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Civil Society Engagement eNewsletter - January 2005

This is the January 2005 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 13 ITEMS IN THIS ISSUE:

1.  World Bank Response to Tsunami in Asia
2.  World Bank President Announces He Will Not Seek a Third Term and Reflects on Year 2004 and 2005
3.  IFC Safeguard and Disclosure Policies Review: Deadline Extended
4.  COMMENT: Revised World Bank Draft Operational Policy on Indigenous Peoples
5.  Fourth Meeting of the IDA14 Replenishment Negotiations, Athens, Greece, December 13-14, 2004
6.  World Bank To Purchase 100 Percent Renewable Energy For Headquarters
7.  European Investment Bank and World Bank Agree to Develop the "Pan-European Carbon Fund"
8.  The World Bank Group is Recruiting an Ombudsman
9.  Senior Changes at WB Social Development Department
10.  News from the World Bank's Regional Departments

Africa

  • Health Strategy to Combat Infectious Diseases in Angola
  • Cape Verde Gets World Bank Support For Its Growth And Poverty Reduction Strategy
  • World Bank Turns US$103 Million Ghana Urban Water Credit To Grant
  • Nigeria Country Partnership Strategy (CPS) Consultations
  • Sierra Leone Begins Consultations To Help Formulate Its Assistance Srategy

East Asia and Pacific (EAP)

  • Indonesia Donor Meeting Concludes; $4.5 Billion Damage Assessment Released

Europe and Central Asia (ECA)

  • New Country Assistance Strategy for Croatia
  • Launch of The Decade of Roma Inclusion
  • New Country Assistance Strategy for Serbia and Montenegro

Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC)

  • New World Bank Vice President for LAC Region
  • The Southern Cone Development Marketplace
  • Papermaking to Save the Amazon: A Development Marketplace Story
  • New World Bank Assistance Package and Transitional Support Strategy for Haiti
  • Central American Indigenous Communities To Strengthen Ecosystem Management

Middle East and North Africa (MENA)

  • International Reconstruction Fund Facility for Iraq: Civil Society Forum, November 29 - December 1, 2004

South Asia Region (SAR)

  • World Bank President Visits Maldives Disaster-Affected Areas, Promises Full Support
  • ADB, JBIC, and World Bank Visited Tsunami Affected North East of Sri Lanka
  • Government of India Asks World Bank and Asian Development Bank To Assist in Reconstruction of Tsunami Affected Areas
  • National Solidarity Program in Afghanistan
  • Successful Forest Conservation Program in India: A Development Marketplace Story

11.  New Publications from the World Bank

  • Social Accountability: An Introduction to the Concept and Emerging Practice
  • Global Agricultural Trade and Developing Countries
  • Intellectual Property and Economic Development: New Studies by the WB
  • Lessons from Natural Disasters and Emergency Reconstruction: OED Evaluation
  • OED Review of Bank Lending for Lines of Credit
  • New Studies in Fragility

12. Upcoming and Ongoing Global Events/Discussions

  • World Bank - Civil Society Policy Forum, April 20-22, 2005
  • Global Information and Communications Competition Launched
  • On-line Discussion on Women and Poverty, January 10-February 4, 2005

13. Recent Global Events/Discussions

  • Strategic Partnership with Africa (SPA) Annual Plenary Meeting, January 18-19, 2005, Johannesburg, South Africa
  • EU Launch of Bank Report on Agricultural Trade and Developing Countries, January 17, Brussels, Belgium
  • Senior Level Forum (SLF) on Development Effectiveness in Fragile States, January 13-14, London, UK
  • Using Country Systems in World Bank Operations, January 13, Washington DC
  • Global Summit On Orphans and Vulnerable Children, December 15-16, 2004

1. World Bank Response to Tsunami in Asia -  The WB is currently nearing an end of the initial damage assessment phase, with a report on the tsunami damage in Indonesia released on January 20 at a donors’ meeting, and an assessment of the situation in Sri Lanka expected by the end of January. Since the tragedy, the WB announced more than $400 million in financial support for the affected countries, is helping with damage assessment, and will continue to work with the governments and the international community to match the amounts and types of aid available – including assistance on debt – with the needs of each country.  Total WB support could climb to $1 billion-$1.5 billion over time, depending on the needs of each country.  The WB is coordinating with the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the UN, and with aid agencies to work toward a smooth transition from relief to development support.  As a reconstruction agency, the WB’s role is to help governments sustain their efforts to care for the people affected by this disaster and assist with the long-term reconstruction of these areas.  Looking ahead to reconstruction, all forms of aid will be considered to support these countries, including debt relief.  To learn more about the WB's response to the tragedy, please visit: http://www.worldbank.org/tsunami.

