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Dialogue with Civil Society

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The World Bank carries out dialogue with a vast array of CSOs around the world on its policies, programs, studies, and projects.  The purpose of this dialogue is to both listen to the views of civil society as well as share information on the Bank’s policies and projects.  At times this dialogue occurs around contentious issues such as macro economic policies and large resettlement projects, and these sessions serve to clarify positions, defuse conflict, and build common grounds.
At the global and regional levels the Bank maintains ongoing dialogue with many civil society sectors such as NGOs, faith-based organizations, indigenous people’s organizations, labor unions, and foundations on a variety of topics and issues.  A recent example of policy dialogue is the Bank – CSO Roundtables on the Food and Financial Crisis held in 2008 – 2010. These ongoing events involved participation by senior Bank management and CSO leaders from throughout the world to discuss the impacts and responses to the worst food and financial crisis in over 50 years.  Another example is the World Bank - InterAction Technical Workshops held in 2006-2007 on a variety of development topics such as disaster relief, HIV/AIDS, and education. See also the World Bank-Civil Society Strategic Policy Workshops, held in 2002 - 2004 on HIV/AIDS, trade, and rural livelihoods.

At the country level, the Bank undertakes ongoing dialogue on country strategy, sector studies, and specific projects and programs.  This dialogue generally includes governments, other donor agencies, and other stakeholders such as the private sector.  In many countries, the Bank’s Country Director and other managers meets regularly with civil society leaders to discuss pending issues and address concerns expressed by CSOs.  For more information on these dialogues please refer to the web sites maintained by the region and country offices.

Examples of dialogues: 
  1. NEW!! New CSO Support Facility Discussed at Society for International Development Event:  On Wednesday, November 16, 2011, SID-Washington Civil Society Workgroup and the World Bank’s Civil Society Team hosted a discussion on the Bank’s proposed civil society initiative with John Garrison, Senior Civil Society Specialist, and Mary McNeil, Senior Operations Officer, both of The World Bank Group. McNeil is the corporate team lead for the development of the Bank’s proposed Global Partnership Facility for Enhanced Social Accountability. More...

  2. NEW!! World Bank Managing Director Discusses Post-Revolution Democracy Building at CIVICUS Assembly:  Sri Mulyani, Bank Managing Director, participated in the CIVICUS World Assembly held in Montreal on September 10 – 12.  She met with CIVICUS Board members, had lunch with youth delegates, and had a meeting with CSOs from several Middle East and North Africa countries.  At the core of her speech was the role civil society can play in promoting more transparent and inclusive societies.  More... 

  3. Bank – CSOs Celebrate First Year Implementation of Access to Information Policy:  On July 1 the Bank and CSOs celebrated the first year anniversary of the Bank's Access to Information (AI) policy, which is considered a milestone by many experts in the disclosure field.    The new AI policy draws from the Indian and U.S. freedom of information laws, and provides the public with information on the nearly all of the Bank’s documents, unless listed on narrowly defined list of exceptions.  More...

  4. Context Propitious for Renewed Bank - CSO Engagement:  Sumir Lal, Head of Operational Communications, shares his thoughts on the significance of Mr. Zoellick’s April 2011 speech calling for scaling up of relations with civil society.   Sumir states that:  “the World Bank has learned through the last three decades of interaction with CSOs that engaging effectively with Civil Society can bring many benefits to development. With the Arab Spring and the recent events in the Middle East, the World Bank is renewing its engagement with Civil Society”.  Watch interview 

  5. From “Shouting to Counting”: Supporting Social Accountability in the Arab World:  Through social accountability, citizens in the Arab world are moving from "shouting to counting" in a bid to hold public institutions accountable for delivering public services and improving the welfare of citizens. The World Bank and numerous Arab CSOs have recently launched the Affiliated Network for Social Accountability (ANSA) – Arab World. The network fosters the exchange of ideas among civil society, government, media and the private sector, and raises awareness about the importance of participatory governance and social accountability for improved development results. More...  

  6. Zoellick Speaks at CSO Conference on Scaling Up Nutrition: Bank President Robert Zoellick spoke at conference on nutrition convened by Bread for the World and Concern Worldwide on June 13 in Washington, DC.  Mr. Zoellick participated in a conversational session with David Beckman (Bread CEO), during one of the plenary sessions of the conference titled “1,000 Days to Scale-Up Nutrition for Mothers & Children: Building Political Commitment”.  The conference brought together hundreds of food activists from the US and developing countries, to push for increased funding nutrition programs worldwide.  More…

  7. Seventh World Bank - Civil Society Food Roundtable: World Bank President Robert Zoellick hosted a CSO Roundtable on Food Price Volatility on April 14, in the run up to the 2011 Spring Meetings.  This was the seventh WB – CSO food roundtable since March 2008, and brought together some 80 CSO representatives and senior Bank, IMF, and UN managers to discuss the recent spike in food prices.  Global food prices are rising to dangerous levels and are 29 percent above its level a year earlier, and are only 3 percent below its 2008 peak.  More... 

