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Civil Society Engagement eNewsletter - August 2005

This is the August 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 10 ITEMS IN THIS ISSUE:

1.  2005 Annual Meetings: Information for CSOs
2.  World Bank President's meetings with CSOs during his trip to South Asia
3.  Final Version of CSO Paper Presented at World Bank - Civil Society Global Policy Forum, April 20-22, 2005
4.  Civil Society Global Policy Forum, April 20-22, 2005: Final Summary Report and PRSP Day Sessions Available in French
5.  Developing Countries, the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), the World Conservation Union (IUCN), the World Bank and Partners Launch Initiative to ‘Turn the Tide’ of Fisheries Depletion
6.  World Bank Cuts Loan Fees, Raises Lending Limit For Big Borrowers

7.  News from the World Bank's Regional Departments

Africa

  • Debt Service Relief for Burundi
  • Third Poverty Reduction Support Credit To Ghana

East Asia and Pacific (EAP)

  • World Bank and Local University Partnership in the Philippines

Europe and Central Asia (ECA)

  • Wheels of Change in Romania
  • World Bank Discusses New Country Assistance for Tajikistan

Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC)

  • Grant to Support Community-Driven Development in Haiti
  • World Bank Interim Strategy for Nicaragua

Middle East and North Africa (MENA)

  • MENA Youth Pledge to Working on Development Priorities in the Region

South Asia Region (SAR)

  • Comments Sought: Draft Report on NGOs in Bangladesh

8.  New Publications from the World Bank

  • World Bank Institute (WBI) Special Report on Disability and Inclusive Development
  • Evaluating a Decade of World Bank Gender Policy: 1990-1999
  • Reaching the Poor with Health, Nutrition, and Population Services: What Works, What Doesn't, and Why 

9. New Websites / Web Resources

  • Re-launched Poverty and Social Impact Analysis Webpage
  • Sustaining Participation in Poverty Reduction Strategies Workshop: Sessions Available on WB B-SPAN

10. Upcoming and Ongoing Global Events/Discussions

  • "World Development Report (WDR) 2007: Development and the Next Generation" Consultations Launched
  • Second Children's World Congress, September 4 - 8, New Delhi, India
  • Commonwealth Broadcasting Association (CBA) Award for Programme on Development Issues Sponsored by the World Bank
    INTRAC Monitoring and Evaluation Workshops"

1.  2005 Annual Meetings: Information for CSOs - The Annual Meetings 2005 (AMs) of the Board of Governors of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the Boards of Governors of the World Bank Group (WB) will take place over the weekend of September 24-25 in Washington, DC, USA.  Numerous press events, seminars and dialogues will be held in conjunction with the Meetings, which accredited CSOs will be able to attend.  All participants in the AMs, including members of civil society, need to be accredited before the start of the Meetings.  Accreditation for CSOs opened on July 25 and will close on September 5th.  A new on-line registration system for CSOs can be accessed at: http://www.worldbank.org/civilsociety where complete information on how to apply for accreditation can be found.  A number of dialogues for CSOs will be organized for accredited CSOs starting on Tuesday, September 20 and finishing on Friday, September 23.  Some official events over the weekend will also be open for CSO participation.  For information on how to request accreditation to attend the Meetings and for information on the events and dialogues open to accredited CSOs, please visit: http://www.worldbank.org/civilsociety.

2.  World Bank President's meetings with CSOs during his trip to South Asia - Mr. Paul Wolfowitz arrived in Islamabad, Pakistan, on August 14 to begin his first visit to South Asia as head of the WB.  His first meeting in Islamabad later that day was with a group of civil society representatives - people active in programs ranging from primary education in urban areas to social science research and polling to women's education in rural areas.  He then travelled to India where he spent a day meeting women and community groups in rural areas outside Hyderabad.  Mr. Wolfowitz also met parents and children of a school supported by India’s Education for All program (known as SSA by its Hindi initials), to which the Bank is a contributor.  He wrapped up his regional visit with a stop in Dhaka, Bangladesh where he met with women who have benefited from the work of an NGO, the Bangladesh Rural Advancement Committee, BRAC and visited a school of the Underprivileged Children's Education Program.  To learn more about the WB President's encounters with CSOs during his first trip to South Asia, please go to: http://www.worldbank.org/features/2005/sasia_0805.htm.

