The World Bank and the International Monetary Fund hold two global meetings – Annual and Spring Meetings – each year to discuss a range of issues related to poverty reduction and international economic development, as well as to assess the work program of both institutions. These meetings bring together not only the ministers who represent the 187 governments which comprise the Board of Governors of the Bank and the Fund, but thousands of other government officials, donor agency leaders, academics, civil society leaders, and journalists. The Annual Meetings are held for two consecutive years in Washington, and in a developing country on the third year. The last three international Meetings were held in Istanbul (2009), Singapore (2006), and Dubai (2003).
CSO representatives have been coming in increasingly larger numbers to the Annual and Spring Meetings as space for substantive dialogue, interaction with Bank and Fund staff, and networking opportunities have increased. Some 500 civil society representatives from over 50 countries attended the 2009 Annual Meetings in Istanbul, for example, a marked increase from previous years. During the Meetings, the Civil Society Teams of the Bank and Fund organize the Civil Society Policy Forum which comprises dozens of policy dialogue sessions on a range of topics. In 2009, there were 50 sessions organized by Bank and Fund staff, by CSOs, and jointly. The Forum also includes a Civil Society Townhall Meeting between the heads of the Bank and Fund and CSO representatives to discuss common issues of interest.
In order to increase the participation and voice of CSO representatives from developing countries, the Bank and Fund began a CSO Sponsorship Program in 2003 which sponsors the participation of some 80 CSO representatives to attend the Annual and Spring Meetings each year. To date the Bank and Fund have brought nearly 350 CSO and Youth Leaders and Academics from over 100 countries to participate in the Annual and Spring Meetings (See Full List). For complete information on the CSO participants (accredited and sponsored), policy dialogue sessions, presentations, and other events at the Annual and Spring meetings since 2002, please click on the links below: