Accountability Mechanism

The Accountability Mechanism of the Asian Development Bank (ADB) exists to provide an independent and effective forum for those affected by ADB-assisted projects to voice their concerns.

Process for Receiving and Handling Complaints

The process observed for complaints filed under the ADB Accountability Mechanism.

Receiving Complaints

Step 1: Receiving and registering the complaint

Within 2 days of receiving the complaint
  • The complaint is filed with the complaint-receiving officer (CRO).
  • The CRO informs the Special Project Facilitator (SPF), the Compliance Review Panel (CRP) chair, and the operations department about the complaint, with a copy of the complaint letter.
  • The complaint is entered into ADB’s Complaints Registry.

Note: Complaints received by other ADB departments should be forwarded to the complaint-receiving officer. The complaint-receiving officer ensures the confidentiality of complainants’ identities if requested.


Step 2: Acknowledging the complaint

Within 2 days of receiving the complaint
  • The CRO acknowledges receipt of the complaint and sends an information packet which explains the available functions to the complainants.
  • The CRO gives complainants 21 calendar days to finalize their choice from either a problem-solving function or a compliance review function.
  • If the choice is not clear, the CRO requests complainants to clarify the option.

Step 3: Forwarding the complaint

Within 5 days after the 21-day deadline for complainants to change their choice
  • The CRO forwards the complaint for handling to either the SPF, the CRP chair, or other departments or offices (if the complaint falls outside the Accountability Mechanism mandate).
  • The CRO sends his/her decision to the SPF, the CRP chair the operations department, and other departments or offices, if any.

If there are no objections to the CRO’s decision (see note below), the CRO will forward the complaint to the relevant party to be handled.

Note: Within 3 days of the CRO’s decision, the SPF, CRP chair, operations department or any other relevant department or office may object if they feel that the CRO has misinterpreted the complainants’ choice of function.

The CRO will return the complaint to the complainants with a request to clarify the choice of function if:

  • the choice was unclear; or
  • an objection is raised by the SPF, CRP chair, operations department, or other relevant department or office.

The complainants must clarify their choice within 60 calendar days of the CRO’s request for clarification.

Note: If the complaint needs to be returned, the CRO again sends the information packet to explain the two available functions.


Step 4: Informing the complainants

Within 2 days of forwarding the complaint to the relevant party, or failure of the complainants to clarify their choice
  • The CRO informs the complainants and their representative(s), if any, which party will handle the complaint and the contact person(s).
  • If the complainants did not clarify their choice within 60 calendar days, the CRO informs them that the Accountability Mechanism process has ended.

Process Flow: How We Handle Your Complaint

You have sent your complaint to the Complaint-Receiving Officer. What happens next? You have two choices.

Problem-Solving: Helps you find a solution

The Special Project Facilitator will:

  • handle your complaint;
  • ask you to clarify what the complaint is and what harm was caused;
  • help you, the ADB operation department, and the government explore possible solutions;
  • help everyone involved to agree on what needs to be done to address your problem;
  • monitor the actions agreed upon.

Compliance Review: Finds out if ADB followed its policies and procedures

The Compliance Review Panel will:

  • investigate ADB based on your complaint;
  • consult with everyone involved in the project;
  • write a draft report, which you can comment on;
  • give its findings to ADB's Board of Directors in its final report.