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World Bank Civil Society Engagement Newsletter - August 2007

MAIN STORIES:

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


  1.  Feedback Sought on Governance and Anticorruption Implementation Plan - Between Nov. 2006 and Jan. 2007, the WB Group conducted extensive consultations involving 3,200 persons in over 40 countries on its strategy paper, "Strengthening World Bank Group Engagement on Governance and Anticorruption" (GAC).  A draft Implementation Plan for GAC strategy has now been prepared, on which feedback is sought. The draft Plan focuses on the specific question of what will be the role of WB Group -- actions and initiatives the WB Group will undertake -- to support the GAC agenda in partnership with governments, and with the assistance of civil society, media, and other stakeholders.  Accordingly, the WB Group is seeking electronic feedback on the draft Plan, as well as in a series of focused discussions with stakeholders in Europe, Washington and a cross-section of member developing countries. Feedback and comments are welcome through Sept. 20, 2007. These will be summarized and presented to the WB's Board of Executive Directors for consideration, in October, before the 2007 Annual Meetings.  More

  2.  Accreditation Deadline Approaching: 2007 Annual Meetings of the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund - The Annual Meetings will be held over the weekend of October 20-22 at the WB and IMF Headquarters in Washington, D.C. The Civil Society Policy Forum, a program of some 20-30 policy dialogues for Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) will be held from Thursday, October 18 through Monday, October 22.  All CSO representatives must obtain formal accreditation in order to participate in the Annual Meetings and enter Bank/Fund buildings. The online accreditation system opened on August 1, 2007 and will close on September 14, 2007. If you are interested in coming to the Annual Meetings, please make sure you apply for accreditation before the deadline.  More

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  3.  World Bank President Backs World Leaders’ Call for Renewed Global Partnership on MDGs - World Bank President, Robert B. Zoellick joined global leaders in supporting a UK-led initiative to accelerate progress towards the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs)—international targets to overcome poverty, hunger, disease and other development challenges in the poorest countries by 2015. “We will do all we can to support the program Prime Minister Brown has outlined, including through the important drive to replenish funding for the  International Development Association (IDA), critical for the most impoverished countries," said World Bank President, Robert Zoellick.   More

4. Consultations on Conditionality in World Bank Development Policy Lending and the Implementation of the 2005 Good Practice Principles - The aim of this consultation process is to obtain feedback on the recent application of World Bank conditionality in a number of IDA countries that would be used in the second progress report on the application of these good practice principles.  Consultations held in the month of July took place in Mali, Pakistan, and Rwanda.  In August, consultation meetings will be held in Mozambique, Vietnam and Zambia.  The final sessions will be organized in Benin, Indonesia and Haiti - all in September.   More

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5. Senior Staff Appointments - New Poverty Reduction and Economic Management Network (PREM) Directors have been appointed. Luca Barbone, on November 1 will take over as Sector Director in the Europe & Central Asia Region (ECA); Marcelo Giugale, will become Sector Director, in Latin America & the Caribbean Region (LCR) on October 1; Ernesto May, in South Asia Region (SAR) as of November 1; Vikram Nehru, in East Asia & Pacific Region (EAP), on October 1; and Ritva Reinikka, in the Middle East & North Africa Region (MNA) from March 1, 2008.  A new Chief Economist for the ECA region has also been selected.  Mr. Indermit Gill will take over that job as of August 1, 2008, upon completion of his assignment as Director of the World Development Report.

6. Country Studies Highlight the Role of Social Accountability in Improving Governance -  The Social Development Department of the WB has just launched two more country case studies as part of a series of studies on the role of social accountability and demand-side of governance, as an important complement to traditional public sector reforms.  The first is "Civil Society's Role in the Governance Agenda of Ecuador".  This study builds on research that has been conducted by CSOs and donor agencies in Ecuador on the growth and activities of CSOs, recognizing the important role they have in the country’s governance and social and economic development. It presents a number of key findings and offers recommendations for policy, institutional, legal and regulatory reforms, and interventions to enhance stakeholder capacities for social accountability.  More  The second report "Enabling Environment for Social Accountability in Mongolia" analyzes the conditions that influence the ability of citizens and their organizations to promote accountability of public institutions in Mongolia, identifies priority areas for policy, legal, regulatory, and institutional reforms to improve these conditions, and identifies areas in which the capacity building of civil society organizations and the Government of Mongolia may be promoted to enhance social accountability for improved governance, social and economic development, and poverty reduction.   More

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NEWS FROM THE WORLD BANK'S REGIONAL DEPARTMENTS

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Africa

Poverty Reduction Support Credit for Madagascar - The WB Board of Executive Directors approved on July 31 an International Development Association (IDA) credit of US$40 million to support the implementation of the Government’s new poverty reduction strategy, the Madagascar Action Plan (MAP). The Fourth Poverty Reduction Support Credit (PRSC 4), the first of a new series of three PRSCs of US$40 million each, is a budget support which will help further refine the regulatory and institutional governance framework. Additional support will be given to governance challenges in sensitive sectors such as forestry and mining. The PRSC series, will complement the Bank’s existing investment portfolio by strengthening nutrition and by supporting the implementation of sector-wide approaches in health, education and water supply.   More

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East Asia and the Pacific

Bank President Visits East Asia - WB President Robert B. Zoellick concluded his visit to the Asia-Pacific region with a two-day visit to Japan.  This was his first official trip, which included Australia, where he attended the APEC Finance Ministers' meeting, as well as Cambodia and Vietnam.  In Cambodia and Vietnam, Mr. Zoellick will held talks with government officials, business leaders and CSOs.  He traveled to rural areas to see various development projects and meet people who have benefited from Bank support to secure land rights for the poor and improve livelihoods through better rural roads, small-scale irrigation, and basic education and health services.  More

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Europe and Central Asia

Fresh Approach to Community Development in Romania - A fairly new approach to financing local community projects through a state-sponsored grant facility has been successfully implemented in Romania for over a decade. The Romanian Social Development Fund (RSDF), partially funded by the WB, was established in 1996 to tackle rural poverty by involving the affected communities in the reform process. The Fund shows that building social capacity does not necessarily require huge investments or complicated procedures. Over the past eleven years, the RSDF has financed community development projects in 950 communities, with the total number of beneficiaries exceeding 400,000. The Fund’s impact, however, extends far beyond the immediate financial support it provides to the communities.   More

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Latin America and the Caribbean

Better Education for Rural and Indigenous Children in Panama - The US$5 million additional funding to improve the quality of basic education in the poorest rural and urban communities of Panama got approved by the WB on August 2. The loan will support the rehabilitation of schools, the expansion of early childhood education programs and the strengthening of the Ministry of Education managerial capacity.  The objective of the additional loan will finance the costs associated with continued activities of this well-performing project.   More

World Bank Donation to Peru in the Aftermath of the Earthquake - The WB announced on August 20 a grant of US$400,000 through the Global Facility for Disaster Reduction and Recovery (GFDR) to assist the Government of Peru in responding to the aftermath of the earthquake that shook the south of Peru on August 15.  The grant from the WB will help the Government to finance reconstruction planning for the most severely damaged areas.   More

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Middle East and North Africa

Red Sea - Dead Sea Water Conveyance Feasibility Study and Environmental and Social Assessment - The declining water level of the Dead Sea has far reaching environmental, social, and economic consequences for the Dead Sea region and beyond. In May 2005 at the annual World Economic Forum - Dead Sea, representatives of Jordan, Israel and the Palestinian Authority announced their agreement and commitment to study the feasibility of transferring water from the Red Sea to the Dead Sea as a solution to stop the rapidly declining level of the Dead Sea. The WB agreed to manage the Study.  The work on the Study is expected to begin in September 2007, and will consider environmental, economic, technical, social, and financial aspects of the concept, and shall not prejudice the riparian rights of any of the beneficiary countries.   More

