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Civil Society Engagement eNewsletter - August 2004

This is the August 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. 

THERE ARE 9 ITEMS IN THIS ISSUE:

1. Annual Meetings 2004: Final Date and Deadline For On-line Accreditation for Civil Society Organizations
2. IFC Launches Consultation Phase of Safeguard Update and Disclosure Review 
3. World Bank Group Determines Way Forward on Extractive Industries Review
4. OP/BP 8.60 Development Policy Lending Approved
5. News from the World Bank's Regional Departments

Africa

  • Community-Based Rural Development Project in Ghana
  • Poverty Reduction Support Credit in Madagascar
  • Tanzania Receives Poverty Reduction Support
  • The Southern African Institute for Environmental Assessment (SAIEA) Launches 2 year Calabash Project - Improving Public Participation in Environmental Assessments in Southern Africa

East Asia and Pacific (EAP)

  • Seizing the Global Opportunity: Investment Climate Assessment and Reform Strategy in Cambodia
  • Interactive Project Maps (IPM) of World Bank Office Manila

Europe and Central Asia (ECA)

  • Case Studies on Scaling Up Poverty Reduction Available

Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC)

  • Poverty in Mexico: An Assessment of Conditions, Trends and Government Strategy

Middle East and North Africa (MENA)

  • Learning Workshop On Youth in MENA

South Asia Region (SAR)

  • HIV/AIDS Treatment and Prevention in India: Costs and Consequences of Policy Options

6. New Publications from the World Bank

  • The Poverty Reduction Strategy Initiative: An Independent Evaluation of the World Bank's Support Through 2003
  • The Human Right to Water: Legal and Policy Dimensions
  • Zambia: Public Expenditure Management and Financial Accountability Review
  • Targeting of Transfers in Developing Countries: Review of Lessons and Experience

7. New Websites/Web Resources

  • The World Bank and Disability

8. Upcoming and Ongoing Global Events/Discussions

  • International Stakeholder Workshops for Nam Theun 2 Planned
  • Youth, Development and Peace 2004 Conference, September 5-7, 2004

9. Recent Global Events/Discussions

  • The Fourth Annual Fes Globalization Colloquium
  • African HIV/AIDS Activists Participate in XV International AIDS Conference Through GDLN Centers
  • "Edutainment Nights” Promote HIV/AIDS Awareness in Africa

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1. Annual Meetings 2004: Final Date and Deadline For On-line Accreditation for Civil Society Organizations - The Boards of the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank Group have decided that the Annual Meetings of the Boards of Governors, along with related activities will be held in Washington DC, United States on October 2-3, 2004.  The Annual Meetings were originally set to take place on October 4-5.  The schedule is being changed to this date to enable the two institutions to conduct their meetings while taking into account the security needs of the District of Columbia.  That decision does affect the planning of Policy Dialogue Sessions for interested CSO representatives.  These will now be organized between September 29 and October 5, 2004.  CSOs, as all visitors, must apply for accreditation in order to gain access to the Annual Meetings venues and related events.  For 2004 Annual Meetings, CSOs are able to request accreditation through a new web-based accreditation system.  The system was launched on July 1 and applications for accreditation from interested CSOs are being accepted through September 3.   If you are interested in participating in the Annual Meetings, please apply for accreditation as soon as possible, and immediately proceed to obtain a visa to enter the US, should you need one, and book your accommodation.  More information on the accreditation process can be found at: http://www.worldbank.org/civilsociety/.  Please also visit that website for more information about the complimentary CSO passes for the Program of Seminars workshops, as well as information on the CSO meeting/work spaces available during the week when the Policy Dialogue Sessions will be held.

2. IFC Launches Consultation Phase of Safeguard Update and Disclosure Review - International Finance Corporation (IFC), the private sector arm of the World Bank Group, on August 16 launched the public consultation phase for the update of its Environmental and Social Safeguard Policies and a review of its Policy on Disclosure of Information.  IFC will be consulting clients and other external stakeholders, including partner organizations, governments, industry associations, the financial sector and CSOs, engaging with those participants who have an active interest in social and environmental sustainability and disclosure issues, and knowledge and experience of IFC's work on the ground.  The primary intent of the consultation is to determine whether the new policies will enable IFC to fulfill its social and environmental objectives and can be implemented by its clients.  Regional consultation workshops, stakeholder and thematic meetings and web-based feedback will be the main means for stakeholders to engage in the process.  For more information, please visit: http://www.ifc.org/ifcext/policyreview.nsf/content/ConsultationInformation.

