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Civil Society Engagement eNewsletter - September 2009

1. Annual Meetings Accreditation DEADLINE ALERT – 21 September
2. WB and InterAction Call on G20 to Support Low-Income Countries
3. World Bank Holds 5th Roundtable with CSOs on Food and Financial Crises
4. ‘Climate Smart’ World Within Reach - World Development Report 2010
5. Doing Business 2010: Reforming through Difficult Times
6. Renewable Energy & Energy Efficiency Financing by Bank Group Hits All Time High
7. China Playing Important Role in Steadying World Economy
8. New! The first digital edition of World Bank Catalog now available.
9. IDA Results Measurement System
10. IFC and Mitsubishi UFJ to Finance Sustainable Energy Efficiency Projects
11. Finding Common Ground on Values and Ethics with Faith-based Organizations
12. Video: Primary Education in India
 

*REGIONS
*JOBS
*ON THE BLOGS
*PUBLICATIONS/PODCAST /WEBSITES    



1 - Annual Meetings Accreditation DEADLINE ALERT – 21 September

If you are considering participating in the upcoming Annual Meetings of the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund, please remember that all CSO representatives must obtain formal accreditation. The online registration system to accept applications for civil society accreditation opened on August 3, 2009 and will close on September 21, 2009. We encourage you to apply for accreditation as soon as possible. Please note that there is no limit to the number of applicants from a single organization, but each applicant has to apply individually.
More information on the Annual Meetings Civil Society Policy Forum and other events can be found at www.worldbank.org/civilsociety.

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2 - WB and InterAction Call on G20 to Support Low-Income Countries 


Sam Worthington (CEO of InterAction) joined Mr. Zoellick for an international press briefing on September 16 to discuss the findings of a Bank paper on the impact of the financial crisis on the poor. The paper, prepared for the upcoming G-20 meeting in Pittsburgh, estimates that 89 million more people will be living in extreme poverty, on less than $1.25 a day, by the end of 2010, as a result of the crisis. The global recession has also put at risk $11.6 billion of core spending in areas such as education, health, infrastructure and social protection in the most vulnerable countries. Mr. Worthington stated that: “InterAction is pleased that the World Bank continues to insert the needs of the world’s poorest nations into the G-20 conversation”. Read more...


3 - World Bank Holds 5th Roundtable with CSOs on Food and Financial Crises

The Bank held its 5th Food and Financial Crises Roundtable with international CSOs on September 10. Some 100 persons participated, either in person or at 6 video conference sites (Lilongwe, New Delhi, Brussels, Dublin, Geneva, and Atlanta), and nearly 70 of these were CSO representatives. Representatives of the IMF and several UN Agencies also participated. There was also a sizable contingency from the Bank, including over a dozen Vice Presidents, Directors, and other senior managers. The three hour meeting was divided into two sections, with the first two hours devoted to discussing the global food policies and response program. The meeting was convened by Mr. Zoellick, while Managing Director, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, co-chaired the session with Sam Worthington (InterAction CEO) and Ambassador Michael Klosson (Save the Children Vice-President). Summary Notes, Photos, and a Participant List will be posted on the Bank’s Civil Society website shortly. For previous Roundtables go here.

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4 - ‘Climate Smart’ World Within Reach - World Development Report 2010

The World Bank’s flagship annual publication, the World Development Report (WDR), was launched on Tuesday September 15. Released in advance of the December meetings on climate change in Copenhagen, the report “Development and Climate Change”, states that advanced countries, which produced most of the greenhouse gas emissions of the past, must act to shape our climate future. If developed countries act now, a ‘climate-smart’ world is feasible, and the costs for getting there will be high but still manageable. A key way to do this is by ramping up funding for mitigation in developing countries, where most future growth in emissions will occur, says the report. The WDR Team held a briefing for CSOs on September 15 in Washington, will hold a session for CSOs at the Annual Meetings in Istanbul. For other briefing sessions scheduled for the months of October and November, go to its website:



