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Civil Society Engagement eNewsletter - June 2005

This is the June 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 9 ITEMS IN THIS ISSUE:

1.  World Bank President Visits Africa, Meets With Communities and Local CSOs
2.  Rolling Back Malaria: The World Bank Global Strategy & Booster Program
3.  Development Marketplace 2005: WB and Partners Award US$4 Million for Innovative Environment Projects

4.  WWF/WB Forest Alliance Program to Reduce Deforestation and Curb Illegal Logging
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News from the World Bank's Regional Departments

Africa

  • Second Poverty Reduction Support Credit (PRSC) for Benin
  • Country Assistance Strategy (CAS) for Sierra Leone

East Asia and Pacific (EAP)

  • New Country Assistance Strategy for the Philippines
  • Vietnam Consultative Group Meeting, June 3, 2005

Europe and Central Asia (ECA)

  • Third CSO Forum on Sustainability of the CSO Sector in Post-Accession Central and Eastern Europe, the CIS, the Balkans and Turkey, Bratislava, Slovakia, June 9-11, 2005
  • Equal Access to Quality Education in Ukraine
  • Third Forum on Poverty Reduction Strategies (PRSPs) For Balkan Countries, Thessaloniki, Greece, May 27-28, 2005

Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC)

  • World Bank Approves $43.4 Million to Support Poor Rural Areas and Help Bolivia meet the Millennium Development Goals in 2015
  • New Uruguay Assistance Strategy and Loans to Support Social Programs, Transport, and Natural Resources

Middle East and North Africa (MENA)

  • Launch of "The Economic Advancement of Women in Jordan: A Country Gender Assessment"
  • New WB Assistance Strategy for Egypt
  • New Country Assistance Strategy (CAS) for the Kingdom of Morocco

South Asia Region (SAR)

  • World Bank Committed to Rebuilding Tsunami Devastated Region

6.  New Publications from the World Bank

  • African Development Indicators (ADI) 2005
  • Old-Age Income Support in the Twenty-First Century: An International Perspective on Pensions and Reform
  • The Market for Aid
  • Agricultural Growth and the Poor: An Agenda for Development
  • The Poverty Reduction Strategy Initiative: Findings from Ten Country Case Studies of World Bank and IMF Support

7. New Websites / Web Resources

  • New Social Development and Energy and Mining Websites in the East Asia and the Pacific Region

8.  Upcoming and Ongoing Global Events/Discussions

  • World Youth Conference, July 31 - August 8, Stirling, Scotland

9. Recent Global Events/Discussions

  • Microfinance Conference 2005, Frankurt, Germany, June 23-24, 2005
  • World Bank President Addresses Annual InterAction Forum, June 3, 2005
  • World Bank Discusses Actions Required to Achieve MDGs in Public Debate with Policy Makers and Civil Society, May 26 Brussels, Belgium

1. World Bank President Visits Africa, Meets With Communities and Local CSOs - On June 12, World Bank President Paul Wolfowitz embarked on his first trip to client nations since taking over as Bank Group President on June 1.  He arrived in Nigeria, the first stop in this four-nation African tour coming from London where he attended the G-8 Finance Ministers meeting.  During his visit to Nigeria he visited a village of Ruga Fulani pastoralists before leaving to see a community power project supported by the WB.  He also met with the government economic team, visited an AIDS clinic, and held a meeting with a group of CSOs.  He spent the next two days in Burkina Faso meeting with leaders from government, business, rural communities and CSOs, including women's groups, farmers and students.  He commended Burkina Faso's record of steady economic growth over the past decade, along with strong management in the crucial cotton sector, and called for greater openness to developed country markets for African producers. He then travelled to Rwanda where he visited a community health center and met with women's groups.  The civil society leaders explained the challenges of reconciliation and social inclusion they faced, as well as the obstacles to economic growth.  His final destination was South Africa where he met women's community groups, and visited a home for abandoned babies of HIV-positive mothers.  For more details of the trip, please visit the following web sites: http://www.worldbank.org; President’s web site: http://www.worldbank.org/president; Africa Region: http://www.worldbank.org/afr; Nigeria: http://www.worldbank.org/ng; Burkina Faso: http://www.worldbank.org/bf; Rwanda: http://www.worldbank.org/rw; and South Africa: http://www.worldbank.org/southafrica.