  8. World Bank – CSOs Discuss Demand for Good Governance Program Update:  The World Bank and InterAction jointly hosted a briefing session on the Bank’s Demand for Good Governance (DFGG) work. The session, held in Washington on February 23, 2011, was geared to collecting input on the Bank’s DFGG work as part of the preparation of the Governance and Anti-Corruption (GAC II) update.  Some 30 CSO representatives, Bank staff, and other stakeholders participated.  CSO discussants from Transparency International and World Vision International were invited to comment on the presentations and frame the discussion.  More...  

  9. World Bank, IMF and Trade Unions Discuss Global Job Creation Policies: The General Secretary of the International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC), Sharan Burrow, participated recently in discussions with World Bank President Robert Zoellick and IMF Managing Director Dominique Strauss-Kahn to discuss global economic recovery, job creation efforts, and other issues of common interest.  More... 

  10. World Bank - CSOs Discuss 2010 Aid Transparency Assessment Report:  The World Bank and Publish What You Fund co-sponsored a Panel Discussion on the Aid Transparency Assessment for 2010 on December 8, 2010 at Bank headquarters.  There were some 50 persons in attendance including Bank staff, CSO representatives, and experts in aid transparency.  More... 

  11. Civil Society Organizations Bolster Robust IDA 16 Replenishment:  With the IDA16 negotiations concluded and the final donor governments have pledged a record US$49.3 billion for the next three fiscal years, it is important to note the growing civil society contribution to this funding process.  CSOs have not only participated in consultations on IDA policies, but an increasing number have expressed public support for the Bank’s Fund for the Poorest.  More...

  12. World Bank Managing Director Speaks at MDG's Rally: Managing Director Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala spoke to hundreds of CSO activists gathered in Lincoln Center for the "Stand Up for the MDGs - Take Action" event on the eve of the MDG Summit in New York. This event was one of 2038 events that took place in 74 countries across the globe during September 17-19, calling on governments to keep their promises to reach the MDGs by 2015.  More...

  13. Sixth World Bank - Civil Society Food Roundtable:The Bank held the sixth WB - CSO roundtable on the food crisis on September 17, 2010. Some 70 civil society leaders and staff attended the meeting either in person or via video conferences from six countries:  Accra (Ghana), Brussels (Belgium), Dakar (Senegal), Dhaka (Bangladesh), Nairobi (Kenya), and Paris (France).  Several dozen senior WB staff participated, including the Bank President, as well as representatives from the IMF and UN agencies. More... 

  14. CSOs Collaborate Actively on Access to Information PolicyA number of CSOs played a significant role in the implementation planning phase of the Bank’s new Access to Information policy which was rolled out on July 1. CSO representatives worked closely with the Bank’s Access to Information Working Group (AIWG) in order to provide input and make suggestions on various aspects of the implementation plan such as translation requirements, user accessibility, and staff training.  More... 

  15. Book launch: From Political Won’t to Political Will:  This book edited by Carmen Malena, part‐time director, the World Alliance for Citizen Participation (CIVICUS) Participatory Governance Programme, was recently launched at the World Bank. According to the book, Despite a recent wave of democratization around the world, traditional systems of representative democracy are in crisis and Ordinary citizens are largely excluded from the political processes that directly affect their lives. The book addresses the challenge of encouraging public officials to involve citizens in the political process. More... 

  16. World Bank, IMF, and Trade Unions Discuss Pension Reform:  Key development organizations and trade unions emerged from a pension summit on March 8-9, 2010, with a shared blueprint for the future.  Participants agreed on the goals of meaningful, adequate income replacement and poverty alleviation in old age, and arrived at a shared understanding of the key challenges of rapidly aging populations...More... 

  17.  CSOs Help Train Bank Staff on Engaging Civil Society: In January and February of 2010, representatives from Washington-based civil society organizations helped the World Bank Global Civil Society Team deliver four training sessions to Bank staff from the Middle East and North Africa (MNA) region. The training session “Civil Society: Why and How to Engage Effectively” focused on improving the quality of civil society engagement, and is one of the initiatives of the Regional Action Plan devised in response to the Yemeni Inspection Panel Case. The session was offered to all MNA operational staff based in Washington.  More...

