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Civil Society Engagement eNewsletter - May 2004

This is the May 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 - May_2004.pdf [387KB PDF]

THERE ARE 17 ITEMS IN THIS ISSUE:

1. Spring Meetings of WB and IMF: Summaries of Dialogues with CSOs
2. Presidential Lecture by Nobel Peace Prize Winner Shirin Ebadi, May 4
3. Press Freedom Pays In Poverty Fight, Says WB President
4. Yacyretá Hydroelectric Project Inspection Panel Investigation Documents and WB Management Response
5. Joint Statement from Messrs. Salim and Wolfensohn on Extractive Industries Review, April 19
6. Global Monitoring Report 2004
7. New Debt Sustainability Framework at the World Bank and IMF: Emerging Challenges
8. Heavily Indebted Poor Countries Initiative (HIPC): Statistical Update
9. Landmark Agreement Reached In Fight Against Aids
10. Earth Day 2004: World Bank Calls For Concerted Action On Environmental Health

11. World Bank Group Warns of Fraudulent Investment Schemes Misrepresenting Its Name
12. News from the World Bank's Regional Departments

Africa

  • IMF and World Bank Provide Debt Service Relief for Ethiopia and Senegal
  • Eight West African Countries Receive Credit And Guarantees To Boost Regional Integration, Growth And Poverty Reduction
  • The World Bank Funds Mauritania’s Decentralization and Poverty Reduction Initiatives

East Asia and Pacific (EAP)

  • East Asia and Pacific Regional Update

Europe and Central Asia (ECA)

  •  IMF, World Bank, EBRD and AsDB Release Report on CIS-7 Initiative
  •  Bulgaria Small Grants Program Winners Announced 

Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC)

  • WB Launches Country Assistance Strategy for Argentina
  • Honduras: World Bank Approves $15 Million Credit For Indigenous And Afro-Descendant Community Development Projects

Middle East and North Africa (MENA)

  • Multi-Donor Trust Fund To Support Reform Program for the Palestinian Authority

South Asia Region (SAR)

  • IDA credit to support India’s National Program for Universal Elementary Education
  • Progress Report of the World Bank's Country Assistance Strategy (CAS) for Pakistan

13. New Publications from the World Bank

  • Global Development Finance 2004: Harnessing Cyclical Gains For Development
  • Involuntary Resettlement Sourcebook: Planning and Implementation in Development Projects
  • Keeping the Promise of Old Age Income Security in Latin America
  • Little Green Data Book 2004
  • Reforming Infrastructure: Privatization, Regulation, and Competition
  • Sustaining Forests: A Development Strategy

14. New Websites/Web Resources

  • New, Revamped IDA Website

15. Ongoing Consultations/Discussions

  • Electronic Forum on the Draft World Bank Social Development Strategy, April 12-May 31
  • Draft World Development Report (WDR) 2005: Improving the Investment Climate for Growth and Poverty Reduction: Online Discussion, May 19-June 16
  • Comments on Adjustment Lending Policy Update Welcome Until June 30

16. Upcoming Global Events/Discussions

  • Interactive forum on "Global Development Finance 2004: Harnessing Cyclical Gains for Development", May 17-June 11
  • Scaling Up Poverty Reduction: A Global Learning Process, and Conference in Shanghai, May 25-27

17. Recent Global Events/Discussions

  • Live Discussion with Vikram Nehru on Debt - Is it the Disease or the Symptom of a Larger Problem?, May 18
  • E-Discussion on Disclosure of Information and Consultation in Private Sector Projects, May 10-21
  • Annual Bank Conference on Development Economics in Europe, May 10-11, Brussels, Belgium
  • ABCDE Conference, May 3-4, Washington, D.C.

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1. Spring Meetings of WB and IMF: Summaries of Dialogues with CSOs - The program of Spring Meetings policy dialogues involved over 10 events organized by the WB, IMF, IFC and MIGA, and by various CSOs.   The events included panel discussions, meetings with senior managers, and technical briefings.   Topics discussed during these dialogues included: 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, adjustment lending and the independent Extractive Industry Review (EIR) process.  Summaries of these dialogues are being posted on WB's website for CSOs.

