Development banks continue financing high-impact project despite the restricted civic space in Central Asia and South Caucasus

“There is no independent civil society in our country, and the idea that communities can participate in decisions affecting their lives is something unimaginable. When we reached out to the bank representatives in our country [regarding the World Bank-funded COVID response project] they treated us as an annoying factor and would not answer our questions” — civil society partner in Turkmenistan

For years, the lack of opportunity to meaningfully participate in development processes has been a critical challenge for communities in the countries of Central Asia and the South Caucasus. In the last decade, the political and economic liberalization trends in the region have been accompanied by the rise of investments from major development banks.

Community protesting against a mining project in Armenia. Source: Narek Aleksanyan, Hetq
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IAP is a human and environmental rights organization that works with communities, civil society and social movements to change how today’s development is done.