2. World Bank President Announces He Will Not Seek a Third Term and Reflects on Year 2004 and 2005 - On January 3, 2005, WB President James D. Wolfensohn informed the WB's Board of Executive Directors that he would not seek a third term as head of the institution. His second term will conclude on May 31 of this year.  Under Wolfensohn's leadership, the WB has evolved in many significant aspects.  In his annual year in review presentation, Wolfensohn looks back on the institution's 60 years of service and declares, “the past year has brought with it signs of hope and progress, but it has also brought signs of concern in the fights against poverty.  It is, he says, a time for everyone to recommit to delivering the Millennium Development Goals – international targets for reducing poverty and improving services for the poor by 2015.  Failure to meet these targets would mean the world’s poor would be left even further behind, with our children left to face the consequences. Please visit the website of the Office of the President for more information http://www.worldbank.org/president.

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3. IFC Safeguard and Disclosure Policies Review: Deadline Extended - IFC is at the midpoint of an eight month public consultation period, which will end on 29 April, following an extension of the original 17 December date. Since August IFC has received substantial and diverse input from all stakeholders at four regional multi-stakeholder consultation workshops, as well as other stakeholder and thematic meetings, on the Policy and Performance Standards on Social and Environmental Sustainability, the Concept Paper on Review of IFC’s Policy on Disclosure of Information, and the Framework for Discussion Regarding Disclosure of Information.  Recognizing the need for the Performance Standards and Guidance Notes to be viewed together, IFC is extending the Public Consultation on the Policy and Performance Standards, and, the Policy on Disclosure of Information.  A revised timetable has been established giving sufficient time for comment on the Performance Standards in light of the Guidance Notes. On January 31, 2005, IFC will release the Guidance Notes and an Indicative Draft of the Policy on Social and Environmental Sustainability and Performance Standards, including comments received so far through consultation.  The Indicative Draft is an annotation of the August 12 draft to show the range of external comments received to date during the consultation.  Each Performance Standard is supported by Guidance Notes, formerly called Interpretation Notes. The Guidance Notes are management tools offering guidance to IFC and clients in interpreting the Performance Standards, and will be updated on a regular basis to reflect emerging good practice. More information on the review process can be found at: http://www.ifc.org/ifcext/policyreview.nsf/content/home.

4. COMMENT: Revised World Bank Draft Operational Policy on Indigenous Peoples - On November 29, 2004, the Committee on Development Effectiveness of the WB's Board endorsed the posting of the Revised Draft Operational Policy on Indigenous Peoples (Revised Draft OP 4.10) for public comment. The Revised Draft Policy will remain posted for public comment until February 28, 2005. Following the comment period, the Revised Draft policy, together with a report summarizing the comments, will be forwarded to the Bank's Board of Executive Directors for consideration of its policy content, including the title of the policy. Once approved by the Board, Operational Policy 4.10 will replace the existing Operational Directive 4.20 on Indigenous Peoples.  The Revised Draft Operational Policy is available in English, Spanish and French. To review the draft policy, submit your comments, and find out more on WB's work on the policy, please visit this website: http://www.worldbank.org/indigenouspeoples.

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5. Fourth Meeting of the IDA14 Replenishment Negotiations, Athens, Greece, December 13-14, 2004 - The meeting was attended by representatives of 39 donor countries ("IDA Deputies") and representatives from IDA borrower countries.  Issues that have been on the agenda at this, and other three meetings included proposed approaches for ensuring debt sustainability in low-income countries and systematically measuring the results of IDA-financed operations, and the level of resources needed to meet low-income country needs during the three year IDA14 period, which starts on July 1st of 2005.  In Athens, Deputies continued to discuss the items raised at the previous meetings,  and also commented on the Draft IDA14 Report. The IDA14 Report will set out the Participants' conclusions and recommendations for the IDA14 period.  Chairman Summary of the meeting as well as all Discussion Papers for the fourth IDA14 Replenishment Meeting can be found on IDA's website at: http://www.worldbank.org/ida/.

6.  World Bank To Purchase 100 Percent Renewable Energy For Headquarters - The WB will purchase renewable energy for all of its electricity usage at its Washington, D.C. offices from WindCurrent, a Maryland based company that sells wind power to the mid-Atlantic power grid.  The WB will purchase 85,000,000 kilowatt hours (kWh) of renewable energy Certificates (RECs).  This commitment to renewable energy is part of an overall "Greening Program" by the WB's General Services Department to focus on sustainable development within the organization.  The Greening Program was established at the WB to manage the environmental and social impacts of its Washington, D.C. facilities which promotes waste management, environmentally and socially responsible procurement practices and energy conservation.  More information about this initiative.

