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World Bank Civil Society Engagement Newsletter - May 2008



1. Robert Zoellick Meets with CSOs to Discuss the Food Crisis - On May 23, Mr. Zoellick convened a roundtable discussion with key CSOs, UN and IMF representatives on the rapidly unfolding global food crisis, at the World Bank headquarters in Washington. The meeting, brought together CSO leaders -- international and from the regions -- that are responding to the crisis in various ways. The purpose of the meeting was to share information on how the Bank is addressing the crisis in the context of it’s work and the International Task Force assembled by the UN Secretary General, to hear the perspectives and plans of CSOs, and to explore how these organizations can best work together to most effectively assist the most vulnerable. For more information on how the Bank is dealing with the food crisis...  More

2.  NGO Platforms meet with Senior Vice President - Representative of 7 national NGO platforms met with Senior Vice President   Marwan Muasher and other Bank staff on May 9, 2008.  The objectives of the meeting, which was jointly organized with InterAction and Coordination Sud, was to: i) allow the Bank to better understand the policy views of CSOs; ii) consult CSOs on the Bank’s civil society engagement and policy consultation review processes; iii) and discuss ways of strengthening relations. Marwan read a statement in which he welcomed the participants and called for greater collaboration between the Bank and national NGO platforms.  The Coordination Sud representative informed about their plans to launch a first ever international platform of national NGO networks during a meeting of 80 networks scheduled for Paris in October 2008... More


3.  Global Consultations on Climate Change Framework - The Bank is undertaking a global consultation on its Strategic Framework on Climate Change (SFCCD).  The basis for the consultation process is the draft Concept and Issues Paper, which is available in seven languages.  The current phase of the global consultation process will run through June 30, 2008 and include numerous face-to-face and video conference meetings, as well as an online consultation process.   At its conclusion, the input received will be summarized and presented alongside the draft Paper to the WB Board in September and subsequent discussion at the 2008 Annual Meetings.  A comprehensive website has been launched with numerous materials including: a consultation plan and schedule, briefing materials, powerpoint presentation on the SFCCD, and frequently asked questions on the process. Provide Online Comments...  More

4.  CSOs Assess Quality of Spring Meetings Policy Forum - The World Bank and International Monetary Fund's Civil Society Teams surveyed civil society representatives who attended the 2008 Spring Meetings to ascertain their views on the Civil Society Policy Forum and other events.  Feedback was received via a questionnaire that was distributed during the meetings and via the web.  The respondents reported that their main reasons for attending the Spring Meetings to “learn about Bank/Fund policies” (82%), followed by “to network and share information” (70%).   The survey also recorded the views of participants regarding logistics, main events, and quality and usefulness of the Forum.   Summary Notes, Participants Lists, and Photos have been  postedon many of the Forum sessions... More


5. Share Your Views: Strategic Priorities for Bank-Civil Society Engagement  - The WB is in the process of developing a strategic priorities framework for its relations with civil society across the institution. The strategic framework process is expected to span from March through October 2008 and involve a two-phased approach. CSOs will be consulted during both phases.   During the first phase, which is currently underway, CSOs are being consulted broadly about Bank – civil society engagement trends, and during the second phase they will be asked specific input on the draft Paper. We have posted a summary note with the input received to date from CSOs and Bank staff.   Please submit your comments and suggestions on how the WB can improve and scale up its relations with civil society... More

6. Vice President of Institutional Integrity Appointed - Bank President Zoellick has named South African Leonard McCarthy to head the Bank’s Department of Institutional Integrity. McCarthy has earned international recognition for investigations and prosecutions of individuals engaged in corruption as head of South Africa’s Directorate of Special Operations. He has worked closely with African governments and law enforcement officials across the globe to expose and prosecute transnational financial crime. McCarthy was formerly a Director of Public Prosecutions appointed by President Nelson Mandela. He will take up the position at the Bank on June 30...  More


7.  HIV Epidemic Still Africa’s Leading Cause of Premature Death - Sub-Saharan Africa remains the global epicenter of HIV/AIDS, according to a Bank report. For every infected African starting antiretroviral therapy (ART) for the first time, another four to six become newly infected, even though regional figures show falling prevalence in countries such as Kenya, and parts of Botswana, Côte d’Ivoire, Malawi, and Zimbabwe. The report “The World Bank’s Commitment to HIV/AIDS in Africa: Our Agenda for Action, 2007–2011,” states that about 22.5 million Africans are HIV positive, and AIDS is the leading cause of premature death, especially among productive young people and women. Some private firms in Southern Africa recruit two workers for every job in anticipation of losing staff to the disease... More

   Search for IFC Director, Environment and Social Development - IFC has begun a search process for the position of Director, Environment and Social Development. The Environment and Social Development Department serves as the platform for excellence and innovation in environmental and social sustainability as well as a champion for the IFC brand and reputation. Egon Zehnder International (EZI), an executive search firm will be identifying both internal and external candidates.   It is expected that a list of candidates will be developed by mid June.   Interested candidates should submit their CV to Christoph Lueneberger of EZI ( by June 13 with copy to Carolyn Breslin, IFC HR (