  18. Oxfam Shares Findings from Global Study on Impact of Financial Crisis: The head of research for Oxfam/Australia, May Miller-Dawkins, made a presentation on February 18 to Bank and IMF staff on the initial findings of a large study they are undertaking on the impacts of the global financial crisis on the poor.  The study entitled “The Global Economic Crisis and Developing Countries: Impact and Response” was based on field research in 11 countries involving some 2,500 individuals and studies by a range of universities and international organizations.  Data on the extent and degree of the impact was collected from the grassroots, through the voices of individuals and low-income households. More...  

  19. CSOs Comment on Bank-Civil Society Engagement: During a recent event at the World Bank, Chad Dobson (Executive Director) of the Bank Information Center, and Alnoor Ebrahim (Associate Professor) of Harvard Business School provide comments on World Bank - Civil Society Relations. The event was the launch of the World Bank-Civil Society Engagement Review of Fiscal Years 2007 to 2009. While acknowledging that the Bank has made important advances in its collaboration with the civil society over the past three years, both Chad and Alnoor made recommendations on how to improve the quality and consistency of this engagement. More... 

  20. Amnesty International Head Launches Book at Bank’s Infoshop: Irene Khan, Secretary General of Amnesty International, launched her book at the Infoshop on October 21. The book “The Unheard Truth: Poverty and Human Rights” is based on many daunting experiences of her career over the years and why organizations such as Amnesty International are expanding their concept of human rights to include social and economic rights. More...  

  21. Fifth World Bank - Civil Society Food Roundtable: This Roundtable held on September 10, 2009 was the fifth Bank - CSO roundtable on the food / financial crises since March 2008. About 70 civil society leaders and staff attended the meeting either in person or via video conferences in 6 sites (Lilongwe, New Delhi, Brussels, Dublin, Geneva, and Atlanta). Representatives from the IMF and UN Agencies participated, as well as several dozen senior Bank staff. More...

  22. Fourth World Bank - Civil Society Food Roundtable: The session titled “Africa Food and Financial Crisis: World Bank, Government and CSO Responses” was held during the 2009 WB/IMF Spring Meetings,   It brought together Bank managers and staff, CSO representatives, and others to discuss the extent at which food and financial crisis, has impacted on the poor in Africa, and the responses adopted by donors and governments to protect them from the crisis. More... 

  23. Third World Bank - Civil Society Food Roundtable: On March 2009, nearly 30 civil society organizations (CSOs) joined representatives of the World Bank, IMF, and UN agencies to discuss and coordinate efforts to address the global financial and food crises in advance of the G-20 Summit in London.  This was the fourth high level dialogue session between the Bank and CSOs on the global crises since last year. More...

  24. “DEVELOPMENT REDEFINED:  How the Market Met its Match”:  This new book was launched at the World Bank Headquarters on February 24, 2009.  The authors  John Cavanagh (Director of the Institute for Policy Studies) and Robin Broad (Professor of International Development at American University); and the two discussants Hassan Zaman (Lead Economist in the central Poverty Group of the World Bank), and Rick Rowden (independent consultant and until recently with Action Aid), discussed Development Alternatives the topic of the new Book.  More...  

  25. Labor Leaders Hold Extensive Talks with the Bank: The World Bank Group and IMF hosted a week-long series of meetings with global unions on January 12 – 16 to discuss the global financial crisis, governance reform, and gender equality.  Some 80 leaders from the International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC) and 10 Global Union Confederations were present and met with Mr. Zoellick, Strauss-Khan, and Executive Directors.  More

  26. The Global Reporting Initiative is the world’s leading ‘sustainability reporting framework’ for the corporate sector.  The World Bank recently hosted the multi-stakeholder GRI Working Group which is drafting indicators for the civil society sector.  The Working Group held a stakeholder consultation meeting to hear the views of civil society representatives, Bank staff , and experts in the sustainability field.   More

  27. From Poverty to Power: How Active Citizens and Effective States Can Change the World – On November 19, 2008 as part of continuous dialogue with the civil society, this new book by Duncan Green of Oxfam International was launched and discussed at the World Bank headquarters.  The book was praised by Nobel Laureate Amartya Sen for “telling us what can be achieved by ordinary people through organized action,” and generating “hope even as it enhances understanding of what is involved in the removal of poverty.”  The event was co-organized by the World Bank Global Civil Society Team, Infoshop and Oxfam International *More *Duncan Blog *Sewell Blog