2. Presidential Lecture by Nobel Peace Prize Winner Shirin Ebadi, May 4, 2004 - In a Presidential Lecture at WB headquarters in Washington DC, the 2003 Nobel Peace Prize winner Shirin Ebadi said freedom was the most precious commodity a person could possess.  Ebadi said human rights was crucial to development, and she urged the WB and other members of the international community not to lend to undemocratic countries. To give loans to countries where there is no oversight of the government would, she said, stamp out the human rights of the people.  WB President Jim Wolfensohn called the lecture, "extremely stimulating and provocative." The Presidential Fellows program, a Wolfensohn initiative, brings in eminent thinkers or corporate leaders to share their experiences with Bank staff.  The transcript of the lecture, WB press release, as well as video files are available in English and Farsi.

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3. Press Freedom Pays In Poverty Fight - On May 3, which has been designated World Press Freedom Day, the WB sponsored a number of events in Washington DC to draw attention to the issue.  In addition to the Presidential lecture by the 2003 Nobel Peace Prize winner, Iranian lawyer and human rights advocate, Shirin Ebadi, the Bank held a reception to mark the opening of the World Press Photo Exhibition 2004 at the Corcoran Gallery of Art in Washington.  A free press is a key element in the global fight against poverty and can act as a catalyst for economic development, said WB President Jim Wolfensohn.  He also noted in his Op-Ed, published on April 30, that a free press not only serves as an outlet for expression, but it also provides a source of accountability, a vehicle for civic participation, and a check on official corruption.  It can also contribute to education programs and public health programs such as the fight against HIV/AIDS.

4. Yacyretá Hydroelectric Project Inspection Panel Investigation Documents and WB Management Response - Following on the formal request for investigation received by the Inspection Panel (IP), the IP submitted its Investigation Report, related to the Yacyretá Hydroelectric Project, to the Board of Executive Directors of the WB.  Under IP procedures, WB Management is required to complete its Report and Recommendations within six weeks of that date and submit it to the Board of Executive Directors.  Documents related to the Project Inspection Panel Investigation are now posted on the Panel's website.  These include the IP investigation report in English and Spanish, maps relating to the investigation report, the WB management response to the investigation report in English and Spanish, and finally, a number of maps relating to the management response.  To view all, please go to: http://www.inspectionpanel.org/.

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5. Joint Statement from Messrs. Salim and Wolfensohn on Extractive Industries Review, April 19, 2004 - On April 19, WB President Wolfensohn met with Dr. Emil Salim, the Eminent Person who headed the Extractive Industries Review (EIR).  WB President Jim Wolfensohn launched the EIR in 2001 to discuss its future role in the extractive industries with concerned stakeholders. The aim of this independent review was to produce a set of recommendations that will guide involvement of the WB Group in the oil, gas and mining sectors. The final Consultation Report closing the EIR process was presented by Salim to Mr. Wolfensohn in January 2004.  The WB is currently working on an official response to that report.  In their joint statement on the April 19 meeting, Messrs. Salim and Wolfensohn acknowledge progress in discussing the report's main directions.  They also note that there remain certain issues on which further discussion is still needed.  Messrs. Salim and Wolfensohn agreed to continue with consultations and to meet again prior to the Bank Group's formal response.

6. Global Monitoring Report 2004 - The Global Monitoring Report 2004 warns that on current trends, most developing countries will fail to meet most of the eight Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).  The report was the centerpiece of discussions by the Development Committee, the joint Ministerial body of the World WB and the IMF, during 2004 Spring Meetings in Washington DC in late April.  It was decided that the report will be produced annually to monitor progress on key development issues and hold developing and developed countries - as well as multilateral institutions like the WB and the IMF - accountable for their performance.  The 2004 report says strong economic growth – in rich and poor countries alike – is essential to boosting the incomes of poor people and achieving the MDGs, but much more needs to be done by all nations to reduce poverty.  The report is posted at: http://www.worldbank.org/globalmonitoring.

