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World Bank Civil Society Engagement eNewsletter May 2007

MAIN STORIES:

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


1.  President of the World Bank Resigns - After over a month of deliberations on the leadership crisis at the Bank, its Board of Directors and President Wolfowitz announced on May 17 that Mr. Wolfowitz would resign as president of the WB effective end of the fiscal year (June 30, 2007). The Board also announced that it will start the nomination process for a new President immediately. One specific conclusion drawn by the Board members from the crisis is the need to review the governance framework of the WB Group, including the role as well as procedural and other aspects of the Ethics Committee. Statement  More information

2.  The World Bank's New Health, Nutrition, and Population Strategy - The new strategy, launched on May 1, will help developing countries strengthen their health systems to improve the health and well-being of millions of the world’s poorest people, boost economic growth, reduce poverty caused by catastrophic illness, and provide the structural ‘glue’ that combines multiple health-related programs within client countries. Called Healthy Development: The World Bank’s Strategy for Health, Nutrition, and Population Results, the new plan updates the Bank’s contribution to improving health outcomes at the global, regional, and national levels, including the 2015 MDGs. The WB consulted widely in preparing its new strategy with more than 400 local and global leaders from developing and middle-income countries, development donors, and civil society groups in nine partner countries. At the global level, it also conferred closely with the World Health Organization, the Global Fund, and other specialized health agencies with which it will coordinate and implement its new health systems approach.  More

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3.  COMMENTS SOUGHT: Governance and Anticorruption (GAC) Strategy Implementation - On March 20, 2007 the Bank's Board of Directors endorsed the sector paper entitled "Strengthening World Bank Group Engagement on Governance and Anticorruption." The strategy was enriched by feedback from consultations held with stakeholders including representatives of governments, CSOs, parliamentarians, the private sector, donor agencies, media representatives and others. You are invited to share your feedback on the strategy's implementation plan by answering 5 questions which will guide the implementation process.  Comments will be accepted through May 30, 2007.  Its final version will be sent to the Board by the end of the fiscal year on June 30.  All of the consultation reports are posted on the Bank’s website. The revised strategy paper (in Spanish, French, Arabic and Russian) is posted on the website which will be updated regularly to include information on the on-going implementation process.  More

4.  IFC's Stakeholder Engagement: A Good Practice Handbook for Companies Doing Business in Emerging Markets - The publication draws on IFC's own learning, successful examples from its clients, and international best practice to provide essential guidelines for building and maintaining constructive relations between private sector players and their stakeholders as a means of risk mitigation, business development, and enhancing development outcomes. It includes new guidance on issues such as gender, indigenous people, grievance mechanisms, sustainability reporting, management functions, and the integration of stakeholder engagement activities with core business processes. French, Spanish, Portuguese, Chinese, Arabic, and Russian versions will be available in July.  More

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5.  Final Publication of the World Bank Group's Environmental, Health and Safety Guidelines and 55 Industry Sector Guidelines - As of April 30, 2007, new versions of the World Bank Group Environmental, Health, and Safety Guidelines (known as the 'EHS Guidelines') are now in use. They replace those documents previously published in Part III of the Pollution Prevention and Abatement Handbook.  Over the last two years, the review and update process has relied on the technical input of over 80 external consultants as well as the collective project experience of IFC and WB specialists. IFC has further sought the input of external stakeholders globally through a public comment period that extended from August 2006 through April 2007 in which industry associations, CSOs, technical experts, individual private sectors companies, regulatory agencies, and other financial institutions provided recommendations to improve the quality and robustness of these documents.  More

6.  Opening: Young Professionals Program 2008 Selection - The Bank’s Young Professionals Program is now accepting applications for the 2008 Selection. The Program is a starting point for a career in the Bank. It is designed to attract outstanding young and motivated individuals from around the world, who have demonstrated a commitment to development, supported by academic success, professional achievement and potential for leadership. The closing date for applications is July 15.  More

