Click here for search results

Civil Society Engagement eNewsletter - July 2009

1. Accreditation for Istanbul Annual Meetings Opens on August 3
2. CSO Planning Group Meets to Plan for Annual Meetings in Istanbul
3. Bank Funding Levels in FY 09 Highest Ever
4. Economic Turmoil Cuts Capital Flows to Developing Countries
5. Worldwide Governance Indicators Show Uneven Progress
6. Engagement with Civil Society: An EITI Implementation Case Study
7. Remittance Flows to Developing Countries to Decline in 2009
8. Donor Drive to Boost Infrastructure in Developing Countries
9. Smithsonian Institution Partners with Bank to Save Wild Tigers
10. Crisis Prompts Expanded Development Role for Faith-Based Groups
11. Siemens Penalized US$100m, Loses Bank Business for Two Years
12. Progress on Maternal Health and Family Planning is Insufficient 

JOBS
REGIONS
BLOGS / PODCASTS
PUBLICATIONS
TRAINING 



1. Accreditation for Istanbul Annual Meetings Opens on August 3

The 2009 World Bank and International Monetary Fund Annual Meetings will be held on October 6 and 7, 2009 in Istanbul, Turkey. The Bank and IMF Civil Society Teams will also be organizing a Civil Society Policy Forum from Saturday, October 3 through Wednesday, October 7. An Orientation Session on WB and IMF policies and programs will be held on Friday, October 2, and those interested in attending this orientation session will be able to register online by early September. All CSO representatives interested in participating in the Annual Meetings must obtain individual accreditation. Representatives are encouraged to apply for accreditation which will open on Monday, August 3 and close on Monday, September 21. Those interested will be able to apply online for accreditation via the Bank’s civil society website beginning on August 3. More

top


2. CSO Planning Group Meets to Plan for Annual Meetings in Istanbul

The Bank and IMF Civil Society Teams have established a CSO Planning Group to help them plan for civil society participation at the upcoming Annual Meetings in Istanbul in October. The group is composed of 20 CSO representatives Turkey, Europe, Asia, Africa, and North America and from a broad range of thematic sectors and organization types. Their role will be to help the Bank and Fund plan policy dialogue sessions, a townhall meeting with the heads of the Bank and Fund, and other activities. The CSO Planning Group had its first conference call on June 22 and its first planning meeting in Istanbul on July 14 & 15. Visit the Civil Society website for a list of participating CSOs and more details on this planning effort. More 

top

3. Bank Funding Levels in FY 09 Highest Ever

The World Bank committed US$58.8 billion in fiscal year 2009 to help countries struggling amid the global economic crisis, a 54 percent increase over the previous fiscal year and a record high for the global development institution. In 2009 financial year, the Bank supported 767 projects to promote economic growth, fight poverty, and assist private businesses, including US$20.7 billion in infrastructure financing, a critical sector to provide the foundation for rapid recovery from the crisis and job creation. The Bank devoted significant energy and resources in FY09 responding to the needs of countries hit by the global financial crisis, with a strong focus on initiatives to protect the most vulnerable in the poorest countries; maintain long-term infrastructure investment programs; and sustain the potential for private sector-led economic growth and employment creation. More 

top

4. Economic Turmoil Cuts Capital Flows to Developing Countries

Amidst global economic recession and financial-market fragility, net private capital inflows to developing countries fell to $707 billion in 2008, a sharp drop from a peak of $1.2 trillion in 2007. International capital flows are projected to fall further in 2009, to US$363 billion. The Bank publication “Global Development Finance 2009: Charting a Global Recovery,” warns that the world is entering an era of slower growth that will require tighter and more effective oversight of the financial system. Developing countries are expected to grow by only 1.2% this year, after 8.1% growth in 2007 and 5.9% growth in 2008. When China and India are excluded, GDP in the remaining developing countries is projected to fall by 1.6%, causing continued job losses and throwing more people into poverty. Global growth is also expected to be negative, with an expected 2.9% contraction of global GDP in 2009. More

top

5. Worldwide Governance Indicators Show Uneven Progress

While this year's update of the research dataset Worldwide Governance Indicators (WGI) 1996-2008 shows many countries making progress in governance and anti-corruption over the past decade, it also reveals that many countries failed to make such improvements. The eighth release of the WGI highlights the serious challenges that remain for rich and poor countries alike, and draws attention to the well-established link between better governance and improved development results. At the same time, other countries have stagnated, and worryingly, still others have regressed in key dimensions of governance. In fact, the updated WGI show that current governance standards have plenty of room for improvement in many industrialized countries and emerging economies. More