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7. New Debt Sustainability Framework at the World Bank and IMF: Emerging Challenges - The WB and the IMF are working on a new framework to prevent lending to low-income countries from sparking a new debt crisis. Maintaining debt sustainability has been identified as a prerequisite to achieving the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), along with the pursuit of strong policies to promote economic growth.  The new framework, which has been discussed by the boards of WB and IMF, will involve conducting a more systemic analysis of borrowing countries ability to repay debt before loans are approved. The WB and IMF's Development Committee was briefed on the new debt sustainability initiative at the Spring Meetings in April.

8. Heavily Indebted Poor Countries Initiative (HIPC): Statistical Update as of March 31, 2004 - The document updates information provided in the September 2003 Status of Implementation Report for HIPC.  It provides detailed information on the progress in implementation of HIPC.  Since the March update was issued, Ethiopia, Niger, and Senegal reached their completion points in April 2004, raising to 13 the number of countries who have now reached their completion points under the HIPC Initiative.  Detailed summary of costs for the 37 countries potentially eligible for debt relief under HIPC is also outlined in the document, accompanied by costs, commitments and delivery information on the 23 multilateral creditors who have committed to provide HIPC relief.  The final section of the report provides an analysis of the effect of HIPC debt reduction on debt stocks, debt services and poverty reducing expenditures in the countries participating in the initiative.  The March HIPC update can be viewed at:,  for more information about HIPC, please visit: http://www.worldbank.org/hipc/.

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9. Earth Day 2004: World Bank Calls For Concerted Action On Environmental Health - On Earth Day 2004, the WB stressed the need for speeding up global action to fight diseases caused by outdoor and indoor air pollution, and unsafe water – all conditions which are affecting the health and lives of millions of children in poor and middle-income countries.  The WB's VP for Environmentally and Socially Sustainable Development, Ian Johnson, noted that this is a global problem which the international community urgently needs to address, because children’s lives depend on it.  He also points out that progress is happening, but it is still too slow, and solutions require coordination across different sectors, including the need for changing behaviors on the ground.  Better infrastructure and energy services for households and communities are needed for mitigating the most daunting environmental risks to health, he added.  Particular emphasis needs to be placed on policies that promote good governance, that respond to the needs of the poor, and safeguard the environment.  This "double burden" faced by the poor needs to be lifted.  For more information on the Bank’s work on promoting sustainable development, please visit: http://www.worldbank.org/sustainabledevelopment.

10. Landmark Agreement Reached In Fight Against Aids - A historic agreement to adopt a unified global response to tackling HIV/AIDS was reached by the international community on April 22.  At a meeting held in Washington D.C., co-chaired by UNAIDS, the UK and the US, donors and developing countries agreed to three core principles to better coordinate the scale-up of national AIDS responses. Known as the “Three Ones”, the principles are: one agreed HIV/AIDS action framework that provides the basis for coordinating the work of all partners; one national AIDS coordinating authority, with a broad based multi-sector mandate; and one agreed country-level monitoring and evaluation system.  Built on lessons learned from over two decades, the “Three Ones” will help improve the ability of donors and developing countries to work more effectively together, on a country by country basis.  At the meeting, donor countries including Australia, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Norway, Sweden, the United Kingdom and the United States were present along with representatives of the WB, the Global Fund and the UN, CSOs and several developing country governments.  To learn more about the agreement, as well as Bank's work on HIV/AIDS, please visit: http://www.worldbank.org/aids.

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11. World Bank Group Warns of Fraudulent Investment Schemes Misrepresenting Its Name - On April 26, the World Bank Group issued a statement warning against investment deals and "advance fee fraud schemes" that misuse the institution’s name or claim to be affiliated with the World Bank Group. The World Bank Group disavows such schemes, and would like to caution the public to be wary of these and other similar solicitations that falsely claim to be affiliated with the WBG.