5 - Doing Business 2010: Reforming through Difficult Times

The IFC launched its flagship annual report “Doing Business 2010” on September 9 in Washington. The report shows that a record 131 economies around the globe reformed business regulations in 2008/09. That is more than 70 percent of the 183 economies covered by the report—the largest share in any year since the annual report was first published in 2004. And this progress came against the backdrop of a global economic crisis. Reformers around the world focused on making it easier to start and operate businesses, strengthening property rights, and improving commercial dispute resolution and bankruptcy procedures. Two-thirds of the reforms recorded in the report were in low- and lower-middle-income economies. For the first time a sub-Saharan African economy, Rwanda, is the world’s top reformer of business regulations. Read more… 

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6 - Renewable Energy & Energy Efficiency Financing by Bank Group Hits All Time High

The Bank Group announced today that its financing of renewable energy and energy efficiency projects / programs rose 24% in the last fiscal year reaching $3.3 billion, the largest amount ever. Total renewable energy and energy efficiency commitments for the fiscal year ending June 30, 2009 accounted for more than 40% of total Bank Group energy lending. During the past five years, the Bank Group approved 366 renewable energy and energy efficiency projects in 90 countries, including 99 projects in 48 countries last year. Among the projects were those in Bangladesh supporting private sector and civil society led off-grid solar electrification. Read more… 


7 - China Playing Important Role in Steadying World Economy

China is taking decisive action to help stabilize the world economy and is persisting with efforts to re-balance its economy toward greater domestic demand, said Bank Group President Robert Zoellick, during his third official visit to China as World Bank Group president. “China has steered a steady course through the stormy seas of the economic crisis,” Zoellick said. Through its massive stimulus and strong lending program, China has contributed to the early signs of a global recovery by keeping its growth rate up. With growth in China now projected at close to 8 percent for 2009 as a whole, and signs of stabilization in many other economies in Asia and around the world, the chances of a truly global recovery have increased measurably.” Read more…

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8 - New! The first digital edition of World Bank Catalog now available

World Bank Publications is proud to present the first digital edition of its Publications Catalog. To view it, click here. In this catalog you will find information on the World Development Report 2010: Development and Climate Change, Doing Business 2010: Reforming through Difficult Times, and World Trade Indicators 2009/2010: Trade Under Crisis, as well as all of our Online Resources, and dozens of books covering Agriculture, Banking and Finance, Trade, Development Economics, Education, Environment, Health, Infrastructure, and more!


9 - IDA Results Measurement System

The International Development Association (IDA), a part of the Bank that helps the world’s poorest countries, has introduced a Results Measurement System (RMS) to measure how well IDA is helping countries grow and reduce poverty. The Result Measurement System (RMS) is designed to show aggregated results across IDA countries. It reflects the priorities and processes of national poverty-reduction strategies, assesses IDA's contribution to development results, and is linked to the Millennium Development Goal framework. It measures results on two levels: aggregate country outcomes, and IDA’s contribution to country outcomes. Read more…

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10 - IFC and Mitsubishi UFJ to Finance Sustainable Energy Efficiency Projects

The IFC signed an agreement with Mitsubishi UFJ Lease & Finance to cooperate in providing financing for projects that help reduce greenhouse gas emissions and environmental pollution in Asia’s developing countries. The two institutions will focus primarily on lease financing for energy efficiency, renewable energy, and cleaner production projects. “Strengthening business in Asia is one of our core strategies,” said Naotaka Obata, President and CEO of Mitsubishi UFJ Lease & Finance. “Partnering with IFC will help us enter new markets and provide new products to local customers for projects furthering environmental sustainability.” Read more… 