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South Asia

Cash Grants Best Way to Help Flood Victims According to World Bank - Giving cash grants to people affected by the floods that have devastated parts of Bangladesh, India, and Nepal is one of the most effective ways to help rebuilding lives and stimulate local markets, say WB experts. Read story about the South Asia floods, and listen to interviews with World Bank South Asia experts on this new website.  Also you may find there information about cash transfers to flood victims, first hand account of the floods in Bangladesh; economic impact of the floods; response from international community; and an analysis of the disaster preparedness in South Asia.   More

Analysis and Data to Fight HIV and AIDS in South Asia - Drawing the attention of policy-makers remains a key challenge in the fight against HIV and AIDS in South Asia, said WB HIV/AIDS experts ahead of the 8th International Congress on AIDS in Asia and the Pacific (ICAAP). In conjunction with the ICAAP, underway in Colombo, Sri Lanka from August 19-23, the WB has prepared an information package with the latest numbers and analysis on HIV and AIDS in South Asia. The website includes: Chief Economist, talking about the challenges in fighting HIV and AIDS in South Asia, and the economic impact of the epidemic; HIV and AIDS expert, discussing the revised HIV estimates for India; and data and statistics on HIV and AIDS in all South Asia countries.   More

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NEW PUBLICATIONS FROM THE WORLD BANK

Mobilizing Grassroots Movements along with Condoms and Drugs Show Signs of Slowing HIV/AIDS - The new WB report on HIV/AIDS says the mobilization of empowered 'grassroots' communities, along with delivering condoms and life-saving treatments, are beginning to slow the pace of the continent's epidemic, which last year killed more than 2 million African adults and children, and left another 24.7 million Africans struggling to live with its deadly effects. According to the report—The Africa Multi-Country AIDS Program 2000-2006: Results of the World Bank's Response to a Development Crisis—ultimate success in defeating HIV/AIDS will depend on marshalling effective prevention, care, and treatment, measures to boost 'social immune systems' in African countries—changing their beliefs, perceptions, and social and individual behaviors around the disease so that eventually they can reverse the advance of HIV and stop the damage done by AIDS.   More

New World Bank Book on the Nexus of Faith and Development - Development and Faith, Where Mind, Heart, and Soul Work Together, Katherine Marshall and Marisa Van Saanen, 2007, explores and highlights promising partnerships in the world between secular and faith development entities.  It recounts the evolving history of relationships between faith secular development institutions and focuses on the Millennium Development Goals as a common framework for action and as an opportunity for new forms of collaboration and partnership.   More

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Moving Out of Poverty (Volume 1): Cross-disciplinary Perspectives - The Moving Out of Poverty series launched in 2007 is under the editorial direction of Deepa Narayan, Senior Advisor of the WB and former director of the path breaking Voices of the Poor series. It features the results of new comparative research across more than 500 communities in 15 countries to understand how and why people move out of poverty, and presents other work which builds on interdisciplinary and contextually grounded understandings of growth and poverty reduction.   More

The impacts of climate change on regional water resources and agriculture in Africa - The paper summarizes the methods and findings of the hydrological assessment component of the project studying likely impacts of climate change on water resources and agriculture in Africa. The first phase of the study used a conceptual rainfall-runoff model called WatBal (Water Balance) applied to gridded data to simulate changes in soil moisture and runoff across the whole continent of Africa. The second phase extended the hydrology analyses to update the hydroclimatic series to the year 2000. The generated hydroclimatic series and scenario analyses were used as inputs into analyses measuring likely impacts of climate change on the agricultural economies of Africa.   More

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Independent Evaluation Group Report on M&E Systems - The publication highlights the experience of several countries which have succeeded in building a well-functioning government monitoring and evaluation (M&E) systems. The special case of Africa, where there are many severe capacity constraints, is also examined. Ways to strengthen a government M&E system and to strengthen government demand for M&E are presented, and the importance of conducting a country diagnosis and preparing an action plan are stressed.  The WB is devoting a growing amount of effort to supporting developing countries in their efforts to strengthen their results orientation. This volume presents the growing body of knowledge of the WB in helping institutionalize government M&E systems.   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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