12. News from the World Bank's Regional Departments

Africa

  • IMF and World Bank Provide Debt Service Relief for Ethiopia and Senegal - The International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the WB's International Development Association (IDA) have agreed that Ethiopia and Senegal have taken the necessary steps  to reach its completion point under the enhanced Heavily Indebted Poor Countries (HIPC) Initiative. Ethiopia and Senegal become the 12th and 13th country to reach this point, joining Benin, Bolivia, Burkina Faso, Guyana, Mali, Mauritania, Mozambique, Nicaragua, Niger, Tanzania, and Uganda.  Total debt service relief under the enhanced HIPC Initiative from all of Ethiopia's creditors amounts to approximately US$3.3 billion and from Senegal's creditors amounts to US$850 million in nominal terms.  To learn more about HIPC debt relief in both countries, please visit the website of WB Africa Region, at: http://www.worldbank.org/afr.
  • Eight West African Countries Receive Credit And Guarantees To Boost Regional Integration, Growth And Poverty Reduction - Eight West African countries, members of the West African Economic and Monetary Union (UEMOA), have received a US$408.69 million package to promote regional integration, develop capital markets, and mobilize public and private financing for infrastructure development, according to an agreement signed on April 24.  The UEMOA Capital Market Development Project is financed by a partnership of governments and organizations, including the Agence Française de Développement (AFD) and the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA). The WB Group’s contribution to the project consists of an International Development Association (IDA) credit, an IDA insurance guarantee, and a Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency (MIGA) insurance guarantee.
  • The World Bank Funds Mauritania’s Decentralization and Poverty Reduction Initiatives - On April 20, the WB approved an International Development Association (IDA) credit of US$45 million in support of Mauritania’s decentralization and poverty reduction initiatives. The capacity building component of the project aims at strengthening administrative and local development dimensions of integrated community development and at supporting and expanding Village Councils.  Its second component will focus on managing the flow of local investment funds for the implementation of projects identified by communities through community-based private micro and small enterprises that provide goods and services to rural communities, and a rural road component within selected communities.  To learn more about this, and other WB projects in Mauritania, please visit the website of Bank's local office in Nouakchott, at: http://www.worldbank.org/afr/mr/.

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East Asia and Pacific (EAP)

  • East Asia and Pacific Regional Update - Fueled by growing exports, low interest rates, and high investment in China, Vietnam, and Thailand, East Asia's economy is expected to grow by more than 6 percent in 2004, the strongest since the beginning of the global slowdown in early 2000, according to the latest East Asia and Pacific Regional Update, which is the WB's twice-yearly look at the region's economies.  The special focus section of the report looks at the lessons from China, Indonesia, Korea, and Malaysia in reducing poverty on a large scale, the subject of the upcoming Shanghai Poverty Conference, May 25-27, and an ongoing global dialogue on ways to accelerate poverty reduction.  The full report, plus a special report  "Scaling Up Poverty Reduction in East Asia" as well as data tables and individual country reports, is available at: http://www.worldbank.org/eapupdate.

Europe and Central Asia (ECA)

  • IMF, World Bank, EBRD and AsDB Release Report on CIS-7 Initiative - The IMF, WB, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), and the Asian Development Bank (AsDB) on April 26 released a joint review of recent trends and developments in the seven low-income countries in the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS): Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Kyrgyz Republic, Moldova, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan. The report focuses on growth and poverty, debt and fiscal sustainability, governance and the business climate, and regional cooperation. It also describes donor activities in support of reforms in these areas. The report summarizes the results of three years of work under the so-called CIS-7 Initiative.
  • Bulgaria Small Grants Program Winners Announced  - Bulgaria's Small Grants Program Team recently announced the results from the FY04 Small Grants Program in Bulgaria.  This year, the program will support projects from nine civil society organizations with total financing of $45,000.  The approved projects target improvement of welfare and greater social inclusion of socially and economically marginalized groups of society across the country. The winning nine projects were presented to the public at an "ideas fair" hosted by the Bulgaria Public Information Center in early May.  For more information, please visit the website of WB office in Sofia, located at: http://www.worldbank.org/bg.