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3.  Final Version of CSO Paper Presented at World Bank - Civil Society Global Policy Forum, April 20-22, 2005 - World Bank-Civil Society Global Policy Forum was held on April 20-22, 2004.  The Forum brought together some 200 civil society leaders, government officials, parliamentarians, donor agency representatives, IMF staff, and Bank managers to assess the PRSP process and discuss the way forward for Bank – civil society engagement at the global level.  One of the documents discussed during the Forum was titled “Call for Participatory Decision Making” and was drafted by two independent researchers and commissioned by 16 international CSO networks, members of the Joint Facilitation Committee (JFC).  The paper was made available for public comment after the Forum and has now been finalized and made public.  To read the document, and learn more about the Forum, please go to: http://www.worldbank.org/civilsociety/csforum2005.  While the paper recognizes advances made by the Bank in some of its policies, it calls for greater reform on two levels.  First, at the governance level it advocates more transparency and democracy on how the institution is run.  On the program level, it calls for more systematic and meaningful participation of civil society throughout all stages of the policy and project cycles, as well as the establishment of process-based standards for that participation.

4.  Civil Society Global Policy Forum, April 20-22, 2005: Final Summary Report and PRSP Day Sessions Available in French - A final Summary Report from the World Bank-Civil Society Forum held in April 2005 in Washington, DC was written by an independent researcher, and reviewed by the Joint Planning Group, which is composed of CSO representatives and Bank Staff, as well as members of Civil Society Communiqué drafting group.  It is now available in French together with French and English summaries of the 7 PRSP day Interactive Roundtables.  The Forum represented an important milestone for Bank - civil society relations as the WB convened a multi-stakeholder set of actors, including Southern CSOs, government officials, parliamentarians, and Bank Executive Directors, to discuss Bank – civil society relations at the global level.  Please visit the Forum website at: http://www.worldbank.org/civilsociety/csforum2005 to access these documents.

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5.  Developing Countries, the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), the World Conservation Union (IUCN), the World Bank and Partners Launch Initiative to ‘Turn the Tide’ of Fisheries Depletion - World Fish Center, and the WB on August 24 launched a new Global Program on Fisheries (PROFISH) at the NEPAD Fish for All Summit held in Abuja, Nigeria, to reverse the depletion of fisheries and the increasing degradation of marine habitats.  Released at the launch, a new publication, Turning the Tide – Saving Fish and Fishers, defines an approach for reversing the present trend, and calls for a set of measures to institute good and equitable global governance in order to ensure sustainable fisheries at country, regional, and global levels.  PROFISH is a programming and funding partnership between key fishery sector donors, international financial institutions, developing countries, stakeholder organizations, and other international agencies designed to work with countries at a global level, focusing on fisheries policy reform, good governance, and implementation of the FAO Code of Conduct for Responsible Fisheries. PROFISH will assist developing countries in the design and implementation of sector strategies and plans for sustainable fisheries, and to integrate these policies and plans into the national economic planning frameworks At the global level, PROFISH will address the issues of illegal fishing, subsidies, building knowledge on approaches to address fisheries problems, and raising awareness in favor of sustainable fisheries policies.  For more information, please visit the following websites: http://www.worldbank.org/sustainabledevelopment and http://www.worldbank.org/fish.

6.  World Bank Cuts Loan Fees, Raises Lending Limit For Big Borrowers - The WB has cut its loan fees and raised the maximum amount it would lend to a single country by $1 billion to $14.5 billion, reflecting an increase in its financial capacity. The decisions, approved by the Bank’s board on August 9, affect countries borrowing from the WB affiliate known as the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD), which lends to middle income developing countries.  The decision to cut Bank fees and increase its capacity to lend should help the WB ability to provide more resources for the poor in middle income developing countries.  Details and the implications of the decision.

