Click here for search results

Civil Society Engagement eNewsletter - January 2009

  1. Global Trade Unions Meet with the World Bank and IMF
  2. Bank Discloses Debarments under Corporate Procurement Program
  3. New Bank Senior Vice President and General Counsel Appointed
  4. IDA Replenishments on Track Despite Financial Crisis
  5. Launch of First 'World Bank Green Bonds'
  6. Bank Supports Sustainable Development Approach in the Amazon
  7. MIGA Addresses Declining FDI and Growth Prospects in Low-income Countries
  8. Theme of 2009 Development Marketplace is Climate Change Adaptation
  9. The Financial Times and IFC Launch 2009 Sustainable Banking Awards
  10. Youth Urged to Send Photos, Videos, and Essays on Climate Change
  11. Call for Research Proposals on the World Bank


1) Global Trade Unions Meet with the World Bank and IMF
The World Bank Group and IMF hosted a week-long series of meetings with global unions on January 12 – 16 to discuss the global financial crisis, governance reform, and gender equality.  Some 80 leaders from the International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC) and 10 Global Union Confederations were present and met with Mr. Zoellick, Strauss-Khan, and Executive Directors.  The first half of the week was devoted to a Gender Workshop and the latter part was a High Level Meeting between the leadership of all three institutions. These meetings come in the context of a deepening relationship the WBG and IMF have developed with the global unions over the past 6 years. More

2) Bank Discloses Debarments under Corporate Procurement Program
The Bank recently made public the names of all companies that have been debarred from receiving direct contracts from its corporate procurement program. This disclosure was made in the interest of fairness and transparency, and directly aligns with the Bank’s current policy governing procurement on all its financed projects in developing countries. In parallel with the Bank's disclosure of the names of companies and individuals debarred on Bank financed projects; from now on, the Bank Group will also publicly list the names of companies debarred from its corporate procurement. More

3)  New Bank Senior Vice President and General Counsel Appointed
Anne-Marie Leroy was appointed Senior Vice President & General Counsel, effective March 9, 2009.   Anne-Marie, a French national, has been a partner of the Paris Office of Denton Wilde Sapte LLP since 2005 where she has been in charge of the Department of Public Law.   Anne-Marie Leroy brings a diverse set of skills to this important task from a rich background in government, private sector, and international development institutions.  In addition to various government posts in France, in 2003 Ms. Leroy was appointed by the Board of Executive Directors of the Inter-American Development Bank as a judge with the IDB's Administrative Tribunal. More
4)  IDA Replenishments on Track Despite Financial Crisis
The Bank issued an end-of-year assessment of the International Development Association (IDA) funding replenishment. It said that five weeks ahead of the target date of December 15, the IDA15 replenishment became effective, as more than 60 percent of donor financing pledges have been confirmed. This is an important milestone, as donor contributions are used to finance credits and grants for the poor countries under IDA15. This is also a strong demonstration of continued donor support to IDA, in spite of the financial crisis. The other donors are in the process of completing their necessary budgetary approvals. The statement added that the Bank is committed to delivering on the pledges it made to transfer resources from IBRD and IFC to IDA15. More

5) Launch of First 'World Bank Green Bonds'
The Bank recently launched its first “green bonds” designed to raise additional funding for projects or programs that support low-carbon activities in client countries. In partnership with Skandinaviska Enskilda Banken AB (SEB), the World Bank raised approximately US$350 million via several key Scandinavian institutional investors. The bond issue responds to growing interest from sustainable or socially responsible institutional investors, as well as some individual investors, who wish to support climate change-related projects in developing countries. The bond issue is one example of the kind of innovation the Bank is trying to encourage within its Strategic Framework for Development and Climate Change, in order to stimulate new public and private-sector financing for climate action. This is the first time the Bank has offered bonds to raise funds identified to a specific program. More

6) Bank Supports Sustainable Development Approach in the Amazon
Twenty years after the assassination of rubber tapper leader, Chico Mendes, his home state of Acre is at a historic juncture. Development is bringing increasing economic activity and important infrastructure projects that will test the state’s development model, and Mendes’ vision. The government of Acre and the Bank have partnered to help promote an environmentally friendly and socially equitable approach to economic development in the state. The Acre Social and Economic Inclusion and Sustainable Development Project (PROACRE) represents a $120 million loan geared to supporting expansion of basic health services, education, and productive activities aimed at generating income for producers and rural communities, including indigenous groups. More

7) MIGA Addresses Declining FDI and Growth in Low-income Countries
Economic growth in developed countries has slowed markedly since the fourth quarter of 2007, and Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) is down as a result. FDI flows in 2008 saw a 10 percent decline from 2007, and many economies could experience significant cuts in FDI, if market confidence doesn't recover soon. A catalyst for promoting FDI in emerging economies, MIGA is playing a key role in helping to jumpstart paralyzed financial sectors. The agency's primary instrument—political risk insurance or guarantees—is being used to stimulate credit when the global financial sector is suffering from a severe lack of confidence. MIGA is also looking at new ways to deliver other creative solutions to meet investors' risk financing needs. More