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Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC)

  • WB Launches Country Assistance Strategy for Argentina - The Bank on April 15 launched its new Country Assistance Strategy (CAS) for Argentina, which will guide the Bank Group’s program in the country from April 2004 through December 2005.  The new CAS provides for US$2 billion in new financing in support of country efforts to achieve sustained economic growth. WB support will include financing from both the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD) and the International Finance Corporation (IFC), the private sector arm of the WB.  The CAS was prepared within the context of broader discussions and consultations among the Argentine authorities, CSOs, and the Bank covering the period through June 2008.  To learn more about CAS for Argentina, please visit the website of the WB office in Buenos Aires, at: http://www.worldbank.org/argentina/.
  • Honduras: World Bank Approves $15 Million Credit For Indigenous And Afro-Descendant Community Development Projects - On May 4, the WB approved a $15 million credit to the government of Honduras to support community development projects to benefit indigenous and African-descendents. The Nuestras Raíces, or “our roots”, program serves the country’s nine ethnic groups, whose total population of approximately 440,000 includes Honduras’ poorest citizens.  The WB has supported the program since 1997 under implementation by the Honduran Social Investment Fund (FHIS).  Of the funds made available by the credit, some $13.3 million will finance goods, materials and labor for 600-700 community-executed projects over a period of three years.  To learn more about this and other WB projects in Honduras, please visit the website of WB office in Tegucigalpa, located at: http://www.worldbank.org/hn/.

Middle East and North Africa (MENA)

  • Multi-Donor Trust Fund To Support Reform Program for the Palestinian Authority - With the aim of supporting the Palestinian Authority (PA) in sustaining public services in the face of a severe fiscal crisis, the Bank announced on April 27 the creation of the Public Financial Management Reform Trust Fund.  Created at the request of the Palestinian Authority, with backing from the international donor community, the Reform Fund builds on the successful budget support mechanisms implemented by the European Commission since September 2000. The new fund seeks to mobilize additional donor resources to support the PA’s budget.  For more information on this initiative and other Bank programs in the West Bank and Gaza, please visit: http://www.worldbank.org/we.

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South Asia Region (SAR)

  • IDA credit to support India’s National Program for Universal Elementary Education - With the approval on April 20 of a US$500 million credit, the WB will pool funds with the Government of India, the Indian states, the European Commission and the United Kingdom, to support India’s National Program for Universal Elementary Education.  The total Project cost is $3.5 billion for three and half years. The Indian Elementary Education Project, also known in Hindi as Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan (SSA), aims to reduce the number of children who are out of school by at least 9 million, narrow gender and social gaps and improve quality of education.  The Program is a compact between the central government, Indian states, districts, and CSOs.  To learn more about this project and other WB operations in India, please go to: http://www.worldbank.org.in/.
  • Progress Report of the World Bank's Country Assistance Strategy (CAS) for Pakistan - The Progress Report takes stock of where WB is regarding the implementation of its Country Assistance Strategy, and whether or not the strategy needs to be adjusted to reflect new political or economic realities in the country.  The progress report recognizes the remarkable improvement in Pakistan's economic performance, which has been stronger than foreseen in the recent CAS prepared in 2002, with GDP growth accelerating to above 5 percent in 2003 while inflation has remained low at 3.1 percent. To learn more about the findings of the Progress Report, please go to: http://www.worldbank.org/pk.

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13. New Publications from the World Bank

  • Global Development Finance 2004: Harnessing Cyclical Gains For Development -  The external financing environment facing developing countries has brightened, according to this annual report from the WB.  In 2003, as global growth gained momentum, private capital flows to developing countries increased to their highest level in five years.  Harnessing these gains to promote long-term investment and growth is the key theme of the publication.  The first section of the publication is the WB's annual review of recent trends in and prospects for financial flows to developing countries. It's second part - Summary and Country Tables - includes a comprehensive set of tables of data for 136 countries that report under the World Bank Debtor Reporting System, as well as summary data for regions and income groups.
  • Involuntary Resettlement Sourcebook: Planning and Implementation in Development Projects - The Sourcebook clarifies many policy and technical issues that confront resettlement policymakers and practitioners. It provides guidance on resettlement design, implementation, and monitoring, and it discusses resettlement issues particular to development projects in different sectors.
  • Keeping the Promise of Old Age Income Security in Latin America - The Latin America region’s more than decade-long experience with pension reform has delivered significant fiscal, social and financial benefits, but the failure to extend access to social security and private pensions to a broader segment of society has been a major disappointment, according to a new WB report. An advance conference edition of the report, Keeping the Promise of Old Age Income Security in Latin America, finds that Latin American governments that have undertaken structural overhauls to their national pension systems have improved their budget position, made public pensions more equitable, and encouraged savings and investment.  The report will be discussed in an international conference on pension reform organized by the WB in Bogota on June 22-23. To access the advance conference edition of the report, please visit: http://www.worldbank.org/lacpensionsconf.

