Filing a Complaint

This page provides information on how project-affected people can file a complaint and what types of complaints are not handled by the Accountability Mechanism.

  • Two (2) or more persons (can be from the same family);
  • A local representative of such affected persons, or a nonlocal representative, in exceptional cases where local representation cannot be found, and the Special Project Facilitator (SPF) or Compliance Review Panel (CRP) agrees.
  • For compliance review, the following may also file a complaint: Any member of the ADB Board of Directors, in special cases involving allegations of serious violations of ADB’s operational policies and procedures relating to an ongoing ADB-assisted project.

Form

Complainants are welcome to file the complaint in their own words without following the sample complaint letter or form [Georgian, Nepali, Urdu], but they should provide the required minimum information listed under "Contents of the complaint" below.

Language

Complaints may be submitted in any of the official or national languages of ADB’s developing member countries. Additional time, however, will be required for translation.

The working language of the Accountability Mechanism is English.

Contents of the complaint

  • ADB-assisted project (brief description, name, and location)  
  • Direct and material harm that has been, or is likely to be, caused to the complainants by the ADB-assisted project  
  • Project-affected persons (i) Names, (ii) designations, (iii) addresses, and (iv) contact information of the complainants  
  • Representative/s, if any If a complaint is made through a representative, (i) name, designation, address, and contact information of the representative (ii) names of the project-affected persons on whose behalf the complaint is made and (iii) signed evidence of authority to represent them.  
  • Confidentiality of identities Complaints should state whether or not complainants want to keep their identities confidential.  

    Note: Complainants' identities will be kept confidential from relevant ADB parties other than SPF and CRP, unless they agree to disclose their identities. Authorized representatives' identities will be disclosed, unless they are complainants themselves.

  • Choice of function Problem solving or Compliance review.  

    Note: If the complainants choose problem solving, they may request for compliance review if they feel that compliance review is necessary, but only:

    • upon completion of Step 3 of the problem solving process (paras. 169-173 of the AM Policy), if the complainants have serious concerns on compliance issues, or
    • when the complainants exit the problem solving process.

    If the complainants choose compliance review, they may go to problem solving if the CRP declared their complaint ineligible.

  • Prior good faith efforts with the operations department

    A description of the complainants’ good faith efforts to address the problems first with the ADB operations department (OD) concerned, including the resident mission (How, when, by, and with whom were the efforts made?), and the results of these efforts.

    Note: The Accountability Mechanism is a last resort mechanism.

    Project-affected persons are encouraged to first address the issue with available grievance mechanisms at the project level, and they are required to make good faith efforts to address the issue with the relevant ADB operations department.

Complaints will not be entertained if they are:

  • about actions not related to something ADB did or not do in formulating, processing, or implementing an ADB-assisted project;
  • about an ADB-assisted project for which 2 or more years have passed since the loan or grant closing date.
  • about matters that complainants have not made good faith efforts to address with the operations department concerned;
  • about decisions made by ADB, the borrower or executing agency, or the private sector client on the procurement of goods and services, including consulting services;
  • about allegations of fraud or corruption in ADB-assisted projects or by ADB staff;
  • about the adequacy or suitability of ADB’s existing policies and procedures;
  • frivolous, malicious, or trivial, or one generated to gain competitive advantage;
  • within the jurisdiction of ADB's Appeals Committee or ADB's Administrative Tribunal, or relate to ADB personnel matters; and/or
  • about ADB’s non-operational housekeeping matters, such as finance and administration.

Additional exclusions under the problem solving function are those:

  • about matters already considered by the SPF, unless the complainants have new evidence previously not available to them and unless the subsequent complaint can be readily consolidated with the earlier complaint; and/or
  • about matters being dealt with or already dealt with by the CRP (including those that have completed the compliance review process), except those complaints considered ineligible for compliance review by the CRP.

Additional exclusions under the compliance review function are those:

  • relating to actions that are the responsibility of other parties such as the borrower, executing agency, or potential borrower, unless the conduct of these other parties is directly relevant to the assessment of ADB's compliance with its operational policies and procedures;
  • that do not involve ADB’s noncompliance with its operational policies and procedures;
  • relating to the laws, policies, and regulations of the borrowing country, unless they directly relate to ADB's compliance with its operational policies and procedures;
  • about matters already considered by the CRP, unless the complainants have new evidence previously not available to them and unless the subsequent complaints can be readily consolidated with the earlier complaint; and/or
  • being dealt with by the SPF up to the completion of step 3 of the problem solving function.