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Civil Society Engagement eNewsletter - October 2005

This is the October 2005 edition of the World Bank Civil Society Engagement eNewsletter which is a regular electronic newsletter sent to Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) worldwide. Please forward it to other CSOs in your networks.

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     World Bank Issues Warning on Doha Round
     World Bank Increases Support to Pakistan Quake Zone
     Head of World Bank Meets With Civil Society During His Visits to China and Russia
     A Call for Parliamentarians to Deliver Results for the Poor
     World Bank Statement on Proposed Revision Of Chad's Petroleum Revenue Management Law
     High Oil Prices and Poverty: World Bank Pushes For Greater Transparency
     DEADLINE APPROACHING: Development Marketplace 2006


World Bank Issues Warning on Doha Round  - On the eve of the G-20 meeting in Hebei, just outside Beijing, the WB President issued a warning that unless all countries made real concessions, the Doha round of international trade negotiations would fail. Speaking to students at Lanzhou University in Gansu Province – one of the poorest parts of China – Wolfowitz said that the G-20 finance ministers’ meeting offered a vital opportunity to fix global imbalances, and to create a more stable and equitable world. But unless the trade talks opened the way for developing countries to sell more of what they produce internationally, they would have no way to escape poverty or dependency on aid. A background paper for the G-20 meeting prepared by the WB describes the December meeting of the World Trade Organization as a test for the international community and says the outcome of that meeting will be crucial for progress in trade liberalization. It asks the G-20 to consider what role it can play in "securing the necessary political impetus to ensure concrete results" in Hong Kong. Earlier in his trip to Asia, on October 12, he delivered a speech: "Trading for Results: Realizing the Development Promise of the Doha Agenda" at Keio University in Tokyo, Japan. More

World Bank Increases Support to Pakistan Quake Zone - The WB announced on October 25 a package totaling US$470 million to assist the Government of Pakistan in the reconstruction of areas devastated by the massive earthquake of October 8. The package comprises US$200 million in quick disbursing credits from the Bank’s concessional International Development Association (IDA), a US$100 million loan for highway reconstruction, US$130 million in additional credit financing for community infrastructure and US$40 million, announced last week, in reallocated IDA funding. The WB, the Asian Development Bank and a multi-donor team began work in Pakistan this week on a needs assessment study that will help the government detail its initial estimates of damage and loss. Apart from budget support, the Bank’s financial support will target infrastructure large and small. The Pakistan Poverty Alleviation Fund, which the WB has supported, has 61 partner organizations. These local-level NGOs are already mobilized and delivering relief. As the operation moves into rehabilitation and reconstruction, US$100 million from the WB will support the rebuilding of devastated communities.   More


Head of World Bank Meets With Civil Society During His Visits to China and Russia - During his trip to China in October, President Paul Wolfowitz met with the leaders of various Chinese civil society organizations and reiterated his message from the Annual Meetings that "civil society is a critical part of successful development" because CSOs act as "an important bridge between citizens and governments" and enable "people to get together for common purposes and, sometimes in ways that are more creative and focused on people's needs than anything government bureaucracies can produce". Also he stressed that "CSOs are an important way of holding governments accountable" because "bureaucrats sometimes forget that their responsibility is to the people they serve rather than the bosses." More  WB Group President visited Russia for two days at the invitation of the Russian Government. On the first leg of his visit to Russia, he in an informal setting met with the representatives of Russia's think-tank and civil society community to hear from their leaders about the main issues being debated in the country's domestic economic and global development agenda. He also paid a visit to the small rural settlement of Shishkin Les outside of Moscow to tour a secondary school and a polyclinic. He commended the excellent work of the staff at the polyclinic and encouraged them to continue with their work on preventative medicine, a priority in a country beset by premature mortality and low life expectancy. More

A Call for Parliamentarians to Deliver Results for the Poor - During his recent visit to Europe, WB President addressed parliamentarians from 90 countries at the Annual Conference of the Parliamentary Network on the World Bank (PNoWB) in Helsinki, Finland. He emphasized their oversight role to ensure that governments follow through on their commitments to reach the MDGs, and reaffirmed the Bank's commitment to build on the existing collaboration with parliamentarians around the world. The annual conference brought together elected representatives from 90 countries to participate in discussions with Mr. Wolfowitz, WTO Secretary General, Indonesian President, and other development leaders. The gathering also featured workshops on pressing issues such as debt relief, trade, climate change, and aid effectiveness, where parliamentarians debated pressing issues and took stock of their role in cementing public support for the fight against poverty. Mr. Wolfowitz also urged all trading nations to make the necessary concessions by asking governments to accept the notion of temporary discomfort by giving up subsidies and other barriers to trade, in order to ameliorate the daily discomfort and deprivation experienced by poor people around the world. The PNoWB urged legislators to scrutinize government positions on trade ahead of December's crucial WTO gathering. More


World Bank Statement on Proposed Revision Of Chad's Petroleum Revenue Management Law - Following the Government of Chad announcement of its intention to amend the petroleum revenue management law as a result of recurring financial problems, the WB issued a statement which stresses the importance of maintaining the poverty reduction focus of the oil revenue management program. The statement notes that from the outset of the Chad Cameroon Pipeline Project, the Petroleum Revenue Management Law, and the revenue management program that it underpins, were designed to assure that the country's oil revenues would help finance badly needed development and poverty-reduction programs for today’s population and for future generations. With allocations already approved in road rehabilitation, health and education, among other areas, the citizens of Chad are beginning to see some benefits, despite the difficulties and weaknesses assessed in the execution of public spending. The WB recognizes that the Government of Chad faces problems, but is concerned that addressing grave weaknesses in public financial management which the government itself has acknowledged is essential to ensuring that the poverty reduction goals of the oil revenue management program are protected. The WB is consulting with various international donor partners and will pursue dialogue with the government of Chad in an effort to ensure that its concerns are fully understood and addressed. More

High Oil Prices and Poverty: World Bank Pushes For Greater Transparency - With prices for natural resources – such as oil, gas, and minerals – at record highs, companies and governments in the extractive sectors around the world are under ever more pressure to disclose payments and revenues to help break the cycle of poverty. Local communities, indigenous peoples, and civil society organizations have been demanding more of a say in these industries. In response, the World Bank and the International Finance Corporation are working through an international effort, the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI), to encourage nations from Nigeria to Azerbaijan to Peru to subject their income from oil, gas, and minerals to public scrutiny. Some 20 nations have signed up to this initiative, and the number is growing. Leaders from local communities and nongovernmental organizations, industry representatives, government officials, and global bankers are meeting in Washington to discuss how reported payments and revenues can be verified. Not only do international accounting firms need to audit and double check such numbers; it is also critical that representatives of local societies are part of the process. To find out more about the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative, please go to:, or, or, and


DEADLINE APPROACHING: Development Marketplace 2006 - The Bank will award $4 million to the best ideas on providing clean water, sanitation, and energy to local communities in developing countries during its annual Development Marketplace on May 9, 2006. Titled "Innovation in Water, Sanitation, and Energy Services for Poor People," the competition seeks proposals for local, small-scale projects with the potential to be scaled up. The winners will be selected by a jury of Bank and independent development experts at the event in Washington. The competition is open to CSOs, social entrepreneurs, youth organizations, private foundations, academia, and private-sector companies with unique ideas that may not attract funding from traditional sources of finance. The maximum award will be $200,000 per proposal. Proposals will be accepted via email until November 30, 2005 ! More




Launch Of New Alliance To Combat Land Degradation In Africa - With about 65 percent of Africa’s population affected by land degradation, and over 3 percent of agricultural GDP lost annually to soil and nutrient loss in Sub-Saharan Africa, a new partnership – TerrAfrica – the largest of its kind to address land degradation and increase sustainable land management throughout the region was announced at the seventh session of the UN Conference of the Parties on Desertification, held in Nairobi. TerrAfrica has been developed in partnership with and based on the calls for action from the UNCCD, as well as from the New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD) Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Programme and the NEPAD Environmental Action Plan, and the G8 Gleneagles Summit Africa statement. It is a coalition in support of collective action by many actors including civil society. More