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  • Little Green Data Book 2004 - Global levels of fresh water resources per capita declined by 1.6 percent between 2001 and 2002 due to growing population pressure on water resources, according to the WB’s Little Green Data Book 2004, which was launched on April 28 at the United Nations Commission on Sustainable Development.  The Little Green Data Book 2004 makes key indicators widely available to a global audience. For more information, please see the WB's website for sustainable development at: http://www.worldbank.org/sustainabledevelopment.
  • Reforming Infrastructure: Privatization, Regulation, and Competition - Recognizing infrastructure’s importance, many countries over the past two decades have implemented far-reaching infrastructure reforms—restructuring, privatizing, and establishing new approaches to regulation.  The publication identifies the challenges involved in this massive policy redirection within the historical, economic, and institutional context of developing and transition economies. It also assesses the outcomes of these policy changes, as well as their distributional consequences. It recommends directions for future reforms and research to improve infrastructure performance.
  • Sustaining Forests: A Development Strategy - The WB’s Forests Strategy, adopted in October 2002, charts a path for WB’s proactive engagement in the forest sector to help attain the goal of poverty reduction without jeopardizing the environmental values intrinsic to sustainability. This strategy replaces the Bank’s 1991 Forestry Strategy, and was developed on the basis of the findings of an independent review of the 1991 strategy and a two-year consultative process with development partners and stakeholders around the world.  Sustaining Forests, is built on three guiding pillars: harnessing the potential of forests to reduce poverty, integrating forests into sustainable economic development, and protecting global forest values.

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  • World Development Indicators - The Bank's annual statistical report released on April 23, shows a drop in the absolute number of people living on less than $1 a day in all developing countries from 1.5 billion in 1981, to 1.1 billion in 2001, with much of the progress occurring in the 1980s.  The statistics used in the report present a picture of uneven progress in reducing poverty, and strongly suggest that the biggest gains occur where growth and trade coincide with sustained efforts to develop human capital and foster a sound investment climate. But growth, by itself, is no guarantee that poverty will be reduced quickly, as its benefits are often slow in reaching the poor.

14. New Websites/Web Resources

  • New, Revamped IDA Website - The website of the International Development Association (IDA), the concessional finance arm of the WB for the poorest countries, has been revamped and improved.  It now contains more detailed basic information on what IDA is, which countries can borrow from it, what type of projects does it fund, which countries give to IDA and how much they give.  The website also contains descriptions of projects and programs that IDA supports.  You can also find there information about a new results measurement system that reflects the priorities and processes of national poverty reduction strategies and assesses IDA’s contribution to development results. The website also features details on the current round of IDA replenishment discussions, which began in February and will be continuing through 2004.  The next meeting of the IDA Deputies will take place in Hanoi, Vietnam in early July.  You can visit the website at: http://www.worldbank.org/ida.

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15. Ongoing Consultations/Discussions

  • 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 through 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. If you have any questions or comments, please send an email to: mailto:sdcommunications@worldbank.org.
  • Draft World Development Report (WDR) 2005: Improving the Investment Climate for Growth and Poverty Reduction: Online Discussion, May 19-June 16 - The 2005 WDR focuses on improving the investment climate and places particular emphasis on the role of government policies, institutions and behaviors in shaping incentives for firms to engage in productive economic activity, and thus to contribute to growth and poverty reduction. The WDR will consider the investment climate from the perspective of a broad range of firms, including local firms and micro-enterprises.  Draft WDR report has now been finalized and posted on the WDR website.  The WDR team invites all interested stakeholders to comment on the consultative draft report.  The final report will be produced in September 2004.  To register for the e-discussion, please go to: http://econ.worldbank.org/wdr/wdr2005/.

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  • Comments on Adjustment Lending Policy Update Welcome Until June 30 - 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 are now being solicited.  You can submit your comments by email to: mailto: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.

