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Civil Society Engagement eNewsletter - April 2004

This is the April 2004 edition of the World Bank Civil Society Engagement eNewsletter which is a regular electronic newsletter sent to Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) worldwide.  It is produced by the Civil Society Team of the World Bank (WB) in collaboration with other WB units.  This newsletter highlights some of the many policies, programs, and initiatives of the WB which may involve or be of interest to CSOs. 

Also available in PDF format - April 2004 [355KB PDF]

THERE ARE 12 ITEMS IN THIS ISSUE:

1. Spring Meetings of WB and IMF: Development Committee Reports and Dialogues for CSOs
2.
 Electronic Forum on the Draft World Bank Social Development Strategy, April 12-May 31
3. Call for Final Round of Comments on Adjustment Lending Policy Update
4. New Senior Management Appointments
5. Vacancy for Inspection Panel Member
6. World Bank in New Partnership to Provide Low-cost AIDS Drugs
7. World Bank, IMF Enhance Efforts At Combating Money Laundering, Terrorist Financing
8. News from the World Bank's Regional Departments

Africa

  • Community Development Support Credit for Cameroon 
  • The World Bank and the IMF Support 1.2 Billion in Debt Relief for Niger

East Asia and Pacific (EAP)

  • EAP Region's Work with Civil Society
  • Tackling Corruption in Indonesia

Europe and Central Asia (ECA)

  • Europe and Central Asia Region Poverty Newsletter
  • CAS Consultations in Slovakia
  • Russia Country Economic Memorandum
  • Renewable Energy Loan for Turkey

Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC)

  • Grant to Support Caribbean HIV/AIDS Prevention and Treatment
  • New Country Assistance Strategy for Mexico
  • Public Sector Governance Strengthening Grant for Nicaragua

Middle East and North Africa (MENA)

  • Unemployment Challenge in MENA: Toward a New Social Contract

South Asia Region (SAR)

  • Additional Funding for Multi-donor Trust Fund for Afghanistan
  • Water and Sanitation Provision Loan for India
  • Community Development and Livelihood Improvement Project in Sri Lanka

9. New Publications from the World Bank

10. New Websites/Web Resources

11. Recent Global Events/Discussions

12. Upcoming Global Events/Discussions


1.  Spring Meetings of WB and IMF: Development Committee Reports and Dialogues for CSOs - Starting Wednesday, April 21 through Sunday, April 25, the WB and IMF will host the 2004 Spring Meetings of the Development Committee, International Monetary and Financial Committee (IMFC) and related press conferences and events.  A series of discussions for CSOs have been organized on issues including the Fund's work in low-income countries, debt relief, MDGs, IFC safeguard policies, and expanding developing country voice and participation on the IMF/WB Boards.  Please view the schedule of meetings that also contains contains information on how to attend.  Background papers for the Development Committee meeting on April 25 are posted and can be downloaded as of April 19. CSOs who wish to attend the meetings or have any questions may send an email to: civilsociety@worldbank.org.

2. Electronic Forum on the Draft World Bank Social Development Strategy, April 12-May 31 - The WB is hosting an 8-week moderated E-Forum discussion on the WB's draft Social Development Strategy entitled "Social Development in World Bank Operations: Results and a Way Forward."  Social Development and the three overarching principles of social development: inclusion, cohesion and accountability.  The discussion started on April 12 and will last until May 31.  The purpose of the E-Forum is to promote ongoing discussion and debate about the value of the principles to sustainable development and poverty reduction.  The E-Forum will run in parallel with face-to-face discussions  that are being conducted around the world in connection with WB's Draft Paper.  If you have any questions or comments, please send an email to: sdcommunications@worldbank.org.

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3. Call for Final Round of Comments on Adjustment Lending Policy Update - The WB is now seeking additional inputs on the update of Operational Directive (OD) 8.60, Adjustment Lending Policy.  Global consultations on an issues paper on adjustment lending took place in 2002 and 2003, and the resulting draft policy paper entitled "From Adjustment Lending to Development Policy Lending: Update of World Bank Policy" has been reviewed by the Committee on Development Effectiveness (CODE) of the WB's Board of Directors.  Comments on the draft policy paper and the accompanying Good Practice Notes.  You can submit your comments by email to: opbp860@worldbank.org until June 30, 2004.  Based on the feedback received, a final policy will be submitted to the WB Board for approval during Summer 2004.

