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Civil Society Engagement eNewsletter - November 2005


MAIN STORIES:

NEWS FROM THE WORLD BANK'S REGIONAL DEPARTMENTS
NEW PUBLICATIONS FROM THE WORLD BANK
UPCOMING AND ONGOING GLOBAL EVENTS/DISCUSSIONS
RECENT GLOBAL EVENTS/DISCUSSIONS


World Bank Board Discusses Management’s Response to Inspection Panel’s Investigation of the Colombia-Cartagena Water Supply, Sewerage and Environmental Management Project - The WB Board of Executive Directors on November 8, 2005 discussed the findings of the independent Inspection Panel investigation of the Colombia-Cartagena Water Supply, Sewerage and Environmental Management Project, financed in part by a US$85 million WB loan out of a total cost of US$117.2 million.  The Board approved Management’s Action Plan contained in the WB’s Official Response to the Panel’s findings.  The Panel investigation responded to a request from the Corporación Cartagena Honesta, a local NGO, on behalf of itself and residents of the areas affected by the Project. The requesters claimed that their communities had been and would be further harmed from certain components of the project, such as a proposed submarine outfall for the disposal of municipal wastes that they said would pollute the marine environment and cause harm to their health and economic well-being, especially their fisheries.   More

World Bank Lending For Renewable Energy And Energy Efficiency - The WB's work on climate change has been given new impetus following the G8 summit in Gleneagles, Scotland in July 2005 where leaders of the Group of Eight industrialized nations put climate change on the agenda, not only as a global environment issue but also as a development issue. In response, the WB has begun work on the creation of an investment framework for clean energy and sustainable development, with issues ranging from reducing emissions to the management of carbon storage, impacts of climate change and long term adaptation. Other aspects include making infrastructure resilient to climate change and building up knowledge within member countries in all these areas. The WB Group has doubled its renewable energy/energy efficiency commitments in fiscal year 2005 to a total of $748 million. It has mobilized and is managing approximately $1 billion in funds for investing in carbon emissions trading.  More

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FINAL CALL FOR PROPOSALS: 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 at the WB headquarters in Washington, DC. 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 until November 30, 2005 via the internet. You can access the online application form and get more information at: http://www.developmentmarketplace.org/.

New Global Program To Deal With Avian Flu; World Bank Assesses Possible Global Economic Impact - The WB is finalizing its plans for a new funding program of US$300-500 million to combat the avian flu.  It will be available within weeks to countries. The WB is working very closely with the UN system, to help countries put in place needs assessments and provide funds to support country programs to strengthen veterinary systems and put in place culling and vaccine programs for animals. The funding mechanism is similar to that used by the WB to fund its AIDS programs in Africa, allowing low-income countries immediate access to grants and soft loans from the International Development Association, with immediate funding to some countries most at risk in Asia and Europe. The WB is also carrying out discussions with other donors, and partner UN agency organizations to set up a multi donor trust fund with the specific aim of supporting country level activities to combat avian flu.  More   According to a new research by the WB, a pandemic of avian influenza among humans could cost the global economy US$800 billion a year – a 2 percent loss of global GDP, based on the experience of SARS in East Asia. Speaking at the partners' meeting on avian influenza and human pandemic influenza in Geneva with members of cosponsoring organizations, country representatives, donor partners and regional organizations for the examination of integrated national plans to deal with the issues, the report's author said that aside from the immediate costs of disruption, a serious global flu pandemic could also entail a "sizeable loss of potential world output through a reduction in the size and productivity of the world labor force due to illness and death", with costs of hospitalization and medical treatment to be factored in as well.  More

Senior Staff Positions Changes at the World Bank - Effective December 16, 2005, Mr. Jeffrey Gutman will assume the position of Acting Vice President in the East Asia and the Pacific Region of the WB following the retirement of Jemal-ud-din Kassum.  Gutman is currently Director, Strategy and Operations for the region.  As of November 7, 2005, Mr. Philippe Le Houerou has become an Acting Vice President for Information Solutions Group at the WB.  He replaced Mohamed Muhsin, who has retired from the Bank.  Prior to this position, for two years Mr. Le Houerou led the IDA team through the IDA 14 replenishment negotiations as Director, Resource Mobilization Department.  Mr. Sudhir Shetty becomes a new Sector Director for Poverty Reduction and Economic Management in the Africa Region as of November 14, 2005.  Prior to assuming this position he was a Sector Manager of the Poverty Reduction Group in Poverty Reduction and Economic Management Vice Presidency at the WB.  Ms. Elizabeth Lule was nominated Sector Manager for the Africa Region's AIDS Campaign Team (ActAfrica).  Her appointment becomes effective on December 1, 2005.

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NEWS FROM THE WORLD BANK'S REGIONAL DEPARTMENT

Africa

World Bank Supports Rwanda's Poverty Reduction Program - The Second Poverty Reduction Support Grant (PRSG II), in the amount of US$55 million was approved by the WB's Board of Directors on November 10, 2005.  PRSG II will help create a strong basis for private sector-led economic growth, driven by agricultural transformation, promotion of exports, and a deepening of reform in the financial sector. It will focus on the education, health, water, and energy sectors while strengthening governance and transparency through further improvements to the fiduciary framework. It will also help empower local communities.  At project completion, Rwanda should see a marked increase in the number of children attending or completing primary school and a significant drop in the number of under-five mortality and the spread of communicable diseases.  More

PROJECT HIGHLIGHT:  The Community Based Rural Development Program in Burkina Faso - The WB, the Government of Burkina Faso, and other donors (IFAD, UNDP, and Denmark) partnered in creating the Community Based Rural Development Program (CBRDP) to give rural people power and authority over their own projects and initiatives.  CBRDP began in October 2001, as a Community Driven Development (CDD) project to enable people to drive their own development at the local level. Initially, the WB proposed to only fund 2,000 villages with an IDA credit of $66.7 million. These 2,000 villages were selected by a technical consultation group made up of government officials and local civil society organizations.  CBRDP has already begun preparation for Phase 2. In Phase 2, all 8,000 villages in the country will be covered.  More

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East Asia and Pacific (EAP)

Local Development Marketplace Competitions - The Development Marketplace, an initiative of the WB, holds annual country competitions that seek to identify and fund innovative ideas to help fight grassroots poverty. The competition organizers in China, the Philippines and Papua New Guinea are currently using these events to engage CSOs, the private sector, and other development agencies in mobilizing public opinion around strategic development issues. China has recently chosen 100 finalists from a pool of 975 entries - all of them being NGOs.  The exhibition and award ceremony of the China Development Marketplace, originally planned for December, has been rescheduled to February 23-24, 2006. The deadline for entries in the Philippines is November 30, 2005; and February 3, 2006 in Papua New Guinea, where the focus is on youth and their communities. DM in China  DM in the Philippines  DM in Papua New Guinea

South and East Asian Countries Join Efforts on Tsunami Recovery and Preparedness - South and East Asian countries recovering from the tsunami in December 2004 are coming together through the WB's videoconferencing network, the Global Development Learning Network, to develop an integrated approach for tsunami preparedness and recovery. This exchange and dialogue series runs from October 2005 to January 2006 and brings together officials from the government, universities, research institutes, CSOs and other agencies working on disaster preparedness, hazard management and recovery efforts in the region. This series is organized by Chulalongkorn University and the GDLN Center in Thailand, together with the GDLN Center in Tokyo and the World Bank's East Asia and Pacific team. The first session, held on October 11, was focused on restoring the livelihoods of affected communities with more than 100 participants in Indonesia, Japan , Sri Lanka and Thailand discussing case studies from the tsunami-affected countries.  More 

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Europe and Central Asia (ECA)

Turkey Office Again Launches Small Grants Program - The WB Turkey Country Office will oversee the sixth round of the Small Grants Program in 2006. This year the Program will distribute grants up to US$5,000 for small-scale projects supporting social development submitted by NGOs active in social matters. The Small Grants Program complements and facilitates the social development agenda of the World Bank through its focus on civic engagement. This year's theme in Turkey is: "Civic Engagement for the Empowerment of Marginalized and Vulnerable Groups." Applications from Turkish CSOs will be accepted until January 6, 2006.    More

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Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC)