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7.  European Investment Bank and World Bank Agree to Develop the "Pan-European Carbon Fund" - The European Investment Bank (EIB) and the WB signed on December 16 a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) in which the two organizations agreed to cooperate in development of a Pan-European Carbon Fund (PECF).  The PECF would be designed to help European countries meet their commitments to the Kyoto Protocol.  It would also complement carbon trading with the European Union's Emissions Trading Scheme.  The PECF would support climate-friendly investment projects from either bank's portfolio as well as self-standing projects.  Through the PECF the two institutions would work to facilitate the involvement of the private sector, which is essential to the development of the emerging carbon market.  More information about this initiative.

8. The World Bank Group is Recruiting an Ombudsman - The World Bank Group is seeking applications from professionals with extensive successful experience in conflict resolution and a combination of practical knowledge about the WB and professional expertise and experience in conflict resolution in organizations. The selected candidate will initially serve with an ombudsman who is an experienced WB staff member and whose term runs until July of 2008. The ombudsman is appointed by the Bank's President for a non-renewable five-year term, after consultation with the WB's Staff Association.  Minimum requirements include 10 years of successful experience in workplace conflict resolution in organizations, preferably as an ombudsman, experience dealing with discrimination and sexual harassment, and substantial international experience, preferably involving conflict resolution in organizations.  Job description.  For a full list of open positions and scholarships at the WB, please visit: http://www.worldbank.org/careers/.

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9. Senior Changes at WB Social Development Department - The WB Social Development Department at the Environmentally and Socially Sustainable Development Network (ESSD) has a new Sector Manager and a new Advisor on Social Policy.  Ms. Caroline Kende-Robb became its new Sector Manager effective January 4.  Her main responsibility will be to support the Director for Social Development in implementing actions outlined in the social development strategic priorities paper of the WB.  Mr. Anis Dani, became the Advisor on Social Policy already in late 2004.  In his new assignment he is in charge of leading Bank-wide analytical work, coordinating a network of social scientists at the WB and advising ESSD management on social policy issues.  Please visit the Social Development website for more news from the Department: http://www.worldbank.org/socialdevelopment/.

10. News from the World Bank's Regional Departments

Africa

  • Health Strategy to Combat Infectious Diseases in Angola - The WB’s Board of Executive Directors on December 21 approved an International Development Association (IDA) grant of US$21 million to the government of Angola to implement the HIV/AIDS, Malaria and Tuberculosis (TB) Control Project.  The project aims at reducing the spread of HIV/AIDS, malaria, and TB in the Angolan population through a multi-sector approach that strengthens institutional capacity, increases access and utilization of health services; prevents infection; and improves treatment and recovery rates.   Funding will be provided to the Ministry of Health, as well as other ministries for prevention and treatment. Assistance will also be provided to ensure the implementation of sub-projects to prevent and mitigate the effects of the three diseases by CSOs, communities, NGOs, and faith-based organizations.  To learn more about this project, please go to: http://www.worldbank.org/angola/.
  • Cape Verde Gets World Bank Support For Its Growth And Poverty Reduction Strategy - The WB Board of Executive Directors on January 25 marked its satisfaction with the Growth and Poverty Reduction Strategy Paper (GPRSP) of the Government of Cape Verde for the period 2004-2007.  Prepared by the Government through a participatory process bringing together input from representatives of the private sector, civil society, municipalities, multilateral and bilateral organizations, and community-based groups, the GPRSP defines a comprehensive poverty reduction strategy for the country. The strategy is expected to help the Government to maintain a sound macroeconomic framework essential for achieving the economy’s growth potential, implement comprehensive reforms, promote private sector-led growth, employment creation, human resource development and good governance.  To learn more, please visit: http://www.worldbank.org/cv/.
  • World Bank Turns US$103 Million Ghana Urban Water Credit To Grant - The Government of Ghana on January 6 signed the Ghana Urban Water Project in Accra, a few weeks after the WB Board of Executive Directors had unanimously voted to convert a credit amount of US$103 million meant to finance the project into a grant. This means that Ghana will not be required to pay back this amount to the WB. The total project cost is US$120 million. The Nordic Development Fund is co-financing the project to the tune of US$5 million, while the Government of Ghana is providing the remaining US$12 million.  The project will improve access to safe, reliable and affordable water services to thousands of households, targeting especially the urban poor who have been denied this service over the years due to poor performance of the urban water sector.  To learn more about this, as well as other WB programs in Ghana, please go to: http://www.worldbank.org/ghana/.
  • Nigeria Country Partnership Strategy (CPS) Consultations - In December 2004, the WB, DFID and Government of Nigeria Country Partnership Strategy (CPS) team held the first round of consultations on the CPS with stakeholders in Abuja, Lagos and in various states.  Meetings were organized on the CPS’ key topics which had been identified in the National Economic Empowerment and Development Strategy (NEEDS) analysis and agreed during previous WB internal discussions.  The Consultation process involved more than 500 people from 12 states - representatives from key ministries and agencies of the Federal Government and more than 300 representatives of CSOs at all levels.  One of the main points that emerged during these consultations was a need for a stronger CSO engagement in the CPS preparation, implementation, and monitoring and evaluation, as a prerequisite for success.  To learn more about WB's work in Nigeria, please visit: http://www.worldbank.org/nigeria.
  • Sierra Leone Begins Consultations To Help Formulate Its Assistance Srategy - The WB office in Sierra Leone has announced on January 25 that it is initiating nationwide consultations to prepare its strategy for supporting that country’s development. The strategy, which is known as the Country Assistance Strategy (CAS), is aimed at aligning WB support in Sierra Leone more closely with the needs of the people. The CAS also lays down the level and type of assistance the Bank will provide, usually over a period of three years.  The consultations will seek input from all segments of society, including the cabinet, parliament, representatives of local councils, municipalities, the private sector, CSOs, multilateral and bilateral donors, community-based organizations, women and youth groups. For more information on the World Bank’s work in Sierra Leone, visit: http://www.worldbank.org/afr/sl/.

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East Asia and Pacific (EAP)

  • Indonesia Donor Meeting Concludes; $4.5 Billion Damage Assessment Released - The Indonesian government presented the Damage Assessment and Recovery Strategy for Aceh and northern Sumatra at the country's annual Consultative Group (CG) meeting with the WB and other international donors (January 19-20). The report estimates the tsunami-inflicted devastation will amount to losses of about 42.7 trillion rupiah (US$4.5 billion) - the equivalent of 97 percent of Aceh's GDP.  More information on the Indonesia Damage Assessment can be found at: http://www.worldbank.org/eap.  A second report, this one prepared by the WB for the CG meeting, concludes that Indonesia has made good progress on its economic reform agenda and macroeconomic stabilization over the last few years - as well as achieving some important political and economic milestones in 2004. The report, Indonesia: New Directions, finds that the country's progress has boosted its economic resilience and positioned it to better absorb massive shocks, such as the natural disaster in Aceh and North Sumatra.  For more information on Indonesia's Consultative Group meeting, please go to: http://www.worldbank.org/id.

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Europe and Central Asia (ECA)

  • New Country Assistance Strategy for Croatia - The WB’s Board of Executive Directors on December 21 discussed a new Country Assistance Strategy (CAS) for Croatia. The new CAS covers 2005-2008 and envisages a four year lending program of up to $1.5 billion, depending upon performance.  The main objective of the CAS is to support the government’s growth and reform strategy for successful EU accession and integration, while ensuring broad participation in growth and sustainable natural resource management. The strategy calls for a shift in the sources of growth from public sector expenditures and consumption to private sector investment and productivity. The new CAS was prepared in partnership with the government of Croatia and in consultation with CSOs.  Priorities expressed during these consultations are reflected in the final CAS.  More about the WB work in Croatia, can be found at: http://www.worldbank.org/hr/.
  • Launch of The Decade of Roma Inclusion - The Decade of Roma Inclusion, an initiative adopted by eight European governments, and supported by the international community, will be launched in Sofia on February 2.  A framework for governments in Central and Eastern Europe to work towards Roma integration, the Decade represents the first cooperative international effort to change the lives of Roma in Europe.  Participating countries will monitor progress in ending the severe discrimination and devastating poverty faced by Roma communities in the region. Their backing signals a sea change in Roma policy and the political will necessary for reform.  The Decade is an open process and other countries, including EU member states, are welcome to join the initiative. For more information, please visit: http://www.worldbank.org/roma/.
  • New Country Assistance Strategy for Serbia and Montenegro -
    New Country Assistance Strategy for Serbia and Montenegro - The new three-year Country Assistance Strategy (CAS) for Serbia and Montenegro covering the period July 2004-June 200 was endorsed by the WB Board of Executive Directors on December 16.  The CAS will support implementation of two complementary Government strategies with the shared overall objective of EU integration: the Stabilization and Association process (SAP) with the European Union and the Poverty Reduction Strategy (PRSP). WB lending over the three-year CAS period could total $550 million, of which $225 million would be provided on concessional terms by the International Development Association (IDA).  To learn more about the WB work in Serbia and Montenegro, please visit: http://www.worldbank.org/yu/.

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Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC)

  • New World Bank Vice President for LAC Region - The WB announced on January 11 that Pamela Cox is its new Vice President for Latin America and the Caribbean.  Over the past few months, Ms. Cox has made numerous trips to countries in Latin America to visit WB projects and meet officials and project beneficiaries.  Her first official trip to the region as Vice President was to Brazil (Jan. 17-19) and Grenada (Jan. 20-21), where she met with government officials as well as CSOs, and visited Bank projects and their beneficiaries in the field.  To learn more about WB's new VP for LAC as well as its work in the region, please visit: http://www.worldbank.org/lac/.
  • The Southern Cone Development Marketplace - The Southern Cone Development Marketplace is an initiative aimed at generating and identifying innovative development projects at the grass root level in Argentina, Chile, Uruguay and Paraguay. The focus of the initiative is on poor and vulnerable youth. A major component is a competition awarding up to US$10,000 to CSOs presenting projects that contribute to strengthening civic values among poor and vulnerable youth. The WB has contributed US$250.000 in support for the winning projects, and together with donations from other partners including UNICEF, YPF Foundation, IFC, FONCAP, Arcor, Total and the Governments of the four countries, a total of US$1,000,000 has been raised. This will make it possible to sponsor approximately 80 projects in the four countries. The competition will be open between February 1 through mid-March.  At that point, the process of evaluating projects will take over, culminating in a two-day event in Buenos Aires on May 30-31 when the finalist will exhibit their projects.  For more information, please visit: http://www.bancomundial.org.ar/.
  • Papermaking to Save the Amazon: A Development Marketplace Story - In 2002, Action Nucleus for Sustainable Development (POEMAR), a local NGO has started several successful initiatives that create livelihoods for poor local farmers in degraded forest areas where the soil is poor and trees destroyed.  The group looked into making paper.  Soon after it initiated the project, POEMAR applied for seed money to the Development Marketplace 2003 and received a grant.  POEMAR currently is developing a line of paper products.  The group's approach of creating economic opportunities for poor communities while helping to conserve the Amazon forest has caught the attention of several donors, such as Brazil Bank Foundation, IFC's GBO Initiatives, JICA, and Novib-Oxfam Netherlands, who collectively have provided some $500,000 in additional support.  To learn more about this, and other successful DM programs, please visit: http://www.developmentmarketplace.org.
  • New World Bank Assistance Package and Transitional Support Strategy for Haiti - The WB’s Board of
    Directors on January 6 approved a package of $73 million in credits and grants for Haiti and endorsed a Transitional Support Strategy which projects up to $150 million in credit and grant commitments over a two-year period.  The package of loans approved today includes an Economic Governance Reform Operation of $61 million and an Emergency Recovery and Disaster Management Project of $12 million from the International Development Association, the WB’s concessional window.  This assistance includes $36 million available as grants and $37 million as zero-interest credits.  The WB's Transitional Support Strategy was developed in coordination with other donors, in consultation with government and CSOs, and on the basis of the Interim Cooperation Framework (ICF), the Transitional Government of Haiti's two-year program supported by donors.  To learn more about this and other WB operations in Haiti, please visit: http://www.worldbank.org/ht/.
  • Central American Indigenous Communities To Strengthen Ecosystem Management - The Global Environment Facility (GEF), the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) and the WB on December 17 announced a five-year joint program to promote sustainable development in indigenous communities in Central America.  The program will be financed with a US$9 million grant from the GEF, US$4 million of which will be administered by the WB and US$5 million by the IDB.  The Integrated Econsystem Management in Indigenous Communities Regional Project will strengthen the capacity of indigenous communities in Belize, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, and Panama to protect and manage their natural and cultural resources, as well as recuperate and promote their cultural values and sustainable traditional land use practices.  It will be implemented by the Central America Indigenous and Peasant Coordination Association for Community Agroforestry (ACICAFOC), in coordination with the Central American Indigenous Council (CICA) and the Central American Commission for Environment and Development (CCAD). More information about this project.

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Middle East and North Africa (MENA)

  • International Reconstruction Fund Facility for Iraq: Civil Society Forum, November 29 - December 1, 2004 - December 1, 2004 - As part of the Civil Society Forums project funded through Cluster 9 Governance and Civil Society (Project C9-03), United Nations Office for Project Services (UNOPS) held the first of the planned discussion forums in Amman, Jordan from 29 November to December 1, 2004.  The three day forum was attended by 35 Iraqi and non-Iraqi experts – academics, NGO leaders and activists together with the Iraqi Human Rights Minister, UN Organizations and the WB. The Forum successfully explored the issue of what constitutes civil society and what its role is in today’s transitional period in Iraq.  A report and publication of experts’ presentations is expected by end- January 2005. Two trust funds make up the Fund Facility—the WB Iraq Trust Fund and the UN Development Group (UNDG) Iraq Trust Fund.  To learn more about the International Reconstruction Fund Facility for Iraq, please visit: http://www.irffi.org.