4. New Senior Management Appointments - On April 8 WB President James Wolfensohn announced several new senior management appointments.  Callisto Madavo, Regional Vice President for Africa, will be retiring from the Bank and will be succeeded by Gobind Nankani, currently Vice President for the Poverty Reduction and Economic Management (PREM) Network.  The appointment will be effective in October 2004.  Succeeding Mr. Nankani will be Danny Leipziger, currently Sector Director for Finance, Private Sector and Infrastructure in the Latin America and Caribbean Vice Presidency.  David de Ferranti, Regional Vice President for Latin America and the Caribbean will leave the Bank as of January 1, 2005, and he will be succeeded by Pamela Cox, currently Director, Strategy and Operations in the Africa Region.

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5. Vacancy for Inspection Panel Member - The WB Inspection Panel is inviting applications and nominations for the position of Inspection Panel Member.  CVs of proposed candidates will be accepted until April 30, 2004, and should be addressed to: kmerszei@worldbank.org.  Inspection Panel is looking for a prominent individual with outstanding credential in their individual field of expertise and with highly developed communication skills, who can share views effectively internally within the World Bank and externally with representative clients, member governments, CSOs and other international organizations.  Inspection Panel is an independent forum established by the Executive Directors of the World Bank Group with an aim to carry out independent investigations on the WB projects that negatively affect individuals or groups that submit a request for investigation.  The Panel is independent from the WB and reports directly the Board of Directors.  To read the vacancy announcement, as well as to learn more about the Inspection Panel, please visit its website.

6. World Bank in New Partnership to Provide Low-cost AIDS Drugs - The WB, in partnership with the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, UNICEF and the Clinton Foundation, on April 6 announced agreements that will make it possible for developing countries to purchase high-quality AIDS medicines at the lowest available prices. In many cases the medicines and diagnostics would cost 50 percent less than their current prices.  The agreements will pave the way for countries supported by the Global Fund, the WB and UNICEF to gain access to drug and diagnostic prices negotiated by the Clinton Foundation. Countries will be required to provide guarantees of payment, to conduct long-term tenders and to ensure the security of drug distribution. The Global Fund, WB and UNICEF will support their funding recipients in complying with these terms, as consistent with their policies and existing practices. As a result of these agreements, the Clinton Foundation will work with its suppliers to find ways to make the low-priced medicines and tests available to more countries as soon as feasible.  Pease visit the Bank's HIV/AIDS website to learn more about this agreement, as well as WB's work on HIV/AIDS.

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7. World Bank, IMF Enhance Efforts At Combating Money Laundering, Terrorist Financing - The WB and the IMF have agreed to adopt a more comprehensive and integrated approach to conducting assessments of compliance with international standards for fighting money laundering and terrorist financing in member countries, and to step up the delivery of technical assistance to those countries whose financial systems are most at risk. The decision, endorsed by the Boards of the two institutions, builds on the recently completed pilot program of assessments of the international standards, conducted in cooperation with international partners.  Since the pilot began in the summer of 2002, 41 countries have been assessed for compliance with the international standards. These assessments were conducted in all regions of the world and included both industrialized and developing countries.

8. News from the World Bank's Regional Departments

Africa

  • Community Development Support Credit for Cameroon - The WB Board of Directors approved on March 18 an IDA Credit of US$20 million to assist the Government of Cameroon in setting up a decentralized financing system that will ensure participatory community development in rural areas. The Community Development credit will help establish a system for channeling funds to rural communities to finance prioritized collective infrastructures and strengthen their capacity to plan and manage their own development. It will also improve the legal and regulatory framework for decentralized rural development. Communities and local governments will be engaged in a participatory appraisal of their needs. Efforts will be made to clarify procedures and build local capacity so that resources and local development responsibilities  are transferred to the communities in the future.  To learn more about this project, as well as other WB operations in Cameroon, please visit the website of the WB country office in Yaounde at: http://www.worldbank.org/cm.
  • The World Bank and the IMF Support 1.2 Billion in Debt Relief for Niger - The WB's International Development Association (IDA) and the IMF announced that Niger has reached the completion point under the enhanced Heavily Indebted Poor Countries (HIPC) Initiative. Niger becomes the eleventh country to reach this point, joining Benin, Bolivia, Burkina Faso, Guyana, Mauritania, Mali, Mozambique, Nicaragua, Tanzania, and Uganda. Total debt relief under the enhanced HIPC Initiative from all of Niger's creditors amounts to US$1.2 billion in nominal terms. This assistance is equivalent to a reduction in net present value (NPV) terms of US$520.6 million agreed at the decision point, plus a topping-up of the assistance in an amount equivalent to US$142.5 million in NPV terms.