2. Rolling Back Malaria: The World Bank Global Strategy & Booster Program - Malaria afflicts millions of people in low- and middle-income countries. It impairs economic growth, child development, learning, health, and productivity on a large scale. In 1998 the WB along with WHO, UNICEF, and UNDP, co-founded the global Roll Back Malaria Partnership to coordinate and enhance the global fight against malaria. There has been some success, but the pace of work was slower than desired and the scale was less than expected. The initiative now faces additional challenges, not the least of which is the emergence of drug-resistant forms of malaria.  The new Global Strategy increases efforts to control malaria. It sets out the basis for a Booster Program for Malaria Control using country-led programs and partnerships with community service organizations, specialized agencies, and financiers of malaria control at all levels. The new Global Strategic Plan of the Roll Back Malaria Partnership combines measures to increase coverage of malaria-specific interventions with effective service delivery, broader health-system development, and capacity building across multiple sectors.  To learn more about the program, please visit: http://www.worldbank.org/malaria

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3. Development Marketplace 2005: WB and Partners Award US$4 Million for Innovative Environment Projects - Thirty-one environmental entrepreneurs from around the world received nearly US$4 million in grants from the WB’s 2005 Development Marketplace Global Competition. Their ideas ranged from transforming discarded charcoal dust into low-cost, clean burning fuel briquettes in Kenya to re-using cleansing water from mosques for irrigation in water-scarce Yemen.  More than 2,600 applicants from 136 countries responded to the call for proposal, demonstrating the huge of volume of innovative, local solutions to promote environmental conservation and poverty alleviation. Seventy-eight finalists came to Washington, DC for the two-day competition to showcase their unique ideas to bring renewable energy to small communities, reduce air and water pollution, promote sustainable agriculture, and raise environmental awareness.  The Marketplace’s Knowledge Exchange program also gave the finalists an opportunity to learn more about other funding options, share ideas, learn from each other, interact with WB staff and other potential funders.  For more information, please go to: http://www.developmentmarketplace.org.

4. WWF/WB Forest Alliance Program to Reduce Deforestation and Curb Illegal Logging - WWF and the WB on May 25 announced a global program aimed at reducing global deforestation rates by 10% by 2010.  The announcement was made at the fifth meeting of the UN Forum on Forests.  Known as the World Bank/WWF Alliance for Forest Conservation & Sustainable Use (Forest Alliance), the program will support the establishment of new forest protected areas such as national parks, more effective management of forest protected areas, and improved management of forests outside of protected areas. The Alliance also will help to facilitate regional cooperation and the adoption of policies in support of more effective forest management.  Since the Forest Alliance was created in 1998 it has contributed to the establishment of 50 million hectares (193,000 square miles) of new protected areas, improved management for 70 million hectares (270,000 square miles) of protected areas, and responsible management of some 22 million hectares (85,000 square miles) of commercially harvested forests.  For more information on The World Bank/WWF Alliance for Forest Conservation & Sustainable Use,please visit http://www.forest-alliance.org.  More information on WB's work in the area of sustainable development can be found at: http://www.worldbank.org/sustainabledevelopment.