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South Asia Region (SAR)

  • World Bank President Visits Maldives Disaster-Affected Areas, Promises Full Support - On January 9 the President of the WB visited tsunami-hit areas in the Meemu Atol of the Maldives, where he met with affected communities and saw first-hand the extent of damage to their lives, livelihoods and public infrastructure.  The WB will make around US $12 million available to the Maldives during the next few months, and, in collaboration with the Asian Development Bank, the International Finance Corporation, the International Monetary Fund, and the United Nations will assist the government complete its needs assessment and put in place capacity to coordinate reconstruction assistance.  To learn more, please go to: http://www.worldbank.org/mv/.
  • ADB, JBIC, and World Bank Visited Tsunami Affected North East of Sri Lanka - The country directors of the Asian Development Bank (ADB), WB and senior officers of the Japan Bank for International Cooperation (JBIC), visited the North East on 13 January as a part of the ongoing coordinated needs assessment for rebuilding the tsunami affected parts of Sri Lanka.  The team of officers met Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam’s political chief, S.P. Thamilselvan and visited the much affected Mullaitivu to assess first hand the damage to the area.  Immediately after the disaster, the WB made available to the Government of Sri Lanka about US $10 million from ongoing projects.  About US $100 million is expected to be available, comprising about US $25 million from existing projects, and an emergency credit of not less than US $75 million - 40 percent of which will be a grant.  To learn more about WB's work in Sri Lanka, please visit: http://www.worldbank.org/lk/.
  • Government of India Asks World Bank and Asian Development Bank To Assist in Reconstruction of Tsunami Affected Areas - On January 11, the WB and the Asian Development Bank (ADB) announced that they have received a request from the Government of India to consider providing assistance for undertaking the work of rebuilding infrastructure, both public and private, and for rehabilitation of livelihoods of those affected, and assistance in developing disaster prevention and management systems for the future.  The WB and the ADB are working with the Government of India to prepare a needs assessment, and on that basis develop a program of support for reconstruction and recovery.  To learn more, please visit: http://www.worldbank.org/india/.
  • National Solidarity Program in Afghanistan - Afghanistan's National Solidarity Program (NSP) was launched in 2002.  This Bank-supported program aims to strengthen local governance by providing communities with funding to run their own projects.  The project aims to facilitate more inclusive representation at the village level, and to alleviate and reduce poverty.  Grants are provided to the local community development councils, which decide how the money should be used and then manage the projects.  The WB has been working with the Ministry of Rehabilitation and Development on the project, which also involves some 20 NGOs and is being implemented on the ground by UN Habitat.  So far the project has reached just over 6,000 and facilitated the election of 5,800 local councils.  So far, $94 million committed for 4,500 locally approved projects and $52 million has been dispersed.  To learn more about this and other WB projects in Afghanistan, please go to: http://www.worldbank.org/afghanistan/.
  • Successful Forest Conservation Program in India: A Development Marketplace Story - Appropriate Technology, India (ATI), an NGO from the Indian state of Uttaranchal, saw the surrounding forests as both a challenge and an opportunity to create market-based incentives for locals to conserve the region's biodiversity.  The group was among the 2003 winners of the WB's Development Marketplace.  ATI successfully found a way for the locals to live off forest products and resources without destroying the trees.  It developed wild oak silk harvesting and forest preservation techniques in the area.  Many local and international partners and donors are providing ATI additional support to grow its program.  To learn more about this, and other successful DM programs, please visit: http://www.developmentmarketplace.org.

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11. New Publications from the World Bank

