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Civil Society Engagement eNewsletter - August 2006

MAIN STORIES:

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


1. INVITATION TO COMMENT: DRAFT PAPER - Strengthening Bank Group Engagement on Governance and Anticorruption - During the 2006 World Bank/IMF Spring Meetings in Washington, the Development Committee asked Bank Group management to prepare a paper proposing an enhanced strategy for ts work on governance and anticorruption for discussion by the Committee at the 2006 Annual Meetings in Singapore. Bank staff prepared an outline for the paper, and views were sought from government officials, CSO representatives, business leaders, and academics from 18 countries via electronic feedback and a series of face-to-face, video conference, and conference calls. In addition to the meetings, more than 150 comments were received through the web consultation, and these were summarized and reviewed by Bank management. The draft paper: "Strengthening Bank Group Engagement on Governance and Anticorruption" has now been made available for comments until August 28.   These comments will be summarized and forwarded to the Bank’s Executive Directors for their consideration during an August 31 Committee of the Whole meeting.  The paper will then be finalized and sent to the Development Committee for discussion on September 18 during the 2006 Annual Meetings. After this Development Committee meeting, a process for further consultation and feedback will be announced.  Please send your comments on the draft paper to: governancefeedback@worldbank.org, or submit using the comment form.  More

2.  World Bank Allocates Record Amount of Income For Poorest Countries - The WB Group on August 11 made a record transfer of $950 million from its income to finance development projects in the poorest countries as it urged donors to fulfill their promises of providing more aid to confront global poverty. The sum committed almost doubled the amount originally pledged for this year and drew for the first time on the income of WB’s private sector arm. At the same time, WB decided to improve the loan terms for credit-worthy poor and middle-income countries by fully waiving a fee charged to borrowers. The decisions, approved by WB’s Board, transfer $950 million to the International Development Association (IDA), the WB affiliate which extends grants and interest-free credits to the world’s poorest countries. Under the IDA 14 agreement struck in 2005, about $33 billion will be made available to the world’s poorest countries, with the bulk of the money coming from some 40 donor governments. Under the deal, WB was slated to allocate $500 million of IBRD’s income in fiscal 2006. The $950 million transfer to IDA therefore represents an extra $450 million over the original commitment. This is also the largest transfer of WB Group income to IDA in the institution’s history.  More

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3.  New Renewable Energy & Energy Efficiency: World Bank Group Exceeds Previous Year’s Commitments By 48 Percent - WB Group announced on August 14 that $680 million was committed in fiscal year 2006 to New-Renewable Energy (New RE) and Energy Efficiency (EE) projects. This is an increase of 48 percent when compared to last year’s commitments. This is more than double the annual growth rate the WB committed to achieve two years ago in Bonn. The total amount of funds committed by the WBG for Renewable Energy (RE) and Energy Efficiency (EE) programs in 2006 was $871 million, according to the newly released data. Commitments for RE and EE were 37 percent of total power sector commitments and 20 percent of WBG total energy sector commitments in fiscal year 2006, which reached $4.4 billion.  In fiscal year 2006, the WBG supported 62 RE and EE projects in 35 countries.  More

4.  World Bank Launches Voluntary Disclosure Program - The World Bank on August 1 announced that its Board of Executive Directors has formally approved a Voluntary Disclosure Program that will strengthen the institution’s capacity to prevent corruption in its operations. The Voluntary Disclosure Program (VDP) is a proactive anti-corruption investigative tool designed to uncover corrupt and fraudulent schemes and patterns in Bank-financed projects through the voluntary cooperation of participating firms and individuals. Managed by WB’s Department of Institutional Integrity (INT), the VDP allows entities which have engaged in past fraud and corruption to avoid administrative sanctions if they disclose all prior wrongdoing and satisfy standardized, non-negotiable terms and conditions. Lessons learned through the program will be applied to mitigate risks more effectively in future operations.  More