16. Upcoming Global Events/Discussions

  • Interactive forum on "Global Development Finance 2004: Harnessing Cyclical Gains for Development", May 17-June 11 - An open, moderated online discussion of this year’s Global Development Finance report, under the theme: "Recent Developments in Global Development Finance: Aid, Foreign Direct Investment, and Financing Trade and Infrastructure", will be held from May 17-June 11.  It will focus upon four of these topics, and is an opportunity for policymakers, academics, CSOs and other interested parties to share views on important areas in financing development. The e-discussion will be moderated.
  • Scaling Up Poverty Reduction: A Global Learning Process, and Conference in Shanghai, May 25-27 - The World Bank, along with other partners, is sponsoring a conference in Shanghai to discuss new approaches to reducing poverty on a large scale. Looking for solutions from the developing world for the developing world, specialists and policymakers from across the globe will share their expertise about what works, what doesn't, and why, analyzing some 100 case studies of poverty reduction, and identifying those key success factors-- economic, social, and managerial--that can drive future initiatives and perhaps fundamentally change the development paradigm.  Several heads of state and more than 80 ministers, along with public and private sector executives, development practitioners, researchers, CSOs, and members of the media are taking part in the conference. Underscoring their commitment to reducing poverty on a large scale, Presidents Lula of Brazil, Mkapa of Tanzania, Museveni of Uganda, and Prime Minister Zia of Bangladesh are scheduled to make opening statements launching the conference. The conference aims to be not an end in itself but the beginning of an ongoing dialogue and a new way of doing business.

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17. Recent Global Events/Discussions

  • Live Discussion with Vikram Nehru on Debt - Is it the Disease or the Symptom of a Larger Problem?, May 18 - Is it the Disease or the Symptom of a Larger Problem?, May 18 - Vikram Nehru, Manager of the World Bank HIPC Unit, participated in a live online discussion on May 18. During the discussion, its participants talked about debt relief, one of the hottest areas of debate in development.  They asked questions related to the levels of external debt of low-income countries, relationship between debt and the country's development, structural adjustment and corruption, and how debt sustainability is being calculated by the Bank.  To view the discussion, please visit the Speak Out website of the Bank.
  • E-Discussion on Disclosure of Information and Consultation in Private Sector Projects, May 10-21 - The discussion was organized by International Finance Corporation (IFC) and the World Bank Institute (WBI). IFC recently announced a review of its 1998 Policy on Disclosure of Information.  Since the policy was last updated, views on transparency and disclosure have continued to evolve. The purpose of thisdiscussion was to gain a broad understanding of the range of views on disclosure and transparency issues, and not to consult on concrete options for the IFC's Disclosure Policy. The final report on the discussion will provide an important context for IFC as it develops its draft Disclosure Policy approach paper.  The event was be moderated by Halina Ward, Director of the Corporate Responsibility for Environment and Development program at the International Institute for Environment and Development (IIED) and Dr. Amar Inamdar, Director of Synergy a global consulting firm working in the field of corporate social responsibility.
  • Annual Bank Conference on Development Economics in Europe, May 10-11, Brussels, Belgium - The ABCDE-Europe has become a key event in Europe for the discussion of development issues. It is a unique platform for many of the European and world's finest development thinkers and experienced policymakers to present their perspectives, ideas, and to challenge researchers and senior WB staff and other multilateral organizations with their views. By bringing together an array of European academics, politicians, institutes, think tanks, students and journalists, the ABCDE-Europe provides an excellent opportunity to foster exchange of knowledge on and understanding of development issues in Europe. This year's theme of the conference was: "Doha, Monterrey, and Johannesburg: Are we on Track?".
  • ABCDE Conference, May 3-4, Washington, D.C. - This year’s Annual Bank Conference on Development Economics (ABCDE) was held May 3-4 in Washington, DC, focused on taking stock and drawing lessons from a half-century of development practice. This year's overall theme was "Lessons of Experience". The conference was inaugurated by WB President Wolfensohn and featured Keynote Addresses by Nobel Laureate Vernon Smith and Francois Bourguignon, Senior Vice President and Chief Economist of the WB.  ABCDE is one of the world's best known series of conferences for the presentation and discussion of new knowledge about development.
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