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Civil Society Engagement e-Newsletter - October 2006

MAIN STORIES:

Outcomes of the 2006 Annual Meetings

Civil Society at the Annual Meetings

“Strengthening Bank Group Engagement on Governance and Anti-corruption" Next Steps
World Bank Gender Action Plan

New Development Outreach on Human Rights and Development

Senior Staff Announcements

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


1.  Outcomes of the 2006 Annual Meetings - Approximately 10,000 delegates from governments, civil society, private sector and academia around the globe convened in Singapore to participate in the Meetings, which focused on promoting good governance and growth. A collage of development topics were discussed, including the Bank's new governance and anti-corruption strategy; strategy for strengthening the Bank's engagement in middle income countries; and progress to date on implementing a new clean energy investment framework, the Education for All Fast Track Initiative, the HIPC Initiative, the Doha Development Agenda and aid for trade. In his Annual Meetings speech, WB President Paul Wolfowitz declared that Africa is still the Bank’s top priority and emphasized that special attention must be given to conflict-affected countries, such as Sudan. He also cited the international community’s delivery on its financial commitments as being a critical factor to Africa’s progress, noting that "African countries cannot build on a foundation of hollow promises."The next two Annual Meetings will be held in Washington, DC; Turkey will host the Meetings in 2009.  Wolfowitz Annual Meetings Speech |  Official Annual Meetings Site (Statements and Releases) Development Committee Site (Communique and Background Papers)

2.  Civil Society at the Annual Meetings - Approximately 300 civil society representatives attended the 2006 Annual Meetings, out of a total of 700 accredited. Unfortunately, the Government of Singapore's September 5 announcement that it would ban 27 CSO representatives who had been accredited by the Bank and Fund from attending the Meetings resulted in many CSOs deciding to boycott their meetings with Bank and Fund officials. The WB President and IMF Managing Director strongly urged Singapore to admit all of the accredited CSOs, and Singapore later dropped its objections to all but 5. The Civil Society Forum went ahead, and senior Bank and Fund management held a townhall and informal meeting with the CSO representatives in Singapore. During the course of the Meetings, Bank management reiterated the crucial role of CSOs in moving the development agenda forward and in holding governments accountable. Mr. Wolfowitz also thanked CSOs for helping the Bank evaluate the quality of its work and said the Bank can do a better job if management and staff ears are open to listen to their concerns. Trancripts, presentations and photos from these sessions are now available  the Bank's website for civil society.
Joint World Bank-IMF Statement On CSO Participation In The Annual Meetings In Singapore
World Bank Statement in Response to Singapore Decision on CSO Access to Annual Meetings

3. "Strengthening Bank Group Engagement on Governance and Anti-corruption" Next Steps- The Development Committee in Singapore reviewed the Bank's strategy paper on governance and anti-corruption at the Annual Meetings, and discussion focused on implications for future Bank lending. In its communique, the Development Committee ministers highlighted a number of policy issues that will be the focus of further work by the Bank and further consultation with key stakeholders in member governments, civil society, private sector, parliamentarians, and others. The findings from the consultations will feed into a progress report to be presented to the Development Committee at the 2007 Spring Meetings in Washington. More information on the consultation process will be available shortly on the Bank's website. Governance and Anti-Corruption Paper

4.  World Bank Gender Action PlanThe Bank introduced its new gender initiative, "Gender Equality as Smart Economics" last month at the Annual Meetings. World Bank President, Paul Wolfowitz announced the plan at the Meetings and said that communities and countries in the developing world pay a high price for not allowing women to live up to their full economic potential. The plan is estimated to cost US$24.5 million, half of which will be financed by the Bank. It targets the economic potential of women in sectors such as infrastructure, agriculture, and finance in developing countries; it is expected to increase Bank operations on gender equality in development sectors not focused on women’s empowerment.  A high-level conference on the plan will be held in early 2007. More