Reaching Rural Areas via Radio - A program to support local government capacity-building and community empowerment through radio is making a difference in the lives of the people of Ghana, Kenya, Tanzania, and Uganda.  "Africa Good Governance on the Radio Waves" is a joint program of the Municipal Development Partnership for Eastern and Southern Africa and the World Bank Institute, which are partnering with national associations of local governments in the participating countries. The program is transmitted by First Voice International via digital radio, reaching a large number of listeners in rural and urban areas. The target audience includes mayors, local public officials, civil society groups, and the public at large. More

Emergency Program For Poverty Reduction in Togo - The WB launched on October 14 the first phase of the Emergency Program for Poverty Reduction (EPPR) for Togo. Designed jointly by the WB and the UNDP, the EPPR is a community development project aimed at reducing extreme poverty by improving access to basic social services for the beneficiary populations. A grant amounting to US$427,267 was allocated to fund small scale community initiatives in the areas of basic education, primary health care, HIV/AIDS and social protection. In addition to community investments, the EPPR will also fund capacity building activities for local communities and institutions, in order to help them manage and execute the community projects in a good manner. The EPPR will be implemented in the Region by Agence d’Appui aux Initiatives de Développement à la Base (AGAIB-Savanes), an agency supporting development initiatives at the grassroots level in the country. More


East Asia and Pacific (EAP)

World Bank President Visits the Region - WB President visited China and Japan during his two-week trip to EAP and Europe earlier in October. It was his first visit to the region since assuming the presidency at the WB. While in Japan, he met with key Japanese officials and discussed the creation of a new intellectual partnership with Japan to share experience, knowledge, ideas and innovation to generate growth and reduce poverty. From Tokyo, he travelled to China's rural Gansu province in the western region and then went on to Beijing and the surrounding areas where he met with government officials, CSOs and women's groups, and attended the G20 meeting. More


Europe and Central Asia (ECA)

Poverty is Falling in Eastern Europe and the Former Soviet Union, But Challenges Remain Says World Bank Report - The publication: "Growth, Poverty, and Inequality in Eastern Europe and the Former Soviet Union", analyzes impact of economic growth during 1998-2003. It documents a dramatic drop in the number of people living on less than $2 a day in Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union over the five years to 2003, according to a report, with some 40 million people pulled out of poverty in the years from 1998 to 2003. However the report comes with a warning - unless growth is accelerated, by 2007 40 million people will remain poor. The report recommends pursuing enterprise reforms, boosting rural growth, and promoting opportunity in lagging regions. Other reform priorities identified include improving the delivery of basic services, and ensuring better, more targeted social protection, particularly for the working poor and children. More

Behind Closed Doors: Eastern Europe and Central Asia Tackle Corruption and the Hidden Economy- As they implement ambitious anti-corruption programs, officials in ECA are using the Global Development Learning Network (GDLN) to learn from the experiences of other countries in the region and develop policy responses at the national and transnational levels. On September 9, 2005, in the second of a series of events, representatives from the public and private sector, CSOs, and donor organizations in Bulgaria, the Kyrgyz Republic, and Ukraine met virtually through GDLN to discuss effective measures for combating corruption and the "hidden" economy in their countries. This was the second GDLN videoconference held under a pilot program on anti-corruption developed by the Center for the Study of Democracy and Coalition 2000. Other sessions in the program will cover Corruption Monitoring and Assessment Techniques; Civic Initiatives for Judicial Reform and Countering Corruption; Organized Crime and Corruption; and the Hidden Economy and Corruption. For more information, please contact Dinka Dinkova at the GDLN Center in Sofia (  or Svitlana Shytikova at the GDLN Center in Kyiv ( . See also:


Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC)

Regional Strategy for Engagement with Civil Society - This is the second version of the WB framework and operational strategy for empowering the poor and promoting accountability in the LAC. It updates the previous strategy paper, covering FY02-FY04, and projects forward for the three coming fiscal years, FY05-07. The strategy sets goals for engaging CSOs to promote inclusive governance. It reflects a generally positive assessment of what has been accomplished in the past three years and calls for scaling up and mainstreaming engagement.  More