  28. Farewell Lunch Discussion on Bank's Engagement with Civil Society - The Bank’s interaction and engagement with Civil Society Organizations—initially characterized by mutual antagonism, skepticism and mistrust—has evolved to regular consultation, give and take, and guarded mutual respect.   Staff heard from some old hands adept at managing this complex relationship during a farewell lunch discussion. More

  29. Second World Bank - Civil Society Food Roundtable: World Bank President Zoellick convened a second roundtable on the global food crisis with CSO, IMF, and UN representatives on July 15, 2008.  The purpose of the meeting was for Mr. Zoellick to report on the G8 Meeting, and on what actions the Bank, CSOs, and the donor agencies have undertaken in the last month to deliver assistance to vulnerable people and increase funding for food security measures. More... 

  30. Roundtable on Odious Debt: – The round table on "Conceptual and Operational Issues of Lender Responsibility for Sovereign Debt"  was held on April 14, 2008 in Washington, DC.  It was hosted by the World Bank following the publication of a draft World Bank discussion paper entitled "Odious Debt: Some Considerations" in September 2007.  The event was organized in response to a request by a coalition of civil society organizations interested in discussing the findings of the Bank paper and the broader issues of odious/illegitimate debt and responsible lending. Around 40 participants attended the event including representatives from civil society organizations, universities, World Bank, IMF, Paris Club Banks, and donor governments. More 

  31. National NGO Platforms Visit the World Bank
    Leaders of seven national platforms from Africa, Asia, Europe and the US visited the World Bank on May 9, 2008.  These leaders were in Washington to attend the InterAction Forum held earlier in the week. They met with World Bank senior managers and staff to allow the World Bank to better understand the institutional role and policy views of these national networks and strengthen relations with the national NGO networks in order to promote greater program collaboration.  
     More information

  32. First World Bank - Civil Society Food Roundtable: Recognizing the vital role civil society plays in addressing the crisis, the World Bank hosted a roundtable discussion with the heads of the IMF, UNICEF, and UN Food Crisis Taskforce, and leaders of some 30 CSOs who work directly with food delivery and security issues on May 23, 2008. More information. 

  33. The meeting, held on Annual Meetings, October 20-22, 2007
    The Civil Society Policy Forum was again held during the week of the Annual Meetings.  It featured 31 discussions on a variety of topics.  Also, World Bank President and IMF's Managing Director held a Townhall discussion with accredited CSO representatives and talked with them during a reception that followed.  More information

  34. President Zoellick's Video Conference with Civil Society, October 3, 2007
    The video conference was the first opportunity for President Zoellick to interact with civil society representatives from seven countries: Angola, France, Kenya, Malawi, Nepal, Tajikistan, and Timor Leste. It allowed Mr. Zoellick and participating CSOs to exchange views on such issues as Bank governance, climate change, agriculture, post-conflict reconstruction, and how the Bank interacts with civil society.  More information

  35. Spring Meetings, April 12-17, 2007
    As in previous years, the World Bank and International Monetary Fund’s Civil Society Teams organized a series of policy dialogue sessions for civil society representatives participating in the Spring Meetings.  These were hosted within the Civil Society Policy Forum (CS Forum). More information
  36. Water and Sanitation for the Urban Poor: World Bank Dialogue with Civil Society Organizations, February 26 - 28, 2007
    The World Bank and Freshwater Action Network (FAN) held a series of policy dialogue events in Washington, DC around Water Week 2007. Over 20 CSO representatives participated in Water Week sessions, had bilateral meetings with Bank managers, and joined Bank staff in a workshop geared to designing a scoping study on how to promote more systematic dialogue on water and sanitation issues. Joint statement
  37. Meeting between Mr. Paul Wolfowitz and European Civil Society Organizations, November 15, 2006
    During his trip to Brussels, World Bank President met with European Civil Society Organizations.  Meeting participants prepared a joint report of the meeting.  Report
  38. World Bank and IMF 2006 Annual Meetings, September 2006
    Civil Society Policy Forum was held on September 14 – 20 during the Annual Meetings of the institutions. The Forum brought together Bank and Fund staff, CSO representatives, government officials, academics, and others to discuss issues of common concern. A group of 20 CSOs from East and South Asia worked with Bank and Fund staff to help invite CSO representatives, select session topics, and host their own sessions. The policy sessions were either convened by the Bank, CSOs, or jointly. As part of the Forum, two discussions involving heads of the institutions and CSOs were held allowing for wide ranging discussions of issues:

    Town Hall Meeting With Paul Wolfowitz, World Bank President, IMF Managing Director, Rodrigo de Rato, and Civil Society Organizations, September 15, 2006 Transcript of the discussion

    Rodrigo De Rato and Paul Wolfowitz Informal Discussion with CSOs, September 14, 2006 Transcript of the discussion
  39. Bank President and Infrastructure Vice President Discuss Lessons Learned on Infrastructure with Civil Society, May 29, 2006
    CSOs in five Asian countries met virtually with WB President Paul Wolfowitz and Bank's Infrastructure Vice President Kathy Sierra via a videoconference to share their views and discuss lessons from Bank's involvement in infrastructure sector around the world.  The event was organized as part of a program to seek feedback from stakeholders on the recently released report, “Infrastructure: Lessons from 20 Years of World Bank Engagement.”  That report, commissioned at the request of Wolfowitz shortly after he took office last year, outlines five key conclusions that have emerged from WB’s work in the sector, and how WB is adapting to incorporate the lessons learned.  More
  40. 2006 Spring Meetings
    Over 150 CSOs from around the world attended the Spring Meetings, including a series of policy dialogue sessions, press conferences, and a briefing with senior Bank managers. During Spring Meeting, the WBG and IMF Civil Society Teams organized the “Program of Policy Dialogue with Civil Society” which comprised 17 policy dialogue sessions on topics related to the Development Committee agenda as well as other important issues.  These sessions involved over 50 speakers including Bank/Fund staff, CSO representatives, donor agency officials, and academics.  Senior Bank and Fund managers participated on the panels, a third of which was organized by leading international policy advocacy CSOs.  Finally, there was a briefing for accredited CSO representatives by a panel composed of several VPs on the decisions made by the Development Committee. This was followed by the reception with President Wolfowitz.  More
  41. World Bank President Meets Virtually with Civil Society on Four Continents, January 18, 2006
    World Bank President Paul Wolfowitz held a videoconference with CSOs from Colombia, Germany, Mali, Pakistan, Poland, and Zambia.  It was the first time he has participated in such a multi-country virtual dialogue with CSOs.  More
  42. The Bank Interactions with CSOs during WTO Ministerial Meeting in Hong Kong, December 2005
    The Bank's team interacted with CSOs in Hong Kong through participating in a Fair Trade Fair and Symposium, speaking on several panels during the Symposium. Head of Bank delegation hosted a policy luncheon with CSOs on December 15. Summary of outreach activities.  The team also held a VC on trade with CSOs in 7 countries on November 30. More
  43. Town Hall Meeting with CSOs, September 22, 2005
    President of the World Bank, Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and Chairman of the Development Committee and Minister of Finance, South Africa responded to questions from CSOs participating in the Annual Meetings during a townhall discussion which was part of the program of dialogues for civil society.  Transcript and photos from the discussion.  The discussion can be viewed at: rtsp://
  44. World Bank President's Contacts with CSOs - First Three Months (June-August 2005)
    President Wolfowitz has had a number of opportunities to meet with CSOs during the first three months of his term. This has included several meetings with international NGOs in Washington, and numerous contacts with CSOs while in traveling in Africa, Balkans, and South Asia.
  45. Civil Society Pays Tribute to Wolfensohn's
    More than 100 civil society representatives participated on May 26, 2005, in a farewell reception for President Wolfensohn hosted by over a dozen leading global CSOs, and held on Capitol Hill. Elaine Wolfensohn was also honored by several of the speakers for having lead her own programs on behalf of girls education.
  46. World Bank - Civil Society Global Policy Forum, April 20-22, 2005
    The Forum brought together some 200 civil society leaders, government officials, parliamentarians, donor agency representatives, IMF staff, and Bank managers to assess the PRSP process and discuss the way forward for Bank – civil society engagement at the global level. The Forum represented an important milestone for Bank - civil society relations as it was the first time that the World Bank has convened such a multi-stakeholder set of actors, including Southern CSOs, government officials, parliamentarians, and Bank Executive Directors, to discuss Bank – civil society relations at the global level.  This diversity produced a more balanced and useful exchange of views, particularly on country-based issues such as the PRSP.
  47. World Bank President Holds a Pre-Spring Meetings Video-dialogue with Civil Society, April 11, 2005 - WB President hosted a video conference discussion with CSO representatives from Belgium, Ghana, Japan, Peru, Senegal and Venezuela. Mr. Wolfensohn has held similar video conferences with CSOs from a variety of countries during each Spring and Annual Meetings of the WB and the IMF over the past several years. Among the many issues raised by the participating CSOs included Bank's work with children and youth and persons with disabilities and access to Bank information for people with disabilities, World Bank presidential succession, poverty and structural causes of poverty, debt cancellation for African countries, World Bank strategy in Africa compared to the one in Asia, Bank's work on transparency, governance and corruption. List of participants.
  48. Global Bank - CSO Workshop on Water Policies Held in London - The Bank hosted on November 18-19, 2004 in London a policy dialogue workshop with international CSOs on urban water supply and sanitation issues.  It brought together Bank staff and representatives from 22 NGOs, labor unions, and community groups from across the globe.  The workshop was co-organized with Water Aid and a small group of CSOs which helped design the  agenda and invite participants.  The workshop included presentations on the Bank’s water policies and programs and CSO-managed community delivery systems, as well as a substantive discussion on such sensitive issues as cost recovery, performance of public utilities, and private sector participation. A number of follow-up actions were identified including more systematic sharing of the Bank’s  project documents, possible civil society panel during 2005 Water Week; and joint studies on good practice experiences for scaling-up community water delivery systems.
  49. WB President Visits India and Meets with Indian CSOs - Responding to an invitation from the Indian Finance Minister, WB President visited India on Nov. 17-18, 2004. The visit included tours of development projects focusing on education, rural development and health in Delhi and Uttar Pradesh, as well as meetings with government leaders, representatives of civil society, business people, youth groups, and community leaders in New Delhi. On November 18 Mr. and Mrs. Wolfensohn met for breakfast with 11 Indian CSO representatives.  The meeting had two main objectives: (i) provide an opportunity for the CSOs to share their experience of working with the Bank at the community level in order to not only promote sustainable development and empower the poor, but strengthen civic engagement in the process; and (ii) an opportunity for them to listen to Mr. Wolfensohn's views on the important role civil society plays in promoting poverty reduction.
  50. World Bank-Civil Society Discussion on Advancing Civil Society Accountability: Standards, Self-Regulation, and Certification - The WB Civil Society Team on November 11, 2004 held its WB-Civil Society Lunch Discussion on the evolving issue of accountability among CSOs which is of growing interest to CSOs as well as for donor agencies, governments and individuals which support their activities.  It was the first of a series of discussions aiming to "unpack" the issues in the accountability debate and understand how different organizations are responding.  The session examined the case study of InterAction, an umbrella organization of over 160 US-based CSOs working internationally.  InterAction has been working for two decades to promote greater accountability among its member organizations and with its partners at the country level.  InterAction members have recently launched an initiative called "self-certification-plus" as well as a child sponsorship certification project in partnership with Social Accountability International (SAI).  The panel, composed of InterAction members, a representative from SAI as well as the WB, discussed these initiatives, preliminary lessons learned, and challenges for the future with a group of some 40 WB staff and CSOs.  Summary of the discussion.

  51. World Bank President Meets with European CSOs - During his visit to Brussels on October 20, 2004, World Bank President, James D. Wolfensohn held discussions with nine European civil society networks. The meeting provided an opportunity for high-level dialogue between the Bank and networks representing three key strands of European civil society: NGOs, trade unions and foundations. The meeting provided the first opportunity for a dialogue with the NGO umbrella organization CONCORD, which brings together 1500 European NGOs. Amongst the conclusions of the meeting was an agreement for further engagement between the Bank and civil society actors on how to advance the UN framework for protection of Orphans and Vulnerable Children affected by HIV/AIDS.

  52. Pre-Annual Meetings Videoconference Discussion with WB President and the CSOs, September 21, 2004 - On September 21, WB President hosted a video conference discussion with CSO representatives from Brazil, Egypt, Georgia, Nigeria, Japan and The Netherlands. Mr. Wolfensohn has held similar video conferences with CSOs from a variety of countries during each Spring and Annual Meetings of the WB and the IMF over the past several years. The discussion provided an opportunity for the WB President to exchange views and interact with a range of CSO representatives from a number of developed and developing countries ahead of the Annual Meetings.  It also gave him and the Bank to get valuable feedback on how the institution can improve the quality of dialogue and engagement with CSOs, and on how the WB is handling specific issues which are of interest or concern to the CSOs.  Among the many issues raised by the participating CSOs included how the Bank is following up on the Extractive Industries Review; proposals for expanding debt relief to help countries reach the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs); and the IFC's review of its environmental and social safeguard policies.

