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World Bank Civil Society Engagement Newsletter - July 2008

MAIN STORIES:

  1. ‘End of An Era’ in Bank – Civil Society Engagement Work
  2. Bank Board Approves Climate Investment Funds

*     NEWS FROM THE WORLD BANK'S REGIONAL DEPARTMENTS
*     JOB OPENINGS
*     NEW PUBLICATIONS FROM THE WORLD BANK
*     WEBSITES, BLOGS AND PODCASTS


1. Zoellick’s second meeting with CSOs on Food Price Crisis - President Zoellick convened a second roundtable on the global food crisis with CSO, IMF, and UN representatives on July 15.  The purpose of the meeting was for Mr. Zoellick to report on the G8 Meeting, and on what actions the Bank, CSOs, and the donor agencies have undertaken in the last month to promote food delivery and increase funding for food security measures.   Zoellick said that “the double jeopardy of food and fuel prices had entered a danger zone”.  On the question of biofuels, he told CSO representatives that, while they are a significant factor in the surge in food prices, there is still debate as to the degree. CSOs raised a number of issues and recommendations including the need to close the gap between donor financing commitments and action at the country level, encourage greater media coverage of food crisis, and the need to integrate CSOs in donor agency – government coordination bodies...More

2.   Bank, CSOs, Governments Hold Roundtable on Odious Debt - The round table on “Conceptual and Operational Issues of Lender Responsibility for Sovereign Debt” was held on April 14, 2008 in Washington, DC.   The event was organized in response to a request by a coalition of civil society organizations interested in discussing the findings of a Bank paper on odious debt and the broader issue of responsible lending.  Around 40 participants attended the event including representatives from CSOs, universities, World Bank, IMF, Paris Club members, and donor governments.  The day-long meeting was characterized by an open, substantive, and thoughtful discussion recognizing the different viewpoints and institutional roles of the participating actors.  CSO representatives made a number of follow-up suggestions and the Bank announced the holding of a conference on debt relief in low-income countries to be held in October 2008... More

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3. ‘End of An Era’ in Bank – Civil Society Engagement Work - John D. Clark, and John R. Mitchell are both retiring nearly 20 years after joining the Bank. They both played a key role in the institution’s engagement with civil society.  A farewell lunch allowed them to reflect on their past work and the road ahead. Mitchell gave an overview of trends in the advocacy area among CSOs, which he defined as a “wide and eclectic group” that includes nongovernmental organizations, academics, faith groups, labor groups, and foundations. Clark summarized the evolution of Bank relationships with CSOs as a “pretty good story,” even though it has had rough patches.  As a sign of success, Clark said, much of the discussion by CSOs about the Bank is much more nuanced, in contrast to decade ago when slogans such as “50 Years is Enough” dominated ... More

4.  Water Study Highlights Challenges to Bank – CSO Collaboration - Freshwater Action Network (FAN) conducted a scoping study, with the support of Public World on recent engagement efforts between the Bank and CSOs around water/sanitation polices and projects. The study was carried out between February and October 2007 in order to identify feasible activities for WB-CSO dialogue on urban water supply and sanitation, sharing information and knowledge, and providing an opportunity for CSOs to offer inputs to WB policies and operations. The study highlighted such problems as overly stretched Bank Task Team Leaders which demonstrated too little interest in engaging local FAN affiliates, and CSOs who failed to understand what the Bank could offer in terms of financing and support.  The report is also useful as it reflects the constraints of broader Bank – civil society engagement efforts which range from lack of mutual knowledge and trust, to time and resource limits... More

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5. Worldwide Governance Indicators Launched - The recently released seventh update of the Worldwide Governance Indicators (WGI) shows many developing country governments making important gains in controlling corruption, with some of them matching rich country performance in overall governance measures. Over a dozen emerging countries, including Slovenia, Chile, Botswana, Estonia, Uruguay, Czech Republic, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Mauritius, and Costa Rica score higher on key dimensions of governance than industrialized countries such as Greece or Italy. The WGI, compiled by the World Bank Institute and the Development Research Group, cover 212 countries and territories, drawing on 35 different data sources to capture the views of tens of thousands of survey respondents worldwide, as well as thousands of experts in the private, NGO, and public sectors... More

6.  Book Launch Focuses on Global Democracy - The World Bank-Civil Society team held a lunch Discussion on "Global Democracy - The Struggle for Political and Civil Rights in the 21st Century" on June 25, 2008.  It was sponsored by the Bank's Infoshop and Civil Society Team together with Oxfam America.  Didier Jacobs , the author, made a short presentation on the contents of the book highlighting  three trends in global governance: globalization, rise of emerging countries (i.e. China, India, Brazil), and increase of global citizenship. Panelists included Ann Florini of Brooking Institute and Amar Battachrya of the G24 Secretariat who brought varying views on how to improve the ‘democratic deficit’ of international organizations such as the World Bank...  More   Podcast 

