Tools & Guides

IAP – Community Action Guide: what is development?

International Accountability Project – In this Guide, you will find tools, activities and practical tips on community-led development and how to support communities in claiming their right to development.

IAP - Community Action Guide: what is development?

AIPP’s Handbook on Extractive Industries and FPIC of Indigenous Peoples

Asia Indigenous People’s Pact (AIPP) – This handbook contains basic information needed by indigenous peoples to be able to exercise their right to FPIC in the face of mining activities affecting their communities. It is to be used as a reference by indigenous communities and civil society organizations in understanding and raising awareness on extractive industries and FPIC. The handbook is divided into three major parts. The first part of the Handbook gives an overview of extractive industries and mining in Southeast Asia; the second part tackles the the mining cycle and the actual and potential impacts of mining — social, environmental and economic — at each stage; and, the third part discusses what is FPIC from the perspective of indigenous peoples, and as provided in national and international legal instruments on FPIC.  Download the handbook here.

Community Action Guide on Community-Led Research

International Accountability Project – These are three 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. Translations in Portuegese, Spanish, Mongolian, Thai and Vietnamese are available.

Community Action Guide on Community-led Research


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


Survey Template for Community-led Research


Environmental and Social Safeguards Evaluation

Office of Evaluation and Oversight (OVE)- Evaluation of the Inter-American Development Bank Group’s (IDBG’s) environmental and social safeguards systems.




Free, Prior, and Informed Consent (FPIC) Guide

Oxfam Australia—This is an introduction to Free, Prior, and Informed Consent (FPIC). It provides basic information for indigenous peoples and communities about the right to FPIC and how this right can help people to 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 seven step framework to assist communities to collectively claim their right to FPIC.

ENG, ESP, FRA, DUT, IND, KHM, LAO, MON, Papua New Guinea pidginPOR, SWA, TET, VIE, 



China Global Dams Database, 2017

International Rivers—This is a comprehensive database that includes all of the dams (outside of China) in which Chinese companies are involved. This new edition of the China Global Dams Database is more user-friendly. It is easier to search, more consolidated and better organized. The analysis of Chinese hydropower companies’ investment trends over the past ten years is intended to complement and contextualize information in the database.

Reflections on Chinese Companies’ Global Investments in the Hydropower Sector Between 2006-2017

China Global Dams Database, 2017

The Independent Review Mechanism of the African Development Bank

SOMO and Accountability Counsel – This publication focuses on the Independent Review Mechanism (IRM) of the African Development Bank (AfDB). The IRM was established by the AfDB in 2004 to address complaints made by any group of two or more people who have been harmed, or who are likely to be harmed, by a project funded by the AfDB group. It was designed to make sure that the AfDB follows its own policies and procedures during the design and implementation of its projects. Complaints may relate to the social and environmental impacts of projects in sectors ranging from transportation, hydropower, agriculture or infrastructure.



Development and Investment in Africa

The Coalition for Human Rights in Development — This briefing paper examines issues surrounding development finance issues in Africa. From the US and Europe, to China and Brazil, businesses and governments are looking toward Africa as a profitable destination for investment and a critical source of natural resources. African leaders and development institutions such as the World Bank tout the benefits that increased investment, especially private sector investment, will bring for the region. Increased investment, however, is no guarantee for positive development results. In fact, in many instances, increased investment has exacerbated poverty and inequality and contributed to human rights abuses such as forced evictions. Without effective mechanisms to ensure that the African people have a say in what development will look like and how it will be implemented, past development failures are sure to be repeated.



Community Guide to the ADB Involuntary Resettlement Safeguards

Inclusive Development International – This action resource seeks to make the ADB’s Involuntary Resettlement Safeguard Policy understandable and accessible to affected communities and to impart the skills necessary for people to monitor the projects that affect them.

The Guide explains local grievance processes, the ADB Accountability Mechanism and other forms of advocacy that local communities can use to defend their rights and hold the ADB accountable if the policy is violated.  An accompanying Facilitators’ Edition includes interactive activities and instructions for facilitators to run training sessions on each topic.

ENG - Participants' Manual

ENG - Facilitators' Manual

KHM - Participants' Manual

KHM - Facilitators' Manual

Avoiding Forced Displacement: A Community Guide to Negotiation and Advocacy

Inclusive Development International, Equitable Cambodia—Developed for the Southeast Asian context,  this four-day training curriculum helps communities to think strategically about how to negotiate with private companies and government authorities seeking to take their land.

ENG - Participants Manual

ENG - Facilitators Manual

KHM - Participants Manual

KHM - Facilitators Manual

Community Guide to the International Finance Corporation

Inclusive Development International – This guide is an action resource for communities affected by projects funded by the International Finance Corporation of the World Bank Group. It is designed to help communities understand their rights and entitlements vis-a-vis IFC projects and to decide whether they want to file a complaint with the IFC’s independent grievance mechanism, the Compliance Advisor Ombudsman (CAO), as a part of their advocacy strategy. The Facilitators’ Manual contains activities and discussions on each topic to help communities use the information that they learn to develop an advocacy strategy to defend their rights.

ENG - Participants Manual

ENG - Facilitators Manual

VIE - Participants Manual

VIE - Facilitators Manual

FRA - Participants Manual

“Development” Finance and the Roll-Back of Social and Environmental Protections

Coalition for Human Rights in Development, Otros Mundos, and Movimiento M4- This infographic tells the story of 12 countries that have rolled back national social and environmental protections in recent years in order to attract investment. The infographic can be printed as a poster in A2 or A3 size for use in workshops and other educational activities. Read more about it and find the Hindi version on the Coalition blog post.





Animated Resettlement Guide Video for People Affected by Dam Development

International Rivers-  This animated video outlines important information for communities impacted by dam development projects, including rights, resettlement, and negotiations. This video is part of a toolkit for dam-impacted communities which also includes African Dams, Rivers and Rights: A Guide for Communities to be Impacted by the Inga Dam 3.


Back to Development – A Call for What Development Could Be

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.




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

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, which may begin construction as early as 2016.


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