Colombia Social Safety Net Project - On November 1, 2005 the WB's Board of Directors approved a $86.4 million loan to Colombia to support a poverty reduction program called the Social Safety Net Project, which will consolidate and expand the successful Familias en Accion conditional cash transfer program, and improve the monitoring and evaluation of the country's safety net portfolio. This program will complement current WB efforts in the health and education sectors by providing cash transfers to 400,000 extremely poor families in marginalized urban areas and high priority zones affected by violence, conditioned on their children's regular school attendance and health clinic visits. The project is in line with the country's "Vision Colombia 2019" to reduce poverty and inequality and promote human capital investments among the poor, as well as make significant progress on Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) such as achieving universal primary education, reducing child mortality and improving maternal health.   More

El Salvador: World Bank Approves $21 Million for Social Protection - The WB's Board on October 27, 2005 approved a $21 million loan to El Salvador.  The project will support its flagship poverty reduction program, Red Solidaria, an integrated program of targeted investments aimed at strengthening the provision and quality of basic social services, improving basic infrastructure and enhancing the poorest households' capacity to invest in their children's education, health and nutrition. The central element of Red Solidaria is the implementation of a conditional cash transfer program to encourage extremely poor families to send their 5-15 year old children to pre-school and primary school, fully immunize children younger than 5 and regularly monitor the health and nutrition status of pregnant mothers and infants. The Social Protection Project will benefit some 80,000 rural families living in the 100 poorest municipalities over a five-year period.  More 

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South Asia Region (SAR)

Pakistan Needs US $5.2 billion for Earthquake Relief, Reconstruction and Rehabilitation - Pakistan will need approximately US $5.2 billion to effectively implement a relief, recovery and reconstruction strategy, according to a preliminary damage and needs assessment released on November 12 by the Asian Development Bank (ADB) and WB. Of this amount, $3.5 billion is for physical reconstruction of housing, schools, health facilities, roads and other public infrastructure.  A companion report by the United Nations on early recovery will appear in a few days.  At the request of the Government of Pakistan, a joint team from the Asian Development Bank (ADB) and WB began an assessment of the needs and reconstruction costs following the 7.6 magnitude earthquake that devastated parts of Pakistan on October 8, 2005.  More

New Country Assistance Strategy for Bhutan - The new WB Country Assistance Strategy (CAS) for Bhutan envisages a lending program of around US$15 million per year from the International Development Association to support the country's unique development vision, which has been discussed by the Board of Executive Directors. The CAS is aligned with Bhutan's vision and priorities and goals of its Poverty Reductions Strategy (PRSP). The WB will also provide support to the Bhutanese Government's cross-cutting efforts to promote decentralization, good governance,  environmental management, and preservation of its culture.  More

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NEW PUBLICATIONS FROM THE WORLD BANK

Tariff Reform Could Deliver Annual Global Gains of $300 Billion by 2015, Says World Bank Study - The study, "Agricultural Trade Reform and the Doha Development Agenda", says that the abolition of tariffs, subsidies and domestic support programs would boost global welfare by nearly $300 billion per year by 2015 with most of the gains coming from agricultural trade reform, due to the vast distortions in the agriculture sector. The study makes the case for developed countries to discipline their domestic agricultural support commitments, and that making agricultural markets more accessible is the most fundamental reform that needs to emerge from the Doha round of WTO negotiations.  The importance of improving market access for non-agricultural merchandise, such as in textiles and clothing, is recognized as well. The study projects that poverty could be reduced by 6 percent in Sub-Saharan Africa with full merchandise liberalization.   More

"Improving the World Bank's Development Effectiveness: What Does Evaluation Show?" - This WB's independent Operations Evaluation Department (OED) report uses recent OED evaluations to assess the development effectiveness of the WB and how it could be improved. The questions raised in the evaluation report include the comparison of the measurable progress in improved living conditions in the developing world over the last 10-15 years, the effectiveness of the WB in helping countries improve living conditions through its various interventions and programs, and the broad lessons emerging from OED evaluations on improving the WB's development effectiveness. The report also suggests various recommendations dealing with the issues of corruption, improved monitoring and evaluation, greater flexibility with middle income countries, greater adaptability of programs to individual country circumstance, greater selectivity of projects, emphasis of institutional development and capacity building, and the need to re-think areas of punctured optimism, such as growth, private provision of infrastructure, and turn-around situations and for improved coordination across the WB Group.  More