8) Theme of 2009 Development Marketplace is Climate Change Adaptation
This year’s Development Marketplace global competition aims to stimulate innovative technologies and approaches on climate change adaptation. The World Bank and its partners will bring the 100 most promising innovators to Washington DC in November 2009 to compete for 20-30 grants and participate in a series of knowledge sharing sessions. The call for proposals will open for submissions in early February 2009. Stay tuned and check the Development Marketplace website for more information including eligibility requirements, selection criteria and maximum grant size. More
DM Blog

9) The Financial Times and IFC Launch 2009 Sustainable Banking Awards
The Financial Times, in partnership with the International Finance Corporation (IFC), launched the 2009 edition of the FT Sustainable Banking Awards.  This award recognizes banks and other financial institutions for leadership and innovation in integrating social, environmental, and corporate governance considerations into their operations. This year, the awards is incorporating a new category for Achievement in Basic Needs Financing, which recognizes ground-breaking transactions, programs, and initiatives that use the power of finance to address the scarcity of essential goods across society. For 2009, applications are being accepted until March 6 and the winners will be announced on June 4. More

10)  Youth Urged to Send Photos, Videos, and Essays on Climate Change
The World Bank’s 2009 Youth Essay Competition aims to tap into the ideas of the next generation of green entrepreneurs for dealing with the pressing problem of climate change. The Essay Competition invites youth aged 18-25 to share ideas on how climate change affects them, and how it can be addressed through youth-led solutions. For the first time, the competition will also include photo and video categories which will also vie for prizes ranging from $1,000 to $5,000 US dollars. Submissions are accepted via the website until February 22, 2009, and can be in English, French or Spanish. Participants may submit entries in more than one category (essay, video and photo), but only one submission per category is allowed. More

11)  Call for Research Proposals on the World Bank
The Researchers Alliance for Development (RAD) is partnering with the World Bank on a series of workshops for doctoral students whose main area of research is the World Bank Group. Each workshop brings together some 20 PhD students, World Bank staff and academics from other institutions (universities, research institutes). Paper proposals are invited from current doctoral students and early career postdoctoral researchers (up to three years post-PhD) conducting research on the World Bank Group and other international economic organizations in any social science field.  The next workshop will be held on April 26-27, 2009 in Washington DC. Applications are now open and deadline is February 16, 2009. More


Human Development Specialist, Port-au-Prince, Haiti
The World Bank is seeking an Operations Officer/HD specialist for a two year position in Haiti in the human development sectors, mainly on education, and also on nutrition and safety nets. Duties include participating in, or leading the operational aspects of the preparation, appraisal, negotiations, supervision and completion reporting of human development lending operations in Haiti. Relevant experience in identifying, preparing, supervising, and evaluating human development sector projects required. More

For a full list of open positions and scholarships:



African Development Indicators Launch Focuses on  Diaspora Community
More than 50 Washington D.C.-based members of the African Diaspora participated in the launch of the 2008/2009 Africa Development Indicators report at World Bank headquarters last week.  As this year’s ADI focuses on “Youth and Employment in Africa – The Potential, The Problem, The Promise”, the launch targeted diaspora community members with an interest in youth development and promoting job creation in Africa. Participants and panelists both agreed on the need to improve quality of education in Africa, to create opportunities in rural Africa and ensure access for the youth in a variety of areas including, job opportunities, electrification and wireless access in rural areas. They also felt that the private sector could play an important role in facilitating this. More

Teachers Show Courage and Hope in Personal Fight Against HIV/AIDS
A new Bank-financed report and documentary launched December 3 at an AIDS summit in Dakar, Senegal, charts the personal stories of 12 African teachers who volunteered to talk openly about their struggles with HIV. According to “Courage and Hope: Stories from Teachers with HIV in Sub-Saharan Africa,” some 122,000 teachers there are thought to be living with HIV, and the vast majority have not asked for testing and do not know how far their disease has advanced -- a key determinant for effective treatment. Even the teachers who agreed to be interviewed for the Bank report used only their first names, although four courageous men and women did agree to be filmed for the documentary. More


Seven Firms Debarred for Collusive Practices Under Philippines Roads Project
Seven firms and one individual have been debarred for engaging in collusive practices under a major Bank-financed roads project in the Philippines. Two of the debarments are permanent, the strongest possible sanction. The debarments, which prevent the parties from bidding on future World Bank-financed contracts, either indefinitely or for the period of the sanctions, result from an in-depth inquiry conducted by the World Bank’s Integrity Vice Presidency (INT). As a result of swift action when suspicions of collusion in the bidding process were raised by the project team, the World Bank stopped an estimated $33 million from being awarded. Since 1999, the World Bank has debarred 351 firms and individuals for their involvement in fraud and corruption in Bank-financed projects. More