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5.  Development Agencies Help Infrastructure Sectors To Fight Aids - On the occasion of the XVI International AIDS Conference, held in Toronto, August 13th – 18th, six leading development institutions announced on August 14 a “Joint Initiative by Development Agencies for the Infrastructure Sectors to Mitigate the Spread of HIV/AIDS”.  In a joint statement the signatory agencies (the African Development Bank (AfDB), Asian Development Bank (ADB), UK Department for International Development (DFID), Japan Bank for International Cooperation (JBIC), KfW Entwicklungsbank (KfW development bank), and the World Bank) have recognized the urgency for action in the infrastructure sectors to tackle the global HIV/AIDS crisis.  According to the statement, in view of the success in their respective organizations of funding in infrastructure sectors, the Agencies propose to “coordinate their activities in order to mainstream HIV/AIDS prevention and treatment programs in infrastructure sectors, to reduce the impacts of the disease as a result of infrastructure interventions, to take opportunities for implementing further countermeasures and to contribute to strengthening the HIV/AIDS strategies of partner countries.”  The agencies emphasized that they endorse the ILO Code of Practice for Addressing HIV/AIDS which sets out fundamental principles for policy development and practical guidelines for action in the world of work. They are encouraging partner countries to “incorporate HIV/AIDS programs into infrastructure support.  In putting this statement into action, the agencies agreed to share good practices in infrastructure, and expanding the initiative to other projects funded by domestic or external sources.  More

  6.  World Bank Committed to the People of Chad - The WB and the Government of Chad have reached an agreement on use of oil revenues that expands the pool of funds available for programs benefiting the country’s poor people. WB President made the announcement on July 25 in Chad after holding talks with the country’s President, Idriss Deby, on a half-day stopover during his Africa trip.  The meeting came the week after representatives from the Bank and the Government of Chad signed a memorandum of understanding, under which the government committed 70 percent of its budget spending to priority poverty reduction programs, as well as a commitment that surplus funds will be set aside in a stabilization fund for the future.  During his stopover, Wolfowitz met members of civil society in Chad, later saying they will be important in helping ensure the agreement really benefits the country’s poor.  More

7. Senior Staff Announcements - Mr. Ken Lay was appointed to serve as VP and Treasurer of the WB. His appointment became effective on August 16.  Mr. Lay joined WB in 1982 from a position as an enforcement lawyer with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.  Since January 1, 2006, he has served as Acting VP and Treasurer.  Ian Goldin, VP for External Affairs, Communications and United Nations Affairs will be leaving the Bank at the end of August.  He has been in this position for three years.  A global search committee, chaired by Juan Jose Daboub, WB Managing Director, has been set up to identify Ian Goldin's successor.  In the interim, Kevin Kellems, Director for Strategy in the External Affairs, Communications and United Nations Affairs Vice-presidency and Senior Advisor to the President will serve as Acting VP. Mr. Akihiko Nishio was appointed as Director, Resource Mobilization (FRM), in the Concessional Finance and Global Partnerships Vice Presidency. Mr. Nishio, a Japanese national, joined the Bank in 1988.  He has since held various positions, his most recent assignment being Operations Manager (FRM) in Concessional Finance and Global Partnerships. In his new position, Mr. Nishio's will focus on ensuring effective implementation of IDA14, he will also manage the IDA15 replenishment negotiations, scheduled to start in early 2007.  His appointment is effective September 1, 2006.

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NEWS FROM THE WORLD BANK'S REGIONAL DEPARTMENTS

Africa

Madagascar: World Bank Approves US$18 Million for the Community Development Fund - The WB Board of Executive Directors on August 3 approved an International Development Association (IDA) additional financing of US$18 million to support the Community Development Fund (FID IV) in the implementation of the Government’s Poverty Reduction Strategy Paper (PRSP) and the upcoming Madagascar Action Plan (MAP).  The objectives of the additional financing for FID IV are to improve the use and satisfaction with project-supported social and economic services provided amongst participating rural and urban communities. The additional financing will allow FID to scale-up delivery of basic services to communes and communities while its future role under the upcoming Local Development Fund (LDF) is being defined.  The LDF is a multi-donor fund that will consolidate the transfer of resources to communes in a sustainable way and would build their long term capacity.  More

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East Asia and the Pacific

One Year Of The Multi Donor Fund, Achieving Significant Results In Aceh And Nias In A Coordinated Way - The Multi Donor Fund issued its First Year Report on July 14 highlighting the results it achieved in the past 12 months. The Multi Donor Fund for Aceh and Nias, was set up in May 2005 and pools the funds of 15 donors, amounting to US$550 million in funds to support the recovery and rehabilitation of Aceh and Nias. The Fund currently has a portfolio of 16 projects, providing assistance to four underfunded sectors for post-tsunami rehabilitation and reconstruction: recovery of communities, infrastructure and transport, capacity building and governance, and sustainable management of the environment. It does so in close coordination with the BRR (Agency for the Rehabilitation and Reconstruction of Nanggroe Aceh Darussalam – Nias), local Governments, civil society, International NGOs and the United Nations.  In one year of operation, the Multi Donor Fund has achieved considerable results: preparation of 50,000 land titles; 2,800 houses rebuilt or repaired; reconstruction of over one thousand Kilometers of roads; rehabilitation of over 400 bridges and schools; and provision of work for nearly 24,500 people are all results from the first four Multi Donor Fund Community recovery projects supporting communities to decide how to recover their own neighborhoods – for a total value of US$222 million.  More