5.  New Development Outreach on Human Rights and Development - The latest edition of the World Bank Institute's magazine Development Outreach is dedicated to human rights and draws together a rich array of perspectives from within and outside the World Bank. These varied contributions reflect emerging understandings about the connections between human rights and development. Contributors include Louise Arbour, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Stephen Marks, Francois-Xavier Bagnoud Professor of Health and Human Rights, Harvard University, Paul Hunt, the UN Special Rapporteur for human right to health and Kenneth Roth, Executive Director, Human Rights Watch; Ana Palacio, new General Counsel of the World Bank Group and the former General Counsel, Roberto Danino; Daniel Kaufmann, WBI Director of Global Governance and Jean-Pierre Chauffour from the IMF. More

6.  Senior Staff Appointments - Michel Maila was appointed Vice President of Risk Management at the International Finance Corporation. He will provide overall direction for the IFC’s risk management, controllers, corporate portfolio management, and information technology functions. Mr. Maila has served as the Senior Officer for Market and Operational Risk for the Bank of Montreal. His appointment will be effective on January 15, 2007. Kristalina Georgieva was appointed Director of Strategy and Network Operations for the Sustainable Development Network. In her new position, she will be responsible for assisting the management team in defining a common vision for sustainable development and in leading the integration and organizational alignment of the Network. The effective date for her appointment will be announced once arrangements are made for her replacement as Country Director of Russia. Carlos Braga was appointed Senior Advisor of the International Policy and Partnerships Group in the Poverty Reduction Economic Management Vice Presidency. In his new assignment, he will be responsible for providing leadership and coordination of the international aid architecture agenda. Prior to this position, Mr. Braga served as the Senior Advisor in the International Trade Department. His position was effective October 15.


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NEWS FROM THE WORLD BANK'S REGIONAL DEPARTMENTS

Africa (AFR)

Leaders Push For Accelerated Fight Against the Fight Against Malaria - The four day conference "Striking Back at Malaria by Accelerating Country Action in Sub-Saharan Africa," held in September brought together international organizations, policymakers, the private sector and civil society representatives to discuss funding and technical gaps in reaching shared objectives. CSOs at the conference put strong emphasis on transparency, stressing that  local communities and advocacy groups need current and accurate information on what countries are spending to protect populations from malaria, and what results they have achieved.The conference agreed on the need for a single tracking system that would follow, and make public, disbursements and results among country anti-malaria programs across the region. More

Africa Emerges As China and India's New Economic Frontier - A new publication, Africa's Silk Road: China and India's New Economic Frontier, finds that Chinese and Indian firms are increasingly doing business in Sub-Saharan Africa, and that their interest in the region is going beyond the natural resources sector. Exports from Africa to Asia tripled in the last five years, making Asia Africa's third largest trading partner (27 percent) after the European Union (32 percent) and the United States (29 percent). The new data suggest Asian firms are beginning to diversify beyond oil and natural resources into a broad array of industries—a trend that could lead to more sophisticated products being produced in Africa and help Africa more fully participate in world commerce. Indian and Chinese foreign direct investment also grew, with China's amounting to $US 1.18 billion by mid-2006. More


East Asia and the Pacific (EAP)

Press Briefing On East Asia Financial Flagship With Homi Kharas, Chief Economist, East Asia Pacific - Homi Kharas held a press briefing in Singapore to discuss the East Asia Financial Flagship "Road to Robust Markets". The report argues that a vibrant East Asian financial sector will need to have at least three key characteristics. First, it will need to be highly diversified in its ability to cater to the needs of increasingly complex and sophisticated economies; second, it will need to provide financial services efficiently; and third, it will need to be robuts, to withstand a variety of shocks in a fast-changing globalizing world economy." More

Europe and Central Asia (ECA)

Republic of Estonia: Graduation from the World Bank - On September 17, the Government of the Republic of Estonia and the World Bank exchanged letters to mark the formal graduation of the Republic of Estonia from World Bank borrower status. In addition to receiving analytical and advisory support from the World Bank, Estonia borrowed a total of US$150.7 million for eight operations, in the environment, infrastructure, rural and financial sectors. More