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5.  News from the World Bank's Regional Departments

Africa

  • Second Poverty Reduction Support Credit (PRSC) for Benin - The WB Board of Executive Directors approved on June 14 an IDA credit of US$30 million to support the implementation of Benin's Poverty Reductions Strategy, and strengthen the Government's capacity to design and carry out its own development and poverty reduction programs.  The new PRSC will help enhance and consolidate results achieved under the first PRSC, while laying the foundation for a set of new reforms that are essential for the country to achieve and sustain the poverty reduction goals set in its PRSP document.  To learn more about this, as well as other WB programs in Benin, please visit: http://www.worldbank.org/afr/bj.
  • Country Assistance Strategy (CAS) for Sierra Leone - On June 16 the WB Board of Directors discussed and approved the new CAS for Sierra Leone.  The document, put together following several rounds of consultation with various segments of the country society and within the WB, seeks to address the key concerns proposed to the WB during the CAS consultations.  The strategy maintains full alignment with the three pillars of the Sierra Leone Poverty Reduction Strategy Paper (PRSP) - governance, growth and human development - and it builds on existing programs in economic reform, decentralization, infrastructure development, and the social sectors.  More information on the Sierra Leone CAS can be found at: http://www.worldbank.org/sierraleone.

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East Asia and Pacific (EAP)

  • New Country Assistance Strategy for the Philippines - The new strategy was formulated over several months after extensive consultations around the country with leaders and representatives of national and local governments, Congress, business, and CSOs. If effective fiscal reforms are implemented, total funding from the WB Group could exceed US$2 billion during the period.  The new strategy represents a significant change in the way the Bank Group supports middle-income countries like the Philippines. Instead of financing specific projects that are separate from the Government’s own programs and priorities, the WB will provide loan financing for high-quality programs that are already planned for Government. This approach will support the Government in the better delivery of public services and the undertaking of critical institutional reforms.  To read the new CAS, and to learn more about the WB work in the country, please visit: http://www.worldbank.org/ph.
  • Vietnam Consultative Group Meeting, June 3, 2005 - Representatives from the Government of Vietnam, 22 donor countries, 13 international agencies, 4 international NGOs, and the private sector gathered for the informal mid-year Consultative Group (CG) meeting in Can Tho City.  They reviewed the state of Vietnam’s economy in the first 5 months of 2005, the preparation of Vietnam’s next 5-year Socioeconomic Development Plan (SEDP), and its integration with the Government’s Comprehensive Poverty Reduction and Growth Strategy (CPRGS) proces.  The other areas reviewed included the preparation for WTO accession, and the status for reforms in the banking sector, anti-corruption, public administration reform, and legal and judiciary development. They also discussed the effectiveness of Official Development Assistance (ODA), the fight against HIV/AIDS and how to curb the spread of Avian Influenza.  More information about the event, as well as the WB program in Vietnam.

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Europe and Central Asia (ECA)

  • Third CSO Forum on Sustainability of the CSO Sector in Post-Accession Central and Eastern Europe, the CIS, the Balkans and Turkey, Bratislava, Slovakia, June 9-11, 2005 - Third CSO Forum on Sustainability of the CSO Sector in Post-Accession Central and Eastern Europe, the CIS, the Balkans and Turkey, Bratislava, Slovakia, June 9-11, 2005 - Some 250 CSO leaders from 30 countries met in Bratislava to debate the question of how civil society groups can continue to play a leading role in promoting democracy and addressing social needs in Central and Eastern Europe, as well the other countries of the former Soviet bloc.  The meeting, which was sponsored by the WB, the European Commission and the Pontis Foundation of Slovakia, focused on how CSOs can be sustainable both in terms of the financial resources they mobilize, and the policy and legal framework in which they operate. The participants also looked at how to improve the legal status of CSOs and provided a forum to share views on how they can enhance their own effectiveness and increase public trust.  For more details on the Forum, please visit the ECA NGO Working Group website: http://www.ecangowg.org.
  • Equal Access to Quality Education in Ukraine - The WB Board of Executive Directors on May 24 approved this US$86.59 million loan, the first phase of an Adaptable Program Loan (APL) to support Ukraine's reform initiatives in the education sector. The APL aims at helping Ukraine achieve equal access to quality education and improved efficiency of the education system.  A large share of the funds will go toward rehabilitation schools in priority areas and increasing efficiency through the optimization of the network of schools.  To learn more about this, and other WB programs in Ukraine, please visit: http://www.worldbank.org/ua.
  • Third Forum on Poverty Reduction Strategies (PRSPs) For Balkan Countries, Thessaloniki, Greece, May 27-28, 2005 - The Forum brought together government and CSOs from the countries with active Poverty Reduction Strategies – Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, and Serbia and Montenegro – and representatives from UNMIK/Kosovo and FYR Macedonia.  The event provided an opportunity for sharing experiences in implementing development strategies for poverty reduction. This year, the PRSP Forum was preceded by a one-day Conference on Labor Markets, Growth and Poverty Reduction Strategies which focused on the role of labor markets and job creation in reducing poverty. This is a topic high on the policy agenda of all participating countries which face significant difficulties with high and persistent unemployment, and emerging wage and social inequalities, despite steady economic growth.  More information about the Forum.