New Avian Flu Facility Awards Its First Grant To The Lao People’s Democratic Republic - The Avian and Human Influenza Facility, a multidonor financing mechanism administered by WB, announced on August 8 that the Lao People’s Democratic Republic (PDR) was awarded a grant in the amount of US$2 million for the Avian and Human Influenza Control and Preparedness Project. This grant is the first approved by the Facility, which was created with commitments by eight donor agencies.  The grants are intended to support integrated interventions in the animal and human health aspects. The Facility and IDA grants are part of a comprehensive US$14 million package to address the priorities already identified in the Lao PDR Government’s National Plan for avian and human influenza control. Other support for Government’s efforts is being provided by bilateral donors, multilateral agencies, a number of UN organizations, and a grant from the Policy and Human Resources Development (PHRD) Program funded by the Government of Japan.  More

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Europe and Central Asia

Kyrgyz Republic: World Bank Supports Local Efforts To Reduce Poverty - WB’s Board of Directors on August 3 approved an IDA grant in the amount of US$15 million for the Second Village Investment Project (VIP-2) for the Kyrgyz Republic. The new Project will sustain and expand the achievements realized under the first VIP by expanding coverage to all 473 local self-governments in the country.  The main implementing agency for the VIP-2 is the Community Development and Investment Agency (“ARIS”).  The VIP-2 will apply a bottom-up approach to prioritization, planning and implementation, and direct assistance to rural communities, and rely heavily on the empowerment of grassroots institutions. The Project will draw upon the capacity created and build upon the experience gained and lessons learned under the first VIP.  It will provide community grants to eligible and participating communities to implement their agreed and approved community investment plans. More

Corruption Eased in Transition Countries From 2002-2005, Reports World Bank - Targeted efforts to reduce corruption in former socialist countries are showing positive results, but sustained reforms are needed to prevent back-sliding, according to a new WB report. "Anticorruption in Transition 3-Who is Succeeding … And Why?" (ACT3) takes a detailed look at firm-level survey data and concludes that the region's progress in reducing corruption is unmistakable. However, the prevalence of corruption in Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union remains higher than in many countries of Western Europe, and large firms saw a greater reduction in bribery than the small firms that often spur growth and create jobs.  ACT3 is the third in a series of WB reports tracking levels of corruption in enterprise-state interactions since 1999.  More

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Latin America and the Caribbean

Northeast Brazil: The World Bank Supports Rural Poverty Reduction - WB Board of Executive Directors on July 18 approved US$22.5 million additional financing to the Rural Poverty Reduction Project in the State of Piauí, in Northeast Brazil.  The financing will benefit some 180,000 rural poor people through the implementation of approximately 1,200 small-scale basic socioeconomic infrastructure and productive subprojects aimed to: (a) Improve well-being and incomes of the rural poor through greater access to basic social and economic infrastructure and services and support for productive activities; (b) Increase social capital of rural communities and capacity to organize collectively to meet their own needs; (c) Enhance local governance; and (d) Foster closer integration of development policies, programs and projects in rural areas at the local level by assisting the project’s participatory Municipal Councils to extend their role in seeking funding from, setting priorities for and making decisions concerning, the allocation of resources from other programs outside the Bank-supported project.  More

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Middle East and North Africa

Paul Wolfowitz Remarks at International Conference on Lebanon - WB Group President Paul Wolfowitz attended the International Conference on Lebanon, on July 26 in Rome. In his remarks he noted that as a member of the Core Group, formed last year to support the Government of Lebanon's work on economic, social and institutional reforms, the WB will continue to support Lebanon's reconstruction and its sustained development.  He also stressed that WB has a long-standing relationship with Lebanon, working closely with government, parliamentarians, and civil society. WB staff have already begun to work with their Lebanese counterparts to address emergency needs. They are prepared to move as quickly as possible to help identify, design and prepare an Emergency Reconstruction Operation, and also to assist with an economic and social impact assessment.  WB is also prepared to work closely with the Lebanese Government to convene the donors’ conference anticipated by the Core Group. More