Republic of Lithuania: Graduation from the World Bank -  On September 17, the Government of the Republic of Lithuania and the World Bank exchanged letters to mark the formal graduation of the Republic of Lithuania from World Bank borrower status.In addition to receiving analytical and advisory support from the World Bank, Lithuania borrowed a total of US$480 million for 17 operations to support structural reforms, help modernize the health, education, and infrastructure sectors, and reduce pollution in the Baltic Sea.Following Lithuania’s graduation, future cooperation with the World Bank will be based on knowledge sharing and partnership. More

Kosovo To Develop Energy Reserves With Help From World Bank, Other Donors - On October 12, the Bank's Board approved a US$8.5 million grant for Kosovo, which suffers from high unemployment and chronic electricity cuts. Development of Kosovo’s energy reserves would give an urgently needed boost to the economy, which declined during the conflict period and has hit Kosovo’s 2 million people hard.  Today, 37 percent of Kosovars are classified as "poor" and almost 40 percent of the labor force is without a job, with unemployment even higher among women and people under the age of 24.  The ageing Kosovo electricity system, meanwhile, has acted as a brake on the economy and prevented businesses from reaching their potential and creating jobs. Energy exports will also strengthen the poor trade links to Kosovo’s neighbors in Southeast Europe, which have suffered since the breakup of the former Yugoslavia. More

Latin America (LAC)

Mexico: World Bank Approves $49.35 Million for Solar Thermal Energy - On October 5,   the Bank’s Board of Directors approved a $49.35 million grant from the Global Environment Facility for Mexico to demonstrate the operation of a low-greenhouse-gas-emitting innovative technology. The project seeks to demonstrate the benefits of integrating a solar field with a large conventional thermal facility, contribute to reducing the long-term costs of the technology, and reduce global greenhouse gas emissions. The carbon emissions reduction is estimated in 391,270 tons of carbon dioxide over the 25-year economic life of the plant. More

Panama: World Bank Approves $60 Million for Public Finance and Institutional Development - On October 5, the Bank’s Board of Directors approved a $60 million loan for Panama to support the Government’s public finance reform program, which represents an important step in a long-term partnership between the Bank and the Government of Panama. Actions supported by this loan are expected to benefit Panama by helping to create a more stable macroeconomic environment, introducing greater transparency into public financial management, and contributing to improved efficiency of public spending. As direct benefits, the loan is also expected to help Panama obtain better financial terms for public borrowing and to diversify its external sources of public finance. More

Middle East and North America (MENA)

West Bank and Gaza: World Bank Multi-Donor Trust Fund Grant to Sustain Essential Health, Education and Social Services Delivery - On September 18, representatives of the Office of the President of the Palestinian Authority (PA) and the World Bank signed an agreement to administer a US$46.6 million grant to the West Bank and Gaza, to support the delivery of essential services. The grant, provided by international donors to the World Bank administered Emergency Services Support Program (ESSP) Multi-Donor Trust Fund, will support the delivery of basic services that have deteriorated due to the inability of the Palestinian Authority to meet its budget requirements. The Fund will provide financing for non-salary operating expenditure in key social and service delivery sectors. More

US$13 Million Grant to Fight Avian Flu in the West Bank and Gaza Approved by the World Bank - On September 22, the Bank approved a US$13 million grant to minimize threats posed to humans by avian influenza in domestic poultry in the West Bank and Gaza. US$3 million is being provided from the World Bank’s Avian and Human Influenza Facility, a multidonor financing mechanism set up earlier this year, while a US$10 million grant from the World Bank’s own resources has been approved and will serve as a second stage of this project. More

South Asia (SAR)

Economic Growth is Creating "Political Space" for Deeper Reforms in South Asia: World Bank Report - A new Bank report states that strong economic growth in South Asia is creating "political space" for much-needed policy and institutional reforms to accelerate and sustain growth, and tackle long-standing social and economic problems. The report claims that strong growth has created an unprecedented opportunity: a chance of ending poverty in a generation in South Asia, the region with the world’s largest concentration of poor people. More

