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. 

Registration

Recourse was officially registered as Stichting Re-course International with the Dutch Chamber of Commerce on 17 December 2019. 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.

Wunna Htun

Project Manager

Wunna Htun

Wunna joined Recourse in April 2019 as Myanmar Project Manager. Wunna has extensive experience of working with different local and international organisations, and is a founder and board Member of Social Care Volunteer Group (SCVG) based in Myanmar. Wunna worked with ActionAid Myanmar for six years in different capacities, including as Governance Thematic Coordinator, and also worked at the Bank Information Center as Country Coordinator. In his various roles, Wunna has been instrumental in building capacity among youth in Myanmar and supporting them to work for the development of their own communities. As a farmer from the Ayeyarwaddy Delta region who has worked on issues of governance and IFIs for the past nine years in Myanmar, Wunna is well placed to understand the complexities surrounding IFI work and community empowerment. Wunna has written and published many articles in Myanmar and has carried out research consultancies for ActionAid Myanmar and Oxfam Myanmar in the areas of national budget and taxation. Wunna holds a Bachelors degree in Public Health and Post-grad diploma in Political Science from Yangon University.

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.

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.

Kristen (Kris) Genovese

Kristen (Kris) Genovese

Kristen (Kris) Genovese, senior researcher at SOMO in the Netherlands, specialises in supporting communities and workers who are seeking remedy for corporate-related human rights abuses through non-judicial grievance mechanisms. Since 2007, Kris has worked with sugarcane workers in Nicaragua affected by chronic kidney disease to help determine the cause of the epidemic and to obtain improved health and social services; and has also worked with mining-affected communities in Colombia, Guatemala and Bolivia. Kris joined Recourse’s Board in September 2017.

Pol Vandevoort

Pol Vandevoort

Pol Vandevoort is a seasoned social justice campaigner based in Belgium. Pol worked for many years for the NGO 11.11.11 (Coalition of the Flemish North -South movement) ,first running their Asia Programme, then as advisor on international financial institutions. In the 70s and 80s, Pol worked with communities in Southeast Sulawesi, Indonesia, running community development projects. Pol joined Recourse’s Board in September 2017 as Treasurer.

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.

Chad Dobson

Chad Dobson

Chad founded Bank Information Center in 1987 and was its Executive Director until 1996. He then founded and directed the Consumers Choice Council to protect labeling systems (organic, fair trade, Marine Stewardship Council, Forest Stewardship Council) during the initial development of the World Trade Organization. At Oxfam America, where he was Director of Policy since 2003, Chad was responsible for developing the organization’s Washington presence and his portfolio included the Fair Trade campaign, extractive industries work and policy and advocacy activity associated with humanitarian relief. Chad joined the Recourse Board in September 2019.