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3. World Bank Group Determines Way Forward on Extractive Industries Review - On August 3, the Board of the World Bank Group considered management’s response to the Extractive Industries Review (EIR) and internal reports on the WB’s investments in the extractive industries -- oil, gas and mining -- and broadly agreed that it represented a balanced way forward for the WB. The Board’s consideration is the culmination of a review process that included independent technical analysis, project site visits, and consultation meetings around the world to solicit the views of stakeholders in government, industry, civil society and local communities. Board members expressed a wide range of views on specific issues in the draft management response. Management agreed to refine language on some issues and submit a final version of the text in the next few weeks.  More information on the process can be found at: http://www.ifc.org/ifcext/eir.nsf/content/pressrelease2.

4. OP/BP 8.60 Development Policy Lending Approved - The new Operational Policy (OP) / Bank Procedure (BP), approved by the Executive Directors of the WB, replaces OD 8.60, Adjustment Lending Policy.  In a major overhaul of the Bank’s operational policy, adjustment lending has been replaced by a new instrument. The shift is the culmination of more than two years of international consultations with CSOs and other stakeholders, and includes a framework that unifies policies applying to a wide range of instruments, including sectoral adjustment loans, structural adjustment loans, and poverty reduction support credits. In addition, it deals with core issues of design, fiduciary arrangements, financing options, and dissemination and disclosure. The new policy acknowledges that no one blueprint for reform will work in all countries. Governments must therefore take ownership of reforms to develop a program that meets their countries’ needs.  More information about the new Development Lending Policy.

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5. News from the World Bank's Regional Departments

Africa

  • Community-Based Rural Development Project in Ghana - On July 29 the WB Board approved an International Development Association (IDA) credit of US$60 million in support of the project whose overall objective is poverty reduction.  The project will also attend to several priority demands of rural populations in Ghana, including basic infrastructure such as: markets, potable water, health care, sanitation, and education.  All sub-projects under the Community-Based Rural Development Project will be implemented by the communities themselves or under their control.  To learn more about this, and other WB activities in Ghana, please visit the website of WB office in Accra, at: http://www.worldbank.org/gh.
  • Poverty Reduction Support Credit in Madagascar - The WB Board on July 20 approved the First Poverty Reduction Support Credit (PRSC) and Grant for Madagascar for a total value of US$125 million.  The PRSC will support the implementation of the Poverty Reduction Strategy (PRSP), and particularly of the reforms to improve governance and human development.  On governance, the PRSC will support reforms in public expenditure management, anticorruption and judiciary.  The funding also supports the implementation of the Government's Education for All (EFA) agenda and its policy and institutional reform for service delivery in the nutrition sector.  More information about WB's activities in Madagascar, is available at the website of the WB office in Antananarivo, located at: http://www.worldbank.org/mg.
  • Tanzania Receives Poverty Reduction Support - The Second Poverty Reduction Support Credit (PRSC-2) for Tanzania was approved by the WB Board on July 29 in the amount of US$150 million.  The Credit will finance the implementation of the government's comprehensive macroeconomic and social policy reforms as called for in Tanzania's Poverty Reduction Strategy.  It focuses on four key development areas: sustaining and accelerating growth and broadening its impact; supporting results orientation of public service delivery; enhancing public sector performance; and strengthening environmental management.  To learn more about this, and other WB activities in the country, please visit the website of the local WB office in Dar-es-Salaam, located at: http://www.worldbank.org/tz.
  • The Southern African Institute for Environmental Assessment (SAIEA) Launches 2 year Calabash Project - Improving Public Participation (PP) in Environmental Assessments (EA) in Southern Africa - The WB and Canadian CIDA funded project, will increase the capacity of southern African countries in involving the public and CSOs in decision-making in environmental assessments in areas that affect them. This project, called the "Calabash Project", aims to develop a capacity building and research program at the community and government level so that communities and Government ministries involved in EA have the capacity to use PP more effectively in EA. The project also focuses on how PP can be used more effectively if the project is community generated, or for projects that are sponsored by external proponents.  Calabash is meant to build a bridge between CSOs and the regulators so that the public and local communities are invited and welcomed into the PP phase of the EA process.  To learn more about the project, please visit: http://www.saiea.com.