Board Discusses Panama's Interim Strategy - The Board of Executive Directors discussed an Interim Strategy Note aimed at supporting Panama in its efforts to reduce poverty for the next two years. The strategy presents a program of stepped-up engagement for the Bank at the request of the government of Panama. It provides for greater engagement with a strong emphasis on preparation and discussion of analytical reports in key areas of public expenditure management, poverty reduction, trade, and competitiveness. It also calls for a policy-based loan and three poverty-focused investment projects totaling $160 million. More


South Asia Region (SAR)

Helping Tsunami-affected Families in Sri Lanka - Some 220,000 Sri Lankan families affected by last December's tsunami have received three installments of cash grants worth US$50 each, with another installment on the way soon. These Bank-supported cash grants have so far disbursed $33 million and when the last installment reaches families later this year, the total will be $40 million. The Bank has committed up to $150 million to help in the recovery. The money is being channeled into urban reconstruction, rebuilding of heath facilities and roads, and providing logistical support. The Bank has also been making grants of about $2,500 each, to enable families to repair or rebuild their homesMore

Stocktaking On Poverty Reduction Support Credits: What Works Well, What Doesn’t And Looking Forward In Vietnam- The World Bank, in cooperation with State Bank of Vietnam and the Asian Development Bank, is organizing a workshop to evaluate the performance of Poverty Reduction Support Credits (PRSCs) in Vietnam. PRSCs are new instrument to support nationally-owned strategies for economic growth and poverty reduction. In this two-day event, representatives from the Government, donor agencies, and CSOs will take stock of past achievements in the first four PRSCs for Vietnam, in terms of policy reforms, resource mobilization, and donor coordination. They will also review the lessons learned from PRSC operations in other developing countries and transition economies. The main goal of the workshop is to understand what worked well and what can be improved in the way donors have jointly worked towards supporting Vietnam's reform agenda while providing resources directly to the budget. The workshop also seeks to forge an understanding on how to use this instrument to support the implementation of the next five- year Socioeconomic Development Plan (SEDP).  More




Environmental Degradation Increases Death and Disease Says World Bank Publication - Some 1.7 million premature deaths each year are caused by unsafe water, poor sanitation and poor hygiene, and about 800,000 more deaths are the result of urban air pollution, according to the Bank's annual publication, "Environment Matters." An annual review of the Bank's environmental work, this edition of the report focuses on the links between environment and health and their connection to economic growth. The issue notes the increase in environmental content in Bank lending over the past year -- with the approval of 73 projects with environmental content in 47 countries, reaching $2.5 billion in new commitments for fiscal 2005, up from $1.3 billion in fiscal 2004. More

Evaluation of World Bank's Support for Community-Based and -Driven Development - This evaluation, titled: "The Effectiveness of World Bank Support for Community-Based and -Driven Development", was produced by the Bank's Operations Evaluation Department (OED) and assesses the effectiveness of the WB's support for development approaches that involve community participation. The study finds that these approaches are potentially a powerful mechanism for channeling development assistance to the grass roots level, but highlights several challenges in ensuring effective use of external support. More

Evaluation of Development Effectiveness of World Bank Country-level HIV/AIDS Assistance - This evaluation: "Committing to Results: Improving the Effectiveness of HIV/AIDS Assistance", was also produced by OED and assesses the development effectiveness of assistance defined as 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 for implementation of government programs by government, it provides important insights on how national AIDS programs can be made more effective.  More

Remittances and the Brain Drain - A new study produced by the Development Economics Department (DEC), titled "International Migration, Remittances and the Brain Drain" International, argues that while migration reduces poverty in some developing countries it also results in brain drain in others. Migrants’ remittances reduce poverty in developing countries, but massive emigration of highly-skilled citizens poses troubling dilemmas for many smaller low-income countries, a new World Bank research study finds. The study includes a detailed analysis of household survey data from Mexico, Guatemala and the Philippines, all countries that produce millions of migrants. It concludes that families whose members include migrants living abroad have higher incomes than those with no migrants, clearly demonstrating that remittances can have a positive impact on development and poverty reduction in those countries. A more complex finding emerges when the study’s focus shifts to the educated migrants from developing countries, the so-called "brain drain". It notes a massive exodus of professionals from some of the world's most vulnerable low-income countries. The publication can be accessed at: More