Bank Group Awards for Innovative Lighting Projects in Africa - The Bank has selected 16 companies and organizations as winners of the Development Marketplace competition for their innovative products or services tailored to Sub-Saharan Africa’s off-grid lighting market. The winners were selected from among 52 competitors, and their projects were judged using five criteria: innovation, measurability of outcomes, organizational and financial sustainability, growth potential, and realism. The winners will receive up to $200,000 to implement projects that offer affordable, clean, and safe off-grid lighting and that improve access to lighting for people living without electricity across the region. The people’s choice award went to a project that aims to use the Savings and Credit Cooperative Societies, a network of solar technicians in Tanzania, and reasonably priced solar systems to reach remote areas... More


East Asia and the Pacific

East Asia and the Pacific Bank Ready to Help China Earthquake Victims - In reaction to the quake in China, Bank President Zoellick expressed his condolences and stated that the institution will draw on its expertise in catastrophe management and reconstruction to help China’s earthquake victims in the Sichuan Province. The disaster occurred on May 12, killing about 15,000 people. Bank representatives held detailed discussions on possible technical support for the recovery effort with officials of the Chinese government...  More



Europe and Central Asia

Productivity Surge Boosts Growth and Living Standards in Eastern Europe -A new study entitled “Unleashing Prosperity – Productivity Growth in Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union” and released recently by the Bank shows that the countries of Eastern Europe and the Former Soviet Union experienced a productivity surge over the past decade that drove up living standards and reduced poverty.  Large gains in the productivity of workers in the region during the past decade have helped boost growth and living standards, but more must be done to eliminate red tape and barriers to enable firms to become more productive in a rapidly globalizing world. The rapid surge in the Region’s productivity has boosted economic growth, raising income per capita by more than 50 percent between 1999 and 2007, while lifting about 50 million people out of poverty...   More


Latin America and the Caribbean

Zoellick's Visit to Mexico Highlights Concerns and Vision of Mexico’s Youth -In order to better understand the economic and social challenges facing Mexico, Bank President Robert B. Zoellick met with legislators, private sector representatives, academics, and students from the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México (UNAM) and the Instituto Tecnológico Autónomo de México (ITAM) on May 9.   Students expressed their concerns about the quality of education, corruption levels, the prevailing political scenario, and the hunger crisis.  Mr. Zoellick also met with President Filipe Calderon to review the new Strategic Alliance with between Mexico and the World Bank...  More



Ways to Improve Water Services by Making Utilities More Accountable to Their Users:   A Review - The approach used to manage  water supply and sanitation is changing in many countries. In most developing countries, services are provided by poorly regulated municipally-owned service providers.   Attention is usually focused on financial and technical governance of utilities, often overlooking the preference of users.   As a result, service deteriorates, and users feel alienated.   This study aims to help those who work with water utilities to improve the quality of water services...  Report

Strategic Environmental Assessment for Policies -Environmentally and socially sustainable policies are essential for good governance and Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA) is the key tool for integrating environmental considerations into policies, programs and plans. This book, which is subtitled “An Instrument for Good Governance” focuses on how SEAs can be applied to policies. By document previous experience in the use of SEAs, it draws lessons on the strengths and weaknesses of current SEA methodology and  proposes a new conceptual framework for conducting SEA... More

Cost of Pollution in China -This book estimates the physical and economic cost of air and water pollution in China as reflected in the burden of mortality and morbidity associated with environmental pollution, pollution-exacerbated water scarcity, wastewater irrigation, fisheries loss, crop loss, and material damage. Building upon willingness-to-pay surveys for reducing health risks from pollution among households in Shanghai and Chongqing municipalities, the study finds that the health costs of air and water pollution are equivalent to about 4 percent of GDP in China. The study also provides a set of policy interventions to reduce air and water pollution in China... More



New Water Web Site - The World Bank launched a new website on its water programs in late May. The website serves as the primary source of information on what the World Bank is doing on water supply & sanitation, irrigation & drainage, water resources management, and hydropower. As you will see, the website includes operational information, data & statistics, publications, feature stories on projects and much more. We invite you to dive in and discover! ... More

International Health Partnership Plus Web Site Launched - IHP+ is a global, multi-stakeholder health program established in September 2007 by the World Health Organization (WHO), World Bank, other UN and bilateral agencies.   Its overall goal is to improve the coordination and outcomes of health interventions in developing countries. More recently it has invited the participation of the civil society and private sectors. CSOs have been involved in a number of global consultation meetings and will have representation on an IHP+ advisory body. The  web site  launched by IHP+ brings together in one place information about the overall program and links to the member organizations...More 

The World Bank’s Communication for Governance & Accountability Program  (CommGAP) recently launched a blog entitled “People, Spaces, Deliberation” to share ideas and stimulate discussion among a growing global community of practice about the role of the democratic public sphere in governance.  CommGAP aims to promote good and accountable governance through the use of innovative communication approaches and techniques that strengthen the constitutive elements of the public sphere. The blog is therefore addressing issues such as accountability, governance, media development, anti-corruption, post conflict environments, and public opinion... More

Post-Conflict Fund and LICUS Trust Fund Grants Database -The Fragile and Conflict-Affected Countries Group has developed a Database of grants financed by the Post-Conflict Fund and the Low Income Countries Under Stress (LICUS) Trust Fund. The Database features basic information on each of the projects supported by these two trust funds, including grant amounts, project components, recipients, etc. It also includes brief summaries of project results and lessons learned, updates on active projects, feature articles on noteworthy grant activities, and key documents produced as part of project activities, including in-depth project evaluations... More


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: Please share your comments on the Newsletter with us: All past issues of the Newsletter can be found on the WB site on Civil Society Engagement at:

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