11 - Finding Common Ground on Values and Ethics with Faith-based Organizations

Did you know that the World Bank has a unit called “Development Dialogue on Values and Ethics” (DDVE), which oversees the Bank’s dialogue with faith leaders and faith-based organizations?! The unit maintains partnerships with faith-based organizations (FBOs), including the World Faiths Development Dialogue, and organizes or participates in a significant number of seminars, workshops, and conferences, including the July 2009 meeting that took place in Accra, Ghana. DDVE has recently begun projects to assess the contribution of FBOs to service delivery, with a particular focus on fragile states. DDVE also participates in events sponsored by other organizations, such as the August 2009 UNFPA Policy Roundtable, and the September 2009 Strategic Consultation on Faith & Malaria of the Tony Blair Faith Foundation. Read more… 

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12 - Video: Primary Education in India

India's "Education for All" movement is trying to get all children to school, including millions of the poorest and most marginalized. With the Bank’s help, a new generation now learns in better buildings and in new ways. “Activity-based learning” is one of the new methods that aims to increase attendance, narrow the gender and socio-economic gaps, and improve the quality of education. In this video, see how the new methodology is helping children learn interactively, at their own pace, and according to their abilities. Read more… 

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REGIONAL NEWS AND PROJECTS

AFRICA

Rwanda is the Top Global Reformer—Doing Business 2010

For the first time, a sub-Saharan African country—Rwanda—was the world’s top business reformer, between June 2008 and May 2009, according to Doing Business 2010: Reforming through Difficult Times, the seventh in a series of annual reports published by IFC and the Bank. Rwanda reformed in seven of the 10 business regulation areas measured by Doing Business. It now takes a Rwandan entrepreneur just two procedures and three days to start a business. Imports and exports are more efficient, and transferring property takes less time, thanks to a reorganized registry and statutory time limits. Investors have more protection, insolvency reorganization has been streamlined, and a wider range of assets can be used as collateral to access credit. Read more... 

Local Company Finds Profit in Bringing Water to Madagascar Village 

In 2004, Gerald Razafinjato, a Malagasy engineer who specializes in water, received a 53,000 Euro (US$64,130) grant through the Bank’s Rural Water Supply and Sanitation Pilot Project to improve the water distribution network in the village of Ambohijanaka and nearby rural areas. The grant allowed his company, Sandandrano, to finance the installation of 14 kilometers of pipelines—80 percent of the village’s total network. According to Razafinjato, Sandandrano has invested 140,000 Euros (US$181,000) of its own money in Ambohijanaka, operations are profitable, and 200 individual connections have been set-up benefitting at least 4,000 people. Read more…

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EAST ASIA AND THE PACIFIC

Thailand Considers Clean Technology Fund and a Low-Carbon Future

Two recent joint missions by the World Bank, the International Finance Corporation (IFC), and the Asian Development Bank (ADB) visited Thailand recently to identify low carbon projects that could be eligible for Clean Technology Fund (CTF) financing. The CTF missions were the first of many steps needed for Thailand to tap into the CTF, a multilateral fund that helps developing countries transform their industries to produce fewer carbon emissions. Read more… 


Philippines: Tap Water Brings Health and Wealth to Village

Until 2003, residents of Alfonso XIII village in the province of Palawan had no water system, no drainage, and hardly any toilets. In November 2003, things changed when water began to flow from taps installed in homes through a Water Districts Development Project, which got US$4.1 million in funding from the Bank. The Alfonso XIII Water Users’ Association is now run by 18 of the residents who took the lead in the project. For the association and the community, the cash inflow is proving to be just as sweet as the water now flowing in their taps. Read more… 

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EUROPE AND CENTRAL ASIA
 
Tajikistan: Families Becoming Farmers

The last two harsh winter seasons coupled with the global food crisis resulted in severe hardships for poor Tajiks in rural areas. To address the issue, the World Bank launched the Emergency Food Security and Seed Import Project in September 2008, which distributed wheat seed and fertilizer to 71,000 households. The project was implemented by Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO) in close cooperation with local governments and non-profit organizations, and was funded by a US$5 million grant from the World Bank’s Trust Fund for Food Crisis Response. Read more... 


Georgia: Bank Launches New Partnership Strategy

The World Bank’s Board of Directors discussed a new Country Partnership Strategy (CPS) with Georgia on September 10 that provides a framework for the Bank's assistance to Georgia for 2009-2012. Under the new strategy, new initiatives will support investments in transport infrastructure, reforms in social assistance and health coverage for the poor, improvements in the business environment, and strengthening of expenditure efficiency. The CPS envisages Bank Group financing of about $740-900 million over four years, underpinned by a strong program of knowledge services. Read more...

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LATIN AMERICA AND THE CARIBBEAN

Argentina: IFC Helps Meet Growing Energy Needs

The International Finance Corporation (IFC), a member of the Bank Group, has signed a $153 million financing agreement with Pan American Energy to help the company develop its oil and gas resources to meet Argentina’s growing energy needs, generate government revenues, and create jobs. The financing will be used for the company’s $700 million expansion program in the Cerro Dragon, Piedra Clavada, and Koluel Kaike blocks located within the Golfo San Jorge basin. IFC also is working with the company to strengthen work on environmental and social management, and will continue its partnership to help train local groups and individuals on how to start and run successful small businesses. Read more… 


Haiti: US$22 Million Grant for Education Will Benefit 600,000 Children 

The Education for All Fast-Track Initiative approved a US$22 million grant for Haiti on September 1 to increase the access of poor children to primary education, and improve equity, quality and governance in the education sector. The Education for All Catalytic Fund Project will support the government’s national education strategy by expanding access to primary education, improving the performance of public primary schools, and strengthening the capacity, transparency, and accountability of the National Ministry of Education and Vocational Training (MENFP). Read more… 

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MIDDLE EAST AND NORTH AFRICA


UAE and Egypt among Top Ten Reformers in Doing Business 2010

The Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region is the second most reforming region according to Doing Business 2010. With two countries in the Top Ten Reformers Club—United Arab Emirates (at number five) and Egypt (at number nine)—the MENA region saw 90 percent of their economies undertaking at least one reform. Governments in the region are now reforming at a rate similar to those in Eastern Europe and Central Asia. Read more…

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SOUTH ASIA

Kathmandu to Copenhagen: A Regional Climate Change Conference

The government of Nepal in collaboration with the World Bank, ADB, DANIDA, and DFID, hosted a regional climate conference titled “Kathmandu to Copenhagen,” from August 31 to September 1, 2009 on the theme of climate change and the South Asian Himalayas. The conference brought together ministers, high level officials, climate change experts, and key civil society members. According to Richard Damania, Lead Environmental Economist at the Bank, the risks of climate change in the Himalayas are great, affecting glaciers, mountain ecosystems, monsoon behavior, and flood and drought intensity—all of which are already impacting the livelihoods of millions of people. Read more… 

Denmark and the World Bank Support GHG Reductions, Energy Efficiency in Bangladesh 

The government of Denmark and the World Bank signed an agreement on August 25 with the Infrastructure Finance and Development Corporation Limited in Bangladesh, which will pave the way for purchasing greenhouse gas emissions reductions. The reductions would come from 20 energy efficient Hybrid Hoffman brick kilns (HHK) at various stages of production and construction. The HHKs use 50 percent less coal than regular brick kilns, which will reduce green house gas emissions and other air pollutants, improving air quality in the densely populated areas around Dhaka. Read more… 

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JOBS

Junior Professional Officers Program

The JPO Program is a donor-funded program that provides professionals from donor countries an opportunity to gain experience in an international organization. Currently the donor countries are Austria, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Italy, Kuwait, Russia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, and Japan. The age eligibility is 32 years old or younger, with a Masters degree and a minimum of two years experience in a related field. Fluency in English is required. JPOs are hired for two or three years, assigned in Washington, DC or a Bank country office. JPO positions are advertised by individual donors on a yearly basis. Bank hiring managers interview and make final selections. Please refer to the respective government Ministry websites for recruitment announcements. Read more… 