top

6. Engagement with Civil Society: An EITI Implementation Case Study

The World Bank Oil, Gas, and Mining Policy Division (COCPO) has released a new publication regarding its work with the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI) and civil society engagement. As part of its efforts to support the EITI in candidate countries through its Multi-Donor Trust Fund (MDTF), COCPO received seed funding from the Bank's Direct Grant Facility (DGF) program to enhance civil society efforts in promoting the EITI. The grant covered a three-year period from July 2005 to June 2008. The Bank partnered with Revenue Watch International in order to more quickly and effectively provide funding, and they disbursed $473,586 to support 24 projects in 14 countries in Africa, Central and East Asia, and Eastern Europe. More

top

7. Remittance Flows to Developing Countries to Decline in 2009

The Bank predicted that remittance flows to developing countries are expected to be $304 billion in 2009, down from an estimated $328 billion in 2008, as it released a new migration and remittances brief to coincide with an International Diaspora and Development Conference that held from July 13-14. The predicted decline in remittances by -7.3% this year is far smaller than that for private flows to developing countries. According to the Bank, remittances are relatively resilient because, while new migration flows have declined, the number of migrants living overseas has been relatively unaffected by the crisis. However, sources of risk to the outlook include uncertainty about the depth and duration of the current crisis, unpredictable movements in exchange rates, and the possibility that immigration controls may be tightened further in major destination countries. More 

top

8. Donor Drive to Boost Infrastructure in Developing Countries

The European Commission, the Bank, and many of their development partners held a two day meeting in Brussels to increase their coordination of, and their support to, critical infrastructure initiatives in developing countries hard hit by the global economic downturn. Representatives from multilateral development banks, the European Investment Bank, bilateral development agencies, and development financing organizations gathered to draw attention to the financing gaps that face many developing countries as they seek to protect existing infrastructure and plan new infrastructure projects or programs to create jobs and boost their economies. The meetings took place under the umbrella of INFRA, the Infrastructure Recovery and Assets platform launched by the World Bank, and now including many other development partners. More 

top

9. Smithsonian Institution Partners with Bank to Save Wild Tigers

The Smithsonian Institution and the Bank announced a new program under the Global Tiger Initiative to help stabilize and restore wild tiger populations and save this endangered species from extinction in its natural habitats. Poaching, habitat loss and other issues have reduced the global tiger population in the wild to less than 3,500, and the losses continue. Under the new agreement the Bank and the Smithsonian’s National Zoo will establish and support a Conservation and Development Network that will train hundreds of rangers, foresters, and other habitat managers in the latest practices in biodiversity management, with a specific focus on preserving and increasing wild tiger populations. The Bank will dedicate more than US$1 million over the next year toward these training efforts, and the partners will work to expand the alliance to include other members and raise additional financing for implementation. More 

top

10. Crisis Prompts Expanded Development Role for Faith-Based Groups

At an African summit of faith and development leaders in Ghana, the Bank said that with developing countries increasingly struggling as a result of the global economic crisis, aid agencies and national governments needed to strengthen their links with faith-based organizations to make the most of their development expertise and grassroots organization. With 1.4 billion people living in extreme poverty, and 60 million people still trapped in extreme poverty as a result of the recent food and fuel crises, the Bank said that there was an obvious case for ‘closer relations for better results’ between development organizations and faith-based aid organizations. Graeme Wheeler, the Bank’s Managing Director for Human Development, said that it was obvious that faith-based groups were making a ‘tremendous difference to people’s lives.’ More

top

11. Siemens Penalized US$100m, Loses Bank Business for Two Years

The Bank announced a comprehensive settlement with Siemens AG in the wake of the company’s acknowledged past misconduct in its global business and a Bank investigation into corruption in a project in Russia involving a Siemens subsidiary. The settlement includes a commitment by Siemens to pay $100 million over the next 15 years to support anti-corruption work, an agreement of up to a four-year debarment for Siemens’ Russian subsidiary, and a voluntary two-year shut-out from bidding on Bank business for Siemens AG and all of its consolidated subsidiaries and affiliates. As part of the settlement, Siemens has also agreed to co-operate to change industry practices, clean up procurement practices and engage in collective action with the Bank to fight fraud and corruption. More 

top

12. Progress on Maternal Health and Family Planning is Insufficient

Reducing maternal mortality by three quarters, and achieving universal access to reproductive health services is one of the Millennium Development Goals the international community set to achieve by 2015 to improve the lives of poor people. But the world is showing the least progress on this goal, according to the latest Global Monitoring Report. “One of the best guarantees for getting countries on the faster track to less poverty and more opportunity is investing in maternal health and reproductive health programs,” says Joy Phumaphi, the Bank’s Vice President for Human Development. But support for population and reproductive health programs has significantly declined as a percentage of overall global health aid, from about 30 percent in 1994 to 12 percent in 2008. More

top


JOBS

Senior Social Development Specialist (Burundi)