Web Portal to Assist Earthquake Relief Effort in Pakistan - An information-sharing web portal called Pakistan Relief and Information Systems for Earthquakes has been launched to provide information about the 4,000 villages in the largely rural earthquake-affected areas of Pakistan. The portal was developed and will be maintained by a consortium of experts drawn from the Bank, American and Pakistani universities and the private sector, with support from the government of Pakistan. It will provide up-to-date damage and relief information about affected villages from agencies, relief workers, local officials and anyone with access to immediate village-level data that will support the current coordination of relief. More

World Bank Africa Region "Findings" - Findings is published periodically by the Knowledge and Learning Center of the WB Africa region and is available in English and French. It reports on ongoing operational, economic and sector work carried out by the WB and its member governments in the region. More




Online Discussion: Youth Technopreneurship, October 27, 2005 - The WB's Youth-to-Youth community is organizing a one-day conference on October 27 to showcase innovative initiatives led by four young social ‘technopreneurs' from around the world. An on-line discussion now underway will build on the youth component outcomes of the Shanghai Learning Conference, focusing on how the Bank and other international organizations can scale up support for youth-led community driven development. The discussion is organized in preparation for the event to enable youth and development practitioners to share their views on various issues. It will continue for four weeks after the conference, to facilitate the dissemination of recommendations that emerge from the conference, and to seek feedback from participants. More

Roundtable of Development Partners on the Role of CSOs in Public Advocacy and Policy Dialogue in the New EU Member States, the Western Balkans, Turkey and the CIS -- Paris, France, October 27 - 28, 2005 - More than 40 representatives of various development organizations are meeting to discuss the role of CSOs in public advocacy and policy dialogue across central and southern Europe and the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS). The participants will tackle the issues of the costs and benefits of accountable and transparent policy dialogue, talk about experiences of effective public advocacy and policy dialogue across the region, the prerequisites for effective CSO participation in policy dialogue, and the role of public and private donors and development partner organizations. More

World Bank's Global Issues Seminar Series - The WB's External Affairs Department recently launched the Global Issues Seminar Series on October 12, 2005 to promote a better understanding of the nature and significance of global issues as well as generate discussion on efforts underway. The weekly Wednesday seminar series -- with three sessions already held -- is open to everyone interested in the pertinence of global issues in our world today, and is specifically targeted at senior undergraduate and graduate students of the social sciences, international development, public policy and other related disciplines. Session topics include corruption, conflict & development, climate change, and education, and can be accessed on the WB's website. The sessions are interactive as various student and academic groups around the world participate via videoconferencing and submit questions and comments on-line to the speakers. For a access to the powerpoint presentations, reading materials, and handouts presented during each session, please visit the Global Issues Seminar Series website at:  




"Poverty Eradication and Injustice: Difference and Common Ground," The World Council of Churches’ Encounters with the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund, Geneva, 22 October 2004 - The report provides the presentations, discussions, and conclusions of the high level meeting that culminated the multi-year dialogue process between the World Council of Churches (WCC), the WB (through the Development Dialogue on Values and Ethics, HDNDE) and the International Monetary Fund (IMF), which began in 2002. The dialogue amongst the three institutions focused on broad development issues, the respective roles of the three organizations, and the challenges they face as global actors. As a result of the dialogue, the three institutions have reached an improved understanding of each other. It also resulted in several background documents being produced by the WCC which will continue to be a point of reference as the dialogue process continues. There was also agreement that a useful next step would be to jointly undertake a limited number of case studies focusing on the development experiences of the three institutions in three countries: Tanzania, Kenya, and Honduras. These case studies are to be undertaken sequentially, with the first being Tanzania this year.   To read the a Synthesis of Discussions and Summary of Agreements from the October 22, 2004 High-Level Encounter, visit. To learn more about the work of the Development Dialogue on Values and Ethics team at the WB, please visit.



The Newsletter 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. We welcome your comments and feedback to make this newsletter as useful as possible. Please share your comments on the Newsletter with us:  All past issues of the Newsletter can be found on the WB site on Civil Society Engagement at:

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