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7.  Development Marketplace Announces 100 New Ideas for Agriculture - The Development Marketplace has announced the 100 finalist proposals on this year’s theme: “Sustainable Agriculture for Development”. The marketplace received 1,768 proposals from 114 countries, and the 100 finalists hail from 42 countries. They will be invited to Washington, DC in September to participate in the Development Marketplace and to compete for one of the 25–30 grants to be awarded. The top nine countries for proposed projects are India, Kenya, the Philippines, Brazil, Ecuador, Ghana, Nepal, Tanzania and Vietnam. According to one the evaluators, Sara Scherr (President of INGO Ecoagriculture) some of the innovative proposals submitted could offer solutions to the global food crisis... More

  8.  Bank Board Approves Climate Investment Funds - The World Bank Board of Executive Directors approved the creation of the Climate Investment Funds (CIF) on July 1. Two trust funds; the Clean Technology Fund (CTF) and the Strategic Climate Fund (SCF); will be created, with target investments of US$5 billion. The CTF will provide new, large-scale financial resources for projects and programs that advance low-carbon technologies in developing countries, while the SCF will serve as an overarching fund for programs to test innovative approaches to climate change. The funds were designed through wide consultations with stakeholders, including CSOs.  The first Partnership Forum for the CIF, (which will include NGOs), is expected to take place in September, 2008. Approval of funding for initial projects or programs is expected before the end of 2008... More

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 9.  World Bank Launches Global Search for Governance Advisory Board - The World Bank has launched a global search for members to an international board that will advise the Department of Institutional Integrity (INT). The board launch stems directly from one of the key recommendations of the Volcker panel. In addition to INT, the board will also advise the World Bank President and the Audit Committee on the operations and performance of INT.  The board will be comprised of three respected and experienced governance and anticorruption experts who will serve for a three-year term, with the possibility of a one-time renewal. The search committee plans to have a shortlist of candidates by the end of July, and interested individuals can send names directly to Costa Karvelas, Executive Search (ckarvelas@worldbank.org), by July 20, 2008...  More


 NEWS FROM THE WORLD BANK'S REGIONAL DEPARTMENTS

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Africa

Online Consultations on Climate Change Strategy for Africa - The online consultations of the World Bank’s Concept Paper on Climate Change closed on July 15, 2008. However, online consultation on the World Bank’s climate change strategy for Sub-Saharan Africa, is ongoing and your online feedback is welcomed. There are six questions for your consideration and all comments will be acknowledged. A summary of feedback received through face-to-face and online consultations will be available after July 31, 2008 when the consultation period ends... More

Bank and Development Partners Support Europe-based African Diaspora Business Ventures - On June 26, the first ever Development Marketplace for the African Diaspora in Europe (D-MADE) was held in Brussels, with about a million dollars awarded to sixteen investment projects in Africa. The winning projects will be implemented in 11 African countries, including Mali (4), Cote d'Ivoire (2) Benin (2) and one each for Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Democratic Republic of Congo, Ethiopia, Madagascar, Malawi, Sierra Leone, and Togo.  The sixteen winners were selected from a group of 68 finalists and currently live in seven European countries. The D-MADE initiative was launched to allow entrepreneurs from the African diaspora in Europe to participate in the development of their countries.  Over 500 business proposals were submitted for original consideration... More

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East Asia and the Pacific

Global Facility Provides Support to ASEAN Countries - The Global Facility for Disaster Reduction and Recovery (GFDRR) has agreed to provide grant finance to support the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) to strengthen its capacity to rapidly respond to disasters throughout the region.  The initial focus will be on helping to assess the impact and damage caused by Cyclone Nargis in Myanmar. A grant of $850,000 has been made to support the ASEAN Secretariat in responding to Cyclone Nargis, which has left 77,738, people dead and 55,917 people still missing. ASEAN is currently leading teams of international experts in conducting the Post-Nargis Joint Assessment, in partnership with the United Nations, and supported by Bank technical staff...More

Cities Seen as Key to Improving National Growth Potential - Well managed cities can play a key role in improving the prosperity and productivity of entire nations, a Bank vice president told the World Cities Summit in Singapore. Jim Adams, Bank Vice President for the East Asia and Pacific region told the conference of more than 3,000 international participants, that there had been a major shift in the Bank’s and other development institutions’ attitudes to cities and urbanization since the approach of 30 years ago. All over the world, cities were becoming “growth-inducing hubs that attract capital and innovation”, he said. But with an expected 25 million people moving to cities every year for the next two decades, East Asia faces a massive challenge to ensure cities are managed efficiently and transparently for the benefit of all their citizens while addressing the impact urban centers are having on the environment... More

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Europe and Central Asia

Kosovo Applies for World Bank Membership - The World Bank has received a letter from the Prime Minister of Kosovo officially requesting membership in the World Bank Group. The application will be processed in coordination with the International Monetary Fund (IMF), where an application has also been filed. The membership process typically takes a minimum of 6 to 9 months. As a first step, the IMF will determine a proposed quota for Kosovo in the Fund, based on which, the World Bank will determine the proposed subscription of World Bank shares of Kosovo. A simple majority of votes cast by the World Bank’s Board of Governors is required for approval of membership...More

Regional Forum on Green Investment Schemes - The Regional Forum on Green Investment Schemes (GIS), organized by the Polish Ministry of the Environment, and supported by State Administration of the Emissions Trading Scheme (KASHUE) and the World Bank, took place on June 25-26, 2008, in Warsaw, Poland. The objectives of the forum included: to share knowledge and experience in the design and implementation of GIS to identify opportunities to maximize the benefits to be derived from a GIS; to determine the institutional and legal frameworks in order to ensure an effective GIS; and to meet potential carbon buyers and traders during the Forum. The Forum was attended by over 70 participants who represented government and state agencies and the KASHUE...More

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Middle East and North Africa

First Carbon Financing Agreement on Solid Waste Composting in Egypt -The World Bank signed on July 1, 2008 its first greenhouse gas emission reductions purchase agreement for a solid waste composting project in Egypt. The ECARU Cairo Southern Zone Composting Project is now on its way to being registered as a Clean Development Mechanism project. The project will avoid the generation of greenhouse gases caused by landfill, such as methane, which has 21 times the global warming potential of carbon dioxide. A prototype of the project is expected to start in late 2008. Generated compost for sale to agricultural and horticultural buyers will follow within 90 days of the start of operations... More

The Village and Neighborhood Development Project -The Bank has funded several community development projects in the West Bank and Gaza where community empowerment and inclusion of marginalized groups have been far reaching goals. Building on lessons learned from these projects, the Bank is supporting a pioneering new community driven development project, the Village and Neighborhood Development Project (VNDP) where poor marginalized communities will be in the driver’s seat to lead their own development process. With USD $10 million divided between the West Bank and Gaza, the VNDP has been carefully designed to cater to that objective. The project will support small communities in planning local initiatives, and prioritizing needs through an inclusive and participatory process... More

Realizing the Potential of Arab Women in the Private and Public Sectors -Refuting stereotypes of Arab women as hidden and powerless, representatives from both the public and private sector testified to the many achievements of Arab women throughout the Middle East during the first U.S conference of the Arab International Women’s Forum (AIWF). Hosted by the Bank Middle East North Africa Region in Washington, D.C. from June 22-24, the conference was supported by a number of global private partners of AIWF. The goal of the conference, titled “Partners for Change: Realizing the Potential of Arab Women in the Private and Public Sector”, was to stimulate dialogue between Arab and international policymakers and entrepreneurs to remove roadblocks to women’s gainful participation in Arab politics, Arab economies, and Arab societies... More

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South Asia

Isabel Guerrero Appointed Vice President for South Asia Region - Ms. Isabel Guerrero took up the position of Vice President of South Asia Region, after previous Vice President Praful Patel retired on July 2. Ms Guerrero, a Chilean national, was the County Director for India before she moved to her new position. She joined the bank as a Young Professional in 1982, and the early years of her career involved work as a country economist for the Philippines, Myanmar, Morocco and the Central Asian Republics. She was also the country director for Bolivia-Ecuador-Paraguay-Peru from 1997–2002, and Colombia-Mexico from 2002–2007. World Bank President Robert Zoellick praised her “strong track record in development and a commitment to finding cutting-edge solutions,” and expressed delight that she has accepted the position... More

Development Marketplace 2008 Awards US$600,000 to Projects in Nepal -Twenty-five civil society organizations from across Nepal won grants from a US$600,000 award pool funded by a partnership between the Bank and the Nepal Poverty Alleviation Fund. The winners received about US$20,000 each to implement innovative ideas aimed at delivering basic services and expanding livelihood opportunities in rural populations. The finalists ranged from grassroots service providers, community-based organizations, and nongovernmental organizations; to schools and universities; and private sector businesses. Their enterprising ideas and creative partnerships focused on improvements in the delivery of basic services in areas of health; water and sanitation; agriculture, irrigation, and food security; small business and micro enterprise support; energy; information and communication technologies; infrastructure; and employment creation... More