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East Asia and Pacific (EAP)

  • Seizing the Global Opportunity: Investment Climate Assessment and Reform Strategy in Cambodia - Over 200 people from government, private sector, civil society, and the donor community discussed how Cambodia can seize the global opportunity offered by WTO accession to promote growth and reduce poverty by improving its investment climate and growing a strong private sector.  The workshop focused on a new study by the World Bank Group in Cambodia titled Seizing the Global Opportunity (Investment Climate Assessment and Reform Strategy, and the Government's reform strategy for private sector development. To learn more, please visit the website of the WB office in Cambodia, at: http://www.worldbank.org/kh.
  • Interactive Project Maps (IPM) of World Bank Office Manila - IPM is a one-stop, online repository of information on all WB-supported projects in the Philippines.  It is one of many efforts by the WB to pro-actively collect, synthesize, apply, and share development knowledge.  The IPM provides development stakeholders with a tool to better understand and measure the scope of the World Bank-supported projects nationwide.  Through Geographic Information Systems (GIS) technology, IPM processes otherwise simple project data into useful, spatial information and provides context by overlaying socioeconomic indicators at regional or provincial levels.  To learn more about the initiative, please visit the website of the WB office in Manila at: http://www.projectmaps-worldbank.org.ph/.

Europe and Central Asia (ECA)

  • Case Studies on Scaling Up Poverty Reduction Available - 11 case studies were prepared by the WB experts in the ECA region for the May 2004 Conference on Scaling Up Poverty Reduction held in Shanghai, China. These summaries are now made public and posted on the web. Included are discussions of Albania water and sanitation reform, basic education reform in Turkey, trade and transport facilitation in Eastern and Southern Europe, and others.  To access the case studies, or form more information, please visit: http://www.worldbank.org/eca.

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Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC)

  • Poverty in Mexico: An Assessment of Conditions, Trends and Government Strategy - The report presents the results of an assessment of poverty conditions in Mexico and government strategies to reduce poverty. The report constitutes the first phase of a longer-term work program on poverty reduction in Mexico that the WB is undertaking between 2003 and 2006. The study notes that Mexico has achieved progress in terms of the health and educational status and levels of service provision, and is reasonably close to where it might be expected to be for its income level.  However, the report notes, certain groups and geographical areas are lagging behind for these indicators.  The report is posted at: http://www.worldbank.org/mx.

Middle East and North Africa (MENA)

  • Learning Workshop On Youth in MENA - One of the greatest regional focuses in the region is the inclusion of youth and improving the welfare of vulnerable children.  The workshop, organized by the Bank's MENA region, brought together development experts and NGOs: to share information on the challenges facing children and youth; to present new analytical work addressing risks related to their welfare; and to discuss a collaborative strategy for moving forward.  Participants from Egypt, Morocco, Yemen and Jordan shared experiences on education, unemployment, social protection and HIV/AIDS, and other issues affecting youth and disadvantaged children in the region. To learn more about the event, please visit: http://www.worldbank.org/mena.

South Asia Region (SAR)

  • HIV/AIDS Treatment and Prevention in India: Costs and Consequences of Policy Options - As the Government of India takes stock of its first four months of distributing free antiretroviral medications for HIV/AIDS, the WB released on August 13 a study of various public funding options for the months and years ahead, designed to help the government maximize the positive impact of the drugs on the growing epidemic.  The study focuses on ways the government can provide sustainable antiretroviral therapy (ART) to the greatest number of people while avoiding dangerous pitfalls such as the development of drug-resistant strains of HIV and a surge in risky behavior by people who mistakenly assume the drugs are a cure for HIV/AIDS. Please visit the India office website at: http://www.worldbank.org/in for more information about the publication as well as WB's work on HIV/AIDS in India.

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6. New Publications from the World Bank

  • The Poverty Reduction Strategy Initiative: An Independent Evaluation of the World Bank's Support Through 2003 - Operations Evaluation Department's (OED) independent review evaluates the Poverty Reduction Strategy (PRS) Initiative progress against its key objectives and the effectiveness of WB support and alignment with the PRS approach. The evaluation finds the PRS Initiative is relevant to the development challenges in low-income countries and warrants continued Bank support.  It also notes that the Bank has begun to orient stakeholders in low-income countries toward a focus on poverty, attention to results, and an overarching framework for aid management.   However, the report also notes that Initiative has not yet fulfilled its full potential to enhance poverty reduction efforts in these countries.  It notes that countries have focused more on completing documents, which give them access to resources, than on improving domestic processes, and that most PRSPs to date have focused on public expenditures and not considered the full range of policy actions required for growth and poverty reduction. External partners have supported PRSP formulation, but neither donors nor the WB have defined specifically whether or how they should change the content of their programs to reflect PRSP policy priorities.  To read the report, please visit: http://www.worldbank.org/oed/prsp/index.html.
  • The Human Right to Water: Legal and Policy Dimensions - This study was produced by two leading Bank experts on water, Salman M Salman and Siobhan McInerney-Lankford, and traces the issue of the right to water through a number of international legal instruments, particularly General Comment No. 15 issued by the UN's Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights in 2002 which recognizes such a right.  It analyzes the international legal regime for human rights, and argues that the nexus between development, water, and human rights is well established therein.  The Study argues that the Comment supports the idea that there is an incipient right to water emerging in international law today. This right is buttressed by a large number of soft law instruments, emerging customary international law, as well as an increasing number of domestic law instruments.  To preorder the study, please go to: http://publications.worldbank.org/ecommerce/catalog/product?item_id=3845440.

