Recourse is a leading advocacy, research and campaign organisation focusing on International Finance Institutions’ (IFIs) policies and practices, working in solidarity with affected communities and civil society in the global south to call for rights-based development.
Recourse targets development finance as a means of influencing the wider investment community and governments, to ensure inclusive, environmentally sustainable and socially just development.
We support communities in their struggle for their rights to be respected and their voices to be heard, so that they benefit from rather than bear the costs of development. Our work focuses on the protection and promotion of rights; participation and transparency; and public accountability in the operations of DFIs. Examples of our work include:
- Empowering civil society to influence World Bank country strategies: Recourse has engaged with CSOs in Central Asia (Kazakhstan and Tajikistan), South Asia (Pakistan), Southeast Asia (Myanmar and Indonesia) and Sub-Saharan Africa (Kenya and Malawi) to influence and shape the World Bank’s engagement in their countries. This created a safe space for CSOs to engage with their governments and the Bank to put people and the planet at the heart of national development planning.
- Fighting for gender equality: Recourse highlights the disproportionate impact of climate change and poverty on women and girls, and campaigns for policies and practices that centre women and girls, working with CSOs such as BRICS Feminist Watch and Gender Action.
- Campaigning for a rights-based Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB): Recourse campaigns to hold the AIIB accountable, working in partnership with NGOs around the world. The impact of our work can be seen in AIIB’s new environmental and social standards: there is now language on gender, and on retaliation and protection of human rights defenders; every one of our asks on risky financial intermediaries was addressed, with radical reforms to disclosure and risk management.
- Calling for reforms to AIIB’s accountability mechanism: With urgewald, Recourse has published an analysis of AIIB’s policies and portfolio to answer the question why the bank’s accountability mechanism had not yet received a single complaint.
- Supporting communities in filing cases to hold IFIs accountable: Recourse supported two cases at the Compliance Advisor Ombudsman: the CIFI case in Guatemala, where together with indigenous communities, we pressured IFC and its Board to respond to community calls for remedy over violence and repression; and the RCBC case in the Philippines, a mass climate complaint on behalf of communities affected by multiple coal plants financed through an IFC-backed intermediary.
- Campaigning for strong safeguards on Sexual Orientation, Gender Identity and Expression (SOGIE) that promote inclusion and protection of most marginalised groups. Our work to date focused on World Bank Group’s Environmental and Social Framework implementation with an emphasis on Bank’s analysis of the cost of exclusion of LGBT communities in two Western Balkans countries, Serbia and North Macedonia.