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Reporting environmental and social concerns

Investigation identity

UNIDO believes that environmental and social sustainability is a fundamental aspect of achieving outcomes consistent with its mandate, and recognizes that projects that foster environmental and social sustainability rank among the highest priorities of its activities.


Any person potentially affected by the environmental or social impact of a UNIDO project is encouraged to raise its concerns through any of the following means:



Possible environmental and social grievances may relate to, for example:

  • Project developed without consulting the affected communities.
  • Adverse gender impact.
  • Poor health and safety conditions for workers or surrounding community.
  • Unwarranted increase in greenhouse gas emissions.

UNIDO encourages first bringing complaints to existing local or country-level grievance and dispute resolution systems. This not only enhances local and country-ownership and governance, but also reflects the fact that local and country-level authorities often have better information and understanding relating to the causes of disputes that can arise from project implementation. When resolution of the matter is not possible at the local or country level, UNIDO encourages using its Grievance Mechanism.

In case of grievances regarding adverse environmental and social impacts, EIO will route the complaint to the UNIDO Compliance Officer, for preliminary screening and identification of the nature of the complaint. Depending on the nature of the complaint, the Compliance Officer will refer the matter as follows:

  1. The Compliance Officer refers perceived non-compliance with UNIDO regulations, rules, policies or procedures (“Type 1 complaint”) to EIO and works closely with EIO to ensure that allegations are evaluated and investigated promptly.
  2.  The Compliance Officer refers disputes related to appropriate design and implementation of projects which are in compliance with UNIDO regulations, rules, policies or procedures (“Type 2 complaint”) to the UNIDO Grievance Panel, which is set up to conduct preliminary evaluations and propose technical solutions. The Compliance Officer works closely with the Grievance Panel, which may refer a complaint to EIO if, during its work, it finds reason to suspect that a breach of UNIDO regulations, rules, policies or procedures may have occurred.
  3. The Compliance Officer may refer a combination of Type 1 and Type 2 complaints to both EIO and the Grievance Panel. In such case, the Compliance Officer will clearly define the respective scope of work of the two bodies and ensure appropriate information flow and coordination.

If an allegation does not fall within its mandate, EIO will refer the report to the relevant office.

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