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Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC)

  • World Bank Approves $43.4 Million to Support Poor Rural Areas and Help Bolivia meet the Millennium Development Goals in 2015 - The WB on May 26 approved two interest-free credits.  The first credit is the Rural Alliances Project, aimed at improving accessibility to markets for poor rural producers in selected rural regions of Bolivia through promoting productive alliances between different organizations and groups at the local level.  The second one is the Second Social Sector Programmatic Development Policy Credit, a three-phase program in support of Bolivia's efforts to achieve the MDGs in the areas of health, education, water and sanitation.  To learn more about these two programs as well as other WB operations in the country, please visit: http://www.worldbank.org/bo.
  • New Uruguay Assistance Strategy and Loans to Support Social Programs, Transport, and Natural Resources - The new Country Assistance Strategy (CAS) for Uruguay was discussed by the WB Board of Executive Directors on June 9.  Also on June 9 the Board approved a Social Program Development Policy Loan and two investment projects in transport and natural resource management.  The new WB program of lending and advisory services supports the new government's development plan.  The CAS is the result of close collaboration with the government and has benefited from consultation with government as well as CSOs, including youth groups and academia, and the private sector and international agencies present in the country.  More information about this and other WB programs in Uruguay can be found at: http://www.worldbank.org/uy.

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Middle East and North Africa (MENA)

  • Launch of "The Economic Advancement of Women in Jordan: A Country Gender Assessment" - Noting positive progress in improving gender equality, the new WB report says that although women have better access to education and health in Jordan, they still face barriers in access to opportunities in the public sphere.  Through sustained investments in education and health, above the average rates for countries at similar income levels, the country has achieved gender parity in school enrollment at all levels, and is set to achieve the Millennium Development Goals in education by 2015.  The report also notes a number of challenges still facing the country.  To access the report and learn more about WB work in Jordan, please visit:  http://www.worldbank.org/jo.
  • New WB Assistance Strategy for Egypt - The new CAS for Egypt, approved on June 16, covers the period of fiscal years 2006 - 2009. The strategy will help support the government's goal to fight poverty by focusing on areas where the WB's contribution will achieve results, such as improving the investment climate and enhancing economic, social and financial reforms. To achieve its objectives, the strategy proposes a "results-based" financial assistance program in the range of about $2-2.8 billion dollars in support of enhancements in infrastructure, education, poverty alleviation, and financial sector reform.  The preparation of Egypt’s CAS involved extensive consultations with a wide range of stakeholders including policy makers, opinion leaders, the private sector, entrepreneurs, local communities and CSOs, which contributed to defining strategic priorities and interventions aimed at supporting Egypt's reform agenda.  More information can be found at: http://www.worldbank.org/eg.
  • New Country Assistance Strategy (CAS) for the Kingdom of Morocco - The new CAS, covering the period of 2005-2009, identifies the areas of social and economic development where the WB's contribution will have the best impact on poverty reduction and human development.  It endorses four strategic priorities for the country: (a) accelerating sustainable growth and job creation; (b) improving access for poor and marginalized groups to quality basic services; (c) improving the management and efficiency of the education system; and (d) improving water resources management.  The CAS preparation was enriched by consultations with different development actors in the country.  To learn more about the CAS as well as other WB programs in Morocco, please go to: http://www.worldbank.org/ma.

