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World Bank Civil Society Engagement eNewsletter March 2007

MAIN STORIES:

  1. Spring Meetings of the World Bank and IMF: Deadline for Accreditation and Policy Forum for CSOs
  2. World Bank Board Discusses Revised Strategy and Next Steps on Strengthening World Bank Group’s Governance and Anti-corruption Work
  3. World Bank Participation at the Financing Clean Energy Conference
  4. World Bank President Wolfowitz Participates in 2007 Parliamentary Network on the World Bank Conference and Launch of "Princess Of Africa" Foundation in South Africa
  5. Water and Sanitation for the Urban Poor: World Bank Dialogue with Civil Society Organizations
  6. European Commission, the United Kingdom, and the World Bank to Co-Organize a High Level Education Event in Brussels
  7. Development Marketplace 2007 Chooses Finalists for Final Round of Competition
  8. REMINDER TO COMMENT: MIGA’s Proposed New Disclosure and Social and Environmental Sustainability Policies

*    NEWS FROM THE WORLD BANK'S REGIONAL DEPARTMENTS
*     NEW PUBLICATIONS FROM THE WORLD BANK
*    NEW WORLD BANK WEBSITES

*    UPCOMING AND ONGOING GLOBAL EVENTS/DISCUSSIONS


1.  Spring Meetings of the World Bank and IMF: Deadline for Accreditation and Policy Forum for CSOs - The 2007 Spring Meetings of the World Bank and IMF will be held in Washington DC on April 14-15. Some 20 Policy Dialogues for accredited CSOs are being organized by CSOs themselves and also by the WB's Civil Society Team in cooperation with other teams across the Bank Group and the IMF. The discussions will be held between Thursday April 12 and Monday, April 16 and some of the topics that will be discussed include: IDA-15 replenishment, governance, debt sustainability, and the Bank’s education and health policies. All CSOs who wish to participate in these dialogues and in all open official Spring Meetings events will need to obtain accreditation. The accreditation process is a fully automated on-line system. Details of the accreditation requirements as well as a tentative agenda for the policy discussions are available on the World Bank’s Civil Society website:  www.worldbank.org/civilsociety. Deadline for accreditation is this Friday, March 23 close of business Washington, DC time. If you have any questions about the Spring Meetings, please send an email to: civilsociety@worldbank.org.

2. World Bank Board Discusses Revised Strategy and Next Steps on Strengthening World Bank Group’s Governance and Anti-corruption Work - On March 20 the Board of Directors unanimously endorsed the sector paper entitled "Strengthening World Bank Group Engagement on Governance and Anticorruption." The strategy was revised on the basis of feedback from consultations held with stakeholders in 47 countries involving over 3,200 people including representatives of governments, civil society, parliamentarians, the private sector, donor agencies, media representatives and others. The goal of the consultations was to ensure that the global governance strategy benefits from the experience of the wider development community and is also grounded in country realities. Board members expressed their appreciation for this consultative process.The strategy paper was greatly enriched by this dialogue and by an excellent process between the Board and Management in elaborating the document. The paper will be publicly disclosed shortly and also will be sent as a background document to the Development Committee, which requested a report at their next meeting in Washington D.C. on April 15. An outline of an implementation plan was also presented to the Board and will be further developed in the coming weeks in consultation and will be sent to the Board by the end of the fiscal year on June 30. President Wolfowitz emphasized that he is pleased that management was "able to reach a shared understanding with the Board and external stakeholders on how to approach the Bank's important governance and anticorruption work in support of our core mission of assisting the world's poor to escape poverty. This improved strategy paves the way forward." All of the consultation reports are posted on the Bank’s website at www.worldbank.org/governancefeedback. The revised strategy paper will also be posted on the site shortly, and the site will be updated regularly to include information on the on-going implementation process.

