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January 2007 Civil Society Engagement e-Newsletter

MAIN STORIES:

World Bank Board Briefed on Preliminary Findings from Global Consultations on Governance and Anti-Corruption Strategy

CGAP Expands Program To Link Technology, Finance
World Bank and IMF High Level Meeting With Trade Union Leaders

Panel Discussion on the 2006 Global Accountability Report

World Bank Participation at the World Social Forum

World Bank-InterAction Workshop on Disaster Relief

Senior Staff Announcements

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


 

1.  World Bank Board Briefed on Preliminary Findings from Global Consultations on Governance and Anti-Corruption Strategy -On January 30, WB Managing Director Juan Jose Daboub briefed the Bank’s Board of Executive Directors on the preliminary findings from 51 sets of consultations in 47 countries on the Bank’s strategy for enhancing its work on Governance and Anticorruption, which had been presented to the Development Committee at the Annual Meetings last September.  The consultations, which involved over 3,200 participants worldwide, were held between November 2006 – January 26, 2007 and sought feedback through face-to-face meetings, videoconferencing, and the web.  The Board congratulated Bank Management for the extensive consultation process and asked Management to revise the strategy paper to take into account the main findings from the consultations.  Summary reports of the consultation inputs and web feedback, as well as Mr. Daboub’s presentation to the Board, are now posted on the Bank’s governance feedback website.   The Bank will post a summary of all feedback on this site in mid-February, and Management will send the revised paper to the Board for their consideration in March.


2. CGAP Expands Program To Link Technology, Finance -   The Consultative Group to Assist the Poor (CGAP) is a resource center for the microfinance industry. CGAP recently announced plans to dramatically accelerate its quest for technology solutions that can bring critical financial services -- from loan and savings accounts to money transfers -- to billions more of the world's poor. The $26 million initiative includes a four-year, $24 million grant from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. Most of this funding will support pilots to expand access to financial services with new technology approaches. In addition to building partnerships with a variety of actors from mobile network operators to banks and technology firms, the program will also invite proposals from organizations interested in experimenting with new models for reaching the poor, and will offer technical assistance and grants to offset risks and capture key lessons. More

3. World Bank and IMF High Level Meeting With Trade Union Leaders -The World Bank and IMF hosted a High Level Meeting with trade union leaders on December 11-13 in Washington. Guy Ryder, General Secretary of the newly formed International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC) led the delegation, which consisted of over 50 leaders from 35 countries. The delegation met with President Wolfowitz and Managing Director de Rato, Executive Directors, and senior management. Discussions encompassed issues such as debt relief, loan conditionality, governance and core labor standards. In his meeting with the trade unions, Mr. Wolfowitz emphasized the centrality of "jobs, jobs, jobs" in the development agenda, a goal that both the Bank and the unions could both wholeheartedly endorse. In the concluding session, the Bank agreed to (a) consider trade union candidates for a secondment to the WB to work on the Labor Market Research Strategy; (b) facilitate more communication among sectoral focal points within the Bank and the union movement in some sectors; and (c) continue the WB's leadership role in promoting adoption of all core labor standards (freedom of association; non-discrimination; elimination of child labor; and ban on forced labor) in multi-lateral development bank procurement guidelines. Both sides also agreed to hold a series of focused technical meetings on the following topics before the next high level meeting scheduled for 2008: pension reform, gender and labor markets, and reviewing the protocol for TU-IFI dialogue.  A summary of the meeting will be posted shortly at www.worldbank.org/civilsociety

4. Panel Discussion on the 2006 Global Accountability Report -The World Bank's InfoShop and Civil Society Team, in conjunction with UK-based CSO One World Trust, held a panel discussion in Washington on January 10 on the "2006 Global Accountability Report: Holding Power to Account".   The report presents the findings of a survey undertaken about the accountability policies of 30 global organizations -- including the World Bank -- on the basis of four dimensions of accountability: transparency, participation, evaluation, and complaint mechanisms.  What makes the survey ground-breaking is that it assesses the accountability policies of three distinct sectors: inter-governmental organizations, non-governmental organizations, and transnational corporations.  The panelists for discussion were Monica Blagescu of One World Trust, Peter Lallas of the Bank’s Inspection Panel, Manish Bapna of the Bank Information Center, and the panel was chaired by Carolyn Reynolds, Head of the Bank’s Civil Society Team. More

5.  World Bank Participation at the World Social Forum -Staff from the World Bank’s Civil Society Team, External Affairs, and the Africa Region participated as observers at the World Social Forum held January 20 -25, 2007 in Nairobi, Kenya.  Bank Staff were involved in several side meetings including a panel discussion on water and a policy workshop with parliamentarians.  Since its inception in 2000, Bank representatives have informally attended all of the World Social Forums, as it provides an unique opportunity to listen to the key development issues and trends being raised by global civil society, undertake policy dialogue, and network with leading CSOs. More

6. World Bank-InterAction Workshop on Disaster Relief - The World Bank and InterAction member agencies organized a workshop in Washington on disaster relief on December 14. The session was part of an ongoing series of World Bank - InterAction workshops on civil society engagement, and focused on the roles that governments, CSOs, and donor agencies play to reduce risk and provide humanitarian relief in the wake of natural disasters.  The workshop was sponsored by Mercy Corps, World Vision International, and the Hazard Risk Management Team of the World Bank.  The panels, which included American Red Cross and USAID representatives, focused on lessons learned, including the unprecedented tsunami reconstruction efforts in Asia, and on new frameworks for risk reduction recently being implemented by the World Bank and CSOs.  A summary note on this session will be posted on the Bank's civil society web site shortly.  

7.Senior Staff Announcements    Jeffrey Gutman has been appointed Vice President of Operations Policy and Country Services. He was serving as Acting Vice President of the East Asia region from December 2005 to November 2006. His appointment is effective immediately. Nigel Roberts has been appointed Country Director for Papua New Guinea, Timor-Leste, and the Pacific Islands. Mr. Roberts has held various positions at the Bank, most recently being the Country Director for West Bank and Gaza. His appointment will be effective February 2007. Yusupha Crookes has been appointed Country Director for Pakistan. He has held various positions at the Bank, his most recent being Senior Adviser/Manager for the Sustainable Development Unit in the South Asia region. His appointment will be effective March 2007.


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NEWS FROM THE WORLD BANK'S REGIONAL DEPARTMENTS

Africa (AFR)

World Bank Provides US$175 Million Grant To Combat Food Insecurity In Ethiopia

The Bank’s Board approved a US$175 million grant to help vulnerable populations in Ethiopia lower their risks of serious food shortage and famine. The grant finances the second phase of an existing operation, the Productive Safety Net Program (PSNP), which reaches over 7 million of the poorest Ethiopians through public works and direct grants. The targeted beneficiaries of the program are chronically food insecure households that  are unable to secure sufficient food for their families. The grant will provide continuing funding for the program, while supporting improvements in the program governance and efficiency. More

 

World Bank Releases Report on Returned Abacha Funds - The World Bank released a report that concludes that funds stolen from the Nigerian people by former Dictator Sani Abacha, and repatriated to Nigeria from Switzerland under an agreement signed in 2005, were utilized for development projects in five sectors that will help Nigeria move toward Millennium Development Goals in that country. This report, Utilization of Repatriated Abacha Loot, is the result of an agreement between the governments of Nigeria and Switzerland, and the World Bank, following a ruling by Swiss courts whereby approximately $500 million held in accounts owned by the Abacha family was to be returned to the Government of Nigeria. This monitoring was undertaken as a part of a larger review of the public expenditures and public financial management in Nigeria (PEMFAR), which seeks to assess and improve structures and systems in that country.  Civil society organizations played an integral and important role in field visits to 51 randomly selected projects, where 168 people were interviewed, including those involved in project development and potential project beneficiaries. More

 

UgandaSigns US$70 Million Agreement for the Public Service Performance Enhancement Project - The Government of Uganda signed a Development Credit Agreement with the World Bank worth a total of US$70 million to support public service reforms in Uganda. The $70 million International Development Association (IDA) credit will be utilized to implement the Public Service Performance Enhancement Project which aims at transforming the public service, making it affordable, efficient and accountable in the use of public resources and service delivery. The project is also expected to support improvement in the policy, institutional and regulatory environment, for sustainable economic growth and service delivery. More

 

IMF and World Bank Support Sierra Leone 's Completion Point under the Enhanced HIPC Initiative and Approve Debt Relief under the Multilateral Debt Relief Initiative

The World Bank's International Development Association (IDA) and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) have agreed that Sierra Leone has made sufficient progress to reach the completion point under the Enhanced Heavily Indebted Poor Countries (HIPC) Initiative. Sierra Leone becomes the 21st country to reach the completion point under the Initiative. Debt relief to Sierra Leone under the enhanced HIPC Initiative will amount to US$675.2 million in 2000 net present value (NPV) terms, equivalent to a revised 81.4 percent NPV reduction of Sierra Leone's debt after traditional debt relief.  This assistance is estimated to correspond to approximately US$994 million in nominal terms. The debt reduction is attributable to multilateral, bilateral, and commercial creditors. In reaching the HIPC completion point, Sierra Leone also becomes eligible for further debt relief from the IMF, IDA, and the African Development Fund (AfDF) under the Multilateral Debt Relief Initiative (MDRI). More