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South Asia Region (SAR)

  • World Bank Committed to Rebuilding Tsunami Devastated Region - In the period of the six months since the tsunami, the WB has committed more than US$835 million to help countries devastated by the disaster.  As part of the overall rehabilitation, WB funds have been used to repair damaged services, as well as for housing reconstruction and to restore people's livelihoods.  In Sri Lanka, already US$36.5 million of Bank funds have been disbursed – with the majority of the funds used for housing grants and livelihood cash grants to people directly affected by the tsunami. In India the WB has committed US$528.5 million, with the majority of the funding for housing reconstruction and restoration of people’s livelihoods, as well as upgrading and repairing rural water supplies in Kerala.  In the Maldives, WB funds have been helping the Government provide one-time cash grants to seriously affected families to cover the immediate expenses for food and household items.  Overall the WB has allocated US$14 million to be disbursed to the Maldives over a three year period under the Post Tsunami Emergency Relief and Reconstruction Project.  To learn more, please visit: http://www.worldbank.org/tsunami.

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6.  New Publications from the World Bank

  • African Development Indicators (ADI) 2005 - Aid flows, debt relief, and economic growth in Sub-Saharan Africa are on the rise, but reducing poverty remains a challenge, warns the report.  ADI 2005 offers detailed data on social and economic conditions across the continent spanning more than two decades.  In this "Year of Africa," as the international development community has dubbed the current calendar year, ADI 2005 shows Africa as a diverse continent where several countries are making remarkable progress, some stagnating and others lagging behind.  These latest African development statistics come a week before the G8 meeting of the world's richest countries where Africa will be one of the main topics on the agenda.  The report can be viewed at: http://www4.worldbank.org/afr/stats/adi2005/default.cfm.
  • Old-Age Income Support in the Twenty-First Century: An International Perspective on Pensions and Reform - This new WB report, launched on May 24,proposes that developed economies got rich before they got old, while developing countries are getting old before they get rich, but all face common challenges.  As policymakers in the United States, Europe and Asia grapple with the long-term affordability of their pensions systems, the report says that growing demographic and economic pressures are forcing both developing and developed countries to undertake urgent pension reform. The report offers a common framework to help countries resolve their pension problems, proposing the diversification of pension systems into a combination of public elements to maintain minimum living standards, and privately managed and funded components, while emphasizing the potential links between pension reform and conditions conducive to growth and development.  To review the report, please visit: http://www1.worldbank.org/sp/incomesupport.asp.

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  • The Market for Aid - In an accessible language, the book's authors analyze some of the hot topics in the aid industry today. They argue that the aid industry is changing, old models of aid are under pressure, and both donors and recipients will ask more and more of aid agencies in the future. The chaos of competition and the search for new ideas are frightening to some and risk harm to the people whom the industry is supposed to benefit. Yet at the same time there is a tremendous opportunity for harnessing competition to improve performance and find better ways of helping the poor. The authors argue for rigorous methods of evaluation and creative use of the private sector to produce a more effective aid industry in which new experiments are encouraged.  The publication can be purchased at: http://publications.worldbank.org/ecommerce/catalog/product?item_id=4836258.
  • Agricultural Growth and the Poor: An Agenda for Development - The majority of the world's poor depend directly or indirectly on agriculture. Despite the strong linkages between broad-based agricultural growth and poverty reduction, international support to agriculture sharply declined from the late 1980s. The need to raise agriculture's prominence in the development agenda has never been greater. This book seeks to articulate the WB's Rural Strategy on agriculture to the wider development community. It provides decision makers with the rationale for supporting agriculture by presenting the lessons learned on the policies, institutions, and priority investments that can sustain pro-poor agricultural growth.  It can be purchased at: http://publications.worldbank.org/ecommerce/catalog/product?item_id=4502082.
  • The Poverty Reduction Strategy Initiative: Findings from Ten Country Case Studies of World Bank and IMF Support - The Independent Evaluation Office (IEO) of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the Operations Evaluation Department (OED) of the WB—independent units that report directly to their respective institutions’ Executive Boards—recently completed parallel evaluations of the Poverty Reduction Strategy (PRS) Initiative, with particular attention to the role and effectiveness of WB and IMF support.  A key source of evidence for the evaluations was a set of 10 country case studies, most completed in the second half of 2003, of countries that had completed a PRSP. This volume contains summaries of those case studies.  The report can be purchased at: http://publications.worldbank.org/ecommerce/catalog/product?item_id=4809707.

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7. New Websites / Web Resources

  • New Social Development and Energy and Mining Websites in the East Asia and the Pacific Region - The sites, host a wealth of reports from the two sectors for the countries in the region as well as data, project information, and links to various additional useful resources.  It will be updated regularly.  Your thoughts and suggestions on how to further improve them are welcome.  You can visit the websites at: http://www.worldbank.org/eapsocial and http://www.worldbank.org/eapenergy.

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8.  Upcoming and Ongoing Global Events/Discussions

  • World Youth Conference, July 31 - August 8, Stirling, Scotland - Six hundred young activists from 120 countries in the field of sustainable development have been chosen from over 4,000 applicants to attend this, the third such event. The main goals of this WYC series are to promote volunteering, global citizenship and sustainable lifestyles. It also seeks to draw to the attention of government and aid agencies to how much young people can do – and are already doing - to support the achievement of the UN Millennium Development Goals.  There is a central role at the Congress for young journalists, cultural performers (e.g. dancers / actors / film makers / musicians), as well as for those with an interest in sustainable development, but less personal experience in this area. Delegates will join with young Scots to undertake hands-on community action projects across Scotland, and will help shape international policy by documenting and showing governments what young people are doing to achieve the UN Millennium Development Goals. Please visit: http://www.scotland2005.com for more information.

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9. Recent Global Events/Discussions

  • Microfinance Conference 2005, Frankurt, Germany, June 23-24, 2005 - The 2005 microfinance conference in Frankfurt was a joint European initiative by the Agence Française de Développement (AFD), the Consultative Group to Assist the Poor (CGAP), the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), the U.K. Department for International Development (DFID), the Netherlands Development Finance Company (FMO) and KFW Bankengruppe. The KFW hosted conference was intended to catalyze new, strategic partnerships between microfinance institutions and the private sector in order to grow microfinance and to contribute to the UN Millennium Development Goals. For more information on the conference, please visit: http://www.microfinance_conference_2005@kfw.de.
  • World Bank President Addresses Annual InterAction Forum, June 3, 2005 - World Bank President Paul Wolfowitz spoke during the final day of the Annual InterAction Forum. A summary of Mr. Wolfowitz's remarks and comments from the CSOs in attendance can be found at the InterAction website. Please visit the InterAction site at: http://www.interaction.org/monday/index.html#Wolf.
  • World Bank Discusses Actions Required to Achieve MDGs in Public Debate with Policy Makers and Civil Society, May 26 Brussels, Belgium - In a public debate titled "Achieving the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs): the need for Urgent Action", the WB discussed measures required for achieving the internationally agreed goals on fighting poverty with representatives from the European Commission, the African Caribbean and Pacific Group of States and civil society.  Zia Qureshi of the WB, and lead author of the World Bank/IMF 2005 Global Monitoring Report: Millennium Development Goals From Consensus to Momentum pointed out in his statements that progress thus far on achieving the MDGs has been slow and uneven.  He shared with the meeting participants the main findings of the report and its main recommendations.  Summary of the discussion.
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