Launch of Civil Society Fund in Turkmenistan
The Bank’s Liaison Office in Turkmenistan announced the launch of the 2009 Civil Society Fund Program (formerly known as the Small Grants Program) for Turkmen organizations. The Program was created in 1983 to provide a way for the Bank to promote dialogue and dissemination of information about development, and to enhance partnerships with civil society. Grants are provided through participating Bank Country Offices. The Liaison Office in Turkmenistan has been administering the program since 2003. More


Bank Supports Haiti’s Rebuilding Efforts after Recent Hurricanes
In response to the Haitian Government’s request for assistance to evaluate damages and losses following a series of hurricanes, the Bank, the UN, the European Commission and other partners joined forces to conduct a comprehensive Post Disaster Needs Assessment financed in part through the Bank-managed Global Facility for Disaster Reduction and Recovery. The results of the assessment show that the overall impact of the storms constitutes the largest disaster for Haiti in more than a hundred years. Aggregated damage and losses are put at nearly US$900 million, or about 15 percent of Haiti’s GDP. The assessment includes a detailed strategic action plan for meeting early recovery needs, with a total cost of US$281 million. More


2009 Economic Prospects for Maghreb Countries
A new Bank report, Global Economic Prospects (GEP) 2009, examines the impact of the financial crisis on GDP growth across the world, which has dimmed short-term prospects for developing countries. According to the GEP, next year oil prices are expected to average about $75 a barrel and food prices worldwide are expected to decline by 23 percent compared with their average in 2008. GEP recommends several measures that could reduce the chance of another food price crisis. These include discouraging export bans, providing more stable funding for food-aid agencies, and improving the coordination and information about global food stocks. More


Afghanistan Skills Development
Since 2001, when the Taliban was forced out of power, access to health care and school services in Afghanistan have improved significantly. School enrollments have increased from about 1 million to nearly 6 million since 2002, with enrolments of girls increased to about 35% of the total. The government has focused on its educational infrastructure in particular, rebuilding infrastructure for basic schooling and its institutions of higher education. The Bank has been closely working with the government in helping to rebuild general education system through projects such as the Education Quality Improvement Program and Strengthening Higher Education Program. More


Gender in Agriculture Sourcebook Update
The Gender in Agriculture Sourcebook, launched in Washington at the WB-IMF Annual Meetings has been adopted by other international organizations and governments. The Inter-American Development Bank (IADB)’s Gender and Diversity Unit is planning on using the Sourcebook to develop a training module on rural productivity and infrastructure for its staff. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Denmark (DANIDA) is planning on using the Sourcebook to strengthen the integration of women and smallholders in their agriculture and rural development work. The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF) has expressed interest in using the Sourcebook as has Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA). The World Bank is using the Sourcebook modules in influencing the design of land projects in Kosovo and Palestine; fisheries and aquaculture investments in Vietnam and Nigeria; and in the upcoming agricultural markets project in Mali. More

Intensifying the Fight against Malaria
This volume, subtitled “The World Bank's Booster Program for Malaria Control in Africa,” discusses how the Bank approaches malaria not only as a major public health issue but also as a broader development problem that costs Africa US$12 billion a year and helps keep families and communities in poverty. In 2005, the Bank reaffirmed its commitment to malaria control by launching the Booster Program for Malaria Control in Africa, a 10-year initiative that in its first three years committed over US$470 million to malaria control on the continent. Focusing on a two-pronged approach of combining disease control interventions and health systems strengthening, the program has contributed significantly to the global effort to fight the disease. More

IFC Family Business Governance Handbook
Family businesses constitute the world's most dominant form of business organizations, playing a key role in economic growth and employment generation in many developing countries. Yet, most have a short life span and about 95 percent do not survive the third generation of ownership. A new book from the International Finance Corporation (IFC), Family Business Governance Handbook, recommends ways to help family businesses improve their sustainability by establishing good governance practices. It highlights corporate governance challenges facing family businesses and proposes structures and practices that can help mitigate them. More


Why Trade Facilitation Matters to Africa
John Wilson (Lead Economist in DEC) notes on the AfriCan blog that “There are many factors which will impact Africa’s ability to weather the current economic crisis. Finding ways to reform trade policy that enhances private sector growth should be part of any strategy now and in the long-term to counteract the damage today’s economic crisis is having. We recently examined the most important obstacles to trade facilitation in Africa. This included how increased port efficiency, improved customs, and regulatory environments, and upgrading services infrastructure could help that continent.” More

New Web Site on IFC's Global Manufacturing & Services
The International Finance Corporation (IFC) has updated and expanded the Web information on its global manufacturing and services activities. The improved site aligns IFC's work in the GMS sectors with the World Bank Group's strategic priorities and shows our commitment to supporting private sector development in emerging markets. It provides a full range of information for various audiences, including IFC clients, partners, industry analysts, NGOs, and the media. 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:



Last updated: 2009-01-26

Permanent URL for this page: