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Civil Society Engagement eNewsletter - September 2005

This is the September 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.  Civil Society Participation In the 2005 Annual Meetings of the World Bank and IMF
2.  IFC Releases Revised Drafts of IFC Sustainability Policy, Performance Standards and Disclosure Policy: COMMENTS WELCOME
3.  2006 Development Marketplace (DM 2006): Innovations in Water, Sanitation & Energy Services for Poor People: CALL FOR PROPOSALS
4.  World Bank Grants Facility for Indigenous Peoples: CALL FOR PROPOSALS
5.  Finance Ministers of 184 Countries Gathered at World Bank Annual Meetings Endorse G8 Debt Relief Plan
6.  New World Bank President Stresses Results Agenda and Importance of Civil Society In Annual Meetings Speech
7.  New Chairman of Development Committee Announced
8.  World Bank President at the United Nations Summit
9.  Nominations of New Members of Senior Management Team
10.  News from the World Bank's Regional Departments

Africa

  • Development Committee (DC) Endorses World Bank Group's Africa Action Plan
  • New Program To Eliminate Obsolete Pesticides From Africa
  • First Step in WB's Malaria Control Booster Program in Africa

Europe and Central Asia (ECA)

  • Are The Millennium Development Goals Out Of Reach In Europe And Central Asia?

Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC)

  • Progress Report on the Country Assistance Strategy for Colombia
  • Country Assistance Strategy for OECS Countries

South Asia Region (SAR)

  • New Shelters for Tsunami Survivors
  • Year of Microcredit in South Asia

11.  New Publications from the World Bank

  • 2005 Annual Meetings: Development Committee Documents
  • 2005 PRS Review: Balancing Accountabilities and Scaling Up Results
  • Evaluating the World Bank's Assistance for Fighting the HIV/AIDS Epidemic
  • Agricultural Trade Reform and the Doha Development Agenda
  • Beyond GDP, World Bank Releases New Measure of Wealth
  • Reducing Poverty on a Global Scale: Learning and Innovating for Development: Findings from the Shanghai Global Learning Initiative

12. Upcoming and Ongoing Global Events/Discussions

  • Global Issues Seminar Series
  • Gender and Poverty Electronic Learning Course
  • Work on Investment Framework for Clean Energy and Sustainable Development Launched

13. Recent Global Events/Discussions

  • Donors Discuss Practical Steps To Deliver Increases In Aid To Poorest Countries

1.  Civil Society Participation In the 2005 Annual Meetings of the World Bank and IMF - The Civil Society Teams at the WB, IMF and IFC organized a Civil Society Policy Dialogue Program for CSOs which included policy dialogue sessions, access to press conferences / official meetings.  There was also a town hall meeting with the heads of the Bank Group, the IMF, and the Development Committee.  A total of 180 civil society representatives from some 30 countries received accreditation and participated in Annual Meetings.  A series of policy dialogue sessions, 18 in all, were organized for the accredited CSOs during the week of the Meetings, and covered nearly all the major issues on the Development Committee agenda and other topics.  About half of these sessions were co-organized and/or co-hosted with CSOs.  CSO visitors could also participate free of charge in the Program of Seminars sessions.  The active presence of CSOs at the Meetings reflects the growing recognition by the Bank and Fund of the role civil society plays in the policy setting process.  More information about CSO participation in the Annual Meetings.

2.  IFC Releases Revised Drafts of IFC Sustainability Policy, Performance Standards and Disclosure Policy: COMMENTS WELCOME - IFC released on September 22  a revised draft for public comment of its Policy and Performance Standards on Social and Environmental Sustainability and its draft Policy on Disclosure of Information. The release began a 60-day window for the public to make final comments before the drafts undergo final revisions and go to the Board of Directors for approval  in January 2006.  The comment period will end on November 25, 2005.  The proposed policies have undergone significant revision since they were first released in August 2004 and after  an eight-month consultation process.  The changes are based on feedback received by a wide-range of CSOs, businesses, IFC clients, WB staff and management, and other interested parties.  The draft policies and related documents are available on line at the policy review web site: http://www.ifc.org/policyreview.

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3.  2006 Development Marketplace (DM 2006): Innovations in Water, Sanitation & Energy Services for Poor People: CALL FOR PROPOSALS - The DM 2006 is offering US$4 million in awards for local projects with innovative solutions for water supply, sanitation, and energy services in developing countries.  The DM 2006 competition is open to a variety of actors: academia, civil society groups, local and municipal government agencies, NGOs, private sector corporations, private foundations, social entrepreneurs, youth organizations.  The Global Development Marketplace is a worldwide competition held every 12-18 months at World Bank headquarters in Washington, D.C.  Awards range from US$40,000 – US$150,000.  Since its inception, the Global DM competition has disbursed over US$23 million in awards to 171 winning proposals. These projects are being implemented in more than 60 countries by NGOs, academic institutions, private sector businesses, government agencies and other development actors.  Proposals should be submitted by November 30, 2005.  For more information on DM 2006, please visit: http://www.developmentmarketplace.org. 

4.  Competition guidelines as well as step-by-step instructions for the proposal form are available in Arabic, English, French, Chinese, Portuguese, Russian and Spanish.
World Bank Grants Facility for Indigenous Peoples: CALL FOR PROPOSALS
- The initiative is a partnership between the WB and Indigenous Peoples leaders.  It supports sustainable and culturally appropriate development projects planned and implemented by and for Indigenous Peoples.  Founded in 2003, this is the third year that the Grants Facility is inviting applications for small grants.  The Grants Facility Board (composed by a majority of Indigenous Peoples representatives), reviews and makes final recommendations on grant awards.  Applications for this year's round of calls must be received by November 15, 2005.  For information on funding priorities, examples of previously funded projects, who can apply, application requirements, and how to apply (all documents in English, French and Spanish), please go to: http://www.worldbank.org/indigenouspeoples.

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5.  Finance Ministers of 184 Countries Gathered at World Bank Annual Meetings Endorse G8 Debt Relief Plan - Finance and Development ministers gathered for the Annual Meetings of the IMF and WB reached agreement on financing 100% debt relief promise for some of world's poorest countries put forward in June by G7 finance ministers and endorsed by the heads of G8 countries in Gleneagles, Scotland in July, 2005.  In the final communiqué of the Development Committee, shareholders committed to preserving IDA's financing capacity dollar-for dollar by assuring additional funds. Within the next few weeks, the WB will submit a paper outlining the compensation schedule and monitoring system to its Board of Directors.  More information  Final communiqué of the Development Committee

6.  New World Bank President Stresses Results Agenda and Importance of Civil Society In Annual Meetings Speech - In his speech at the opening of the Annual Meetings of the WB and the International Monetary Fund, WB President Paul Wolfowitz said he believes poverty can be defeated by strong leadership in developing countries, supported by much closer teamwork by the donor countries, development agencies and civil society organizations that offer them desperately-needed resources and expertise.  In his first address since becoming Bank president June 1st, Wolfowitz told gathered finance and development officials that his priority is to ensure the WB produces tangible results in its efforts to support the world's poor, and not just in the poorest countries.  Wolfowitz also called for governments to recognize that civil society organizations also can have an enormous impact on development, noting they act as "an important bridge between citizens and governments." They also play an important role in empowering millions of women in the developing world, giving them voice and often access to small loans to enable them to start their own businesses.  Entire speech (in seven language versions).

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7.  New Chairman of Development Committee Announced - The WB/IMF Development Committee announced on September 25 that Colombia's Minister of Finance and Public Credit, Alberto Carrasquilla Barrera, has been selected as its new Chairman. He replaces Mr. Trevor Manuel, Minister of Finance of South Africa.  Minister Carrasquilla has a distinguished record of service and achievement at home and on the international scene. He has been Minister of Finance and Public Credit of Colombia since 2003. He was Deputy Minister of Finance from 2002 to 2003 and Deputy Governor of Banco de la República (Colombian Central Bank) from 1993 to 1998. From 2000 to 2002, he served as Dean of the Economics School, Universidad de los Andes. The Development Committee's 24 Members - mostly Finance or Development Ministers - represent the full membership of the WB and IMF. The Committee's mandate is to advise the Boards of Governors of the WB and IMF on critical development issues. The next meeting of the Committee will be held on April 23, 2006, in Washington, DC. DC website

8.  World Bank President at the United Nations Summit - WB President, Paul Wolfowitz, has challenged the international community to deliver on its promises of five years ago to help the world’s developing countries halve poverty and deliver real improvements in the lives of their poorest people by 2015.  Wolfowitz’s call was made in a speech on September 14 to the United Nations Summit in New York.  Wolfowitz called on developed countries to deliver on their promises to boost aid, and developing countries to improve their performance.  A part of the concrete plans to get poorest countries back on track, Wolfowitz also called for a dismantling of trade barriers which “hurt farmers and small businesses”, and for a strengthening of the private sector as well as civil society in developing nations.  Speech

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9.  Nominations of New Members of Senior Management Team - The President of the World Bank Group, Paul Wolfowitz, announced two senior management appointments at the organization.  Vincenzo La Via, an Italian national, was appointed as Chief Financial Officer for the WB and Lars H. Thunell, a Swedish National, as Executive Vice President of the International Finance Corporation (IFC).  Mr. La Via joins the WB from Banca Intesa, Italy’s largest bank, where he served as CFO.  Mr. Thunell joins the organization from SEB, Sweden’s leading international corporate bank, where he served as CEO for the last eight years.  Mr. La Via's appointment will  be effective November 1, 2005, and Mr. Thunell's on January 15, 2006. More about the announcements

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10.  News from the World Bank's Regional Departments

Africa

  • Development Committee (DC) Endorses World Bank Group's Africa Action Plan - The World Bank Group's Africa Action Plan was discussed by the DC during the 2005 Annual Meetings, which concluded on September 25.  The document builds on commitments by the international community to mobilize additional resources for Africa's development.   Broadly, the plan establishes a framework for using the resources available for 2006-2008 to deliver results in the areas of economic growth, human development, and poverty reduction; and for using increases in assistance beyond current levels in a way that multiplies impact.  The DC Ministers appreciated the Plan's focus on building state capacity and improving governance; strengthening the drivers of growth; and promoting broad participation in growth and sharing its benefits. More information about WB work in Africa can be found at: http://www.worldbank.org/afr.
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  • New Program To Eliminate Obsolete Pesticides From Africa - The first phase of the Africa Stockpiles Program (ASP-P1) has been approved by the WB, the Global Environment Facility (GEF), and the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO).  The continent-wide effort aims to eliminate the stockpiles of obsolete pesticides, including persistent organic pollutants (POPs), as well as prevent future build-ups.  “The Africa Stockpiles Program is an unprecedented partnership,” said Ian Johnson, World Bank Vice President for Sustainable Development, “between African countries, donor governments, civil society, and multilateral organizations – all of whom have agreed to cooperate in this comprehensive effort to eliminate the accumulation of obsolete pesticides.  This partnership addresses a serious and growing public health and environmental danger which confronts nearly every country in Africa.”  On September 8th, two GEF grants – to South Africa and Tunisia – were announced by the WB in its capacity as a GEF implementing agency.  More information can be found at: http://www.africastockpiles.org.
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  • First Step in WB's Malaria Control Booster Program in Africa - The WB Board of Executive Directors on September 1 approved an International Development Association (IDA) grant of US$150 million to assist the efforts of the Government of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) to rehabilitate the country’s health sector and control malaria.  The project also marks the first step for the WB’s Malaria Control Booster Program in Africa, and came in advance of a major summit on malaria hosted by the WB in Paris the following week. The Project includes financing (US$30 million) to rapidly increase coverage of long lasting insecticide-treated bed nets (aiming for two to three nets per household) and the provision of effective and prompt anti-malarial treatment. WB Malaria Control Booster Program in Africa

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Europe and Central Asia (ECA)

  • Are The Millennium Development Goals Out Of Reach In Europe And Central Asia? - A new WB report, "Millennium Development Goals: Progress and Prospects in Europe and Central Asia", measures how far countries of the region have come toward attaining such goals as halving extreme poverty by 2015, reducing maternal mortality, achieving universal primary education, and arresting the spread of HIV/AIDS.  While the countries in Europe and Central Asia (ECA) are much closer than other developing regions to meeting the globally agreed development goals, the report warns that quite a few countries have much work to do before reaching the finish line.  For now, only Slovenia, Hungary and Poland have largely met the goals.

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Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC)

  • Progress Report on the Country Assistance Strategy for Colombia - The WB sent  the Board of Directors on September 30 the Progress Report on the Country Assistance Strategy (CAS) for Colombia.  The CAS Progress Report is a document that examines the progress achieved in implementing the WB’s current CAS for Colombia, begun in 2003, and proposes a one-year extension to allow the current CAS to extend beyond national elections in 2006.
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  • Country Assistance Strategy for OECS Countries - The WB's Board of Directors discussed on September 13, the institution's new Country Assistance Strategy (CAS) for the Organization of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS).  This CAS projects financial assistance for the six member states of up to US$103.4 million between 2005 and 2009, in addition to technical and advisory services.  The CAS incorporates lessons learned, and reflects the Bank's comparative advantage in a number of key areas of the OECS' own development agenda.  It has three main pillars: stimulating growth and improving competitiveness; reducing vulnerability by promoting greater social inclusion and strengthening disaster risk management; and promoting regional approaches and reaping economies of scale.  For more information about the Bank's work in the OECS, please visit: http://www.worldbank.org/oecs.

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South Asia Region (SAR)

  • New Shelters for Tsunami Survivors - An agreement to provide thousands of new temporary shelters for survivors of December’s tsunami in Indonesia was reached at a meeting of the Global Consortium on Tsunami Recovery at the Bank’s headquarters. The meeting of the Consortium, which is headed by former US President Bill Clinton, was attended by WB President.  It includes heads of United Nations agencies, the International Federation of the Red Cross, civil society organizations, representatives from other tsunami-affected countries and donor nations. Clinton said the plan would bring together the interested partners in a program to procure and construct thousands of newer and improved facilities.
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  • Year of Microcredit in South Asia - The UN declared 2005 as the International Year of Microcredit. The WB and the Consultative Group to Assist the Poor (CGAP) are working with national committees around the world by hosting a series of events and conferences to highlight the importance of microfinance in the fight against poverty, and continue to develop strategies and resources to reach an estimated three billion people who lack access to formal financial services.  The WB’s portfolio in microfinance initiatives has risen to over $1 billion in recent years.  The WB and CGAP are working throughout this year on organizing a series of events and research around key issues in microfinance, including a workshop on “scaling up” in Bangladesh, and a post-tsunami roundtable in Sri Lanka later in the year. These regional meetings will lead up to a major regional microfinance conference to be held in Delhi, India on December 5-7.  For more information, please visit: http://www.worldbank.org/finance, or: http://www.cgap.org.

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11.  New Publications from the World Bank

  • 2005 Annual Meetings: Development Committee Documents - Development Committee (DC) ministers, during the 2005 Annual Meetings, discussed a number of reports prepared by staffs of the WB and IMF presenting the institutions' latest thinking and analysis on topics ranging from: conditionality; voice and participation of developing and transition countries; infrastructure;  Doha development agenda and aid for trade; PRS; climate change and energy; aid financing and aid effectiveness; action plan for Africa; HIPC; and G8 debt proposal.  All these documents can be found on the DC website.
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  • 2005 PRS Review: Balancing Accountabilities and Scaling Up Results - The 2005 IMF and WB review of the Poverty Reduction Strategy (PRS) approach was completed in September 2005, redefines the relationship of aid. The review encourages continued support for a country-based development model, recognizing that this requires medium- to long-term commitment to institutional changes and capacity building--including efforts to strengthen governance and accountability.  The report also stresses that the PRS processes and content need to be customized to country circumstances in order to support a balance in accountabilities between governments (to their domestic constituents for improved policies, governance, and development results) and donors (to provide more and better aid in ways that support rather than detract from domestic accountability). Report synthesis
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  • Evaluating the World Bank's Assistance for Fighting the HIV/AIDS Epidemic - This evaluation assesses the development effectiveness of the WB's country-level HIV/AIDS assistance which is composed of policy dialogue, analytic work, and lending with the explicit objective of reducing the scope or impact of the AIDS epidemic. The evaluation identifies findings from this experience and makes recommendations to improve the relevance, efficiency, and efficacy of ongoing and future activities. This is the first comprehensive evaluation of the WB's HIV/AIDS support to countries, from the beginning of the epidemic through mid-2004. Because the WB's assistance is primarily geared to government-run programs, it provides important insights on how national AIDS programs can be made more effective.  All the key documents -- complete report, executive summary (in English, Spanish and French), statement of the External Advisory Panel, WB management response, and Chairman's Summary: Committee on Development Effectiveness (CODE) -- can be found at: http://www.worldbank.org/oed/aids/.
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  • Agricultural Trade Reform and the Doha Development Agenda - Agricultural trade reform is critical to a favorable development outcome from the Doha Development Agenda, says the report. But the agricultural policies and the policy reforms being contemplated are fiendishly complicated, and the devil is in the details. This publication focuses on the essential details of the tariffs and other protection measures, and uses this information to provide an analysis of the big-picture implications of proposed reforms.  By providing the most complete and up to date analysis of the range of agricultural negotiations underway in the World Trade Organization (WTO), this book is a valuable resource to policymakers, agricultural private sector, and academics in developing and assessing the negotiating options.  Available for preorder, will be published in October, 2005.
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  • Beyond GDP, World Bank Releases New Measure of Wealth - A new WB publication, Where is the Wealth of Nations?, launched at the 2005 U.N. World Summit argues that an accounting of the actual value of natural resources, including resource depletion and population growth, shows that net savings per person are negative in the world’s most impoverished countries, particularly in sub-Saharan Africa.  The publication was presented by its author to a standing room only audience, with contributing panelists Achim Steiner (IUCN), Wangari Maathai (Kenya), Ian Johnson (World Bank), Steve McCormick (TNC), Peter Seligmann (Conservation International), and Warren Evans (World Bank).  The book also argues that current indicators used to guide development decisions – national accounts figures, such as Gross Domestic Product (GDP) – ignore depletion of resources and damage to the environment.  The publication also provides new estimates of total wealth, including produced capital, natural resources, and the value of human skills and capabilities for countries worldwide.
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  • Reducing Poverty on a Global Scale: Learning and Innovating for Development: Findings from the Shanghai Global Learning Initiative - In 2003 the WB, in partnership with the Government of China, began a one year-long global learning process that focused on worldwide efforts to reduce poverty among different dimensions. A series of case studies, multi-country interactive videoconferences, on-line dialogues, and field visits led up to the working conference in Shanghai, on May 25 - 27, 2004. Development lessons and experiences were shared and debated at this event by policymakers, politicians, donors, academics, development practitioners, CSOs, and representatives from development institutions. The publication attempts to capture the findings from the Shanghai Global Learning Initiative, and contribute to the broader existing knowledge on poverty reduction and the effectiveness of aid.

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12. Upcoming and Ongoing Global Events/Discussions

  • Global Issues Seminar Series - WB is offering a Global Issues Seminar Series starting October 2005 to promote better understanding of the nature and significance of global issues - development issues whose resolution requires international action - and to generate discussion on the actions that are already under way, and what more needs to be done.  Examples of such issues include: global poverty, communicable diseases, education for all, migration, climate change, access to water, malnutrition and hunger, international trade, international financial stability, conflicts, global public goods, and biodiversity.  This seminar series is open to everyone, and specifically to senior undergraduate and graduate students of the social sciences, international development, public policy and business.  Participation is free.
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  • Gender and Poverty Electronic Learning Course - The course will be held on October 31-November 25th, 2005, and is organized by the Poverty and Growth Program (PGP) of the WB Institute. It will  consist of an analysis of contemporary literature on gender issues in economic development and poverty reduction, and will examine the linkages between gender, poverty, trade, access to financial resources, and economic development. The course will conclude with an analysis on the implications of gender for poverty reduction. The global, eLearning classroom will bring together participants from civil society, NGOs, academia, and WB staff. To register, visit the PGP learning catalogue.
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  • Work on Investment Framework for Clean Energy and Sustainable Development Launched - Responding to the recommendations of the July G-8 Summit Plan of Action on Climate Change, the G-8 Presidency (United Kingdom) and the WB on September 24 launched work on an Investment Framework for clean energy and sustainable development. The G-8 presidency will host a Ministerial Conference to launch the "Dialogue Initiative on Climate Change, Clean Energy, and Sustainable Development" on November 1st, in London. Participating will be G-8 nations, developing countries including the largest emerging economies that attended Gleneagles (Brazil, China, India Mexico, and South Africa), and other countries with significant energy needs.  The WB and the International Energy Agency will also be represented at that gathering.  To learn more, please visit the websites: http://www.worldbank.org/sustainabledevelopment and http://www.g8.gov.uk.The Conference was announced by Prime Minister Tony Blair during the G-8 Summit in Gleneagles.

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13. Recent Global Events/Discussions

  • Donors Discuss Practical Steps To Deliver Increases In Aid To Poorest Countries - The WB and the OECD Development Assistance Committee co-hosted a meeting on September 26 to discuss practical steps to help ensure the effective use and delivery of aid.  The meeting in Washington DC brought together donor countries from around the world, and included the African Development Bank, the United Nations, the Islamic Development Bank, the International Monetary Fund, the European Union, Asian Development Bank and Inter-American Development Bank.  The participants agreed that renewed political commitment this year to increase aid, offer debt relief, and make aid more effective has created a favorable environment for increasing aid.  The group recognized the importance of predictability, country ownership and effective donor coordination to underpin the effective scaling up of aid.  They also agreed to work on the following three areas: achieving greater predictability and appropriate flexibility of donor financing; strengthening the Poverty Reduction Strategy PRS Process; and securing financing needed for country plans to ramp up Millennium Development Goal efforts.  The group agreed to meet next on December 6th in Paris to take stock of and further shape the implementation of this work.
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