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World Bank Civil Society Engagement eNewsletter July 2007

MAIN STORIES:

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


1.  Second IDA15 Replenishment Meeting Concludes - The fifteenth replenishment of IDA resources (IDA15) will provide resources for the three years between July 1, 2008 and June 30, 2011.  The meeting with representatives of donor countries (IDA Deputies) took place in Maputo, Mozambique on June 28-30, 2007.  Its purpose was to discuss two of the three special themes identified at the first IDA 15 meeting earlier this year: (a) the role of IDA in the global aid architecture; and, (b) IDA's role in fragile states.  Papers on IDA financing requirements, arrears clearance, and financing framework for IDA15 were also discussed.  Deputies expressed support for the proposed level of funding and their intent for an ambitious replenishment.  The third and final replenishment meeting will take place later this year.  Two African CSO representatives participated in an Opinion Leaders Meeting with IDA Deputies, and over a dozen Mozambican CSOs had a meeting with the Bank's new Vice President for Africa, Obiageli Ezekwesili.  In both instances, CSOs were able to share their views about the IDA replenishment process.  More

2.  WB President's Early Interactions with Civil Society - On July 2, 2007 Robert B. Zoellick began his tenure as WB's 11th President. He started reaching out to CSOs before he was formally confirmed.  On June 7, in Accra, Ghana, he held a small and informal discussion, with representatives of five local CSOs.  They talked about budget support, pro-poor trade policies, WB's work in Ghana, and WB governance.  On June 25 he met with representatives of nearly 20 U.S. CSOs.  Meeting participants exchanged views about: poverty reduction, governance and anti-corruption, MDGs, climate change, IDA, gender, and CSO capacity-building. In the meeting Zoellick highlighted the need for full IDA replenishment, reiterated the Bank's continued priority on Africa, and confirmed the importance he places on engaging with civil society.  In his first weeks as WB President he has already had several meetings with heads of leading CSOs to exchange views and discuss policy positions on such issues as IDA, MDGs, and education.  More

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3.   PARTICIPATE: World Learning-World Bank Study - World Learning and the Civil Society Unit at the WB are conducting a study on existing Bank training opportunities for civil society and to assess possible areas of interest for joint capacity-building initiatives.  The study has included interviews with Bank training staff, focus group meetings with CSOs in 8 developing countries, and a global web-based survey currently underway.   The independent research team is expected to present their report by early September and it will include recommendations on how the Bank can partner with CSOs to provide training on the Bank and on technical issues.  The online survey takes about 10 minutes to complete and we thus hope that you will take part. English  French  Spanish

4.  Consultations on Conditionality in World Bank Development Policy Lending and the Implementation of the 2005 Good Practice Principles - The Bank will carry out consultations with a variety of stakeholders, including CSOs, in August to obtain feedback on the recent application of loan conditionalities in a group of IDA countries. The consultations will be based on the 2005 Conditionality Review Paper and the 2006 Progress Report which will provide the background and baseline data for the discussions.  A summary report on the feedback obtained from stakeholders will be prepared and attached to the next progress report due to be presented and discussed with the Bank Board of Directors by the end of November 2007.   It is hoped that the feedback received will help identify areas for further improvement in the use of loan conditionalities.  Written feedback will also be solicited over the Bank’s external website.  More

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5.  Governance Matters, 2007: Worldwide Governance Indicators 1996-2006 - This is the sixth update of the Worldwide Governance Indicators. The report launched on July 10, shows that a number of countries are making progress in improving governance and fighting corruption. It provides evidence that some African countries are making significant strides on the path to good governance; that emerging economies are matching rich countries on key dimensions of governance; and that on average the quality of governance around the world has not improved much over the past decade.  The newly updated website provides aggregate and individual governance indicators for 212 countries and territories over the period of ten years, for six dimensions of governance identified by the researchers, as well as an interactive world map.  More

6. World Development Report 2008: Agriculture for Development - The report highlights links between agriculture, economic growth, and poverty reduction and provides an assessment of where, when, and how agriculture can be an effective instrument for economic development, especially pro-poor development.  Throughout the research and drafting process, the study team held numerous consultation meetings with a wide range of stakeholders, such as government officials, agricultural specialists, and civil society representatives to seek their views, comments, and specific suggestions.  Inputs received during these discussions, especially with CSOs, informed and influenced the final draft of the report.  A leading Chilean civil society agricultural network, REMISP, assisted with the consultation process by organizing meetings and facilitating the web discussion.  The near-final version of the report is now available on-line and the launch will be on October 19, 2007, during the Annual Meetings.  More