The Conflict and Social Development unit is looking for a Senior Conflict and Development Officer based in Bujumbura, Burundi to oversee the implementation of two Bank projects. Demonstrated ability to work effectively in challenging post-conflict environments, effectively advising host governments and coordinating with donors and UN agencies is required. Fluency in French and English is essential. Application Deadline: August 1, 2009. More



Climate Change Specialist (Washington DC)

The Global Environment Facility (GEF) is looking for a Climate Change Adaptation Specialist. This position is to directly assist the coordinator of the Adaptation program at the GEF in supervising the activities of the Least Developed Countries Fund. Advanced degree with at least 5 years of relevant professional experience in natural resources management/environmental sciences, environmental and agronomist engineering or other relevant discipline is desired. Application Deadline: September 4, 2009. More 

For a full list of open positions and scholarships
http://www.worldbank.org/jobs

top

REGIONAL NEWS AND PROJECTS

AFRICA

Central African Republic Approved for Debt Relief

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the Bank's International Development Association (IDA) have agreed that the Central African Republic (CAR) has made sufficient progress and taken the necessary steps to reach the completion point under the Enhanced Heavily Indebted Poor Countries (HIPC) Initiative. The CAR becomes the 25th country to reach the completion point under the Initiative. Debt relief under the Enhanced HIPC Initiative from all of CAR's creditors has been revised downward to US$578 million from US$583 million estimated at the time of the decision point. In reaching the HIPC completion point, CAR also becomes eligible for further debt relief from the IMF, IDA, and the African Development Fund under the Multilateral Debt Relief Initiative. More 

top

Board Discusses Inspection Panel Investigation of Environmental Project in Ghana

The Bank’s Board of Executive Directors met to discuss the Management’s Response to an Inspection Panel investigation into the Second Urban Environmental Sanitation Project in Ghana (UESP II). It aims to improve urban living conditions in five cities, including Accra. One key issue the project aims to address is inadequate environmental sanitation services. Over the past two decades, poor environmental sanitation has remained a major urban and environmental issue in Ghana. The situation is becoming more critical because of rapid population growth in metropolitan areas, in particular Accra. Accra’s need for a sanitary landfill was identified in the Strategic Plan for the Greater Accra Metropolitan Areas over 17 years ago. The Board approved an International Development Association (IDA) Credit (US$62.0 million) to support the project. More

top

EAST ASIA AND THE PACIFIC

Respectable Growth Gives China Confidence to Pursue Reforms

While China’s economy has continued to feel the brunt of the global crisis, very expansionary fiscal and monetary policies have kept the economy growing respectably, according to the World Bank’s latest China Quarterly Update released today. The Update, a regular assessment of the Chinese economy, finds that the fiscal stimulus is centered on the infrastructure-oriented “RMB 4 trillion” stimulus plan while the monetary stimulus has led to a surge in new bank lending. Government-influenced investment has soared. Market-based investment has lagged, although positive signs have emerged in the real estate sector. Consumption has held up well. Very weak exports have continued to be the main drag on growth, while import volumes have recovered in the second quarter of 2009 as raw material imports rebounded. More 

top

Assessing Civil Society Contributions to Good Governance in Cambodia

This study investigates current social accountability practices in Cambodia, identifies opportunities, analyzes obstacles and their underlying sources and proposes remedies and priority actions. It has been carried out in the context of broader Bank efforts to support and enhance citizen demand for good governance in Cambodia. The study’s findings and recommendations are intended to inform three key target audiences: the government of Cambodia, civil society actors and development partners. The report finds numerous challenges as well as exciting opportunities in the Cambodian context. More

