civil society organizations and defenders of environmental and social rights in the region and carries out internal outreach activities for IDB Group employees, including training and workshops on the Mechanism and its process.

Our contribution to more sustainable development

Projects that center on long-term economic growth, poverty and inequality reduction, and social and environmental sustainability are the ones that support development. The IDB Group designs, approves, and supervises all its projects following a set of environmental and social standards aimed at protecting people and natural capital from potential risks and negative impacts, which apply to all IDB Group operations.

What does this mean in practice? It means that all projects financed by the IDB Group (Inter-American Development Bank, IDB Invest, and IDB Lab) must be environmentally sustainable, manage disaster risk, promote gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls, support the development of Indigenous peoples, and guarantee access to information for all those involved. As of October 2021, the Environmental and Social Policy Framework covers all safeguards that apply to IDB and IDB Lab; and since December 2020, IDB Invest has had its own Environmental and Social Sustainability Policy.

An independent learning resource
MICI acts as an independent resource and an additional option for strengthening the social and environmental sustainability of all IDB Group projects when there are concerns that safeguards are not being properly applied or when the potential impacts of a project have not been foreseen or resolved in advance. Through its work, MICI enables the voices of the most vulnerable or those who feel affected to be heard at the highest levels of the institution, thus helping to improve and reinforce the Group’s commitment to the sustainable development of the region.