Civil Society Engagement

Working with the EBRD

In terms of broad outreach, we maintain these dedicated web pages, use social media platforms and develop communication products, such as a quarterly EBRD-CSO Newsletter, in order to share information about the EBRD’s activities with civil society.

Disclosure of information about our projects, policies and strategies to the general public and CSOs is conducted in line with the requirements of the 2014 Public Information Policy (PIP). We inform CSOs about the start of all formal consultations on institutional strategies and policies and disclosure of project information such as Project Summary Documents (PSDs) and Environmental and Social Impact Assessments (ESIAs) for category A projects in order to enable CSOs to provide their comments.

Relevant CSOs that have registered with the Bank are notified about the start of consultation periods. If you would like to be kept informed about the Bank’s activities in your country, subscribe to e-mail notifications.

Members of public and CSOs also often proactively request through emails and letters to receive specific information about the EBRD’s projects and polices that raise their interest and/or concern. We prepare timely and comprehensive responses to information requests and other correspondence from civil society stakeholders, with input from all relevant teams, and in line with PIP requirements.

We provide a wide range of opportunities for dialogue with civil society. Our dialogue with CSOs is often focused the Bank’s Article 1 issues including democracy, human rights and enabling environment for CSOs in EBRD’s countries of operations. We also discuss with CSOs the issues related to transparency, accountability and good governance both related to the Bank itself and our clients.

Also, much of the dialogue with CSOs is in relation to environmental and social issues in specific investment projects. The EBRD is a project-oriented bank and the majority of our activities consist of investment projects – in the form of debt or equity to private sector clients. At the technical level, CSOs are able to engage in discussions on projects with banking teams, environmental and social experts, compliance and evaluation specialists. If you represent an affected party or are interested in a particular investment project, contact us at cso@ebrd.com.

CSOs – alongside the members of local affected communities – also have an opportunity to raise their complaints or grievances about EBRD-financed projects, independently from banking operations, though the Project Complaint Mechanism .

Going beyond investment projects, CSOs are recently increasingly interested in boarder policy issues related to the EBRD’s operations, including our policy dialogue activities with governments. Regarding high-level dialogue, CSOs hold meetings with the EBRD’s President and members of senior management both in London HQ and on the ground in the countries where we work.

Also, the EBRD’s Board of Directors frequently undertakes Board Consultation Visits to our countries of operations, during which particular importance is placed on meeting with major national and international CSOs active in the country concerned.

President, senior management and the Board Directors have an opportunity to familiarise themselves with the civil society’s perspective on the EBRD’s operations as well as on the overall political, social and economic developments in a particular country.

Consultations are a formal process in which we seek input from relevant stakeholders, including CSOs, to inform our decision-making regarding operational and sectoral polices, strategies and initiatives and country strategies and investment projects.

Consultations take place periodically, in a set period of time and in an agreed format – at minimum in accordance with the PIP and often beyond policy requirements in line with good international practices. For example, we engage CSOs in early pre-drafting stages of preparation of most major documents of interest to CSOs, such as certain institutional policies and country strategies.

New policies and strategies in draft form are available to download and are open for individual comments for a period of 45 calendar days.

Relevant civil society representatives are invited to submit their written comments on selected draft operational policies under review and attend various events at the EBRD’s headquarters and Resident Offices, including seminars and consultation workshops.

Project Summary Document (PSDs) are available for all projects directly financed by the EBRD. For private sector projects, the PSDs will normally be released for public consultations for a period of at least 30 days and for public sector projects 60 days before consideration of the project by the Board of Directors. Stakeholders are invited to provide their comments during that period.

For category A projects, Environmental and Social Impact Assessments (ESIAs) look at the environmental and social impacts associated with the proposed project, and recommend measures to prevent, minimise and mitigate adverse impacts. ESIAs also identify environmental improvement opportunities. ESIAs are released for public consultations for 60 days for private and 120 days for public sector projects.

The start of the review period for EBRD country and sectoral strategies polices and category A projects is announced on our News and events page , Have your say page  and/or through email notifications .  Your comments and feedback should follow the instructions indicated on the relevant web pages.

If you would like to be kept informed about important dates and deadlines relating to strategy, policy and project reviews, join our mailing list.

If you are interested in attending any of the consultation workshops, please contact us at cso@ebrd.com.  Visit the News and events page for information on recent CSO meetings on country and sectoral strategies and polices and investment projects.

Going beyond dialogue and consultations, we also proactively cooperate, transfer knowledge and build capacity of local community groups and CSOs in the countries where we work.

Most notably, since 2013 the Civil Society Capacity Enhancement Framework has allowed the EBRD to engage more proactively and constructively and provide support to a wide range of local civil society stakeholders in the countries where we work when there is a link with specific EBRD financed projects and policy dialogue initiatives.

The Framework, managed by the CSE Unit, utilises the EBRD’s technical cooperation (TC) funds in order to provide training, mentoring and small grants to support grass root and community-based groups, professional and business associations, NGOs, academic and training institutions, think tanks, social enterprises and other civil society actors.

Have your say on our work

The public is invited to comment on proposed EBRD policies and strategies during their development.