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NEWS FROM THE WORLD BANK'S REGIONAL DEPARTMENTS

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Africa

World Bank Approves Funding for the Development of the Niger Basin Water Resources and Ecosystems - The WB Board approved a credit of US$500 million for the development of the Niger Basin on July 3.  The Niger Basin Water Resources Development and Ecosystems Management program aims to achieve a sustainable increase of the water resources productivity, boost hydropower generation, and foster economic growth in the 9 basin countries. The project aims to create a collaborative framework to benefit the 110 million people living in the Nile River Basin.  More

Economic Growth and Equity Key in the New Senegal Country Assistance Strategy - The WB Board of Executive Directors on June 20 discussed the Country Assistance Strategy (CAS) for Senegal.  This 2007-2010 CAS will rely on a governance filter and focus on three strategic pillars to help achieve an annual rate gross domestic product growth of 7 percent, better shared growth, and stronger rural and urban synergies. The document was built following consultations with WB's partners, including CSOs, private sector, donors, and the media.  The CAS will support the Government and other donors in an effort to successfully implement Senegal Poverty Reduction and Accelerated Growth Strategies.  More

GEF Renewable Energy Market Transformation Project in South Africa - The project aims to establish policy and regulatory frameworks and build institutional capacity for renewable energy development in South Africa. It was approved by the WB Board on June 28 and has an overall cost of US$17.3 million. Its objective, over a four-year period, is to remove the barriers and reduce implementation costs of renewable energy technologies to help mitigate greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.  The Government’s White Paper on Renewable Energy has set a target of 4% of electricity demand (equivalent to 10,000 GWh) from renewable energy sources in 2013. This project aims to assist the government in meeting this target.  More

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East Asia and the Pacific (EAP)

First Landfill Gas Project for World Bank - On July 5 the WB signed its first greenhouse gas reductions agreement in China for a Shuangkou Landfill gas Project.  The project will recover landfill gas from the local landfill and utilize the recovered gas for electricity generation.  It is the first such project for the Bank in China and is seen as a prototype which could potentially be replicated in other big cities across the country.  Landfill gas is the fourth largest contributor to non-carbon dioxide greenhouse gas emissions.  Its recovery and use for energy can make an important contribution to reducing methane emissions.  More

Public Participation Key in Combating Corruption in Indonesia - A study by the WB’s Justice for the Poor Program launched on June 19 revealed that CSOs and the public in general are key players in exposing and resolving corruption practices that are on the rise in local government bodies in Indonesia. The "Local Governance Corruption Study" was conducted in five provinces and covered ten major cases of corruption by local parliamentary representatives and government officials.  The study documented how actors involved in the resolution of corruption cases at the local level - CSOs, anti-corruption networks, and academics - addressed these cases.  More

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Europe and Central Asia (ECA)

World Bank Warns of Hidden Dangers from Aging Population in Eastern Europe and Former Soviet Union - By 2025, many countries in ECA will have populations that are among the oldest in the world, posing a threat to the region’s recent economic success if pension and health care reforms are not adequately tackled and policies are not put in place to promote productivity growth, says the WB report launched on June 20.  The report "From Red to Gray: The “Third Transition” of Aging Populations in Eastern Europe and the Former Soviet Union." argues that the aging problems are heightened by the need for  these countries simultaneously accelerate their economic transition and to urgently undertake longer-term reforms addressing demographic trends. More

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Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC)

Caribbean Leaders and CSOs Seek Ways to Boost Growth and Development - Heads of government from fifteen Caribbean nations, leaders of international organizations, and the private sector met in Washington in mid-June to examine the growth and development of the Caribbean Community. The agenda for the summit included such issues as trade, investment, tourism, crime and violence, and human development. The meeting, co-hosted by the WB, the Inter-American Development Bank and the Organization of American States drew more than 750 participants from government, CSOs, and the private sector and community leaders from the Caribbean Diaspora.  More