East Asia and the Pacific (EAP)

Aceh Tsunami Reconstruction Spending on Target: World Bank - The World Bank has confirmed that 40 percent of the almost $600 million in grant funds made available from 15 major international donors has been disbursed on the reconstruction effort. The funds were pooled together in the Multi-Donor Fund (MDF) for Aceh and Nias, administered by the World Bank at the request of the Government six months after the 2004 tsunami. Over 1,900 kilometers of roads have been built, 710 bridges, 240 school buildings, 2,300 irrigation, drainage, water and sanitation units, and 40 health clinics. All of this work has been carried out by tsunami-affected communities themselves, on the basis of their own priorities, under their oversight and quality control. More

 

 

Philippines: World Bank Approves First Development Policy Loan to Support Fiscal Policy and Seek Governance Reforms - The World Bank’s Board of Executive Directors approved the First Development Policy Loan (DPL) for the Philippines in the amount of US$250 Million. The DPL supports the country’s significant achievements and further actions in reducing public sector deficit and debt by strengthening tax administration, improving budget execution and fiduciary performance, and strengthening the finances of the power sector. In particular, this loan supports the turnaround in public finances that the Philippines has achieved through reducing the fiscal deficit by 3% of GDP since 2004. It will also help strengthen the investment climate and improve service delivery through increased, more transparent and effective spending in social programs, specifically, in its health and education sectors. More

 

US$600 million Development Assistance Program to Support Indonesia’s Reforms Program - The World Bank’s Board approved US$600 million in development program assistance to the Government of Indonesia as it deepens reforms in four main areas: macroeconomic stability and creditworthiness, public financial management and governance, the investment climate, and services for the poor.  The program brings together the Asian Development Bank, the Government of Japan, and the World Bank on a common platform to support Indonesia’s reform agenda. More

Europe and Central Asia (ECA)

Visit of Mr. Shigeo Katsu Vice President of the World Bank ECA Region - Mr. Shigeo Katsu, Vice-President for the Europe and Central Asia Region of the World Bank, visited Turkey in December 2006, to review Turkey’s economic program and discuss World Bank assistance to the country. Mr. Katsu was accompanied by Mr. Ulrich Zachau, the newly appointed Country Director for Turkey. Mr. Katsu’s visit focused on the review of economic and social developments; the Government’s program for 2007 and ongoing and future Bank assistance to Turkey. More

 

 

World Bank In Kazakhstan and Eurasia Foundation of Central Asia Announce Grant Competition for NGOs - The World Bank Country Office in Kazakhstan and Almaty Office of the Eurasia Foundation of Central Asia launched the joint Small Grants Program 2007 (SmGP) for the totaling US 50,000 for nonprofit, nongovernmental organizations of the Republic of Kazakhstan. Any institution involved in development broadly defined may apply for a grant. However, the SmGP prefers to support nonprofit, nongovernmental, nonacademic organizations, with individual grants not exceeding US 5,000. Applications are accepted in World Bank Offices in Almaty and Astana till February 16, 2007. Activities supported by the SmGP are intended to promote dialogue and dissemination of information, and enhance partnerships with key players in support of the development process. More

Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC)

Brazil: World Bank Approves US$50 Million for Water Resources Management in the Northeast - The World Bank’s Board approved a US$50 million loan for Brazil to enhance the impact of the Federal Water Resources Management Project - PROÁGUA, in the country’s drought-prone Northeast Region. The new project builds on the successful implementation of a previous US$198 million World Bank loan approved in 1998. The project is working to improve living standards and economic development in Brazil’s Northeast by decentralizing water resources management to river basin communities and local water user associations, as well as implementing and enforcing water user rights. It seeks to optimize the storage, use, and delivery of water supplies within the selected areas containing high concentrations of poor, rural households. In addition, the project funds the training of participating agencies at the Federal and State levels in environmental issues and promotes private sector participation at all levels. More

 

Peru: World Bank Announces New Country Partnership Strategy and US$250 Million to Support Fiscal Management, Competitiveness, and Rural Transport - The World Bank’s Board discussed the new Country Partnership Strategy (CPS) for Peru, which projects financial assistance of up to US$3.5 billion between July 2007 and June 2011 to support the country’s development agenda. In addition, the Board of Directors approved two loans for a total of US$250 million to support fiscal management and competitiveness, as well as rural transport. The CPS, which includes a lending range of up to US$700 million a year, seeks to support the new government’s priorities. The strategy was designed in partnership with the Peruvian authorities, and also benefited from the input of diverse stakeholders, including civil society, private sector, donors, and government representatives. More

Middle East and North Africa (MENA)


World Bank
Iraq Trust Fund Provides $5 Million to Build Iraq’s Environmental Management Capacity -
The World Bank and Iraq’s Ministry of Environment have signed a $5 million grant agreement to strengthen environmental management capacity. The project will be implemented by the Ministry of Environment, which was established in 2003. The Emergency Environment Management Project will help the ministry build a few of its core functions, including policy formulation, regulation and impact assessment, monitoring, and enforcement. The project also focuses on two key environmental issues: air pollution and waste management. It will finance the purchase of air quality monitoring stations for the cities of Baghdad, Basra, and Mosul. It will also finance the preparation of a municipal waste management master plan for Baghdad and a healthcare waste management plan. More

 

World Bank Supports Emergency Service and Community Development Needs in West Bank and GazaThe World Bank Board of Directors approved $25 million in grant funds to support the following 3 projects: Emergency Municipal Services Rehabilitation Project II (US$10 million), Palestinian NGO Project III (US$10 million), and Additional Financing for the Bank’s existing Integrated Community Development Project (US$5million). The 3 projects respectively aim at supporting access to basic social and economic services for the poor and marginalized communities in the West Bank and Gaza, including solid waste collection, street lighting, wastewater and electricity services, and health services. They will also provide temporary job opportunities to the unemployed Palestinians, and help sustain reliable mechanisms for the delivery of emergency social services. More

South Asia (SAR)

$2.9 Million World Bank-Administered Japanese Grant for Revitalizing Primary Health Care in Earthquake Areas - A grant agreement of US$ 2.9 million was signed with Save the Children Federation for Revitalizing and Improving Primary Health Care earthquake affected Battagram district. This project is the fourth and final part of the World Bank-administered Japan Social Development Fund Earthquake Allocation, providing a total of US$ 6.5 million in grant financing for reconstruction and rehabilitation efforts in the earthquake-affected areas of Azad Jammu and Kashmir and North Western Frontier Province. The aim of this project is to rapidly revitalize the Primary Health Care services so as to enable wide-spread delivery of a standard package of services; and help strengthen the capacity of district management to coordinate, plan, implement, and monitor the delivery of PHC services. The grant will be implemented by Save the Children on behalf of the Government of NWFP. More

 

World Bank Sri Lanka Requests Applications for the Small Grants Program 2007

The World Bank Colombo Office is inviting non-governmental and civil society organizations in Sri Lanka to submit applications for the Small Grants Program 2007. The theme for this year’s Program is Empowering the Disabled, and applications are being sought for projects designed to benefit the disabled in Sri Lanka. Seven grants of up to US$5000 (about Rs. 500,000) each will be awarded in 2007.  The Small Grants Program seeks innovative approaches that increase participation of disabled people in public, civic, and community life; change public attitudes to reduce stigma; and support independent living by increasing life-skills. More
 

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NEW PUBLICATIONS FROM THE WORLD BANK

Annual Review of Development Effectiveness 2006: Getting Results - This flagship publication from the World Bank’s Independent Evaluation Group (IEG) synthesizes the findings of recent IEG evaluations and assesses how effectively World Bank assistance has contributed to poverty reducing growth, improved service delivery to the poor, and enhanced accountability of public sector institutions in charge of delivering development results. More

 

Dancing with Giants: China, India, and the Global Economy

China is now the world's fourth largest economy and growing very fast. India's economic salience is also on the rise. Together these two countries will profoundly influence the pace and nature of global economic change. Drawing upon the latest research, this volume analyzes the influences on the rapid future development of these two countries and examines how their growth is likely to impinge upon other countries. More

        


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UPCOMING AND ONGOING GLOBAL EVENTS/DISCUSSIONS

Global Forum: Building Science, Technoloby and Innovation Capacity for Sustainable Growth and Poverty Reduction

February 13-15 2007

The World Bank, in partnership with CIDA. DFID, Global Research Alliance (GRA), Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), Science Initiative Group (SIG), UNCTAD, and UNESCO, will convene a Global Forum on Building Science, Technology, and Innovation Capacity for Sustainable Growth and Poverty Reduction. The Forum will seek to understand the lessons of previous and ongoing STI capacity building experiences and map out new and more effective ways for governments, industry, academia, foundations, and donors to work together to apply STI capacity building to development in low and middle-income countries. 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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