Model & Strategy

The Problem
Around the world, millions of people each year suffer human rights and environmental abuses resulting from the impacts of foreign-funded projects. All too often, projects ranging from infrastructure to agribusiness to hydropower to mining are designed in foreign capitals far from their impacts, ignoring the voices of those whose lives and livelihoods can be wiped out by a single, far-away investment decision. Harm is compounded by the environmental impacts of these projects, including polluting critical water resources, deforestation, and contributing to climate change.

For example, members of the Kawaala community of Kampala, Uganda, are facing eviction to make way for a World Bank-funded infrastructure project. Their homes, food, income, family grave sites, and ancestral land intended for future generations are all under threat. They have faced violence and intimidation for speaking up by the local authorities who should be protecting them. By failing to meaningfully consult with community members and support them to safely resettle with dignity and fair compensation, this project is putting an entire community at risk.

The Solution
Accountability Counsel (AC) specializes in a highly effective tool for delivering justice: the independent accountability offices tied to international financial institutions. When investments exploit communities, AC supports communities to speak truth to power. AC operates at the nexus of human and environmental rights, supporting communities harmed by international investment to leverage their power to demand justice on an equal footing with corporations and institutions. AC’s global team operates with a respect-based approach, centering the voices of women, children, Indigenous people, and other marginalized groups who are often the least likely to be consulted about projects but bear the brunt of the harm. AC’s accountability advocacy has directly resulted in the following:

  • A collective of Haitian farmers representing nearly 4,000 people successfully negotiated a historic agreement that is restoring land, livelihoods, and dignity to their community.
  • The Tanzanian government committed to ending its policy of discrimination against pregnant students, allowing up to 8,000 previously excluded pregnant and parenting students per year to continue their secondary education in public schools.
  • The Karen Indigenous community preserved 1.4M hectares of rainforest in Myanmar, where their vision of Indigenous-led conservation seeks to guide global environmental movements, restore rightful residents to the land, and preserve the rich biodiversity and fragile peace process in the region.
  • Traditional herder families in Mongolia secured $1.2M in investments to support their community’s economic activity, protect local waterways, and ensure that they can continue to have sustainable livelihoods on their ancestral land.
At a Glance
Founded: 2009
Interim Executive Director: Lani Inverarity
Social Justice
Location of work: International, Africa, Asia, Latin America, Europe
Accountability Counsel
San Francisco, CA
Defending global rights
Meet Natalie Bridgeman Fields

Accountability Counsel was launched in September 2009 after Natalie Bridgeman Fields received an Echoing Green Fellowship to support the organization’s founding.  She led the organization as executive director until 2023. She has consulted for development banks on accountability, worked as a successful human rights and environmental litigator, practiced law at Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati, and is a Stanford SEERS Fellow. She is a Cornell graduate and received her JD from UCLA.

Lani Inverarity first joined Accountability Counsel as a Robina Foundation International Human Rights Fellow in 2015. Previously director of programs and strategy, Lani is currently acting as interim executive director. Under her leadership, Accountability Counsel continues to drive forward their mission, momentum, and impact, ensuring that thousands of communities globally have access to justice.



Accountability Counsel is working alongside communities in 50 countries serving over 3.2M people around the world to secure their rights.


Accountability Counsel is creating the first-ever database recording every complaint filed to an accountability office to center community voices in international financial systems.