3.  World Bank Participation at the Financing Clean Energy Conference - A two day conference on financing for clean energy was co-organized by the EBRD, the World Bank, the World Economic Forum, and the World Business Council for Sustainable Development on March 13-14 in London. The conference provided an opportunity for the 200+ participants to comment on the refinement and implementation of the World Bank led Clean Energy Investment Framework. In his keynote address, World Bank President Wolfowitz emphasized that poor countries are right to argue they should not have to pay the price for fossil fuel dependent growth in rich countries. He noted that "rich countries need to lead by example" and that they "will also need to lead with direct support to developing countries." At the conference, participants agreed to coordinate approaches in order to remove existing barriers for increased investments in clean energy in developing countries and countries in transition. The joint working groups will present their recommendations to the Gleneagles Ministerial in September 2007. President Wolfowitz's Remarks  More information on the conference 

4.   World Bank President Wolfowitz Participates in 2007 Parliamentary Network on the World Bank Conference and Launch of "Princess Of Africa" Foundation in South Africa - President Wolfowitz recently completed his second tour of the Africa region, since he came to the Bank by attending the 2007 Parliamentary Network on the World Bank Conference, held in Capetown, South Africa. Over 200+ parliamentarians from around the globe participated along with representatives from the World Bank, the African Development Bank, the International Monetary Fund, other multilateral organizations, academia, civil society and the private sector, discussed ways to promote action on key development issues, and to strengthen the accountability and transparency of international financial institutions. Civil Society groups participated in dialogue sessions, including,  accountability, agriculture, debt, and health, While in South Africa, President Wolfowitz also helped launch African singer Yvonne Chaka Chaka’s new foundation, welcoming its strong emphasis on better accountability and transparency in using aid funds to fighting malaria. Click here for more information on the PNOWB conference, Click here for more information on the New Foundation to Fight Malaria

5.  Water and Sanitation for the Urban Poor: World Bank Dialogue with Civil Society Organizations - Approximately 20 civil society participants attended Water Week 2007, which took place February 27-March 2 at World Bank headquarters in Washington. This year’s theme was "Water Futures: Sustainability and Growth." The World Bank and the CSO Freshwater Action Network (FAN) held a joint workshop at the conference, as part of a scoping study to develop systematic dialogue between the Bank and CSOs about water and sanitation services for the urban poor at the global, regional, and national levels. Jamal Saghir, Director of the World Bank’s Energy, Transport, and Water Department, led the discussions and several Bank task managers and civil society specialists participated at the conference. The workshop reviewed the lessons of experience of earlier attempts to sustain information sharing and knowledge development between CSOs and the World Bank. See WB-CSO Joint Statement

6.  European Commission, the United Kingdom, and the World Bank to Co-Organize a High Level Education Event in Brussels - The European Commission, the UK government, and the World Bank aim to put the spotlight on commitments made by donors and recipient countries on education by co-organizing a high-level event titled "Keeping the Promises on Education" on May 2, 2007 in Brussels. The event aims to focus on commitments to "do more, better and faster" to reach the education MDG by 2015. The agenda will include a high-level political session in the morning, and a more technical session (at senior civil servant level) in the afternoon. The high-level invitees include ministers from donor and partner countries and leaders from civil society, international organizations and private foundations, along with internationally well-known advocates for development cooperation in education. The co-organizers of the event will be represented by EU Development Commissioner Louis Michel, World Bank President Paul Wolfowitz, and UK Finance Minister Gordon Brown. Further information on the Conference will be available shortly at  http://www.promises-on-education.org/

7. Development Marketplace 2007 Chooses Finalists for Final Round of Competition - The Development Marketplace is bringing 105 project teams to World Bank headquarters May 22-23 to display their projects and vie for grant funding in the final round of the 2007 Global Development Marketplace competition. This year’s DM paired up with the Health, Nutrition and Population (HNP) unit to focus on improving health, nutrition and population services for the poor. The competition attracted a record high of nearly 2,900 applicants, which went through two rounds of assessment – involving World Bank and external health specialists – to narrow down the number of finalists to 105. The majority of finalists – 34 percent – address sub-Saharan Africa. Latin America and the Caribbean and Southeast Asia will each be represented with about 20 percent of projects. Some 15 percent hail from East Asia and the Pacific, 6 percent from Europe and Central Asia and 4 percent from the Middle East and North Africa region. The majority of proposals were submitted by NGOs, but many have partnerships with foundations, academia, private enterprises, government and development agencies. Click here for a breakdown of the DM2007 finalists by region, sector, sub-theme and other details. Cristian Baeza, Acting Director for HNP, says, "The Development Marketplace provides us with a wonderful opportunity to tap into an enormous pool of innovative local solutions to help achieve results on the ground and improve people's lives."  More