Study Highlights Key Elements of Poverty Reduction - A new WB report, " Reducing Poverty on a Global Scale: Learning and Innovating for Development", concludes that reducing poverty at scale depends on several factors including leadership and commitment, institutional innovation, learning and experimentation, external catalysts such as donor assistance and even economic shocks. The study draws on more than 100 case studies of poverty reduction worldwide prepared for the Global Learning Process and Conference on Scaling Up Poverty Reduction held in Shanghai in 2004. Key messages of the research include the fact that no country reduced poverty without addressing its macroeconomic imbalances and creating solid foundations for growth and the implementation of parallel social pro-poor measures; that countries that reduced poverty at scale were also able to develop and sustain institutions to allow good governance with and environment to encourage learning and adaptation; that responsiveness was a key ingredient and often provided opportunities for positive change; and finally that commitment and leadership were essential for success.  More

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UPCOMING AND ONGOING GLOBAL EVENTS/DISCUSSIONS

From Strategy to Implementation: Lessons Learned in World Bank-Funded "ICT for Development" Projects - The WB is organizing this global dialogue via videoconference in collaboration with the African Development Bank and other partners ahead of the convening of the Global ICT for Development Conference in Tunisia on November 16-18, 2005. Countries participating via videoconference include Sri Lanka, Tunisia, Ghana, Vietnam, Bangladesh, Kazakhstan, Rwanda and the US.  It will provide an opportunity to explore the lessons learned from e-development projects and the key challenges faced in moving from strategy to implementation over the last 2 years. The WB has been supporting some countries in the design and implementation of e-development policies, projects and measurement frameworks and this global dialogue supports the knowledge sharing by countries in this area in line with the key recommendations of the Plan of Action of the World Summit of the Information Society.  More

Trade and Logistics: Moving the Growth Agenda, open until November 28, 2005 - The e-discussion has been set up by the Knowledge Services unit of the Private Sector Development Division in the WB on trade and logistics. Trade liberalization and rapid technological developments offer unprecedented opportunities to developing economies but also pose challenges for developing economies as inefficient logistics often prevent them from participating effectively in global supply chains that could improve market access. The purpose of the discussion is to explore the ways in which low-income economies can jump-start reforms of their trade laws and regulations, particularly Africa, and how the WB Group and donors can help synergize efforts to catalyze reform among various stakeholders for logistic improvements to help small domestic firms, and not just large MNCs.  More

United Nations Climate Change Conference, November 28 - December 9, Montreal, Canada - This is the first meeting of the Parties to the Kyoto Protocol, in conjunction with the eleventh session of the Conference of the Parties to the Climate Change Convention. It is set to be the largest intergovernmental climate conference since the Kyoto Protocol was adopted in 1997. Some 8-10,000 participants are expected.  A diverse series of side events from all sectors of the climate change community will take place alongside the Meeting.  These will include events sponsored by CSOs as well as the World Bank.  More

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RECENT GLOBAL EVENTS/DISCUSSIONS

Panel Discussion on Advancing Development through Multilateral Trade, November 10, 2005 - The WB Brussels Office in collaboration with the European Commission organized a panel discussion: "Can the Hong Kong WTO Ministerial Meet the Challenge?" with the aim of providing an exchange of views between CSOs and some of the key actors following the multilateral trade discussions (the European Commission, WB, the US Government, the ACP and the G20).  The discussion focused on how best to ensure that the Hong Kong WTO Ministerial meets the needs of developing countries. The main issues discussed were agricultural and non-agricultural market access, services, Special & Differentiated Treatment, Trade Facilitation and aid for trade. A common view expressed by almost all the panelists was that the removal of trade distortions on agriculture by developed countries was an essential element of the development package that needed to be agreed at the Hong Kong meeting. Among the questions and concerns raised by CSOs, which included Oxfam, Action Aid and Greenpeace, was whether the poor would be among those benefited from all round trade liberalization, and how the impact of trade on issues like animal welfare and the environmental issues could be better addressed for by the WTO. A full report will be made available at: http://www.worldbank.org/eu/.

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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. You can subscribe to the Newsletter using a new registration page: http://www.worldbank.org/civilsocietyengagementnewsletter/.  Please share your comments on the Newsletter with us: civilsociety@worldbank.org.  Archive of Newsletters




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