26 April 2024

On April 19, a session entitled ‘The Impact of IFC Investments in Education: The Accountability Gap and Lessons for Other DFIs Organizers’, took place at the World Bank Civil Society Policy Forum Spring Sessions. The panel discussion was led by the East African Centre for Human Rights (EACHRights), and co-sponsored by the Right to Education Initiative, Global Initiative for Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (GIESCR), ActionAid, and Oxfam. 

The focus of the session was the intensification of efforts by the World Bank Group to mobilise and scale up private investment and involvement in the delivery of its mission. This was considered particularly in the context of a recent report by the Compliance Advisor Ombudsman (CAO), which examined the World Bank's International Finance Corporation (IFC) investment in Bridge International Academies (BIA) and revealed deeply troubling allegations of child sexual abuse within the commercial school chain’s Kenyan schools. 

Other Development FInance Institutions (DFIs) across the world have mirrored the IFC's approach, potentially replicating the same accountability gaps observed at the IFC. The panel explored the CAOs new findings, their implications for other DFIs, and reflected on how DFIs should respond in order to ensure human rights and effective remedy are upheld.

The panel was moderated by Angella Nabwowe, Executive Director of the Initiative for Social and Economic Rights (Uganda), and featured the following panellists:

  • Janine Ferretti, CAO Director General, 

  • Margaux Day, Executive Director of Accountability Counsel, 

  • Juana Barragán, GI-ESCR Programme Officer on the Right to Education. 


Find out more about the CAO report here.

Some videos from the session available here.