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7.  News from the World Bank's Regional Departments

Africa

  • Debt Service Relief for Burundi - The IMF and the WB's International Development Association (IDA) have agreed that Burundi has taken the steps necessary to reach its decision point under the enhanced Heavily Indebted Poor Countries (HIPC) Initiative.  On August 4, Burundi became the 28th country to reach its decision point under the enhanced HIPC Initiative and now qualifies for interim debt relief under the Initiative.  In total, the debt relief to Burundi under the enhanced HIPC Initiative will be approximately US$826 million in Net Present Value (NPV) terms, equivalent to 91.5 percent of the NPV of Burundi’s debt after traditional debt relief, and over time, this debt relief will lower Burundi’s debt service payments by about US$1.5 billion in nominal terms.  To learn more, please visit: http://www.worldbank.org/burundi.
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  • Third Poverty Reduction Support Credit To Ghana - The WB’s Board of Executive Directors on August 25 approved a US$125 million credit in support of the implementation of Ghana’s third poverty reduction strategy.  The Poverty Reduction Strategy Credit (PRSC-III), as it is known, is the third in a series of three annual operations which seeks to maintain macroeconomic stability; promote growth and employment creation.  As the previous two, it will continue to focus on three broad components of the poverty reduction agenda: the promotion of growth, income and employment; improvements in the delivery of services for human development; and the strengthening of good governance, human resource development and public sector management.  PRSC-III also pays particular attention to policy dialogue, aims to enhance the efficiency and transparency of public spending, and to build the capacity to monitor and evaluate resource allocation and policy outcomes.  More information can be found at: http://www.worldbank.org/ghana.

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East Asia and Pacific (EAP)

  • World Bank and Local University Partnership in the Philippines - A partnership between the Bank's Manila office and the Palawan State University has launched Knowledge for Development Center to give the people of Palawan opportunities for informed discussion and dialogue on development issues. The knowledge development centers are committed to creating, sharing, and applying knowledge for development. They are also user-friendly and easily accessible facilities that are open to the public, ranging from government policy makers to representative of the private sector, NGOs, donors, students, journalists, and researchers. Users can access a wealth of information on development through the Internet, in over 3,000 WB publications, as well as from books and documents by other academic and development institutions.  For more regional information: http://www.worldbank.org/eap.

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Europe and Central Asia (ECA)

  • Wheels of Change in Romania - With help from the WB and the Romanian government, an NGO run by disabled people is reaching out to its neighbors.  "Motivation Romania", an NGO run by disabled people for disabled people, has recently extended its reach to some of its downtrodden neighbors: young delinquents living as social outcasts.  This idea was awarded a $20,000 grant by the Romanian Social Development Fund, an institution partially financed through a WB loan to the Romanian government, that supports community-driven development.  "Together for Reintegration", a program run by Motivation Romania, allowed a group of boys identified by the local authorities as potential juvenile delinquents, to defy low expectations and come into contact with their disabled colleagues. Motivation Romania approached them through the language of sports. The mentoring helped and some boys go back to school. To learn more about this program, and about the Romanian Social Development Fun, please visit: http://www.worldbank.org/ro.
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  • World Bank Discusses New Country Assistance for Tajikistan - The WB’s Board of Executive Directors on July 26 discussed the new Country Assistance Strategy (CAS) for Tajikistan for the period of fiscal years 2006 to 2009. It is expected that the new results-based CAS for Tajikistan will continue the WB’s focus on maintaining short-term growth and building a foundation for sustainable long-term growth.  It is focused on reaching a number of strategic objectives aimed at assisting the Government of Tajikistan to further its development agenda and reduce poverty: improving business opportunities in rural and urban areas; enhancing and preserving the quality of human capital; and exploiting the country's hydropower potential.  The overall expected outcome of the CAS is halting the decline in the public service delivery, including health and education, and starting to build the institutional capacity for more substantive development outcomes in the long run. To learn more about the CAS as well as WB work in Tajikistan, please visit: http://www.worldbank.org/tj.

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Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC)

  • Grant to Support Community-Driven Development in Haiti - A US$38 million grant from the International Development Association (IDA) to scale-up the direct transfer of public resources to local community organizations in poor rural areas and urban communities in Haiti was approved by the WB Board on July 28.  The Community-Driven Development (CDD) Project builds upon the successful implementation of a CDD pilot project, which was executed in 2004 by the Pan-American Development Foundation and financed by the WB’s Post-Conflict Fund.  The project will scale-up direct transfer of funds to local community organizations to improve their access to basic social and economic infrastructure and income-generating activities.  More information about the grant.  For more information about the Bank’s program in Haiti, please visit: http://www.worldbank.org/ht.
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  • World Bank Interim Strategy for Nicaragua - The new Interim Strategy Note (ISN) for Nicaragua was discussed by the WB Board on August 4.  The ISN aims to support the Nicaraguan government’s efforts to reduce poverty while maintaining macroeconomic stability, for the remainder of its mandate. In particular, it will support the government’s new emphasis on growth-enhancing policies and actions as a means to reduce poverty. The Interim nature of the Strategy provides a bridge in the Bank’s Group assistance to the country until a new government is sworn in.  More information about the Strategy as well as other WB operations in Nicaragua can be found at: http://www.worldbank.org/ni.