  • Social Accountability: An Introduction to the Concept and Emerging Practice - The Participation and Civic Engagement (PCE) Group at the WB's Social Development Department (SDV) produced a concept paper on social accountability.  The paper highlights the WB’s growing interest and involvement in social accountability initiatives, which derive from it core goals of promoting poverty reduction and effective and sustainable development.  It addresses five fundamental questions: (i) what is social accountability; (ii) why is it important; (iii) what are its core features; (iv) what are the key applications; and (v) what are the factors that underpin its success. The paper also explores the linkages between the concept and other key issues such as governance, gender, participation, empowerment and rights. To learn more about the WB' work in the social development area, please go to: http://www.worldbank.org/socialdevelopment.
  • Global Agricultural Trade and Developing Countries - With almost 70 percent of the poor people in developing countries living in rural areas, agricultural sector reforms - in particular global trade liberalization - will be crucial in giving them opportunities for better lives, according to the report released on January 10.  The report notes that despite the recent framework agreement in Geneva, agricultural protection continues to be among the most contentions issues in global trade negotiations.  According to the authors, developing countries are investing to increase their agricultural productivity, but these gains will not be fully translated into poverty reduction unless industrial and some middle-income countries reduce agricultural trade protection.  To read the report, please go to: http://www.worldbank.org/prospects/globalag/.
  • Intellectual Property and Economic Development: New Studies by the WB - Poor people can turn their own knowledge into higher incomes by using modern methods to protect and market it, say two new WB reports.  The publications bring together recent empirical studies by the WB or affiliated researchers, on the effects of changing IPR regimes on economic and social performance in the developing world.  It is argued in the publications that the "one size fits all" approach to the Intellectual property rights (IPRs) - defined by the WTO Agreement on the Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS) - may not be most appropriate, and that the developing countries should opt for different standards of protection than those prevailing in high-income countries.  Various case studies in the reports support the idea that culture and commerce complement each other.
  • Lessons from Natural Disasters and Emergency Reconstruction: OED Evaluation - This note was prepared following the earthquake and tsunami disaster of December 26, 2004, to gather together salient findings and lessons from project evaluations the Operations Evaluation Department (OED) has conducted over the past decade. Natural disasters are also the subject of an ongoing thematic evaluation that will be published in 2006. The OED is an independent unit within the WB.  To read the report, please go to: http://www.worldbank.org/oed/disasters/index.html/.
  • OED Review of Bank Lending for Lines of Credit - The evaluation provides an independent assessment of Lines of Credit (LOC) financed by the WB during the period FY93-03. It is the first part of a two-part evaluation that covers Bank support to the financial sector; the second part focuses on its support for financial sector reform. This volume presents data on trends in lending for lines of credit and examines whether the design, supervision, and reporting on lines of credit follow the WB's policies. The evaluation also examines outcomes, analyzes factors associated with satisfactory outcomes, and draws conclusions. Based on the analysis, the evaluation presents recommendations for the future.
  • New Studies in Fragility - The new WB studies Development Effectiveness in Fragile States: Spillovers and Turnarounds and Forgotten States: Aid Volumes and Volatility in Difficult Partnership Countries, warn that turning the aid tap on and off to some of the world's poorest countries can do more harm than good.  The studies commissioned by the WB and the OECD Development Assistance Committee examine different aspects of what the OECD calls "difficult partnership countries" low income countries with weak policies and institutions.  One study says that these countries, also known as fragile states or LICUS countries (Low Income Countries Under Stress), have a dramatic adverse economic impact on their neighbors.

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12. Upcoming and Ongoing Global Events/Discussions

  • World Bank - Civil Society Policy Forum, April 20-22, 2005 - The WB is in the process of organizing a World Bank - Civil Society Global Policy Forum on April 20 - 22, 2005 in Washington, DC.  The Forum will take place the week after the 2005 WB-IMF Spring Meetings, to be held in Washington, DC on April 16-18.  The Forum will be a multi-stakeholder event including representatives from civil society, governments, parliaments, donor agencies, and the private sector.  The CS Forum will have two tracks, combining both a "thematic" discussion around Poverty Reduction Strategies (PRSs) and a "relations" discussion about WB - civil society engagement.  The Forum is being organized by an informal planning group made up of WB staff and CSOs from developed and developing countries, which is assisting the WB further define Forum objectives, agenda, themes, participants, outreach strategy, and reporting.  An independent discussion paper on Bank – civil society relations is being prepared by CSOs from the Joint Facilitation Committee.  The WB welcomes other studies and papers produced by other CSOs on their experiences with the PRS, as well as on working with the WB.  More information and a draft concept note on the proposed event.
  • Global Information and Communications Competition Launched - The Development Gateway Foundation has launched its second global competition for achievement in the use of ICT for development.  The Development Gateway Award 2005 is designed to seize upon the momentum in the use of ICT around the world and expand the recognition of its power to advance development.  The $100,000 Award may be given an individual or organization whose ICT initiative has demonstrated a significant impact on development, in terms of the number of people who have benefited, the efficiencies gained in a specific field of development, or the open and transparent access to information essential to national interests. Criteria will include scale, sustainability, and transparency.  The deadline for submissions is February 28, 2005. An international panel of independent jurors will review and select the finalists.
  • On-line Discussion on Women and Poverty, January 10-February 4, 2005 - The objective of the discussion is to draw on the collective experiences since the Beijing Conference and to identify what has worked well and what hasn't in reducing women's poverty and reaching the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).  The discussion is organized around specific themes: (a) macro-economic policies, (b) women's land tenure and access to financial services, (c) monitoring and evaluation of poverty reduction, and (d) emerging issues and opportunities.  The discussion will be moderated by a World Bank facilitator.  Contributions received through the discussion will be summarized in a final report and presented at the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women during its forty-ninth session from February 28-March 11, 2005.  To learn more and join the discussion, please go to: http://www.un.org/womenwatch/forums/review/poverty/index.html.

