The Bank continues to mainstream new instruments for sharing knowledge with civil society in such mediums as videoconferences, web-based consultations, blogging, and social media. Videoconferencing is being used increasingly to carry out consultations and provide training to CSOs in the developing world. These videoconferences either used videoconferencing facilities at 70 Bank offices or took place at sites maintained by the Global Development Learning Network. The consultations held with CSOs in 2006 for the Governance and Anti-Corruption Strategy held videoconferences with CSOs in several dozen countries. In addition, several CSOs have used the Bank’s videoconferencing facilities to carry out their own training or policy dialogue activities. This was the case of UK-based One World Trust which linked CSO leaders and accountability experts to discuss thier Global Accountability Reports in 2007 and 2008.
The lead unit in this area is the World Bank Institute (WBI), whose work includes training courses, long-distance learning programs, and electronic consultations often carried out in partnership with local research institutions. The WBI has helped launch the Global Development Learning Network (GDLN) which is a network of 60 independent learning centers with interactive video-conferencing and internet access capabilities. The World Bank Institute also introduced a permanent site for web-based discussions called Development Forum (DevForum) which sponsored numerous “electronic dialogues” over the past three years on such topics as governance, PRSPs, AIDS, youth, and corporate social responsibility. CSOs that have used the platform to promote dialogue include Transparency International, Panos Institute London, and the Bretton Woods Project. The Bank also consolidated several programs to strengthen civil society knowledge management initiatives on the internet. This included funding information and communications technologies via InfoDev as well as inviting CSO participation in the Development Gateway Foundation, a global web-based portal for promoting knowledge and information exchange on development.