About us

Our Vision

A world where people and planet are at the heart of development

Recourse has three meanings which define our mission:

Recourse (verb: Change of course or direction) Recourse campaigns to redirect international financial flows away from dirty, harmful investments, towards greener and more inclusive development

Recourse (noun: A source of help in a difficult situation) Recourse works in partnership with others to support communities in their struggle for their rights to be respected and their voices to be heard

Recourse (noun: The legal right to demand compensation or payment) Recourse holds financial institutions to account for harms to people and the environment

Recourse targets development finance as a means of influencing the wider investment community, financial flows and governments, to ensure inclusive, environmentally sustainable, socially just and pro-poor development. 

Read Recourse 2020 Annual Report here.

Registration

Recourse was officially registered as Stichting Re-course International with the Dutch Chamber of Commerce on 17 December 2019 with its KvK number 64363635. It was previously known as Bank Information Center Europe, which was registered as Stichting Bank Information Center with the Dutch Chamber of Commerce on 19 October 2015.

Recourse is supported by foundations and organisations that work in the fields of environment and development. Recourse is not affiliated with any of the International Financial Institutions, nor does it receive any funding from them.

Recourse publishes Minutes of the Board Meetings and Audited Financial Statements

What we do

Recourse targets development finance as a means of influencing the wider investment community, financial flows and governments, to ensure inclusive, environmentally sustainable, socially just and pro-poor development.

 

We are an independent, non-profit, non-governmental organisation that holds International Financial Institutions to account, advocating for:

  • Protection of rights
  • Participation and transparency
  • Public accountability in the operations of multilateral development banks

We organise our work around two themes:

Rights and accountability: we support communities in their struggle for their rights to be respected and their voices to be heard, so that they benefit from rather than bear the costs of development.

Ecological justice: the climate crisis demands urgent action from IFIs: to stop bankrolling fossil fuels, promote renewable energy, and stop forest destruction. But this must happen in a way that supports and does not undermine the livelihoods of local communities but rather puts them at the centre of development decision-making.

How we work

Campaign

  • Partnering with others to influence decision-makers and hold financial institutions to account.
  • Advocating to shift policies and practices to ensure inclusive, environmentally sustainable, socially just and pro-poor development.
  • Using evidence-based research and advocacy to build a compelling case for change.

Support

  • Partnering with local communities and civil society to secure their rights and fight discrimination.
  • Working in solidarity with local communities to open political space and ensure their voice in development decision-making.
  • Supporting communities who have suffered harm to gain remedy and justice.

Multiply

  • Building coalitions to be greater than the sum of our parts and maximise impact.
  • Movement-building to foster long-term systemic change.
  • Networking and capacity-building to create an informed and engaged movement to hold financial institutions accountable.

Team

Nezir Sinani

Co-Director

Nezir Sinani

Nezir is a seasoned international development specialist with experience in environmental and social policy research, strategic communications, and civil society advocacy. As a former Research Analyst for the Institute for Development Policy in Kosovo, he has in-depth understanding of the engagement of civil society to advocate for sustainable development standards and safeguards. Nezir has also served as Corporate Communications Manager for a state-owned energy company in Kosovo, where he led public outreach and media engagement during a process of structural reform in the energy sector, and as a Communications Specialist for a governance reform program funded by USAID in Kosovo, focusing on civil society engagement, civic education, and awareness campaigns. He holds an M.S. in Service Management from Rochester Institute of Technology, and a B.A. in English from the University of Pristina. He is fluent in English and Albanian, and is proficient in Serbo-Croatian and German.

Kate Geary

Co-Director

Kate Geary

Kate became Recourse’s Co-Director in November 2017. Previously, Kate led Oxfam’s advocacy on land rights, working in support of communities affected by land grabs and campaigning for policy change; and was also a policy adviser for Oxfam on climate change and the private sector. Before joining Oxfam in 2004, Kate worked for a number of environmental and human rights organisations – including TERRA in Southeast Asia – and was Coordinator of the Ilisu Dam Campaign coalition, including Friends of the Earth, the Kurdish Human Rights Project and The Corner House. She has published a number of reports including Our Land, Our Lives; The New Forests Company and its Uganda Plantations; Now or Never; Climate Change: Time to get down to business; The Forecast for Tomorrow: The UK’s climate for change; co-author of Dams Inc: The record of twelve European dam-building companies; and for several years was Managing Editor of Watershed magazine in Thailand. She has a degree in Modern Languages from Oxford University.

Petra Kjell

Campaigns Manager

Petra Kjell

Petra joined Recourse in March 2018. Before this, she worked with the Bank Information Center and as a Programme Manager at the Bretton Woods Project, monitoring the World Bank, for over five years where she coordinated the work on environment, human rights and social impacts. She has previously worked at organisations, such as Progressio, the New Economics Foundation, and the World Development Movement, focusing on social and environmental issues, including sustainable and equitable water resources management and climate change. She has also spent one year working in Tanzania for a conservation organisation. Petra holds an MSc in Development Studies from SOAS, University of London, a BSc in Social Science from University of Stockholm, Sweden, and a PGDip in Environment and Sustainability from Birkbeck, University of London.

Sargon Nissan

IMF Manager

Sargon Nissan

Sargon Nissan joined Recourse in early 2021 as its new IMF Manager. Sargon has focused on various aspects of financial policy and its reform for many years, encompassing work within the NGO sector, think tanks and the private sector. As executive director of the Financial Transparency Coalition (2017-2020), he led an international civil society network combatting illicit financial flows through the promotion of a transparent, accountable, and sustainable financial system. He previously led IMF-focused advocacy at the Bretton Woods Project, a civil society network scrutinizing the activities of the IMF and World Bank, seeking to reform the global financial governance architecture. Sargon holds two MSc qualifications from SOAS, at the University of London – in Finance & Development and Development Studies – and holds a BSc in Economics from the London School of Economics.

Heike Mainhardt

Senior Consultant

Heike Mainhardt

For twenty years, Heike Mainhardt has provided empirical analysis to support initiatives in the field of environment, poverty, and development. Heike has consulted to a wide range of organizations, including civil society organisations, the US government, the United Nations, and the World Bank. She has been an expert contributor to the Inter-governmental Panel on Climate Change and the US Government’s greenhouse gas inventory. Heike has held senior positions at the Bank Information Center, World Wildlife Fund, and ICF Consulting. Heike received her M.A. from the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University and holds a B.S. from the University of Michigan in Environmental Science.

Fran Witt

Senior Consultant

Fran Witt

Fran has over 30 years international development experience, with an emphasis on climate justice, economic justice, development finance and international human rights. As a consultant in development finance advocacy, Fran has worked to support and advise Eurodad, the Financial Transparency Coalition, the Global Alliance for Tax Justice, Publish What You Fund and Financial Justice Ireland, as well as working with Anti-Slavery International to build their Climate Change and Modern Slavery strategy.

Previously Fran worked as International Advocacy Manager at Christian Aid where she worked with staff, international partners and coalitions to influence the UNFCCC climate negotiations, including COP21 in Paris. She was instrumental in establishing the Big Shift Global campaign which has strongly influenced energy investment policy at the World Bank. Fran holds an MSc in Violence, Conflict and Development from SOAS, University of London, and is a fluent Spanish speaker, and proficient in French.

Jen Derillo

Communications and Research Fellow

Jen Derillo

Jen Derillo is a graduate of Media and Culture studies and has been working in development communications for the past 5 years. Jen is currently taking a doctorate in Anthropology and its role in development in Belgium at the University of Ku Leuven.

Ceren Temizyürek

Ceren Temizyürek

Ceren is an undergraduate Economics student at Wellesley College in the US, with a strong interest in development and environment-related issues. For the past year she’s been working with Urgewald and Recourse on development funding, with a focus on Multilateral Development Banks and financial intermediaries. Ceren is fluent in English, Turkish, German and proficient in Italian.

Board

Recourse has five permanent members of the Board of Directors (as registered with the Dutch government)

Susanne Breitkopf

Susanne Breitkopf

Susanne Breitkopf, Policy Manager at the Environmental Investigation Agency in the US, has worked on forests, natural resources and governance for over 20 years. For eight years, she served at Greenpeace International as forest campaigner, political advisor, and team leader for international forest and climate policy. A German national, she has lived and worked with different civil society organisations in Europe, Africa and North America. Susanne joined Recourse’s Board in 2015.

Joe Athialy

Joe Athialy

Joe Athialy is Executive Director of Centre for Financial Accountability, New Delhi.  He has previously worked with the Bank Information Center, Amnesty International, Narmada Bachao Andolan, and various other human rights and accountability institutions in leading positions. He is a key organiser on issues of accountability of International and National financial institutions with regard to the impact of their activities on human rights and environment. He joined Recourse’s Board in March 2019.

Makoma Lekalakala

Makoma Lekalakala

Director of Earthlife Africa Jhb an environmental justice and anti-nuclear organisation.  Makoma is a strong campaigner for a just and fair society. Her commitment to climate justice in South Africa has led civil society to win the first South African climate change legal court case against the government and the reversal of the nuclear deal by the South African and the Russian government. For her efforts she received the WWF Living Awards Honourable Mention in 2017 , the Goldman Environmental Prize for Africa in 2018 and the Nick Steel Environmentalist of the Year 2018 amongst other accolades. Recently appointed to the Presidential Climate Change Coordinating Committee a body tasked in advising the President on process of a just transition to a low carbon development.

Theodoros Chronopoulos

Theodoros Chronopoulos

Theodoros Chronopoulos, Senior Programme Officer for Africa and Russia at EMpower – The Emerging Markets Foundation. He previously led the Social Justice Programme of the Sigrid Rausing Trust which supported innovative strategies designed to strengthen accountability for human rights violations perpetrated in the pursuit of economic development. As part of this work, Theodoros helped support activists and advocacy organisations to build legal instruments, bring transparency and accountability to public and private development financing institutions and protect human rights. Over the past decade, Theodoros has worked with activists and NGO leaders in Africa and Europe, facilitating communities of practice, co-designing and implementing research, learning and reflection projects and collaboratively developing strategies to strengthen social and economic rights and public participation in decision-making.