Stakeholder Engagement and Response

Submitting Environmental and Social Complaints

Responding to E&S complaints raised by external stakeholders is critical to achieve positive E&S outcomes and to demonstrate IFC’s commitment to accountability.
Women involved in community meeting to discuss village reconstruction. Photo: Nugroho Nurdikiawan Sunjoyo/World Bank

Individuals, or representatives they authorize, can submit E&S complaints directly to IFC if they believe an IFC project has or is likely to have adverse effects on them, their community, or their environment.

When receiving an E&S complaint, IFC engages with complainants and works with clients to find solutions to E&S concerns as quickly and efficiently as possible.

How to Submit a Complaint

Complaints can be submitted in any of the following ways: 

Requirements for Submitting a Compliant

Complaints must be submitted in writing. A complaint should include the following information:

  • Location and name and/or project ID of the IFC project and/or client that is the subject of the complaint.
  • Reason for the complaint and project’s adverse E&S impact(s) on the complainant(s).
  • Name(s) of the individual(s) submitting the complaint.
    Anonymous complaints cannot be accepted as IFC must communicate with complainant(s) to address their concerns. IFC will not share complainant information without consent.
    • If the complaint is submitted by a representative of the individual(s) affected by the project, written proof of authority of the representative will be required.

Supporting evidence is not necessary but may be helpful in reviewing and resolving the complaint. The complaint may also include suggestions on how the complainant(s) believes the complaint could be resolved.

Complaint Eligibility Criteria

An E&S complaint must meet all of the following conditions to be eligible for processing by IFC:

  • The complaint relates to an IFC project that is active or under consideration.
  • The complaint is submitted by individual(s) affected by an IFC project, or by their authorized representative(s).
  • The complainant(s) allege that they have been or will be affected by an E&S risk or impact of the project.

Please see the FAQs for a description of the types of complaints NOT considered eligible.



All complaints will be treated as confidential. Personal data shared through the complaints will be treated in accordance with the Direct Complaints Privacy Notice.

Complaint Handling Process

IFC receives, reviews, manages, and responds to Direct Complaints through a defined process, from intake to closure, with a focus on problem-solving and working with clients to resolve complainant issues. IFC consults with and updates the complainant(s) regularly throughout the process.

Infographic: Complaints Handling Process
Infographic: Complaints Handling Process