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NEWS FROM THE WORLD BANK'S REGIONAL DEPARTMENTS

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Africa

World Bank Discusses New Joint Assistance Strategy for Tanzania - The Executive Board of the WB Group on April 24 discussed the new Joint Assistance Strategy for Tanzania (JAST) which includes planned support to Tanzania from the 35 members of the Tanzania Development Partners Group (DPG) over the FY07/08-FY09/10 period. The JAST includes projected disbursements of over US$2 billion per year to Tanzania from across the DPG, with new lending commitments from the International Development Association (IDA) of US$640 million in 2007. IDA’s financial support will be channeled, among others, through the Poverty Reduction Strategy Credit-5 (US$190 million) and the Zanzibar Basic Education (US$42 million), both of which were also approved that day.  More

Uganda’s Sixth Poverty Reduction Support Operation - The WB Board of Directors on April 26 approved an International Development Association (IDA) credit of US$125 million for Uganda to finance the sixth Poverty Reduction Support Operation (PRSC6). The credit will complement the resources of the Uganda Government and other Development Partners to fund priority programs for poverty reduction and growth. In addition, the PRSC6 focuses on strengthened results orientation and deepening reforms to improve transparency and accountability in the public sector.  More

World Bank Group Approves Support for Bujagali Hydropower - The US$360 million in loans and guarantees for the Bujagali Hydropower Project, an integral component of Uganda’s strategy to close an energy supply gap that seriously constrains social and economic development in the country, was approved by the Board of WB on April 26. Of the total estimated project cost of US$799 million, the WB Group’s support is comprised of US$130 million in loans to the private project company, Bujagali Energy Ltd. (BEL) from IFC, the private sector arm of the WB; a partial risk guarantee of up to US$115 million from the International Development Association for the benefit of the project’s commercial lenders; and an investment guarantee of up to US$115 million from the Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency, the WB's political risk mitigator. The Project is one element of the Bank Group’s support for Uganda’s energy sector strategy.  It has undergone extensive economic, environmental, and social due diligence, as well as consultations between BEL and local communities have been ongoing throughout the project.  More

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East Asia and the Pacific

Supporting Youth Voices: Inter-Regional Knowledge-Sharing Seminar in Thailand - The WB launched an inter-regional knowledge-sharing seminar, aimed at bringing together youth leaders and policy-makers from the East Asia and Pacific region to discuss development programs by youth. The first of the two-part seminar, held on April 19, was attended by more than 100 youth and CSOs, as well as WB staff in the region and in Washington, DC. Youth representative from Thailand presented the Thai experience on "exercising citizenship" -- one of the five crucial youth transitions identified by the World Development Report 2007: Development and the Next Generation. Director of the WB's Human Development Sector, East Asia and the Pacific, (and also lead author of the WDR07) was keynote speaker at this seminar.  More

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Europe and Central Asia

Youth Project Finalists Selected for World Bank Grant Competition - The WB has selected 20 finalists who will compete for small grants for innovative youth projects in Europe and Central Asia (ECA) region. The grants will finance projects addressing pertinent issues faced by youth in the region. The winners of the ECA Youth Conference Innovation Grants Competition and Showcase will be announced at the Europe and Central Asia Youth Conference 2007, taking place in Rome, Italy on May 21 - 25. The competition aims at identifying and supporting innovative, small-scale, and cutting-edge projects that are developed and implemented by young people. The finalists were selected from among 129 eligible entries. Financing for the grants competition is provided by the Small Grants Program of the WB and Nokia. The grants competition was open to registered youth NGOs, and private sector or government institutions represented by young people and working in partnership with a registered NGO from the ECA region.  More

Republic of Hungary Graduates from the World Bank - Hungary marked its formal graduation from the WB Group in April on the 25th anniversary of its membership. Since Hungary joined in 1982, the WB has provided loans totaling US$3.5 billion and analytical and advisory support. The WB assistance helped the country lay the foundations for economic liberalization in the communist era, implement macroeconomic and structural adjustment programs during the transition, and strengthen institutions, especially in the financial and social sectors. More recent support has focused on important environmental initiatives and the Government’s commitment to the Decade of Roma Inclusion. Following Hungary’s graduation, future cooperation with the WB will be based on knowledge sharing and partnership.  More

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Latin America and the Caribbean