  53. Videoconference Discussion With CSOs from London, Tbilisi and Warsaw on the Draft Management Response to the Extractive Industries Review (EIR), July 15, 2004
    The World Bank EIR team and the Civil Society Team organized this multi-stakeholder and multi-country VC meeting in order to hear from interested CSOs, about their comments on the draft World Bank Management response, before it was sent to the Board for final approval.

  54. World Bank Human Development Network Vice President Meets with CSOs During the Bangkok AIDS Conference, July 14, 2004
    As part of the World Bank program of nearly 40 events during the XV International AIDS Conference in Bangkok, July 11-16, 2004, on July 14, World Bank Vice President for Human Development, Jean-Louis Sarbib met with civil society representatives participating in the Conference.  The in-depth discussion lasted about 1.5 hours.

  55. World Bank-Civil Society Strategic Policy Workshops, May 2002 through June 2004
    The World Bank-Civil Society Strategic Policy Workshops were convened by the World Bank with financial support from the Government of Finland. Three workshops were held between 2002 and 2004. They were all held in the United Kingdom but with participants from throughout the world.  The first workshop was held in May 2002 and examined issues of global trade, with a focus on the Doha development round.  The second workshop, held in May 2003, focused on rural livelihoods and related issues of land management, agriculture, and local markets.  The third workshop, held in June 2004, was on HIV/AIDS focusing on ways to strengthen Bank - civil society collaboration on fighting the AIDS epidemic. More...

  56. World Bank-Civil Society Strategic Policy Workshop on HIV/AIDS, June 6-8, 2004
    Senior Bank managers and representatives of community groups, national NGOs, and international networks who work with HIV/AIDS issues discussed how to work together to fight the AIDS epidemic throughout the world. It brought together representatives of 30 CSOs from 5 regions to discuss the Bank’s AIDS policies and programs worldwide.

  57. WB/IMF Spring Meetings 2004 Dialogues with CSOs, April 20-23, 2004
    The program of policy dialogues involved nearly 15 events and included panel discussins, meetings with senior managers, and technical briefings.  Several of the events were sponsored by CSOs and had WB/IMF staff invlved in the discussions.

  58. Pre-Spring Meetings 2004 VC Discussion with Civil Society Representatives, April 20, 2004
    This videoconference was held to promote dialogue with Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) prior to the World Bank’s Spring Meetings.  It was hosted by WB Group President, Mr. Wolfensohn. He were joined by CSO participants from Burundi, France, Morocco, Serbia & Montenegro and Zambia.

  59. World Bank – Civil Society Global Video Link: HIV/AIDS in Central and Eastern Europe, March 23, 2004
    A group of CSO representatives from Moldova, Russian Federation and groups who are members of the AIDS Action Europe Network, held a video discussion on the topic of HIV/AIDS in Central and Eastern Europe with World Bank staff.  During the discussion, CSOs and Bank shared their experiences, learned about each other work in that area in the region and identified areas for joint work.

  60. World Bank-Civil Society February Lunch Discussion on "Setting a New Development Path in Brazil?", February 23, 2004
    The discussion was co-sponsored by the Global Civil Society Team and the Latin America and the Caribbean Region Civil Society Team of the World Bank.  The discussion focused on the macro-economic and social policies of President Lula's administration, which are attracting a good deal of international attention.  The discussion also analyzed the role Brazilian civil society is playing in the government, as well as the evolving relationship between the government and the Bank.

  61. Videoconference Dialogue: Discussing the Cases of China and India, February 13, 2004
    A three-hour videoconference on scaling up poverty reduction through good governance practices was held at Global Development Learning Network (GDLN) sites in Beijing, Colombo, Delhi, Hanoi and Paris on February 13, 2004.  The event was part of some 20 multicountry interactive videoconference dialogues being held prior to the poverty conference in Shanghai in May of 2004. The purpose of the dialogues is to discuss the draft case studies, and the conceptual approaches to "scaling up," to provide feedback to the authors, and to help build a global community of learning.

  62. Videoconference Dialogue on Scaling up Poverty Reduction through Micro-Finance, December 16, 2003 
    As part of the build-up to the international meeting in Shanghai with the theme “Reducing Poverty, Sustaining Growth,” scheduled for May, a nine-month learning process has begun to bring together actors from across the development community through a series of interactive videoconferences, online dialogues and field visits.  Case studies analyzing factors that contribute to success of poverty reduction initiatives will form the basis for on-line discussions among practitioners, policy makers and representatives from academia and civil society. Field visits to selected sites will complement the process and add a human dimension through interviews and dialogues.  A videoconference on scaling up poverty reduction through Micro-Finance was held at Global Development Learning Network (GDLN) sites in Washington, Cairo, Egypt; Amman, Jordan; Phnom Penh, Cambodia; and Dushanbe, Tajikistan.  This was the first of some 20 multicountry interactive videoconference dialogues to be held prior to the conference. The purpose of the dialogues is to discuss the draft case studies, and the conceptual approaches to “scaling up,” to provide feedback to the authors, and to help build a global community of learning.