Government and Partners Join To Improve Healthcare In Bangladesh - On October 15, the Government of Bangladesh and the World Bank, signed the Multi-Donor Trust Fund Grant Agreement for the Bangladesh Health, Nutrition and Population Sector Program (HNPSP), a way of channeling US$ 470 million of development partner grant funds into the country’s health sector. The HNPSP (2003-2010) is designed to modernize the country’s health sector and accelerate progress towards reaching the health related Millennium Development Goals and is supported by US$ 4.2 billion in Government and donor funding over the period. HNPSP builds on Bangladesh’s achievements in the health sector, targeting resources at the poor and aiming to create a health care system that is efficient and accountable to users. More

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NEW PUBLICATIONS FROM THE WORLD BANK

Publication on National Disasters Hotspots: Case Studies - The new World Bank-Columbia University joint publication on natural disasters urges governments to prepare "comprehensive hazard approaches" to avoid natural disasters. 2005 set a record for natural disasters—they killed more than 90,000 people, affected more than 150 million lives and caused $159 billion in damage. The report notes that the impacts of population and economic growth, rapid urbanization, environmental degradation, and climate change attribute to the rise in natural disasters. This report is a follow up to the 2005 publication Natural Disasters Hotspots: A Global Risk Analysis. More

Global Issues for Global Citizens: An Introduction to Key Development Challenges - Written by 27 World Bank experts, this book draws on the Bank's unique global capabilities and experience to promote an understanding of key global issues that cannot be solved by any one nation alone in an increasingly interconnected world. It describes the forces that are shaping public and private action to address these issues and highlights the Bank's own work in these areas. Covering four broad themes (global economy, global human development, global environment, and global governance), this comprehensive volume provides an introduction to today's most pressing global issues -- from poverty, conflict, and migration to climate change, international trade, education, health, and corruption. More

Local Governance in Developing Countries - This book provides a new institutional economics perspective on alternative models of local governance, offering a comprehensive view of local government organization and finance in the developing world. The experiences of ten developing/transition economies are reviewed to draw lessons of general interest in strengthening responsive, responsible, and accountable local governance. The book is written in simple user friendly language to facilitate a wider readership by policy makers and practitioners in addition to students and scholars of public finance, economics and politics. More

Africa Development Indicators 2006: From the World Bank Africa Database - African Development Indicatorsand the World Bank Africa Database have undergone a transformation to provide you with all the data you will need on Africa. With more information in a smaller package and at a reduced price you will be able to keep abreast of Africa's development changes. More

The Little Data Book on Africa 2006 - A pocket-sized reference on key development data for over 50 countries in Africa, this book provides profiles of each country with 54 development indicators about people, environment, economy, technology, infrastructure, trade and finance. A must have for anyone interested in today's development challenges in sub-Saharan Africa. More

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PAST AND UPCOMING GLOBAL EVENTS/DISCUSSIONS

Discussions with CSOs on The World Development Report - The World Bank Brussels Office organized a series of discussions with representatives of CSOs, youth organizations, policy makers and young professionals to launch the Bank's new World Development Report (WDR) 2007 entitled Development & the Next Generation. In a public presentation of the WDR, Ms. Mamta Murthi, a Lead Economist at the World Bank and a lead author of the report, informed participants that there has never been a better time than now to invest in the human capital of young people. More

Development Marketplace 2007 -The World Bank Development Marketplace team announces the Call for Proposals for the 2007 Global Development Marketplace. The World Bank seeks to recognize and support initiatives that improve health, nutrition and population outcomes for poor people in developing countries. Proposals are welcome from development innovators: civil society groups, foundations, government agencies, academia, the private sector, as well as Bank staff. A total of US$4 million in awards is available, with a maximum award size of US$200,000. More

Consultative Group for International Agricultural Research (CGIAR) CSO Forum - A CSO Forum will be held during CGIAR's Annual Meetings on December 5, 2006 in Washington. Other activities for enhancing CSO-CGIAR engagement include virtual conversation and an innovation marketplace. An advisory group on the CSO-CGIAR Forum comprised of CSO community members are actively involved in developing the agendaMore 

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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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