Success Stories in Bangladesh -Bangladesh has already achieved gender parity in primary and secondary schooling, and is on track to achieve most of the MDG goals, in part, because of programs reaching out to women, especially rural women. One such program is the “Notun Jibon – New Life” administered by the country’s Social Development Foundation with the assistance of the World Bank. So far, over 1,000 villages across the country have benefited from this community-driven program, which has provided critical village infrastructure in rural areas. In the aftermath of Cyclone Sidr, “Notun Jibon” was identified as the best instrument for quickly channeling funds to support livelihoods restoration at the community level and has received additional financial resources from the Bank to help communities gradually restore their lives and livelihoods affected by cyclone Sidr... More

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 JOB OPENINGS  

Below is a sampling of job openings currently available at the World Bank’s job vacancies website.  Click here to view the positions and apply.

Sr. Social Development Specialist (India) - The Senior Social Development Specialist will be part of the New Delhi-based Social, Environment, and Water Resources Management team (SASDI), a part of the South Asia Sustainable Development Department.  The focus of activity will be to support implementation of the Bank’s country assistance strategy for India through analysis of social development issues, support project preparation, and liaise with external stakeholders.  Application closing date is 28 July 2008... More

Sr. Program Officer for Diversity and Inclusion (Washington, DC) - It will be the responsibility of the Senior Diversity & Inclusion Officer to advise, engage, and consult with Bank management to progress D&I specific actions for the institution.  The incumbent will build relationships and work closely with HR units in IBRD and IFC to influence and advise line management on strategy and action to ensure a sustainably diverse workforce thriving in an inclusive work environment in Washington over 100 country offices.  Application closing date is 31 August 2008... More

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PUBLICATIONS

Sustainable Land Management Sourcebook -The Sustainable Land Management Sourcebook is a resource of good practice information on land and natural resource management issues that will be of operational relevance to practitioners in the tropics and sub-tropics. The Sourcebook covers a comprehensive range of topics on the technical issues of land and natural resource management and is presented in a way that will facilitate use by both experts and lay readers. The text is well-illustrated with graphs and photos and for the more specialized reader, key references and web links to institutional reference databases are provided...More


Deprived of Contraception, Poor Women in Developing World Bear Millions of Unintended Pregnancies (change Headline) -On the eve of World Population Day, the World Bank released a report that finds that over 50 million unintended pregnancies occur in developing countries every year to women not using contraception. Another 25 million pregnancies occur because women’s contraception fails or they use a contraceptive incorrectly. The report, “Fertility Regulation Behaviors and Their Costs” also finds that many poor women also turn to abortion and every year, about 68,000 women die and another 5.3 million suffer disability as a result of unsafe abortion. The World Bank currently has 90 population and reproductive health projects under implementation for a total amount of $965 million...More

New Financiers are Narrowing Africa’s Infrastructure Deficit -China, India, and a few Middle Eastern Gulf nations are financing a record number of infrastructure projects across Sub-Saharan Africa, says a new World Bank report.  Investment commitments in Africa by these emerging financiers jumped from less than $1 billion per year before 2004 to $8 billion in 2006 and $5 billion in 2007, signaling a growing trend in South-South cooperation. The report, “Building Bridges: China’s Growing Role as Infrastructure Financier for Sub-Saharan Africa,” notes that the investment commitments being made by emerging financiers are unprecedented, both in scale and the focus on large infrastructure projects. The World Bank is working closely with African countries, China and other development partners in sharing experiences for higher development impact...More


WEBSITES,  BLOGS, PODCASTS

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Blog Highlights Success in Fighting Corruption in Water Sector -According to the new “Global Corruption Report 2008: Corruption in the Water Sector” released by Transparency International, corruption in the water sector is a root cause of the global water crisis that threatens billions of lives and exacerbates environmental degradation... More
 
Podcasts - The Bank has launched a podcast platform which focuses on current and vital development issues.  Themes have included human trafficking, gender gaps, and rebuilding Liberia.  The interviews are carried out by well known public radio host Georges Collinet.  The lastest podcast is on the recently launched book “Global Democracy” which argues for improved governance among international organizations... More  

World Bank Launches Earthquake Reconstruction Website -The World Bank launched its earthquake reconstruction website, to provide updates on the reconstruction in the aftermath of the Wenchuan earthquake in China. On the website, the World Bank will report on its involvement in the reconstruction as well as the larger reconstruction effort. So far, the World Bank has supported China with an initial $1.5 million grant through the Global Facility for Disaster Relief and Reconstruction, and also mobilized a team of international experts, who met with Chinese counterparts in the central and local government who are charged with planning the reconstruction efforts. The World Bank has also provided a Global Environment Facility grant of US$1 million to support assessment of chemical contamination in the earthquake...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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