A development project meant to benefit many, may actually cause great harm. Designed and funded often without community knowledge or input, these projects are made possible through financial institutions funded by member countries, regularly with the expressed goal to eradicate poverty.
Development finance institutions, national governments and corporations have obligations to ensure adequate participation of the communities likely to be impacted. However, in practice, communities are often not informed at all, let alone consulted about the development they want. Even if they are informed, living in a closed or closing space for civil society, which is managed by the very governments who want to move their own priorities forward without intervention, limits how communities receive information, mobilize and respond. In this reality, community-led experiences and expertise in development is incredibly valuable.
These financial institutions, corporations and national governments have a moral and legal obligation not to commit human and environmental rights abuses. Development finance institutions, made up of participating states, are the origins of thousands of development projects each year around the world. Many of these multi-million dollar projects result in human and environmental abuses and the space for communities to actively participate and respond is controlled by their national and local governments. Since development finance institutions fund and implement the priorities of member states, IAP uses the development finance institutions as a point of entry to inform its national and community-led response work and advocacy towards both the lender states, the borrower states and corporations where the affected communities live.