8. REMINDER TO COMMENT: MIGA’s Proposed New Disclosure and Social and Environmental Sustainability Policies - You are invited to comment on MIGA’s proposed new disclosure policy and new social and environmental policies and performance standards via MIGA’s online commentary tool, which includes access to the draft new policies. The facility will be available until midnight on April 27, 2007, to submit comments. A summary of the main findings will be published subsequently on MIGA’s website.

9. Senior Staff Announcements -  Marwan Muasher has joined the World Bank as Senior Vice President of External Affairs in March 2007. Mr. Muasher was most recently a member of the Senate of Jordan, the latest position in a career that has spanned diplomacy, civil society, communications, and development. Aristomene Varoudakis has been appointed as the Country Manager for Armenia. Since joining the Bank in 2000, Mr. Varoudakis has held several positions, his most recent being the Lead Economist in the Poverty Reduction and Economic Management (PREM) Department for the Europe and Central Asia Region. His appointment will be effective on April 2, 2007. Andras Horvai has been appointed as the Country Manager for Croatia. Mr. Horvai joined the Bank in 1993 and has held several positions, his most recent being the Country Program Coordinator for Turkey. His appointment will be effective on July 1, 2007. Melanie Marlett has been appointed as Country Manager for Moldova. She is currently the Country Program Coordinator for Tanzania and Uganda. Ms. Marlett’s position will be effective July 1, 2007. Xavier Coll, Vice President, Human Resources, has informed management of his decision to leave his position. Mr. Coll plans to join the European Investment Bank as the Head of their Human Resources during the summer of 2007. Succession plans will be announced shortly. Maria Borrero, World Bank Group Ethics Officer, has informed management of her decision to leave her position in April 2007 to pursue a new career opportunity in the field of ethics. Nichola Dyer will be Acting Manager of the Ethics Office, until a successor is appointed. A search committee will be appointed shortly.

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NEWS FROM THE WORLD BANK'S REGIONAL DEPARTMENTS

Africa

World Bank and IMF Support Sao Tome and Principe'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 have agreed that Sao Tome and Principe has made good progress to reach the completion point under the Enhaned Heavily Indebted Poor Countries (HIPC) Initiative. It will be the 22nd country to reach completion point and it is expected to receive the equivalent of US$314 million in total nominal debt relief under the HIPC Initiative and the MDRI on principal as well as interest payments.   To reach the Completion Point, São Tomé and Príncipe met all the triggers aimed at maintaining macroeconomic stability, ensuring commitment to the national poverty strategy, strengthening public expenditure management, raising the quality of education, improving health outcomes and fighting malaria.   In addition Sao Tomé and Príncipe took steps to improve governance, especially in its nascent petroleum sector, and fight corruption through an on-going comprehensive judicial / administrative reform.  More

World Bank Support for Mali's Poverty Reduction Strategy - On March 6, the Bank’s Board approved an International Development Association (IDA) credit in the amount of US$45 million to help the Government of Mali achieve the goals set forth in its Growth and Poverty Reduction Strategy Framework (GPRSF). “The aim of the PRSC-I is to strengthen public finance management, stimulate growth, and expand access to basic social services, by focusing on activities divided among the following three components: public finance management, growth, and basic social services,” explained Christina Wood, who heads the program at the World Bank. This document, submitted to Mali’s National Assembly in December 2006 as input for 2007 budget discussions, comprises programs grouped into three main areas: (i) infrastructure development and strengthening of the productive sectors, including food security, rural development, development of small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), and sustainable natural resource management; (ii) bolstering the structural reform program (composed of public sector reforms, the investment climate, the financial sector, governance, and civil society capacity); and (iii) strengthening the social services sector (promoting job creation, expanded access to basic social services, etc.).   More

