Fundación Avina’s Online Complaint Submission System

Fundación Avina’s management style and institutional culture are based on the core values expressed in the organization’s Code of Ethics, which serves as a general framework for the type of conduct we expect of people directly and indirectly involved with the organization, as well as other policies and procedures related to Gender and Diversity, Environmental and Social Risk Assessment, Respect for and Protection of People, Prevention and Management of Conflicts of Interest, and others available in the Policies and Procedures section of our website.

At Fundación Avina, we work to ensure that all individuals and groups involved with the organization are treated with dignity and respect as core values. For this reason, all of our policies are intended to support the respect, care for, and protection of human rights, applying zero tolerance for any form of violence, discrimination, inequality, and inequity.

Conduct that is counter to any of our organizational policies, procedures, values, and principles— including failure to comply with socio-environmental safeguards and/or gender standards, thereby inhibiting the progress of Fundación Avina’s projects—may be reported via a number of channels outlined in our Prevention and Addressing of Complaints procedure.

Complaints may be submitted in Spanish, English, Portuguese, or indigenous languages. In the case of indigenous languages, we kindly request that the submitter indicate which language is used, and Avina will seek out a translator to process the complaint.

All complaints will be treated with respect, confidentiality, and without risk of retaliation. No personal information about the submitter of the complaint will be published without their express consent.

Any individual on staff with Fundación Avina or one of our partner organizations can report misconduct or submit a complaint about this type of situation by means of:

  • A submission via the Complaints form on our website, www.avina.net/
  • Mailing correspondence to our regional headquarters office at Calle Evelio Lara, Casa Nº131-B, Ciudad del Saber, Clayton, Ciudad de Panamá, Panama.
  • An email sent to info.web@avina.net.
  • Phone call to our regional headquarters office at +[507] 317 1121
  • Any other open and accessible and open means of communicating with the organization, ensuring that it is a reliable channel for sending information and safeguarding anonymity, when it is decided to proceed as such.

Any anonymous complaint will be treated the same way as any other complaint, safeguarding confidentiality, and care. It is important to consider that if any contact reference is provided, the process may be interrupted when needed any additional information. For this reason, as far as possible, it is recommended to provide at least a contact reference (mail, telephone, etc.) to ensure continuation of the process.

Fundación Avina will process complaints that meet the following requirements:

  • they are related to projects and/or processes in which the organization is directly or indirectly involved.
  • they are related to projects and/or processes in which the organization is actively involved and where violations of the code of ethics, behaviors that harm people or the environment, gender-based harassment or violence, violation of the rights of vulnerable groups, or other prohibited conduct is suspected or has been witnessed.
  • they are related to projects and/or processes that came to a close no more than 12 months prior to the date of the complaint[1];
  • They are ideally submitted by the people or groups directly affected or by their legal representative.
  • they alert Fundación Avina about potential risks that should be addressed by the organization. While alerting the organization about a risk is not technically a complaint, it does allow the organization to initiate measures to mitigate the risk.

[1] While complaints submitted beyond this time period will not be processed through regular channels, a special procedure may be established to deal with such complaints on a case-by-case basis.

Fundación Avina’s online complaints submission channel may not be used for the following purposes:

  • Submission of general inquiries. (general contact information is available at https://www.avina.net/en/contact
  • Reporting cases that have no means of verification, contain dubious or unfounded claims, or are based on subjective opinions.
  • Expressing disagreement with management decisions, which should instead be addressed directly by the corresponding internal division.
  • Reporting conflicts between staff.
  • Discussing the operations of any of the organization’s divisions.

All complaints that meet the aforementioned requirements will be processed by Fundación Avina in the following stages:

  1. Receipt of the complaint
  2. Assessment of the complaint to determine if it is a project-level or institutional-level matter that should be addressed by the Risk Committee – 5 business days.
  3. Investigation, resolution, and agreement process – 15 business days with the possibility of extension, as needed.

The following chart illustrates the complaint process:

Any individual may submit a complaint to Fundación Avina with the assurance that the organization is committed to:

  • respecting the confidentiality of the submitter and protecting the personal information provided with the complaint, including complaints received anonymously.
  • listening to all parties involved;
  • taking prompt and thorough action at each stage of the process and within the established timelines;
  • maintaining the submitter informed about the status of the complaint and reviewing all information provided;
  • if warranted by the nature of the complaint, opening up a formal investigation with procedures in place to ensure transparency and impartiality;
  • creating opportunities for dialogue between the different parties to attempt to reach consensus and understanding;
  • taking immediate action to compensate, remedy, repair, and restore the rights of the people and communities submitting the complaint;
  • ensuring the resolution is satisfactory to all parties involved before closing the case.

I have read and understand the guidelines for submitting a complaint to Fundación Avina and the process to address it.