The ACCESS Grievance Mechanism Database addresses the lack of information available for businesses, communities and civil society organizations to make informed choices on grievance-handling options. It demonstrates the variety of non-judicial grievance mechanisms. It provides information about their processes and procedures and aims to increase the visibility and accessibility of non-judicial grievance mechanisms. ACCESS does not approve or endorse particular mechanisms or approaches.
The Database contains descriptions of non-judicial grievance mechanisms that are relevant to addressing company-community problems. ACCESS summarizes the operator’s description of the rules and procedures for each mechanism, and also provides practical information, such as where the mechanism is located and how it can be accessed. Experiences or cases that demonstrate how a mechanism works in practice are shared in the ACCESS Case Story Library.
The database includes various types of grievance mechanisms:
- Company-level mechanisms: Mechanisms initiated and/or run by companies themselves to handle grievances related to their own operations or those of their suppliers/contractors.
- Industry and Multi-industry level mechanisms: Mechanisms linked to multi-stakeholder or collaborative initiatives that focus on one or more industries.
- National level mechanisms: Mechanisms that are organized through a national body or within a particular state, as well as civil society and community-based mechanisms, whether in the country of operations or in the home country of the company.
- Mechanisms of Financial Institutions: Mechanisms run by public, private, and international Financial Institutions to handle grievances of citizens and communities adversely affected by projects funded by the Financial Institution.
Within the above mentioned types of mechanisms the following guidelines are followed to decide whether to include a mechanism in the database:
1. It is a non-judicial mechanism, i.e., a complaint process that uses non-judicial means, such as mediation, dialogue, or other consensus-based processes.
2. The mechanism is relevant to addressing company – community problems.