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7. New Websites/Web Resources

  • The World Bank and Disability - The World Bank established a Disability and Development Unit in June 2002 and named an Advisor, Judith Heumann, to bolster the Bank's efforts in this area.  As a part of this effort, the disabilities unit has just launched a revamped web site to raise awareness of disability and development issues. The site, which is still being rolled out,  will contain information on the Bank's disability work on a wide range of topics such as accessibility, legal commitments, employment issues.   It will also have a statistics database, list of active Bank projects with disability components, background documents, and staff contacts.   You can visit the website at: http://www.worldbank.org/disability.

8. Upcoming and Ongoing Global Events/Discussions

  • International Stakeholder Workshops for Nam Theun 2 Planned - The WB and the Asian Development Bank will hold a series of international stakeholder workshops on the proposed Nam Theun 2 (NT2) hydropower project in Lao PDR.  These technical workshops - being held in Bangkok, Tokyo, Paris, Washington, DC and Vientiane - will provide an opportunity for public comment and discussion on issues relating to the proposed project and to specifically comment on the series of safeguard documents which have been made public in draft form since May 2004.  These international workshops complement the local consultations with project-affected communities.  Further information on each of the workshops, including registration and topics for discussion, can be found at: http://www.worldbank.org/lao.
  • Youth, Development and Peace 2004 Conference, September 5-7, 2004 - In September of 2003, the WB President met with more than 110 young people from around the world on the theme of "Youth, Development and Peace (YDP)." As a result of these discussions, the YDP 2004 Conference will take place in Sarajevo (Bosnia and Herzegovina) on September 5-7, 2004.  This year's event will focus on best practices to operationalize the working relations between the WB and the youth.  The objectives of the meeting will be to: 1) review the progress made during the first year of collaboration; and 2) strategic planning for the next 3 years.  The program of the conference will focus on very concrete and operational matters, it will be based on case studies, and has been broadly discussed with worldwide youth networks and various units within the WB.  To learn more about the event, please visit: http://wbln0018.worldbank.org/EURVP/web.nsf/Pages/YDP2004-Overview.

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9. Recent Global Events/Discussions

  • The Fourth Annual Fes Globalization Colloquium - The Colloquium took place between May 29 and June 2, in Fes, Morocco.  It has evolved over time to become an integral component of the Fes Festival of Global Sacred music, which celebrated its 10th anniversary.  The Festival's overarching theme has been "Giving Soul to Globalization".  As world renowned multicultural artists performed at the Festival, speakers of different cultures and opinions engaged at the Colloquium on issues of globalization, democracy, spirituality and economics.  Speakers at the Colloquium included global leaders, civil society representatives, as well as representatives of the WB.  The WB's Vice Presidents for Human Development and the Middle East and North Africa Region, spoke about the importance to engaging much more effectively with youth and focus on children and peace and reconciliation.  For more information, please visit: http://www.worldbank.org/developmentdialogue.
  • African HIV/AIDS Activists Participate in XV International AIDS Conference Through GDLN Centers - In the week of July 11, 2004, the Global Distance Learning Network (GDLN) Centers in Ethiopia, Ghana, Tanzania and Uganda brought key sessions of the XVth International AIDS Conference that took place in Bangkok, Thailand, to nearly 200 representatives of government, academia, NGOs, and the media working on HIV/AIDS prevention in their countries. Using high-speed Internet connections, the Centers picked up a web stream signal from the conference -- which was being broadcast live over the Internet -- and projected the sessions on a large screen. Participants in the Centers had the opportunity to view the sessions and discuss them in the local context with each other and with local facilitators. In Tanzania, the events were also covered extensively by newspapers, radio and TV media.  To learn more about the GDLN Centers and this event, please go to: http://www.gdln.org/index.html.
  • "Edutainment Nights” Promote HIV/AIDS Awareness in Africa - How the media can be more effective in combating HIV/AIDS was the subject of videoconferences involving more than 120 representatives of government, the media and civil society across Africa held during the week of July 21, 2004. Participants shared examples of African television, radio, print and  electronic materials that combine education and entertainment -- or “edutainment" -- to inform young people about HIV/AIDS. The virtual meetings were facilitated by the WB’s Global Development Learning Network Centers in Tanzania and Uganda, and by the African Medical and Research Foundation Training Center in Kenya.  More information
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