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East Asia and the Pacific

World Bank Vice President Concludes His First Visit to Cambodia -The new Vice President for the World Bank’s East Asia and Pacific region, Mr. Jim Adams, went to Cambodia for a two-day visit in mid-February. Mr. Adams said he had come to Cambodia to ensure that the Bank’s relationship with the Cambodian Government was back on a firm footing following  last year’s suspension of a number of World Bank projects due to irregularities found in procurement processes. “While we may have hit a bumpy patch last year, I believe our partnership with Cambodia is a strong one,”Mr. Adamssaid. “I look forward to continuing our long-term engagement in Cambodia and to providing support to the Government’s reform efforts.”While in  Phnom Penh, Mr. Adams met with representatives of civil society, the private sector and the donor community to hear their views on Cambodia's development and the progress that has been made and the challenges that still remain. More

New Forest Report Shifts the Focus to People not Trees for Sustainable Environmental and Economic Growth - Indonesia’s forests are central to the livelihoods of 10 million of the 36 million poorest Indonesians and forest governance issues affect two-thirds of the country’s land. A new World Bank report “Sustaining Economic Growth, Rural Livelihoods, and Environmental Benefits: Strategic Options for Forest Assistance in Indonesia”, explores the challenge of harnessing the country’s significant forest resources to better contribute to growth, rural livelihoods and environmental protection. The report focuses on land and people, not forests and trees shifting the balance toward improving community livelihoods, while maintaining environmental services and biodiversity values. The report summarizes four main entry points that donor agencies can use to re-engage on forest assistance, including:  improving governance to close the gap between rules and results, improving rural livelihoods to narrow the gap between rich forests and poor people, increasing sustainable economic development to bridge the gap between benefits and beneficiaries, and protecting environmental services and biodiversity to bridge the gap between current use and future stewardship. More

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Europe and Central Asia

World Bank Small Grants Program Winners Announced - Winners of the Small Grants Program of the World Bank (SmGP) for civil society organizations have been announced. Four civil society organizations which proposed solutions to environmental challenges at a local level will receive grants of USD 8,000 - 10,000 to implement their projects ideas. The projects were selected by a special committee comprising besides World Bank staff representatives from the Ministry of Nature Resources and Environmental Protection and from the Small Grants Program of the United Nations Development Program/Global Environmental Facility in Belarus (UNDP/GEF). "We have received 36 applications, and the committee had a challenging task of selecting the winners. A series of criteria were considered, such as inclusion of vulnerable groups (for instance, disabled young people and orphans), regional focus of the proposed activities, possibility of achieving the goals within a relatively short period. Almost all project proposals submitted for the Small Grants Program in 2007 were thoroughly prepared and appropriately presented. We hope that the organizations that have not won World Bank awards will receive support from other sources," noted Elena Klochan, Operations Officer from the World Bank Country Office in Belarus. More

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Latin America and the Caribbean

Economic Opportunities Elusive for Latin America's Indigenous Peoples – Still Living in Dire Poverty—New World Bank Report Despite Latin America’s significant progress in reducing poverty in recent years, more than 80 percent of the region’s indigenous peoples are still living in abject poverty, a trend that has changed little since the early 1990s, says a new World Bank report titled, " Economic Opportunities for Indigenous Peoples in Latin America" . The report examines why even with better education, job training, and other skills, the majority of Latin America's 28 million indigenous peoples are not able to convert these skills into higher earnings and boost their living standards on a par with non-indigenous populations. The report finds that indigenous peoples mostly work in just a few occupations, live in rural and remote areas, and suffer from lack of access to well-paying jobs in the mainstream job market. More 


IFC to Finance Bertin: Project to set new benchmark for environmental and social standards in cattle ranching and meat processing in the Amazon - On March 8, IFC' Board approved a $90 million loan to Bertin, Brazil’s second-largest meat processing company. The project allows IFC an opportunity topartner and engage a leading private sector company in tackling the most serious environmental and social issues facing the Brazilian Amazon. The project supports World Bank Group strategy for Brazil to support improved productivity and social and environmental responsibility of large-scale livestock and agricultural enterprises and small-scale farming in deforested areas. Bertin and IFC engaged in extensive consultations with local and national civil society organizations over the past year. The evaluation process included a thorough assessment of the direct and indirect impacts that the expansion of Bertin’s meat processing plant in Maraba, in Para state, could have on deforestation and assessed how this project can be used to address social issues like forced labor and agrarian violence. IFC looks forward to continued engagement with the local community and civil society. More

