On 21-22 April 2016 a brainstorming workshop on “The Future Development Finance and Accountability Landscape” was organized by Natural Justice, Columbia University’s Institute for the Study of Human Rights, Center of Concern, the Heinrich Böll Foundation, and Inclusive Development International, with the support of the 11th Hour Project. The aim of the workshop was to bring together experts in finance, development finance, infrastructure development, and human rights to build an understanding of the current and future infrastructure financing system and develop a plan for where to focus efforts in order to ensure that financers of infrastructure are accountable to international human rights standards.
The workshop served as an opportunity for people from many different backgrounds – private finance, pension funds, the UN, civil society, academics, and others – to sit together and share information and experiences on financing infrastructure. One of the key take-aways from the workshop was that while so called “downstream” accountability (e.g. remedies after harm has occurred) is critical, building more accountability at the “upstream” (e.g. project design, procurement) level is equally important. Unless human rights impacts are taken into account in project design and financing, communities will always be playing catch up during implementation.
The workshop report can be found here.