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External Review to Probe CAO Investigation into IFC Investment in Bridge International Academies

Review to verify that Compliance Advisor Ombudsman (CAO) investigation was conducted without interference

WASHINGTON, May 16, 2024—The Board of Executive Directors of the International Finance Corporation (IFC) today announced that they will be seeking an outside firm to explore the circumstances surrounding the Compliance Advisor Ombudsman’s (CAO) investigation of IFC’s investment in Bridge International Academies. CAO is IFC’s independent accountability mechanism and reports directly to the IFC Board.

World Bank Group President Ajay Banga called for the probe after a CAO investigation found that IFC had received reports of child sexual abuse while invested in Bridge International Academies and, among other protocol shortcomings, the allegations were not acted on as early or aggressively as they could have been.

The independent review will seek to confirm that the CAO was fully able to execute its compliance investigation mandate. This will include exploring if CAO had unfettered access to the relevant documents and information required to conduct the Bridge investigation, as well as access to all relevant staff involved in, or with knowledge of, the Bridge investment.

In addition, the review will seek to confirm that IFC staff and management cooperated fully with CAO as required under IFC policies. This will include verifying that IFC provided complete access to documents and staff as requested by CAO; ensuring IFC in no way interfered in the CAO investigation; certifying that IFC took all actions required under applicable CAO policies; and making sure there were no actions to limit the effectiveness of the Bridge investigation.


In Washington: David Theis, (202) 203-0601,



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