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Middle East and North Africa

New World Bank Report on Water in the Middle East and North Africa Region - On March 11, the World Bank Middle East and North Africa Region launched  the Regional Report on Water: Making the Most of Scarcity.  This is the fifth report in a series that highlights key challenges facing the region.Steps to improve accountability of water management promise higher water outcomes in the Middle East and North Africa region, the most water scarce region in the world. The World Bank report discusses how water management solutions need to be considered as part of the wider economic policies of the countries of the region.Despite considerable technical, policy and institutional progress within the water sector across the region, expected improvements in water outcomes are still limited. More

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South Asia

Environmental Policies Needed for Sustainable Economic Growth
 - A new World Bank report titled, Bangladesh Country Environmental Analysis, suggests that by improving access to environmental information and increasing transparency and consultation it will be easier to form and enforce coherent and effective environmental policies.The study suggests introducing greater transparency in environmental management by improving access to environmental information and implementing accountable decision-making. There is also a need for credible enforcement so that those who break environmental rules are caught and punished. The report also makes several specific recommendations about how to tackle some of the environmental challenges. More

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NEW PUBLICATIONS FROM THE WORLD BANK

Integrity Report of the World Bank Group, Fiscal Years 2005-2006
This is the World Bank's second Integrity Report, and covers both fiscal years 2005 and 2006. The report covers topics including internal and external investigations and sanctions, and progress in proactive policy initiatives such as the Voluntary Disclosure Program, and presents examples of both internal and external investigations.

Building a Better World Website, an Online Atlas of the MDGs
The Online Atlas presents data for 16 of the MDG indicators––two for each of the eight goals—as world maps. You can change the perspective: each of the maps can be redrawn to show the size of a country based on the data, rather than geography—a unique feature.Each map is supported by data tables, informative text, and charts in three languages: English, French, and Spanish.

The Many Faces of Corruption: Tracking Vulnerabilities at the Sector Level
The Many Faces of Corruption attempts to bring greater clarity to the often murky manifestations of this virulent and debilitating social disease. It explores the use of prototype road maps to identify corruption vulnerabilities, suggests corresponding "warning signals," and proposes operationally useful remedial measures in each of several selected sectors and for a selected sample of cross cutting public sector functions that are particularly prone to corruption and that are critical to sector performance.

Establishing Private Health Care Facilities in Developing Countries: A Guide for Medical Entrepreneurs
This book is a practical guide for medical professionals with little or no business experience who are interested in establishing health care facilities in developing countries. It is an introduction to the kinds of basic research and planning required to identify viable solutions and reduce the risk of failure.

New Bank Websites

Socially Sustainable Development Website
This new website was created to facilitate information exchange on how social development—which includes social accountability, social inclusion, and social cohesion—can enhance World Bank knowledge and capacity development efforts at the project, program, and policy levels.

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  UPCOMING AND ONGOING GLOBAL EVENTS/DISCUSSIONS

World Bank - Interaction Seminar on Social Aspects of HIV/AIDS and the Role of Civil Society in a Multisectoral Approach
March 29, 9:00 am-12:30 pm, World Bank Headquarters, Washington DC 

You are cordially invited to a workshop which will analyze the experiences of the World Bank, Civil Society Organizations (CSOs), Joint United Nations Program on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS), and the US Government’s Global AIDS Program in using a multisectoral approach to address the AIDS epidemic in developing countries. Representatives from these organizations will also provide their perspectives on lessons learned on why and how to effectively engage local CSOs. 

World Bank Global Seminar Series
Spring 2007
The World Bank offers the Global Issues Seminar Series (GISS) to promote better understanding of global issues and to generate debate among senior undergraduate and graduate students of social sciences, international development, public policy and business.

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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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