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South Asia
 
South Asia's HIV Epidemic is Severe but Better Prevention Could Halt its Spread - South Asia's HIV and AIDS epidemic can be expected to grow rapidly unless the eight countries in the region, especially India, can saturate high-risk groups such as sex workers and their clients, injecting drug users, and men having sex with men with better HIV prevention measures, according to a new WB report launched at the 16th International AIDS Conference in Toronto, Canada. According to the new report: "AIDS in South Asia: Understanding and Responding to a Heterogeneous Epidemic", more than 5.5 million people are infected with HIV in South Asia, with the epidemic increasingly driven by the region's flourishing sex industry and injecting drug use.  The report says halting the spread of the epidemic will depend on a two-pronged approach: first, establishing effective prevention programs for groups at increased risk of HIV infection such as sex workers and their clients, injection drug users, and men who have sex with men; and, second, resolving the social and economic drivers of the epidemic such as poverty, stigma, and sex trafficking of women.  More

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NEW PUBLICATIONS FROM THE WORLD BANK

Reviews of World Bank Development Policy and Investment Lending: Published in July 2006 - In August 2004, the Executive Directors of WB approved a new operational policy (OP) 8.60, Development Policy Lending (DPL). The new policy replaces a host of separate adjustment lending instruments and codifies all policy-based lending in a single operational framework. The July retrospective (a) takes stock of first experiences with the new operational policy, (b) highlights key lessons to further strengthen its application both from the operational policy and design perspectives, (c) discusses client and staff perceptions and feedback, and (d) describes how the good practice principles on conditionality endorsed by the Development Committee in September 2005 have been reflected in recent operations.  Read the paper    To complement the review of conditionality in DPL, the Executive Directors also asked WB Management to undertake a review of policy conditions as applied to WB investment lending. The paper, also published in July 2006, responds to that request.  Read the paper

Faiths and the Environment: World Bank Support 2000-05 - The report outlines a broad range of examples of how over the last five years WB has been able to provide support to those people whose spiritual beliefs lead them to environmental actions as part of the expression of their faith.  This joint WB Environmental Department's and EASEN publication reviews WB projects across three regions, funded from a variety of sources. It is hoped that it will encourage development professionals to further engage with these dynamic faith groups, and people of faith to become more active in the environmental sphere, thereby developing positive and constructive partnerships to further the environmental agenda.  More

Report on Civil Society and Peacebuilding - The report: “Civil Society and Peacebuilding: Potentials, Limitations and Critical Factors" is based on analytical work undertaken over the past year as part of the WB’s ongoing efforts to better understand the role of civil society in conflict-affected and fragile states.  The report seeks to improve the understanding of potential valuable contributions of civil society to peacebuilding, and provide guidance to external actors supporting civil society initiatives for peacebuilding. The report develops and discusses a new analytical framework of civil society functions in peacebuilding.  Moving toward such a functional perspective would enable donors to better analyze existing and potential new forms of civil society engagement in peacebuilding.  In particular, the WB hopes it can contribute toward: (i) clarifying policy and programming objectives, (ii) selecting best civil society partners, and (iii) developing outcome indicators for monitoring and evaluation.  More

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UPCOMING AND ONGOING GLOBAL EVENTS/DISCUSSIONS

2006 Annual Meetings of the IMF and WB: Civil Society Policy Forum Program - The WB Group and IMF Civil Society Teams are organizing a Civil Society Forum during the 2006 Annual Meetings of the institutions.  The Forum will bring together Bank and Fund staff, CSO representatives, government officials, and others to discuss important issues.  All accredited CSO representatives are welcome to attend the sessions which will be held in the Civil Society Space located in the main venue of the Annual Meetings. Civil Society Forum discussions will be held between Thursday, September 14 - Wednesday, September 20, 2006.  An initial schedule of Civil Society Forum dialogues has been published on WB's website for civil society and will be updated frequently ahead of the Meetings.  More

COMMENTS SOUGHT: Nature and Practice of Bank-Fund Collaboration - On March 29, 2006, the IMF and the WB announced a range of measures to a review of IMF-WB collaboration, including the creation of a six-member External Review Committee.  In proceeding with its work, the committee has decided to solicit views from the public.  In particular, the Committee would appreciate perspectives on possible improvement to be made on division of labor and collaboration between the two institutions. The comments may be submitted until September 15, 2006. More

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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.  All past issues of the Newsletter can be found on the WB site on Civil Society Engagement at: http://www.worldbank.org/civilsociety.




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