World Bank Support to Education For All Program in Haiti - A US$25 million grant was approved by the WB's Board on April 26.  Its aim is to increase access to primary education for poor children aged 6-12, while improving equity, quality and governance of the education sector.  The Education for All Project will support the government's strategy by expanding access to primary education, improving educational quality, and strengthening the capacity, transparency and accountability of the Ministry of Education. Haiti expects to qualify for the Education For All
Fast-Track Initiative by the end of FY07.  More

Crime and Violence in the Caribbean are Core Development Issues Demanding International Response - High rates of crime and violence are undermining growth, threatening human welfare, and impeding social development, according to a new report published on May 3 by the WB and the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC).  Crime impacts business and is a major obstacle to investment. The report “Crime, Violence, and Development: Trends, Costs, and Policy Options in the Caribbean,” draws on input from governments, CSOs, and Caribbean experts, and presents detailed analyses of crime and violence impacts at the national and regional levels. The report also provides information on good practice approaches from global experiences; and offers concrete actions and recommendations on crime prevention and crime reduction strategies.  More

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Middle East and North Africa

World Bank Supports the Production of Renewable Energy in Morocco - The WB’s Board of Directors approved on April 19 a US $43.2  million grant from the Global Environment Facility (GEF) Trust Fund to the Integrated Solar Combined Cycle Power (ISCCP) Project. The project responds to Morocco’s urgent need for new power generating capacity as the government seeks policies to diversify the power generation mix, to reduce the country’s energy dependence and to integrate into regional and EU markets. It is co-financed by the National Electricity Utility (O.N.E.) in Morocco, the GEF and the African Development Bank. The project will also contribute to the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions.  More

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South Asia

Updated Webpage on Bank's Engagement in Afghanistan - Ahead of the Afghanistan Development Forum, April 29-30 in Kabul, the WB has prepared a special webpage highlighting the country’s challenges, achievements, and opportunities. Speaking ahead of the Forum, WB Country Director for Afghanistan, said he expects to see the economy continue to grow at rapid rates, which in turn will lead to considerable improvements in people’s lives.  More

World Bank Report Urging Pakistan to Increase Participation of Poor People to Reduce Rural Poverty - Unequal distribution of land and access to water for the rural poor in Pakistan limit the scope for agricultural growth alone to rapidly reduce poverty in rural Pakistan, according to a new WB report released on April 23. It says that ensuring efficient use of water and building partnerships with the private sector can help fulfill agriculture’s potential for diversification and growth. An effective poverty reduction strategy, however, must also address the rural non-farm economy and the needs of the rural non-farm poor. The report says agricultural growth, rural incomes, rural poverty and social welfare indicators have all showed marked improvements in recent years. Yet despite impressive achievements, there is little reason for complacency. Around 35 million people in rural areas remain poor, representing about 80 percent of Pakistan’s poor.  More

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NEW PUBLICATIONS FROM THE WORLD BANK

Community Driven Development (CDD) in the Context of Conflict Affected Countries -  This study draws on 13 case studies of conflict-affected countries that specifically have incorporated CDD initiatives in their development effort. Through semi-structured interviews with the managers of these CDD programs, the report analyzes the impact of CDD as a development option. It also extends current knowledge of the application of CDD approaches in conflict-affected environments by identifying common challenges and opportunities, drawing lessons learned from these operations, and disseminating the findings among donors and client governments.  More

Civil Society and Peacebuilding Potential, Limitations and Critical Factors - This report develops a new analytical framework to better understand the functions of civil society in peacebuilding. Civil society contributions to development and peacebuilding can be categorized in a variety of ways, but donors largely employ actor-oriented perspectives. This report proposes to move toward a functional perspective, centered on the roles that different actors can play in conflict situations. Such a functional perspective would enable donors to better analyze existing and potential forms of civil society engagement in peacebuilding. In particular, it would help clarify policy and programming objectives, select civil society partners, and help to set outcome indicators to improve monitoring and evaluation.  More

Absolute Poverty Measures for the Developing World - The authors report new estimates of measures of absolute poverty for the developing world over 1981-2004. A clear decline in the percentage of people who are absolutely poor is evident, although progress is uneven across regions. They find more mixed success in reducing the total number of poor. Indeed, the developing world outside China has seen little or no sustained progress in reducing the number of poor, with rising poverty counts in some regions, notably Sub-Saharan Africa. There are encouraging signs of progress in reducing the incidence of poverty in all regions after 2000, although it is too early to say if this is a new trend.  More