Three New Country Directors Appointed - WB Vice President for LAC Region announced on June 29 the appointment of new WB country directors based in the field and in charge of the Bank's local programs.  Axel van Trostenburg becomes the new Country Director for Mexico and Colombia based in Mexico City.  Carlos Felipe Jaramillo was appointed as Country director for Bolivia, Ecuador, Peru and Venezuela, based in Lima.  The new Country Director for Argentina, Chile, Uruguay and Paraguay is Pedro Alba who will be based in Buenos Aires.  More

Investing In Youth Is Key to Bridging the Social Gap in LAC - A new WB report concludes that investing today, specially in youth considered “at risk”, will be much more beneficial both socially and financially than facing the consequences of not investing. The report, "The Promise of Youth: Policy for Youth at-Risk in Latin America and the Caribbean", states that over half of youth between ages 12 and 24 in the region are considered at risk, and recommends developing specific programs for these groups. According to the report, the region’s problems can be more effectively tackled by taking full advantage of contributions made by households, communities, CSOs, local institutions, the private sector, and youth.  More

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Middle East and North Africa (MENA)

Status and Progress of Women in the Middle East and North Africa - The publication updates the main findings of the Regional Gender Report conducted in 2004 with respect to the status of women in MENA. The regional Report on Gender and Development highlighted several points. On the one hand, the region’s achievements in health and education during the 1980s and 1990s compared favorably with those of other regions. On the other hand, women’s labor force participation remained low and women were under-represented in national parliaments and in other decision-making bodies.  More

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South Asia Region (SAR)

Afghanistan Reaches Completion Point Under Enhanced HIPC Initiative - The International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the WB's International Development Association (IDA) agreed on July 9 that Afghanistan has taken the steps necessary to reach its decision point under the enhanced Heavily Indebted Poor Countries (HIPC) Initiative. Afghanistan becomes the 31st country to reach its decision point and now qualifies for interim debt relief under HIPC. Afghanistan will also be eligible for assistance under the Multilateral Debt Relief Initiative (MDRI) upon reaching the HIPC completion point. This will further increase the resources available to the Government in order to reduce poverty.  More

World Bank Provides More Support to Rural Poor Women in India - The US$65 million in additional financing to Andhra Pradesh Rural Poverty Reduction Project was approved by the WB on July 10.  The program has already improved the lives of some 5.7 million women since its inception in 2003. The project objectives will remain the same as the original project, to enable the rural poor, particularly the poorest of the poor, to improve their livelihoods and quality of life. The project has mobilized some 5.7 million poor women, into nearly 470,000 Self Help Groups, which have used seed money to make small loans to help pay for education, medical treatment, food, and other small but important needs.  More

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NEW PUBLICATIONS FROM THE WORLD BANK

Poor Countries Matching Rich Nations in Chronic Illnesses  - The report: “Public Policy and the Challenge of Chronic Non-communicable Diseases,” warns that poor countries are catching up with wealthier nations in terms of cancer, diabetes, obesity, and heart disease, and that by 2015, these chronic illnesses will be the leading cause of death in developing countries. It calls for actions to slow down the trend, and to prepare for subsequent heavy demand on health care budgets. According to the report, rising life expectancy for all age groups, lower fertility rates, better control of infectious diseases, and changing lifestyles with more smoking, bad diets and lack of exercise, mean that poor countries face a future where non-communicable diseases become a major problem.   More

Migration Benefits Girls in Home Countries, Says Bank Report - New research by the WB shows that migration from parts of South Asia boosts girls’ education and healthcare back home, and is some cases, increases girls’ school enrolment by as much as 54 percent compared with just 7 percent for boys. Researchers say this is because boys’ essential needs are usually met from basic household income in societies favoring sons. Similar findings are obtained in a study focusing on parts of Central America. The report, “International Migration, Economic Development, and Policy,” also confirms that migration reduces extreme poverty in developing countries.   More

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NEW WORLD BANK WEBSITES

Worldwide Governance Indicators, 1996-2006 - The newly updated website provides aggregate and individual governance indicators for 212 countries and territories over the period of ten years, for six dimensions of governance identified by the researchers. The data reflect the views on governance of public sector, private sector and civil society experts, as well as thousands of citizen and firm survey respondents worldwide.  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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