top

EUROPE AND CENTRAL ASIA

Kosovo Joins World Bank Group Institutions

The Republic of Kosovo became the newest member of the five World Bank Group institutions when Kosovar President Fatmir Sejdiu and Prime Minister Hashim Thaçi signed the Articles of Agreement of the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD). In addition to becoming a member of IBRD, Kosovo joined the International Development Association (IDA), the International Finance Corporation (IFC), the Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency (MIGA), and the International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID). With the admission of Kosovo, membership now stands at 186 countries for IBRD, 169 for IDA, 182 for IFC, 174 for MIGA, and 144 for ICSID. More

top

Central Asia Development Marketplace 2009 Announces Its Winners

The Bank and its development partners have concluded the two-day Regional Central Asia Development Marketplace 2009 (CADM) and the Knowledge Forum, which brought together 40 CADM finalists and about 60 other participants from five countries in the region. This was the closing event of the multi-country and multi-partner project aimed at uncovering and supporting innovative ideas in Efficient Water Use in Agriculture. The CADM has demonstrated a very high potential that the local communities and organizations in all five countries have in addressing urgent water availability constraints in their countries. The event also provided a Forum for networking, learning, and sharing experience among farmers’ groups and associations, water users’ associations, civil society organizations, academia,and other groups in the Central Asia region. More 

top

LATIN AMERICA AND THE CARIBBEAN

Haiti Gets US$1.2 Billion of Debt Relief

Haiti was granted US$1.2 billion of debt relief by reaching the completion point under the Enhanced Heavily Indebted Poor Countries (HIPC) Initiative approved by the Boards of the International Development Association (IDA) and the International Monetary Fund (IMF). Haiti is now the 26th country to reach the completion point under the Initiative. Debt service savings result from the HIPC Initiative (US$265 million) and the Multilateral Debt Relief Initiative (US$972.7 million). To reach the completion point, Haiti carried out a number of reforms despite a challenging environment marked by major natural disasters, a food and fuel crisis, difficult political conditions, and the impact of the global economic downturn. These reforms were aimed at establishing a more stable macroeconomic environment and at implementing its national poverty reduction strategy. More

top

Strategic Partnership with Argentina will Protect the Most Vulnerable

To help weather the global economic crisis and protect the most vulnerable from its impacts, the Bank has committed more than US$3 billion to Argentina over the next three years in a new Country Partnership Strategy. The new alliance will provide US$3.3 billion in development assistance between 2010 and 2012. Additionally, the multilateral will support with US$840 million the cleanup efforts of the Matanza-Riachuelo river basin, the most polluted urban river system in Argentina, and provide US$450 million to shore up funding for the country’s social safety net system in the midst of the global financial crisis, with additional projects in these areas to follow. More 

top

MIDDLE EAST AND NORTH AFRICA

New Regional Vice President Appointed

The Bank announced that Shamshad Akhtar, a Pakistani national, will be the new Vice President for the Middle East and North Africa Region. Prior to becoming a Vice President in the Bank, Akhtar served as Governor of the State Bank of Pakistan. During this period she was also a Governor of the IMF. In 2006 and 2007 she was nominated Asia’s Best Central Bank Governor by Emerging Markets and the Banker’s Trust. Prior to her leadership of the Pakistan Central Bank, she worked as Director General of the South East Asia Region of the Asian Development Bank. From 1998-2002 she was Director of the Asian Development Bank’s (ADB) Governance, Finance and Trade Division. She is the recipient of a Post Doctoral Fellowship from Harvard University and holds an MA in Development Economics from the University of Sussex and an MSc in Economics from the Quaid-e-Azam University, Islamabad, Pakistan. More 

top

Evaluating the Impact of Egyptian Social Fund for Development Programs
The Egyptian Social Fund for Development was established in 1991 with a mandate to reduce poverty. Since its inception, the fund has disbursed about $2.5 billion, of which nearly two-fifths was devoted to supporting micro-credit and financing community development and infrastructure. This paper investigates the impact of the fund's interventions, whether the benefits have been commensurate with the costs, and whether the programs have been targeted successfully to the poor. The authors find that Egypt’s Social Fund for Development programs have had clear and measurable effects, in the expected direction, for all of the programs considered. More

