What Is a Grievance, and What Do We Do

Independent Grievance Redress Mechanism (IGRM)
About the DBSA IGRM
What Is a Grievance, and What Do We Do
Mandate of the IGRM: Compliance Review
Mandate of the IGRM: Problem-Solving
Mandate of the IGRM: Monitoring & Evaluation
Mandate of the IGRM: Governance Structure
Management of Complaints: How to File a Complaint
Management of Complaints: Information Required Per Complaint/Grievance
Management of Complaints: How We Handle Complaints<
Statement Against Retaliation

Scope of IGRM

The DBSA will only address complaints that meet the eligibility criteria below: 

  • The grievance must detail the perceived harm, risk of injustice which the Aggrieved Party wishes the DBSA to review which may inter alia include health and safety risks, physical, economic, situational (e.g., employment), and/or social losses and adverse environmental impacts in relation to Active DBSA Project;
  • The grievance must pertain to an Active DBSA Project; 
  • The grievance is submitted by individuals and/or communities, or their representative(s), who believe that they are or may be affected by an Active DBSA Project; and
  • Grievances must be genuine/legitimate and be raised without malice and in good faith.


  • Grievances related to unsuccessful funding outcomes;
  • Anonymous grievances;
  • Grievances not related to an  Active DBSA Project;
  • Grievances connected to a Project submitted to the IGRM outside the period defined as  Active DBSA Project  (in this instance, APs are encouraged to pursue their grievance directly with the Project owners);
  • Procurement related complaints including complaints from unsuccessful bidders in any DBSA procurement process. Bidders who wish to submit queries/complaints pertaining to outcomes of procurement processes should refer to the DBSA Procurement Policy or applicable administrative review processes;
  • Reports of suspected crime including fraud, corruption, and gender-based violence or sexual exploitation, should be addressed to DBSA whistleblower platforms (see page 3);
  • Requests for information which should be submitted in accordance with the Promotion of Access to Information Act 2 of 2000 (please consult DBSA’s PAIA manual for more information);
  • A grievance or complaint regarding matters already concluded by the IGRM unless the AP has submitted new material information or evidence that was unavailable at the time the matter was previously considered by the IGRM;
  • A grievance designed to gain competitive advantage;
  • A grievance regarding matters relating to the DBSA’s activities which are unconnected to a Project, such as matters relating to DBSA strategy, operations, administration or human resource management; and
  • A grievance solely regarding the adequacy of the DBSA’s operational policies and procedures without reference to a particular DBSA Project.

The DBSA IGRM excludes complaints that address the below matters: 

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