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East Asia and Pacific (EAP)

  • EAP Region's Work with Civil Society - The EAP region has issued a note which presents examples of the region's efforts to engage CSOs in WB work at different levels.  During the past two years, the WB’s regional and country-based civil society teams acknowledged the growing role of civil society in the region by supporting their greater voice in societal dialogue, strengthening their participation in the Country Assistance Strategy (CAS) and Poverty Reduction Strategy Papers (PRSP) processes, and investing in CSO capacity-building and networking efforts.  Engaging civil society on WB-related policy reforms and national dialogue is a key activity at both the regional and country levels.  The note can be viewed from WB website of the EAP region, located at: http://www.worldbank.org/eap.
  • Tackling Corruption in Indonesia - During the past 8 months, the WB has been implementing a program to tackle corruption in Indonesia from the ground up. The program plans to involve local governments in a good governance initiative that may pave the way for a major improvement in accountability, transparency and participation at the local level, and subsequently to strengthen poverty reduction and economic growth.  The WB has made governance the centerpiece of its most recent Country Assistance Strategy (CAS) for Indonesia and has tried to mainstream governance issues in all of its activities in the country. These efforts at the local level are being combined with new initiatives on legal and judicial reform, support for Indonesia's recently established Anti-Corruption Commission, more forthright dialogue with the government and the public on corruption issues, and enhanced outreach with CSOs dedicated to fighting corruption.  Please visit the website of the WB Jakarta office for more information: http://www.worldbank.org/id.

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Europe and Central Asia (ECA)

  • Europe and Central Asia Region Poverty Newsletter - The April issue of this quarterly WB publication presents highlights from recent activities and analytical work on poverty issues in the ECA countries.  The issues presented in the newsletter include details of ECA's contributions to the upcoming Poverty Conference in Shanghai, China in May of this year; outcomes of the discussion of the PRSP and the Joint IDA-IMF Staff Assessment (JSA) for Serbia and Montenegro, which were considered by the Board in March; results of the PRSP Forum for the Balkans; and other.
  • CAS Consultations in Slovakia - The WB office in Bratislava invites on-line comments on the Country Assistance Strategy (CAS) Update for the Slovak Republic for 2004–2006.  In order to carry out the CAS preparation process in the most efficient and most transparent way, the WB organized three consultation meetings in March 2004.  The meetings provided an opportunity for a discussion with different stakeholders about their views and recommendations with respect to WB activities in Slovakia for the next three years. The comments and recommendations received will be incorporated in the final CAS document either in the main text and/or in a separate Annex of the strategy.  The document ,as well as information on how to provide electronic comments on the Strategy, can be found at the website of the WB Bratislava office, located at: http://www.worldbank.org/sk.
  • Russia Country Economic Memorandum - The Draft Country Economic Memorandum for Russia is based on the findings of research that was carried out between May and December 2003, and included two workshops and several visits to Russia's regions by WB staff.  It analyzes the relationship between growth and structural change in the Russian Federation. This Report is based on the findings of nine background studies.  The document, as well as information on other WB studies and programs in Russia, can be found on the website of the WB Moscow office, located at: http://www.worldbank.org.ru/.
  • Renewable Energy Loan for Turkey - The US $202.03 million Renewable Energy Loan (REL) for Turkey was approved by the WB Board of Directors on March 25.  The main objective of the project is to increase privately owned and operated power generation from renewable sources such as hydro and wind.  The project supports the priorities of the Turkish Government including the development of indigenous and renewable resources, as well as the expansion of the private sector generation within the new market structure without requiring government guarantees.  The project will support: (a) convergence with the EU on environmental and renewable energy targets; and (b) fiscal stabilization by spurring private sector investment in power generation without the government having to take on additional liabilities.  To learn more about this and other WB projects in Turkey, please visit the website of the WB Ankara office at: http://www.worldbank.org.tr/.