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13. Recent Global Events/Discussions

  • Strategic Partnership with Africa (SPA) Annual Plenary Meeting, January 18-19, 2005, Johannesburg, South Africa - Countries and organizations comprising the Strategic Partnership with Africa (SPA) have embraced the concept of  “shared growth” as a means for significantly reducing poverty in Africa and improving the quality of life for the continent’s people. The SPA held its annual plenary meeting to discuss issues critical to reducing poverty and accelerating progress toward achieving the Millennium Development Goals. The meeting chaired by the WB heard candid views from African governments and the donor community, underscoring the partnership reflected in the SPA.  The meeting agreed on the urgency to make more progress.  The meeting agreed that there was strong evidence of positive progress in African performance but that Africa will require a substantial increase in the levels and predictability of development assistance if it is to fund the infrastructure requirements, social services and capacity needs necessary to reduce poverty significantly.  To learn more about the outcomes of the SPA, please visit: http://www.worldbank.org/africa.
  • EU Launch of Bank Report on Agricultural Trade and Developing Countries, January 17, Brussels, Belgium - The multi-stakeholder discussion meeting with the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) was organized as part of the European launch of the WB’s new report on Global Agricultural Trade and Developing Countries. The EESC, an EU institution which facilitates dialogue with civil society (trade unions, employers' organizations and farmers’ organizations), provided the chair of the meeting through Seppo Kallio (a spokesman for European farmers). The Bank was represented in the debate by Danny Leipziger – Vice President, Uri Dadush – Director of Trade, and Ataman Aksoy – Consultant.  In response to the concerns raised by the EU’s agricultural policy in the debate Mr. Kallio agreed with the report’s call for multilateral reform but argued that the issue was still very sensitive in the EU.  Please visit: http://www.worldbank.org/prospects/globalag/ for the key messages of the report presented by the WB.
  • Senior Level Forum (SLF) on Development Effectiveness in Fragile States, January 13-14, London, UK - Striking a familiar agreement on the imperative to prevent states from becoming marginalized from the benefits of global development and poverty reduction, senior representatives from the international community agreed on good donorship practices to improve aid to fragile states during the Forum, hosted by the UK’s Department for International Development (DFID) and convened by the OECD Development Assistance Committee (DAC), the European Commission, the UNDP and the WB. The SLF was an important step forward in shaping a consensus on the emerging elements of best practice in dealing with fragile states – those countries affected by weak governance and conflict, where delivering aid is difficult but critical to supporting peace, stability, poverty reduction and achieving the MDGs. Emerging priorities included the need to stay engaged; donor policy coherence across the political, security, aid and trade dimensions; increased allocation and stability of aid flows; donor coordination; and improved aid instruments and effective service delivery.  For more information, including background reports and an official agenda, please visit the official website: http://www.oecd.org/dac/lap/slffragilestates/.
  • Using Country Systems in World Bank Operations, January 13, Washington DC - The WB's Operations Policy and Country Services (OPCS) team completed a series of international meetings to solicit feedback on introducing pilots that will test the use of borrowing government's own policies and procedures the areas of financial management, procurement, and safeguards.  The January 13 meeting in Washington brought together WB staff and some 25 representatives from environmental, indigenous, and legal rights CSOs in the Washington area for a substantive and frank discussion about the rationale, methodology, and goals of the country system pilots.  Bank staff explained that the WB does not intend to weaken its own environmental and social safeguards standards, but rather encourage their wider adoption and mainstreaming by governments.  For more information about the consultation process as well to download background documents, please visit the Country Systems web site at: http://www.worldbank.org/countrysystems/.
  • Global Summit On Orphans and Vulnerable Children, December 15-16, 2004 - The global forum, convened jointly by UNICEF and the WB, brought together more than 80 government ministers from developing and developed countries, heads of UN agencies, senior representatives of bilateral and multilateral donor agencies, CSOs, academic and research institutions.  The meeting provided a global update on the plight of children affected by HIV and AIDS, identified gaps in funding for expanding help to these children, and discussed how best to ensure that money and programs reach affected communities.  On the eve of the forum, the WB launched a new report Reaching Out to Africa's Orphans, in which it warns that caring for rising numbers of AIDS orphans in Africa imposes a heavy financial burden on children, households, and communities.

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