Accountability Counsel

Semester: 2021 Fall

Students: Juliana Heffern, Janet Park, Mtume Sangiewa

Accountability Counsel supports communities around the world to defend their human rights and environment.

Accountability Counsel regularly provides advice to, and training workshops for, communities and the local organizations that support them before and during dialogue processes facilitated by Independent Accountability Mechanisms (IAMs). These communities are experiencing, or fear, environmental and social harm from internationally financed development projects spanning sectors such as infrastructure, energy, housing and urban development, water and sanitation, conservation, and legal reform.

Since Spring 2021, Accountability Counsel has partnered with HNMCP to develop a toolkit of training and advising materials for dialogue preparation and engagement in negotiations that Accountability Counsel can use to support with communities and the local organizations. The completed toolkit will contain written, visual, and simulation materials instructing communities on key aspects of: dialogue design; strategy development; interest-based negotiation techniques; and agreement drafting and monitoring. For Fall 2021, Accountability Counsel has specifically requested an HNMCP team to develop a module of materials to assist communities in negotiating effectively “at the table” in IAM-mediated dispute resolution processes. 

Preliminary approaches and deliverables: 

  • Interview Accountability Counsel attorneys, IAM staff, community partners, and international negotiation experts, among others; 
  • Conduct research on effective negotiation strategies, particularly in multi-party, coalition, and mediated contexts, among other tasks;  
  • Virtually attend key meetings to observe and assess negotiation preparation and strategy; and 
  • Develop materials that directly support Accountability Counsel’s existing dispute resolution practice supporting communities globally who are engaging in IAM-mediated negotiations, covering topics such as preparation for negotiations within the community and among the community representatives to negotiations; generating, presenting, and responding to offers; consensus-building within a coalition; drafting implementable agreements; and/or other applicable topics; among other activities. 
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