Senior Social Development Specialist – Hanoi Vietnam 

The East Asia and Pacific (EAP) region of the World Bank serves 22 client countries with a total population of about 2 billion. Clients range from IBRD, IDA and fragile countries with diverse opportunities and challenges. This unit is seeking an international hire to fill this position closing on October 6. The successful candidates’ primary responsibilities will be among others to manage and supervise social safeguards for the Vietnam program. While the position is Hanoi based, frequent travel throughout the country will be required. For more details and to apply see link…

For other professional and Technical Job Openings at the World Bank, please visit the Jobs Website.

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BLOGs / PODCASTs

Listening to Views from Around the World

On the climate change blog, Marianne Fay discusses the consultation process for the 2010 World Development Report. “Every year, the World Development Report focuses on a different topic of global importance, and, as part of its preparatory activities, consults with various groups around the world. The 2010 World Development Report on Development and Climate Change is no exception. This report has required unique attention to varying points of view because climate change affects different countries in drastically different ways. Over the past year …we sent our team of authors all over the world to consult with representatives from over 40 countries. We listened to stories about how climate change is affecting them, and sought their views on our report’s evolving messages.” Read more… 

Climate Smart Entrepreneurs’ Alliance

On the YouThink blog, Saptarshi Pal discusses the need for a youth foundation that provides entrepreneurship training to young people and helps create social entrepreneurs. She describes her experience in forming the Climate Smart Entrepreneurs’ Alliance (CSEA) as a stepping stone to the Youth Foundation. CSEA was conceptualized in collaboration with Jadavpur University Global Change Program as an association of budding and existing “green” entrepreneurs of Eastern India. It enabled such entrepreneurs to network, share experiences, and help each other work toward a common goal. Read more… 

A Daughter Deficit in Africa? 

On the Africa Can blog, Africa Chief Economist Shantayanan Devarajan discusses a New York Times Magazine article on the “daughter deficit”—a phenomenon observed in India and China in which many fewer girls than boys are being born and are surviving to age 5. “Up to now, I had been thinking of this as an Asian phenomenon, associated with cultural values in India and China,” says Devarajan. But recent findings that the mortality rate for girls in Africa is about twice as high as for boys seems to indicate that “the daughter deficit” (or “son preference”) may be coming to Africa.” Read more… 


Podcast: IEG vs. the World Bank

IEG, the Independent Evaluation Group at the Bank, assesses the relevance, efficacy, and efficiency of the Bank’s programs and activities and their contribution to development. In this podcast, Roy Gilbert, task manager of IEG, spars with Judy Baker, lead economist in the urban development unit of the Bank, over the latest IEG report, Improving Municipal Management for Cities to Succeed. Read more… 

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PUBLICATIONS

Bank Increases Gender Support and Lending

A new World Bank report, Implementing the Bank’s Gender Mainstreaming Strategy: FY08 Annual Monitoring Report, reveals that gender issues informed the design of 45 percent of all lending operations in fiscal year 2008, compared to 35 percent in fiscal 2006. The growth comes on the heels of the Bank’s launch of a four-year, $60 million Gender Action Plan, which began implementation in January 2007 to improve gender coverage in the economic arena. The report says the Gender Action Plan is beginning to show results both in terms of reaching women on the ground and influencing Bank operations more widely. Read more…

New Report Offers Solutions to Water and Sanitation for Urban Poor 

A new report released August 18 by the Bank’s Water and Sanitation Program identifies barriers to service delivery for poor people living in urban areas and recommends practical solutions to overcome them. The report, Guidance Notes on Services for the Urban Poor: A Practical Guide for Improving Water and Sanitation Services, recommends some simple solutions that can bring sustainable water and sanitation services to the hundreds of millions currently living without them, such as giving poor people a say in the water and sanitation services they receive, and allowing alternative documentation to prove residence. Read more…


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


For past Issues of the eNewsletter click here, and to subscribe click here

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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




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