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NEW WORLD BANK WEBSITES

Affiliated Network for Social Accountability (ANSA) Website - ANSA-Africa is a new network, jointly created by the WB and the Human Sciences Research Council (HSRC) of South Africa, to become a leading African advocate of citizen involvement in demand-side governance initiatives.  Its website was launched on March 30, 2007.  The organization will provide training and technical assistance on social accountability initiatives on a state and regional basis. Stakeholders and interested parties are invited to access the website and to send their feedback and information for posting on the website.  More

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UPCOMING AND ONGOING GLOBAL EVENTS/DISCUSSIONS

Workshop on International Financial Institutions' Accountability, Glasgow, Scotland, May 24, 2007 - The World Bank Inspection Panel, the Compliance Advisor Ombudsman (CAO), and the Center for International Environmental Law (CIEL) will be hosting a workshop on "Increasing Accountability at International Financial Institutions: Giving Affected People a Voice."  It will be held at the Civicus World Assembly in Glasgow, Scotland.  Lead presentations will be made by Edith Brown Weiss, Chairperson of the Inspection Panel, Meg Taylor, Compliance Advisor Ombudsman at the World Bank Group, and Daniel Magraw, President of CIEL.  The workshop will explore the general concept of creating effective accountability, the evolving experiences over the last decade in giving affected people a voice, and issues of public participation in international dispute settlement.  More

Finalists in ‘Marketplace’ of Innovative Poverty Reduction Projects Coming to Washington - One hundred and four project teams from around the world are coming to WB headquarters May 22-23 to display their projects and vie for $4 million in grant funding in the final round of the 2007 Global Development Marketplace competition. The contest fosters innovation in development projects by having stakeholders compete for funding and selecting the best from among them. This year’s DM paired up with the WB Health, Nutrition and Population (HNP) unit to focus on improving health, nutrition and population services for the poor. It attracted a record high of nearly 2,900 applicants. The countries with the highest number of proposals will be India, Kenya, Philippines, Nepal and South Africa. The majority of proposals were submitted by NGOs, but many have partnerships with foundations, academia, private enterprises, government and development agencies.  More

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RECENT GLOBAL EVENTS/DISCUSSIONS

World Bank Forum and Africa Partnership Forum: CSO Roundtable on Africa, Berlin, Germany, May 21, 2007 - The discussion was hosted by the Joint Conference on Churches and Development (GKKE).  It provided an opportunity for an exchange views between over a dozen German CSOs engaged in development issues in Africa, and the WB Vice President for Africa.  Key issues discussed included WB's Africa Action Plan and more specifically issues related to rural development in the region, and climate change.  More

World Bank, EC and UK Convene High Level Event on Education, Brussels, Belgium, May 2, 2007 - With the countdown to 2015 – the target year for achieving the MDG of universal primary education – drawing nearer, WB President, EC Commissioner for Development, and the UK Chancellor convened a high level Conference in order to accelerate progress towards the education MDG. The objective was to seek concrete proposals and commitments from donors and recipient countries for action to deliver on the promise of full primary education by 2015. The Conference resulted in announcements of increased funding for education from a range of donors. The WB announced its investment of 1.12 billion Euros (1.5 billion USD) in 2007, which will continue into 2008, in education plans in the 68 poorest countries in the world – an increase of 50% compared to the annual level of the past five years. The Conference also put forward ideas on improving the quality of aid.  More

World Bank / European Commission Meet Civil Society on Collaboration on Africa, Brussels, Belgium, April 26, 2007 - The WB and the European Commission (EC) organized a meeting with European CSOs to discuss their collaboration on cooperation with Africa. Nils Tcheyan, Director Operations for Africa of the WB, and Bernard Petit, Deputy Director General, DG Development, EC shared information with CSOs on the WB-EC partnership in support of African development, and discussed the objectives and strategic orientations of the WB-EC framework for reviewing operational collaboration in Africa, i.e. the Limelette process. Throughout the discussion, its participants focused on mechanisms to improve accountability for the delivery and use of development assistance.  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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