  63. December 12, 2003 - World Bank and Civil Society Discussion on Poverty Reduction Strategies and Governance 
    Discussion between the Bank staff and CSOs on governance and civil society participation in Poverty Reduction Strategy (PRSP) processes at the country level.  Two papers touching on the issues of governance and trade union participation within the PRSP initiative were presented and discussed.  Comments on both studies were made by Katrina Sharkey of the Bank's PRSP Team.

  64. November 11, 2003 - WB-Civil Society Lunch Discussion on a report titled "Gambling with People"
    The report was released by three leading environmental CSOs – Environmental Defense (ED), Friends of the Earth (FOE), and International Rivers Network (IRN).   It analyzes the World Bank’s track record with high-risk projects and future investment plans in areas such as water, forestry, and mining.   The lunch discussion featured a panel with three report authors and four World Bank staff, as well as general discussion involving  participants from the World Bank, CSOs, and the International Finance Corporation (IFC).

  65. September 21, 2003 - Annual Meetings 2003 Town Hall Meeting with CSOs
    President of the World Bank, James D. Wolfensohn; Horst Koehler, Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), Trevor Manuel, Chairman of the Development Committee and Minister of Finance, South Africa and Gordon Brown, Chairman of the International Monetary and Financial Committee and Chancellor of the Exchequer, United Kingdom responded to questions from representatives from civil society organizations present at the Annual Meetings.

  66. September 10-14, 2003 - The Fifth WTO Ministerial Conference
    The World Bank participated in the 5th Trade Ministerial with a small but high level delegation.  While the Bank was at Cancun under an "observer organization" status, it did carry out several official activities.  In addition, the World Bank team carried out a proactive civil society outreach program.

  67. September 3, 2003 - Video Dialogue Between Senior Bank Management and Civil Society
    This video conference involved World Bank President, James Wolfensohn, and other senior Bank management and some 60 civil society representatives from six countries: Cameroon, Colombia, Finland, Kyrgyz Republic, Malawi and Sri Lanka. (See participants list attached). Scheduled a few weeks before the Bank's Annual Meetings, the video conference afforded CSOs an opportunity to dialogue with Bank managers on such issues as governance and corruption, post-conflict reconstruction, Bank support for civil society, PRSPs and structural adjusment, and gender issues.

  68. June 23, 2003 - Video Dialogue Between Bank Trade Team and Civil Society
    This was a video conference between the Bank's Trade Team and some 70 CSO representatives from Belgium, Brazil, Denmark, Mexico, South Africa, and the United States.   It was scheduled a couple of months before the 5th WTO Trade Ministerial held in Cancun in September and allowed for a frank and substante exchange on such trade issues as agricultural subsidies, TRIPS and production of AIDS medication, and trade facilitation.

  69. May 19-21, 2003 - Workshop on Rural Livelihoods
    This was a 3-day thematic workshop held in Oxfordshire, UK on May 19 - 21, 2003 geared to discuss rural livelihoods.  The workshop brought together some 40 civil society leaders from throughout the world and World Bank staff to discuss such issues as land policies, international trade, local markets, and financing rural development.

  70. April 19, 2003 - Meeting on World Bank Group Harmonization/Procurement/Safeguards

  71. April 10, 2003 – Dialogue on the status of the HIPC Initiative

  72. April 9, 2003 – Dialogue between CSOs and the President of the World Bank 

  73. February 18-19, 2003 - Video Dialogue on 2004 World Bank World Development Report 

  74. February 10, 2003 - World Bank Presidential Fellows Lecture: Civil Society, Governance and Globalisation, by Dr. Kumi Naidoo, Secretary General & CEO, CIVICUS: World Alliance for Citizen Participation

  75. September 12, 2002 – Dialogue between CSOs and the President of the World Bank 

  76. March 2, 2002 – Dialogue on Financing for Development Initiative  

Dialogue with CSOs takes place everyday and is being convened by Civil Society Group staff in all regions, networks and teams in the Bank.


Last updated: 2011-12-14

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