Tools & Guides

In this page, using the filters on your left, you can find toolkits, handbooks and guides on the following topics:

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Community Action Guides (2020)

International Accountability Project – These are four practical guides on how communities can conduct and lead their own community led-research. These materials provide: (1) Concrete step-by-step guidance on how communities can lead their own research to determine their own development priorities, and respond to unwanted development projects; (2) Practical tips, tools, and activities on conducting community-led research; and (3) Inspiring stories from experienced community organizers around the world who have used community-led research to redefine development process.

Community Action Guide: what is development? (2020)


Community Action Guide on Community-led Research (2018)


We’re Experts Too! A Checklist to Support Community-led Research


Survey Template for Community-led Research


Free, Prior, and Informed Consent (FPIC) Guide (2014)

Oxfam Australia – This guide provides basic information for indigenous peoples and communities about the right to Free, Prior, and Informed Consent (FPIC) and how this right can help people have a say about development projects. It is a practical tool to facilitate dialogue between communities and project developers — including companies, government and financiers – and contains a 7-step framework to assist communities to collectively claim their right to FPIC.

FPIC guides are currently available here in: English, Dutch, French, Indonesian, Khmer, Laos, Mongolian, Papua New Guinea pidgin, Portuguese, Spanish, Swahili, Tetum and Vietnamese.

The trainer’s manual Strengthening Community Understanding of Free, Prior and Informed Consent complements the guide and is a practical resource for trainers to help them plan and deliver FPIC training programs. FPIC trainer’s manuals are currently available here in: English, French, Portuguese, Swahili, Tetum, Chinese and Vietnamese.

Oxfam has also produced a series of Free, Prior and Informed Consent training cards to be used in FPIC training programs. FPIC training cards are currently available in: English, Dutch, French, Portuguese, Indonesian, Nyungwe, Spanish and Swahili.

Back to Development – A Call for What Development Could Be (2017)

International Accountability Project—Based on community-led surveys conducted in 8 countries, interviewing over 800 people, this report provides both an analysis of development failures and a practical roadmap to advance community-led plans for development.




SOMO and Accountability Counsel – Human Rights & Grievance Mechanisms

SOMO – Information and tools to file complaints against a company, business or multinational corporation in order to prevent, stop and seek justice for negative impacts caused by their business activities. Mechanisms covered include those of the African Development Bank, the World Bank and International Finance Corporation and the Asian Development Bank, regional human rights bodies, and the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD). Check out the following sections:


Handbook on Extractive Industries and FPIC of Indigenous Peoples (2019)

Asia Indigenous People’s Pact (AIPP) – This handbook contains basic information needed by indigenous peoples to be able to exercise their right to free, prior and informed consent (FPIC) in the face of mining activities affecting their communities. The 1st part gives an overview of extractive industries and mining in Southeast Asia; the 2nd part tackles the the mining cycle and the actual and potential impacts of mining at each stage; and, the3rd part discusses what is FPIC.


Handbook on Human Rights and Extraterritorial Obligations (2017)

ETO Consortium – The handbook is intended as a practical guide for human rights advocates and social movements in monitoring and holding States accountable on their compliance with extraterritorial obligations (ETOs).

Handbook - English

Toolkit - English

A Community Guide to the International Finance Corporation’s Performance Standard 7 on Indigenous Peoples (2008)

Forest Peoples Programme – This guide assists indigenous communities in defending their customary lands in the face of development investments financed by the International Finance Corporation.




A Community-Based Guide for Monitoring Impacts of Oil and Gas Activities on the Environment (2011)

Greenwatch Uganda – This guide is intended for local communities and community-based organizations that are working to monitor the effects of oil and gas development activities on the environment. The guide provides information about the key actors in the Ugandan oil and gas exploration industry, environmental issues that arise and the best way of monitoring and managing such impacts, including EIAs, environment restoration orders, access to information, access to justice, mitigation and waste management.


African Dams, Rivers and Rights: A Guide for Communities to be Impacted by the Inga Dam 3 (2012)

International Rivers –  This guide is for communities who risk being displaced, whether physically (losing access to land or home) or economically (losing assets or access to resources for income and livelihood) by the construction and operation of the Inga 3 dam project,in the DRC.


How to Deal with Projects that Involve Forced Evictions and Displacement (2010)

UN Special Rapporteur on the Right to Adequate Housing – This guide summarizes international human rights standards applicable to involuntary displacement caused by so-called “development projects” before, during and after evictions, and instructions on how to submit a complaint to the UN Special Rapporteur if your rights are being violated


Tools for Activists: An Information and Advocacy Guide to the World Bank Group (2020)

Bank Information Center – This toolkit aims to increase civil society’s influence in development decision-making by empowering people with essential information about 1) what the World Bank Group is and how it functions 2) Bank policies that are intended to protect the environment and people’s rights, and 3) strategies that can be used to influence Bank lending and promote socially just and environmentally sound development.


How to engage with the Independent Review Mechanism of the African Development Bank (2017)

SOMO and Accountability Counsel – This publication focuses on the Independent Review Mechanism (IRM) of the African Development Bank (AfDB). It includes an overview of the IRM and the who, what, when, where, and why of filing a complaint with the IRM.



Biocultural Community Protocols: A Toolkit for Community Facilitators (2012)

Natural Justice – This toolkit is intended to support communities to develop and use protocols to secure their rights and responsibilities, strengthen customary ways of life, and ensure that external actors respect their customary laws, values, and decision-making processes, particularly those concerning stewardship of their territories and areas, traditional knowledge and practices, and their roles in the conservation and sustainable use of biological diversity and ecosystem adaptation.



Citizens’ guides to international financial institutions (2011)

CEE Bankwatch – This series of papers and toolkits, designed for NGOs and citizens, provide in-depth information and manuals for action to engage with the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), the European Investment Bank (EIB), European complaint mechanisms and the Espoo Convention. These guides explain which information is available to the public and how it can be accessed, which processes project follow (from application for funding to implementation), who is responsible for making decisions, how citizens can raise complaints, etc.

Check also: “Toolkit on the Project Complaint Mechanism of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development” (available in English and Arabic)


Community Action Guide to the Asian Development Bank (2013)

International Accountability Project – Designed with and for community organizers, this 200-page guide is filled with training exercises to help mobilize communities, engage with the Asian Development Bank (ADB), and use ADB Safeguards Policies to protect human rights. While filled with case studies from throughout Asia-Pacific, community organizers anywhere can use and adapt the lessons and exercises.





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