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Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC)

  • Grant to Support Caribbean HIV/AIDS Prevention and Treatment - The WB approved on March 25 a $9 million grant to support the Caribbean Community’s (CARICOM) efforts to coordinate and strengthen the impact of their national HIV/AIDS programs.  The grant, in parallel with other international assistance, would be an essential component in helping establish and effectively coordinate regional support to Caribbean countries in their efforts to reduce the impact of HIV/AIDS on the human and economic development of the Caribbean Region.  This is particularly relevant in the context of the accelerated movement toward a Caribbean Single Market and Economy, and to create a venue for knowledge sharing and exchange of country experiences.  The grant will support regional efforts to combat the spread of HIV/AIDS and provide treatment and care specifically for poor and vulnerable groups.  To learn more about this grant, as well as other WB activities in the LAC region, please visit: http://www.worldbank.org/lac.
  • New Country Assistance Strategy for Mexico - The WB on April 15 announced a new Country Assistance Strategy (CAS) in partnership with Mexico, which projects about $1.2 billion a year in new lending between July 2004 and June 2008, in order to support the development agenda of Mexico. The CAS focuses on fighting poverty and inequality, increasing competitiveness, strengthening institutions, and promoting environmental sustainability in the country.  The CAS was designed in partnership with the Mexican authorities, and also benefited from the input of diverse Mexican CSOs.  These groups participated in a number of workshops.  In addition, the contribution of Mexican opinion leaders was sought by through the Bank's Global Poll conducted by Princeton Survey Research Associates from October, 2002 through March, 2003.  More information about CAS for Mexico as well as other WB projects in the country can be found at: http://www.worldbank.org/mx.
  • Public Sector Governance Strengthening Grant for Nicaragua - On March 25 the WB approved a $23.5 million, zero-interest credit to increase the efficiency, productivity, and transparency in Nicaragua’s public sector.  The project aims to promote the effective use of public resources as a way to consolidate Nicaragua’s public institutions and improve their transparency. In addition, the project seeks to support the government’s anti-corruption efforts by promoting good governance and institutional development, which comprise one of the fundamental pillars of Nicaragua’s Poverty Reduction Strategy and its National Development Plan.  More information about this and other WB projects in Nicaragua can be found on the website of the WB country office in Managua, located at: http://www.worldbank.org/ni.

Middle East and North Africa (MENA)

  • Unemployment Challenge in MENA: Toward a New Social Contract - The main observation of this new publication is that for the countries of the MENA region, trade and private investment are needed to provide new engines of growth and dynamism.  The authors note that with more trade and investment, countries in the region will be able to achieve faster growth, reduce poverty, create more jobs, and improve the knowledge, skills, and productivity of their work force. The most important development challenge in the coming decade is to create enough jobs for the rapidly growing work force. The best and most sustainable way for all countries in the region to address this challenge, according to the report, is to accelerate their trade and investment integration, with the help of their partners.  To read the publication, please visit the website of the MENA region at: http://www.worldbank.org/mena.

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South Asia Region (SAR)

  • Additional Funding for Multi-donor Trust Fund for Afghanistan - The half-billion dollar, multi-donor trust fund for Afghanistan attracted a further US$300 million from donors for the year ahead at a donor meeting in Berlin held on April 2. Further pledges are expected before the end of April. Both the Afghanistan Reconstruction Trust Fund (ARTF) and its sister instrument which funds the police, the Law and Order Trust Fund for Afghanistan (LOTFA), have been important vehicles of financing for the Afghan government's budget. The ARTF is administered by WB with contributions so far from 24 donors, while the LOTFA is administered by the United Nations Development Program.  To learn more about the WB's work in Afghanistan, please visit: http://www.worldbank.org/af.
  • Water and Sanitation Provision Loan for India - The WB approved on April 8 a US$39.5 million loan to the Indian southern state of Karnataka, aiming at enhancing the efficiency, management, and delivery of water supply and sanitation to the state’s urban residents. The project supports the Government of Karnataka in launching its urban water sector reform process. The project will benefit about 200 thousand residents in the cities of Gulbarga, Belgaum and Hubli-Dharward.  More information about this and other WB projects in India can be found on the website of WB country office in India located at: http://www.worldbank.org/in.
  • Community Development and Livelihood Improvement Project in Sri Lanka - The WB on March 30 approved a grant for US$51 million for a community-driven project to empower communities and strengthen villages in Sri Lanka. It will be implemented in approximately 1,000 villages over four years, commencing initially in the five districts of Moneragala, Badulla, Hambantota, Matare, and Galle. The initiative is designed to empower poor people and help them build a sense of community control. The program builds upon lessons learned during the Village Self-Help Learning Initiative, a four-year pilot financed by the World Bank, and other similar initiatives, which tested the transfer of decision-making power and funds to communities. The project supports the government’s poverty reduction strategy.  To learn more about this and other projects of the WB in Sri Lanka, please visit the website of WB office in   at: http://www.worldbank.org/lk.

