Inform, dialogue, respond

Responsible development

Information, dialogue and responding to requests are the prerequisites for a relationship of trust with all our partners. This a commitment of all AFD Group.
Transparency, computer, laptop, hands
For us, supporting sustainable projects with strong impacts for populations involves submitting results to the judgments and opinions of all stakeholders.
Informing, conducting dialogue and providing responses are consequently among the pillars of our Group’s Corporate Social Responsibility.

The Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) approach is essential for AFD Group and involves requirements: social, environmental, ethical, respect for human rights, the fight against corruption, transparency, dialogue with its partners and reducing its ecological footprint.

AFD has been developing and implementing a Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) policy since 2005, both in its in-house operation and in its financing.

AFD publishes an annual Corporate Social Responsibility Report, in order to be accountable for this approach and its results and enhance the dialogue with its partners on the subject.

This report fits in with the technical frameworks of the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI4), ISO 26000, the Global Compact and the French law on the transparency obligations of companies on social, environmental and societal matters.

Inform

AFD’s adoption of a transparency policy aims to meet the increasing demand expressed by public opinion and civil society actors to be better informed about the strategy, objectives and results of French Official Development Assistance. As an institution with a public service mission, AFD has committed to being accountable for its activities by making institutional, strategic and operational information available on its website. It also involves raising awareness and giving an understanding of our vision, our mandates and our actions. The aim is to establish an enhanced dialogue with our partners, particularly the Government, staff members, the beneficiaries of financing, CSOs, suppliers, but also peer organizations, local communities and residents, national and international public authorities and the financial and banking world.

In order to build a relationship of trust and a high-quality dialogue with its partners, AFD Group is committed to enhancing transparency over its activities. AFD takes a proactive approach to publishing information in line with international reference standards, within the limits of professional secrecy and business confidentiality, in accordance with the framework defined by the Monetary and Financial Code, and in accordance with French legislation on data protection.

Information about AFD-funded projects is published on:

FOCUS: 2016 CORPORATE SOCAL RESPONSIBILITY REPORT

Dialogue

AFD Group is aware of the need to provide differentiated and concerted responses and dialogue with its partners is one of its main objectives.

DIALOGUE WITH THE POPULATION, LOCAL AUTHORITIES AND CIVIL SOCIETY ORGANIZATIONS

Ensuring that projects are effective and sustainable requires partnerships with civil society and/or consultation during the preparation, implementation and evaluation of projects.

In this respect, it makes sense to take into account the views of local authorities, affected populations and local NGOs about the impacts of the projects submitted for financing, especially when these projects involve a high environmental and social risk. During the appraisal and implementation of its projects, AFD Group ensures, through clauses and assistance, that the contracting authority consults the various project stakeholders (local populations in particular). Their interests and views are also included in project evaluations.

DIALOGUE ON STRATEGIES

The strategic documents prepared by AFD, which determine its areas of operation in sectors and on crosscutting issues, are subject to a consultation with the supervisory ministries and a presentation to stakeholders prior to being submitted to the Board of Directors.

In the case of Country Intervention Frameworks, a dialogue with stakeholders (local authorities, donors, private sector, CSOs, etc.) is systematically conducted prior to the drafting of the document. These strategic documents can be consulted on our website in the sections on

AFD’s thematic areas, sectors and geographical areas of operation.
CSOs have been invited to workshops on AFD’s transparency and Corporate Social Responsibility and in the context of the implementation of the Social Business Facility, which aims to support the creation and development of social businesses. AFD has also enhanced its dialogue with international NGOs on their advocacy campaigns (bilateral meetings with Oxfam, ONE, Publish What You Fund, CCFD...).

REGULATORY AND INSTITUTIONAL DIALOGUE

AFD is required to be accountable to a group of stakeholders defined by regulations. This accountability is exercised at the Board of Directors, whose members include representatives from line ministries, parliamentarians, NGO representatives and staff representatives, as well as with social structures and via institutional documents and regulatory reporting (parliamentary reports, Group Registration Document, social report, economic and social database, etc.).

DIALOGUE WITH DEVELOPMENT ACTORS

AFD Group also maintains a dialogue with all development actors. We have partnerships with over 150 organizations: international donors, UN agencies, regional and local authorities, NGOs, companies, foundations and think tanks.

 

Respond

Any person or group of persons affected by an AFD-funded project from an environmental or social perspective can submit a complaint via the Complaints Mechanism.
Once the complaint has been submitted, it is registered by the mechanism’s Secretariat, under the supervision of AFD’s Ethics Advisor. A panel of independent experts decides whether it is eligible and, if so, deals with the complaint.

Thanks to this mechanism, AFD has strengthened the environmental and social monitoring of the projects it finances, with the aim of enhancing transparency and accountability towards its partners.

WHO CAN SUBMIT A COMPLAINT?

The complaint must:

  • be submitted by one or several natural or legal persons affected by an AFD-funded project;
  • exclusively concern the environmental and social aspects of the project;
  • concern projects conducted in foreign countries;
  • be made as a last resort, when the author of the complaint has exhausted the possibilities of dialogue and out-of-court redress procedures towards the contracting authority or AFD.
     
HOW TO SUBMIT A COMPLAINT?

Complaints may be sent:

  • by filling in a form online;
  • by sending an e-mail to reclamation@afd.fr;
  • by post to:
    • Agence Française de Développement
      Secrétariat du Dispositif de gestion des réclamations environnementales et sociales
      5, Rue Roland Barthes
      75598 Paris Cedex 12
      FRANCE
  • Or be delivered by hand at AFD’s headquarters or in its network of agencies. 
HANDLING OF COMPLAINTS

The mechanism’s Secretariat is the permanent entry point for the reception of claims and their follow-up, under the supervision of AFD’s Ethics Advisor.
The Secretariat acknowledges receipt of a complaint within ten working days following its direct reception and within eighteen days when the claim is sent to a local agency.

The claim is registered if:

  • The author of the complaint or, where applicable, its authorized representative is identified;
  • The project is described and the environmental and/or social impacts are explained;
  • The efforts made by the author of the complaint to settle the dispute are presented;
  • The project is financed by AFD;
  • The complaint is made within two years after the author became aware of the facts.

Claims are subsequently handled by a panel of independent experts who initially assess their eligibility, based on criteria defined in the mechanism’s Rules of Procedure.

Additional information may be requested from the author of the complaint.

If the claim is deemed eligible, it is handled using one or both of the two following methods:

  • Dispute resolution, which seeks to restore a dialogue between the author of the complaint, or its representative, and the counterparty to resolve the problems which led to the complaint. It is completed when the parties concerned reach an agreement or when, in the opinion of the experts, no further progress is possible towards the resolution of the dispute;
  • The compliance audit, which determines whether AFD has complied with its environmental and social procedures or, otherwise, recommends remedial measures. An action plan is subsequently proposed and its implementation is monitored.

A report on the mechanism’s activities will be published on this page every year.