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Middle East and North Africa (MENA)

  • MENA Youth Pledge to Working on Development Priorities in the Region - Youth from Algeria, Egypt, Lebanon, Morocco and Yemen participated in a 4-day workshop in Cairo in June 2005 to learn, share and be introduced to new themes and experiences of other organizations targeting marginalized communities.   Two Cairo-based NGOs, the Institute of Cultural Affairs (ICA) and the Youth Association for Population and Development facilitated the workshop which was sponsored by the Small Grants Program.  For effectiveness and large-scale impact, the workshop included 72 participants who were selected on the basis of their affiliation with youth organizations and who demonstrated communication and team work skills.  One of the main outputs of the workshop is the formation of a MENA Region Youth Network.  The creation of such a network was also discussed and recommended during the recent MENA Conference on Urban Children and Youth. In collaboration with the youth participants, ICA is selecting youth facilitators to launch the network. Over the course of the next year, ICA will be responsible for maintaining the network which will include a production of newsletters and a webpage.  to learn more information about WB work on children and youth issues, please go to: http://www.worldbank.org/childrenandyouth.

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South Asia Region (SAR)

  • Comments Sought: Draft Report on NGOs in Bangladesh - For the past year, the WB has been working on a comprehensive assessment of the NGO sector in Bangladesh in consultation with a wide range of stakeholders. The report assesses key NGO activities, including the composition of expenditures, targeting, and development impact. The report also takes a close look at issues relating to financing NGO activities through donor support, government contracts, private donations, micro-finance income, and commercial activities. The basic questions that are addressed relate to the relative importance of these various sources of income and the implications of changing trends in financing. The status of the legal and regulatory framework overseeing NGOs is also analyzed as is the state of financial accountability and corporate governance in the NGO sector. The report also analyzes strategic directions for NGOs, the capacity to support further growth, and what is required from all stakeholders so that any change in direction maximizes the benefits to the poor.  The draft report, titled “The Economics and Governance of Nongovernmental Organizations (NGOs) in Bangladesh,” can be found at: http://www.worldbank.org/bd. Comments and feedback on the report are welcome and can be sent to: wbod@worldbank.org by September 30, 2005. These comments will be taken into account prior to producing the final report.

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8.  New Publications from the World Bank

  • World Bank Institute (WBI) Special Report on Disability and Inclusive Development - There is a growing awareness in civil society and the greater development community that the eight hundred million people with disabilities in the world must be included in the development equation, not only to improve their economic and social welfare, but because they themselves can contribute to the development process. To build upon the momentum created by the WB’s December 2004 conference on disability and inclusive development, WBI’s Development OUTREACH Magazine has published a special report on the subject. It presents a range of articles from international organizations, governments, and NGOs, illustrating different perspectives and approaches to facing the challenges of disability, and addressing the connection between disability and poverty.  To read the report, please visit: http://www1.worldbank.org/devoutreach/document.asp?id=332.
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  • Evaluating a Decade of World Bank Gender Policy: 1990-1999 - As part of the WB's poverty reduction mandate, the Bank's 1994 Operational Policy on Gender Dimensions of Development aimed to reduce gender disparity and increase the participation of women in the economic development of their countries. This August 2005 evaluation examines the relevance and results of this policy.  To purchase the publication, please go to: http://publications.worldbank.org/ecommerce/catalog/product?item_id=4809572.
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  • Reaching the Poor with Health, Nutrition, and Population Services: What Works, What Doesn't, and Why - This volume presents eleven case studies that document how well or poorly health, nutrition, and population programs have reached disadvantaged groups in the countries of Africa, Asia, and Latin America where they were undertaken. The studies were commissioned by the Reaching the Poor Program, undertaken by the WB in cooperation with the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and the Dutch and Swedish governments, in an effort to find better ways of ensuring that health, nutrition, and population programs benefit the neediest. These case studies, reinforced by other material gathered by the Reaching the Poor Program, indicate clearly that health programs do not have to be inequitable. Although most health, nutrition, and population services achieve much lower coverage among disadvantaged groups than among the better-off, many significant and instructive exceptions exist. These show that the poor can be reached much more effectively than at present and point to potentially promising strategies for doing so.

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9. New Websites / Web Resources

  • Re-launched Poverty and Social Impact Analysis Webpage - The Poverty and Social Impact Analysis (PSIA) website has just been re-launched. The new website contains information on the PSIA approach, tools and methods, training events and materials, including the PSIA User's Guide and the PSIA E-learning Course, country experience, and sector specific notes on the distributional impacts of policy and institutional reforms.  PSIA is the analysis of the distributional impact of policy reforms on the well-being or welfare of different stakeholder groups, with particular focus on the poor and vulnerable. PSIA has an important role in the elaboration and implementation of poverty reduction strategies in developing countries. It promotes evidence-based policy choices and fosters debate on policy reform options.  Please visit the new website at: http://www.worldbank.org/psia. You may contact the team at: psia@worldbank.org.
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  • Sustaining Participation in Poverty Reduction Strategies Workshop: Sessions Available on WB B-SPAN -The Poverty Reduction Group, the WB Institute and the Social Development Department brought together representatives of civil society, government, media, the WB, and various nongovernmental organizations on May 2, 2005, in Accra, Ghana, to discuss sustaining participation in poverty reduction strategies (PRS). The purpose of PRS Day was to provide a platform for stakeholders to highlight good practice from PRS implementation, share experiences, facilitate regional and cross-sectoral coalition building, and develop politically-feasible approaches for sustaining stakeholder participation in PRS monitoring and implementation. Videos from the event are available on WB's webcasting service, B-Span.

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10. Upcoming and Ongoing Global Events/Discussions

  • "World Development Report (WDR) 2007: Development and the Next Generation" Consultations Launched -Extensive internal and external consultations leading up to the 2007 WDR were begun in August.  The consultations have an objective of advancing the dialogue and exchange of perspectives on the topic chosen for the report.  Young people between the ages of 12 and 24 were chosen as the focal theme of the upcoming 2007 WDR.  As a result of that decision the WB is embarking on an extensive range of consultations with young people around the globe to explore the issue of their transition to adulthood and its impact on development.   To learn more about the consultation process, please visit: http://www.worldbank.org/wdr2007.
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  • Second Children's World Congress, September 4 - 8, New Delhi, India -The theme for this congress is child labor and education. It aims to empower children to lead worldwide efforts to end child labor and to ensure free, quality education for all children. The participating children will be the main speakers, decision-makers and beneficiaries. During the event, the children will interact with world leaders and attend workshops and sessions, including an accountability session. This will facilitate the formulation of a Children's Plan of Action, which will be presented to the attending governments and international organizations, and will help build on the gains of the first Congress.  More information
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  • Commonwealth Broadcasting Association (CBA) Award for Program on Development Issues Sponsored by the World Bank -This award is for a radio or television feature that illustrates development issues -- such as social or economic improvement, good governance, or technical and economic or environmental initiatives, as well as the MDGs. The program must be more than a simple narrative. It should be challenging and push the boundary of media freedom. Successful programs are likely to have high production values, be engaging for a wide audience and may focus on compelling stories of human interest. For more information, and to submit an entry, please go to: http://www.cba.org.uk/awards/CBABroadcastingAwards2006.htm.  Closing date for entries is 15 October, 2005.
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  • INTRAC Monitoring and Evaluation Workshops" -The International NGO Training and Research Center (INTRAC) will help to host a series of regional workshops on the theme of monitoring and evaluation (M&E). These workshops will address a wide spectrum of associated themes including: M&E of policy and advocacy, capacity building, networking, civil society development, PRSP processes, mainstreaming gender/HIV/livelihoods and conflict prevention. It is expected that the workshops will stimulate debate amongst a wide range of development actors involved in designing and carrying out M&E processes on the major issues, problems and innovations in their work. INTRAC has already undertaken a workshops in Peru in August, and has three upcoming ones in Sweden in October and India in November. To access further information on these workshops please refer to: http://www.intrac.org/conferences.php .

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