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9. New Publications from the World Bank

  • African Development Indicators - This new publication provides the most detailed collection of data on Africa available in one volume.  It contains more than 500 macroeconomic, sectoral, and social indicators, covering 53 African countries with data from 1970-2002. The book is grouped into 15 chapters: background data; national accounts; prices and exchange rates; money and banking; external sector; external debt and related flows; government finance; agriculture; power, communications, and transportation; public enterprises; labor force and employment; aid flows; social indicators; environmental indicators; and HIPC debt initiative.
  • Health Financing for Poor People: Resource Mobilization and Risk Sharing - This publication stresses that community financing schemes are no panacea for the problems that low-income countries face in resource mobilization. They should be regarded as a complement to - not as a substitute for - strong government involvement in health care financing and risk management related to the cost of illness.  The authors conclude by proposing concrete public policy measures that governments can introduce to strengthen and improve the effectiveness of community involvement in health care financing.

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  • Anticorruption in Transition 2: Corruption in Enterprise-State Interactions in Europe and Central Asia 1999-2002 - A new WB report released on April 7 reveals some encouraging signs that the magnitude and negative impact that corruption exerts on business may be declining in many countries of the region. It analyzes trends in corruption in business-government interactions in 26 transition economies of Europe and Central Asia. The findings are based on a survey of over 6,500 firms as part of a Business Environment and Enterprise Performance Survey (BEEPS) that was run in 1999 and 2002.  WB and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) co-sponsored the BEEPS, the initial results of which were published in a chapter of EBRD’s 2003 Transition Report.
  • Evaluation of World Bank Assistance on Trade (Approach Paper) - Three main factors were considered in this new paper by the Operations and Evaluation Department, the WB's independent evaluation arm.  Previous OED evaluations had looked at: trade liberalization experience in nine countries, trade and adjustment in Africa, support for industrial activities, agricultural sector adjustment loans, and lending for port development.  OED found that several trade-related issues remain operationally relevant to the WB, including the optimal path and sequencing of trade reform, the impact of trade adjustment on the poor, determining the appropriate role of the state, and the role and importance of additional complementary policies.  It also notes that starting with the run up to the Doha Development Agenda Ministerial in November 2001 and since that time, the Bank has expanded its trade work at several levels - research, advocacy, capacity building and in operational activities.

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10. New Websites/Web Resources

  • Fighting Corruption at the World Bank - WB President James Wolfensohn in 1996 the issue of corruption on the development agenda for the first time for a multilateral institution. Since then, the WB has launched more than 600 anti-corruption programs in nearly 100 countries. The Bank's anti-corruption strategy has four pillars: preventing fraud and corruption in Bank-financed projects and programs; helping countries that request assistance in combating corruption; mainstreaming a concern for corruption directly into country analysis and lending decisions; and contributing to international efforts to fight corruption. More than 40 percent of the Bank's lending operations now include components for improving public sector governance. The WB also has put in place stringent financial disclosure rules for its employees. It runs a global 24-hour a day anti-corruption telephone hotline, and the WB is an active supporter of the UN Convention Against Corruption. The WB also has endorsed the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative and is a leader in fighting money laundering and the financing of terrorism. The Bank publicly names companies found to have been engaged in corrupt practices--so far almost 100 have been debarred.
  • Youthink! The Bank’s New Website for Youth - This new interactive website provides relevant content to young people, written in a more age-appropriate language. It invites young people to explore the research, knowledge and experience gathered by WB experts on issues like poverty, development, and conflict. Youthink! also invites young people to share with the WB what they see around them through personal stories, photos, etc.  The website has separate areas for younger kids and  teachers, a forum where young people can share their ideas and concerns on development, suggestions on how young people can get involved in development work, and a multimedia section with games, quizzes and videos.  The site will host regular live web chats with and for young people through the Speak Out section. It is located at: http://youthink.worldbank.org/.

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11. Recent Global Events/Discussions

  • Joint World Bank/UNDP Meeting of Development Partners on Operational Engagement of CSOs in the EU Accession Countries, the CIS, Western Balkans and Turkey, Brussels, Belgium, April 1 - The roundtable discussion had threefold objective: (a) to take stock of what various donor organizations and partner agencies to in the area of civil society development in the operational context of the respective organizations, (b) get to know each other and exchange ideas regarding the organization's strategies and approaches to civil society participation, and (c) discuss synergies and areas of common interest in future work.  The discussion attracted senior official in charge of civil society relations from the Bank, UNDP, the EU Commission, EBRD, EIB, Council of Europe, Stability Pact, OSCE.  In addition, four key bilateral donors in the region - the governments of Netherlands and Switzerland, DfID and USAID sent their representatives.  Also key foundations and NGOs from these countries participated in the discussion.
  • Second Forum on Poverty Reduction Strategies for the Balkans, Thessalonika, Greece, March 29-31 - All countries of the Balkans - Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Serbia and Montenegro, Kosovo, and FYR Macedonia - are currently carrying out their own national poverty reduction strategies (PRSPs).  The Forum provided an opportunity for its participants to share experiences in implementation of the PRSPs.  In particular, the Forum allowed the teams responsible for preparation of PRSPs to focus on common challenges being faced in terms of setting policy and expenditure priorities and in making progress towards meeting PRSP objectives.  To learn more about the event, please read the statement issued at its completion.
  • EUROLAC Conference Focuses on Better Health  Results, Recife, Brazil, April 13-16 - The conference was organized and hosted by WB and the Brazilian Ministry of Health, in collaboration with the Inter-American Development Bank and the Pan American Health Organization  The forum entitled "Improving Health Systems Performance and Health Outcomes" gathered participants from the health ministries and health related institutions from all Latin American and Caribbean and European countries. The gathering featured a combined program of presentations, working groups, and case studies to generate opportunities for discussion and interchange of experience.

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12. Upcoming Global Events/Discussions

  • World Bank Forum on Child Labor; A Dialogue With the ILO and Other Partners, April 29 - WB is hosting a child labor forum to bring together several key partners for a discussion on how to face the challenges ahead. The important economic benefits of eliminating child labor are clearly illustrated in the recently published ILO report entitled “Investing in Every Child: An Economic Study of the Costs and Benefits of Eliminating Child Labour.” The forum will focus on 3 immediate objectives: (a) broad dissemination of the ILO report, (b) identification of the areas for the WB’s contribution through knowledge sharing and further research as well as operationally through lending and technical assistance, and (c) building partnerships with the private sector, trade unions and civil society, UN agencies, Regional Development banks, etc.  Panelists and participants will include senior Bank staff, representatives from ILO, and US Department of Labor as well as CSOs.  If you wish to participate in this event, which will be held at WB headquarters in Washington, DC, please contact: Ekta Kothari at: ekothari@worldbank.org by COB April 26.
  • Shirin Ebadi, Nobel Peace Prize Winner to Present Presidential Fellows Lecture at the WB, May 3 - On Monday May 3, Shirin Ebadi, the recent Nobel Peace Prize winner from Iran and campaigner for human rights, will speak on "Human Rights and Economic Development" and will share her views on the global progress on women's rights and her plans to advance children's rights and improve the prospects of disenfranchised youth. Her visit is part of the Presidential Fellows Lecture Series, which brings eminent thinkers and leaders in the international development arena to the WB to share their wisdom and experience with WB staff and guests.  Welcoming remarks will be made by James Wolfensohn, President of the WB.  Previous speakers in the Series have included Kofi Annan, Secretary General of the United Nations; Mike Moore, former Director General of the WTO; Bertie Ahern, Prime Minister of Ireland; Amartya Sen, Nobel Laureate; Professor Chinua Achebe, distinguished African author and teacher; and Kumi Naidoo, Secretary General and CEO of Civicus: World Alliance for Civic Participation.
  • World Bank Announces Global Learning Conference to Accelerate Large-Scale Poverty Reduction, Shanghai, May 25-27 - As part of a global learning process that aims to accelerate efforts in reducing poverty by assessing best practices and sharing valuable knowledge among developing countries, the WB and the Government of China on March 23 announced a conference to be held in Shanghai on May 25-27.  The Conference will bring some 600 participants, including CSOs, together to examine a series of case studies illustrating successful and not so successful examples of poverty reduction. The nine-month learning process leading up to the conference has been using information technologies and communication tools to link practitioners from across the development community, including developing country policymakers, politicians, donor agencies, academics, CSOs, and development institutions.  This process of knowledge exchange focuses on analyzing more than 70 case studies which are expected to shed light on some common ingredients of development success. The cases are being presented and discussed through 20 multi-country videoconferences, on-line dialogues, and 10 field visits to project sites.  More information about the conference and the learning program can be found at: http://www.worldbank.org/wbi/reducingpoverty/.
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