the challenge

A leader in infrastructure development approached Ksapa to develop a Human Rights Risk assessment specific to a road expansion project in Eastern Africa. The financial closing of this project is indeed contingent on such recommendations being approved by lenders. Working with the main proponents of the project, both at headquarters and locally, we analyzed existing and projected management plans and outlined recommendations for their reinforcement.


Leveraging its in-house Human Rights methodology, Ksapa identified and mapped the Project’s specific Human Rights issues, per the 100+ control points included in the International Bill of Rights. In so doing, we distinguished priority risks based on whether they would be more prevalent during the construction or operations phase, also taking into account design phase public consultations. This preliminary assessment was then cross-referenced with a documentary review, designed to select relevant issues for each of the Project’s key rightsholders.

Using IFC performance standards wherever possible to secure lenders’ buy-in, Ksapa narrowed down the scope of relevant risks (Human Rights, labor, land acquisition, health and safety…). The latter were then assessed in terms of high, moderate or low Human Rights risks based on the two following dimensions:  

  • Severity = How many rightsholders could be impacted by a potential violation of the listed rights. Scale grade = minor (a minor portion of the rightsholder category is likely to be subjected to Human Rights violations) to critical (a the entire category is likely subject to Human Rights violations).
  • Possibility of remediation = Can rightsholders affected by a violation of their rights be restored to their previous state? The scale ranges from minor (any such Human Rights violation can likely be resolved via the appropriate remediation measures) to critical (any such violation is irreparable).

It should be noted this analysis is conducted from a gross risk perspective, insofar as the project has not yet started and Human Rights issues can only be considered in anticipation thereof – in other words, prior to any intervention to remediate said risks. For each rightsholder category, Human Rights priorities were ranked in terms of the following recommended mitigative action:

  • High-Alert = Specific attention required
  • Mitigation = Impact-driven risk mitigation efforts required
  • Management = Management of duty-bearers risk mitigation efforts required
  • Monitoring = Monitoring of program and corrective measures required


Ksapa’s sectoral and country-specific expertise allows us to finetune recommendations to include priority Human Rights considerations in existing or projected Management Plans. This approach proved instrumental in finetuning reinforcement recommendations in such a way as to align with IFC standards as well as public and local stakeholder specifications. Ksapa indeed not only emphasized the Human Rights risk specific to rightsholders, it also allocated responsibility over the corresponding mitigative measures to the relevant duty-bearers. The resulting assessment will ultimately be submitted to lenders to unlock Project funding and launch the Construction phase accordingly.

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Farid Baddache is the main author of this blog about resilience, impact and inclusion subject

Farid Baddache
CEO & Cofounder