top

SOUTH ASIA

Bank Supports Modernization of Old, Polluting Coal-fired Power Plants in India

The Bank approved a US$180 million loan to the government of India, designed to renovate and modernize old, inefficient and polluting coal-fired power plants. The project, which is expected to lower carbon emissions and boost power production at these plants, is co-financed with a US$45.4 million grant from the Global Environment Facility. This would be the first step in a decade-long Government of India plan to augment power supply by rehabilitating a range of old coal-fired plants even as the country moves to more climate-friendly options for energy generation in the long term. The planned modernization would bring these power producing units to energy efficiency levels comparable to similar units in OECD countries. India’s power shortage is a daunting barrier to the country’s development. More than 40 percent of Indian homes do not have electricity and 60 percent of Indian industrial consumers are forced to make their own arrangements for securing a reliable power supply. More 

top

The Interim Strategy Note for Afghanistan

The Bank’s Interim Strategy Note for Afghanistan details the Bank Group’s approach to helping the country achieve its development goals. It envisages a grant program of around $600 million, covering the period 2009 – 2011. The Bank’s strategy rests on three pillars: building the capacity and accountability of the state to its citizens to provide services that are affordable, accessible and adequate; promoting growth of the rural economy and livelihoods; and supporting growth of a formal, modern and competitive private sector. More

top

BLOGS / PODCASTS

Evolving Messages from the upcoming World Development Report

Blogger Marianne Fay announces on the Climate Change blog that the team of authors putting together the forthcoming World Development Report is working hard to pull together an enormous amount of analysis. She says “One of our emerging messages is that poor countries will be disproportionately affected by climate change, even as they strive to reduce poverty and boost economic growth—which remain core priorities. A combination of science and economics tells us that reducing potentially devastating climate effects while avoiding an exorbitant price tag will require immediate and comprehensive global action. Indeed, every available tool must be employed for both adaptation and mitigation.” Join the Conversation.

top

Why Don’t We See Poverty Rates Converging?

Martin notes on the Africa Can blog that Sub-Saharan Africa now has the highest incidence of extreme poverty, such as judged by the Bank’s $1.25 a day poverty line. Granted, Africa has shown encouraging signs since the mid 1990s of reversing its past record of relatively poor performance against poverty. But the problem is that developing countries which start out with a high incidence of poverty, including many of those in Africa, typically do not enjoy a higher subsequent pace of poverty reduction. The overall incidence of poverty is falling in the developing world, but no faster in its poorest countries. We do not see “poverty convergence.” Join the Conversation.

top

PUBLICATIONS

Global Development Finance 2009

The Bank's annual report on the external financing of developing countries provides monitoring and analysis of development finance, identifying key emerging trends and policy challenges in international financial flows that are likely to affect the growth prospects of developing countries. With analysis and data extending from short-term bank lending to long-term bond issuance in both local and foreign currency, Global Development Finance 2009: Charting a Global Recovery is unique in its breadth of coverage of the trends and issues of fundamental importance to the financing of the developing world, including coverage of capital originating from developing countries themselves. The report is an indispensable resource for the entire development community. More

top

Improving Municipal Management for Cities to Succeed

Cities now house half the world’s population and produce 70 percent of its GDP. Managing them well helps development. Strengthening municipal management of planning, finance, and service provision has been at the core of World Bank support through municipal development projects (MDPs). This study by the Independent Evaluation Group (IEG) reviews how, worldwide, nearly 3,000 municipalities have benefitted from 190 Bank-supported MDPs over the past decade, three quarters of which achieved satisfactory outcomes. The finance dimension of MDPs produced some of the best results, but weaker outcomes came from attempts to stimulate private finance of municipal services. City planning, used by municipalities worldwide, was not a strong priority for MDPs. Monitoring and evaluation rarely worked well, except when municipalities themselves were convinced of its usefulness. More 

FOR A FULL LIST of available publications:
http://publications.worldbank.org/ecommerce/?cid=EXTIACSOnwsltr

top

TRAINING

Online Training to Help Financial Institutions Develop Sustainable Banking

The International Finance Corporation (IFC), unveiled a new online training program designed to help financial institutions better understand sustainable finance, social and environmental risk management, and explore sustainability-related business opportunities. The Sustainability Training and E-learning Program (STEP) is available through the Bank’s Learning Management System. The highly interactive e-learning program is designed for managers and staff of financial institutions, including banks, private equity funds, leasing companies, and microfinance institutions. STEP also helps financial institutions identify sustainability-related opportunities within their existing portfolios and expand into products such as financing energy-efficiency, renewable energy, or sustainable supply chain projects. More 

 top


This Newsletter is produced by the Civil Society Team of the World Bank (WB) in collaboration with other WB units. The 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

 

 

 




Permanent URL for this page: http://go.worldbank.org/1BV794PYD0