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Civil Society Engagement eNewsletter - October 2009

1. Record Numbers of CSOs Attend the Istanbul Annual Meetings
2. Zedillo Commission Issues Report on World Bank Group Governance
3. Bank Launches Report on Bank – Civil Society Relations
4. Views Sought: World Bank Group's Environment Strategy Consultations
5. Proposals Sought: Marketplace on Innovative Financial Solutions for Development
6. 100 Ideas to Save the Planet: Development Marketplace 2009 Global Competition on Climate Adaptation – Save The Date!
7. Zoellick: Economic Crisis is Remaking Global Power Relations
8. Leaders Commit New Finance to Tackle Women’s and Children’s Health in the Developing World
9. Global Cooperation Critical to Anticorruption Efforts
10. IDA Increases Funding for Climate Adaptation
11. Cities Alliance, USAID and World Bank Present Photo Exhibit on Slums to US Public
12. Easy as Soap and Water: Clean Hands Save Lives


1 – Record Numbers of CSOs Attend the Istanbul Annual Meetings

Civil society participation at the 2009 World Bank – IMF Annual Meetings in Istanbul, Turkey was the largest and most intense ever. Over 1,000 CSO representatives were accredited and nearly 500 attended the six-day Civil Society Policy Forum (CS Forum). The CS Forum sponsored 50 policy dialogue sessions on topics ranging from the global economic crisis and information disclosure, to climate change. Turkey’s civil society community participated actively, with leading national CSOs convening policy sessions. The CSO Townhall with Bank President Robert Zoellick and IMF Managing Director, Dominique Strauss-Kahn was well attended, with some 200 CSOs present. More... 


2 - Zedillo Commission Issues Report on World Bank Group Governance

A recently completed external review of the World Bank Group’s governance headed by former Mexican President Ernesto Zedillo provides a series of recommendations supporting further governance reforms, commends the Bank for expanding initiatives during the financial crisis, and supports strengthening the Bank’s financial capacity. The High Level Commission on Modernization of World Bank Group Governance made the following five recommendations: 1) Enhance voice and participation 2) Restructure the World Bank Group’s governing bodies 3) Reform the leadership selection process 4) Strengthen management accountability 5) Strengthen the World Bank Group’s resource base. More... 

3 – Bank Launches Report on Bank – Civil Society Relations

The “World Bank - Civil Society Engagement: Review of Fiscal Years 2007 to 2009” was launched at the Annual Meetings in Istanbul. The Civil Society Review represents a comprehensive accounting of Bank – civil society relations across the institutions over the past three years (2007 – 2009). It provides detailed information on global consultation processes, examples of operational collaboration, CSO funding mechanisms, and civil society outreach initiatives by region and constituency teams. The message which comes through repeatedly through its 145 pages of text, photos, and extensive annexes, is how World Bank Group – civil society relations have grown in breadth and depth over the past three years. More... 


4 – Views Sought: World Bank Group's Environment Strategy Consultations

The World Bank Group (WBG) has just launched a new Environment Strategy, expected to be completed and approved by December 2010. The new Strategy will articulate a set of principles, and propose an approach for achieving environmental sustainability at the WBG to ensure that its support to client countries leads to sustainable development outcomes. Please read more and share your thoughts on the Strategy Concept Note via our online consultations (available in several languages from the menu on the right).You can also find a list of previous as well as planned consultation meeting on the Strategy Concept Note. More... 

5 – PROPOSALS SOUGHT: Marketplace on Innovative Financial Solutions for Development 

The Agence Française de Développement (AFD), the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, and the World Bank will co-host an international Marketplace on Innovative Financial Solutions for Development (2010 MIF) to be held in Paris on March 4-5, 2010. The winners will be awarded pilot grants of up to US$100,000 to assist them in implementing their initiatives. Proposals are welcomed from all organizations involved in innovative finance focused on development, including financial institutions, private-sector companies, social enterprises, civil society organizations, government agencies, universities, and foundations. Proposals must be submitted by November 15th 2009. Read moreGuidelines and application forms 


6 - 100 Ideas To Save The Planet: Development Marketplace 2009 Global Competition On Climate Adaptation – Save The Date!

On November 10-13, 2009, the process of this year’s Development Marketplace will be finalized. There will be live coverage, interactive blogging and interviews with the finalists. The Development Marketplace is a competitive grant program created by the World Bank in 1998. This year's global competition focuses on climate adaptation. 100 social entrepreneurs and development practitioners from 47 countries representing the most innovative and high-potential project ideas on climate adaptation will present their projects, and compete for grants of up to $200,000. If you would like to attend in person, please REGISTER at For more information on the finalists and the event, visit the Development Marketplace website or contact the Development Marketplace team at

7 - Zoellick: Economic Crisis is Remaking Global Power Relations

The global economic crisis is contributing to shifts in power relations in the world that will impact currency markets, monetary policy, trade relations, and the role of developing countries, said Bank Group President Robert B. Zoellick. In a speech on September 28, ahead of the World Bank-IMF Annual Meetings in Istanbul, Zoellick said leaders should reshape the multilateral system and forge a “responsible globalization” that would encourage balanced global growth and financial stability, embrace global efforts to counter climate change, and advance opportunity for the poorest. “The old international economic order was struggling to keep up with change before the crisis,” Zoellick told an audience in Washington, DC. “Today’s upheaval has revealed the stark gaps and compelling needs. It is time we caught up and moved ahead.” Read more…

Excerpts from Speech The Speech titled: After the Crisis? 


8 - Leaders Commit New Finance to Tackle Women’s and Children’s Health in the Developing World

On September 23, the Taskforce on Innovative Financing for Health Systems announced a series of new financing measures worth $5.3 billion to save millions of women and children in developing countries whose lives are under increased threat due to the global economic crisis. The Taskforce, set up by world leaders twelve months ago, met in New York to highlight the need for stronger, better financed health systems, and better access to health services for women and children. Speaking at the meeting, World Bank Group President Zoellick underlined the importance of creating new income streams for women’s and children’s health care, saying that the new financing initiatives will ultimately stem the unnecessary and preventable deaths of women and children around the world. Read more…

9 - Global Cooperation Critical to Anticorruption Efforts

Leonard McCarthy, the World Bank’s Integrity Vice President, recently met with the Head of Operations at the Serious Fraud Office (SFO) in the United Kingdom to discuss furthering the cooperation agreement that was signed by the two institutions on June 29, 2009. The SFO is the U.K. body that investigates and prosecutes serious and complex fraud. “This is a significant milestone in advancing institutional efforts to mitigate corruption risks in World Bank-financed projects,” said McCarthy. Over the past two years, McCarthy has proactively pursued dialogue and collaboration initiatives with a number of global, regional, and national entities to promote preventive measures and safeguard against fraud and corruption in Bank-financed projects. Read more… 


10. IDA Increases Funding for Climate Adaptation

Low-income countries are likely to suffer most from climate change impacts because of their location, low incomes, low institutional capacity, and greater reliance on climate-sensitive sectors like agriculture. To support adaptation efforts, International Development Association (IDA) investment in agriculture, flood protection, water supply and health grew from 31 percent of IDA’s core portfolio between 2005 and 2007 to 35 percent in 2008, with a 17 percent increase in disbursements in these sectors. IDA has also increased analytic efforts to understand and tackle climate change risks in IDA countries, and to ensure consideration of these risks in Country Assistance Strategies. Read more…

11 - Cities Alliance, USAID and World Bank Present Photo Exhibit on Slums to US Public

A major interactive photo exhibit on slums called The Places We Live recently opened to the US public. It is being hosted by the National Building Museum, one of the world’s most prominent venues for informed debate about the built environment and its impact on people’s lives. Courtesy of a unique partnership between Cities Alliance, USAID, and the World Bank, the exhibit provide s US audiences with a first-hand look at slums and how slum dwellers live in the densely populated cities of the developing world. The year 2008 will go down in human history as being the first time that more people were living in cities than in rural areas. One-third of these urban dwellers—more than one billion people—live in slums. Read more… 


12 - Easy as Soap and Water: Clean Hands Save Lives

Schools and communities in more than 80 countries participated in Global Handwashing Day on October 15 to remind children about the importance of washing hands with soap as a critical habit to keep disease away. Diarrheal disease and acute respiratory infections kill more than 3.5 million children under the age of five each year, according to UNICEF’s State of the World Children Report. But washing hands with soap can reduce child mortality by 44 percent in the case of diarrheal disease, and 23 percent for acute respiratory infections. The World Bank carries roughly 26 projects that include hygiene promotion. Read more…



Central Africa Backbone Program to Bring Low Cost, High Speed Internet

The World Bank Group on October 6 announced its endorsement of the $215 million, ten-year Central African Backbone Program (CAB Program), which will help countries in the region develop their high-speed telecommunications backbone infrastructure. Three countries, Cameroon, Chad and Central African Republic, are participating in the initial $26.2 million phase of the program; eight more are eligible to participate in subsequent phases. The CAB Program will increase the availability of high-speed Internet, reduce end-user prices, and help countries harmonize the laws and regulations that govern the ICT sector, which will increase private sector investment and improve competition. The CAB Program is supported by a partnership between the World Bank Group and the African Development Bank (AfDB). Read more… 



World Bank Teams at Work in the Region’s Disasters Aftermath

October 14 marked the International Day for Disaster Reduction, a yearly campaign sponsored by United Nations highlighting the millions of people around the world at risk from disasters. For thousands affected by disasters this month in East Asia and the Pacific islands, there is no need for a reminder. In recent weeks, major natural disasters hit several countries killing more than 1,500 people and laying waste to homes, hospitals, schools, hotels, roads and bridges. World Bank teams are at work with governments and international development partners in the Philippines, Indonesia, Samoa, and Laos on the long-term work of reconstruction and restoring people’s livelihoods. Read more…



Moldova: Bank Leads Donor Efforts to Help New Government Fight Crisis

The World Bank has been at the forefront of a broader donor effort to provide the newly elected Moldovan government with the necessary expertise to immediately address the deepening socio-economic crisis. As a result, the donor community developed a set of policy suggestions spelling out short and medium-term priorities—the Donor Policy Notes—which were publicly launched on October 1. Taking into account the extent of the current crisis, the notes identify three key areas that need government attention in the short-term: adjusting the budget deficit, ensuring financial sector stability, and protecting the socially vulnerable groups, who are most at risk in times of crisis. Read more…



Latin America—Global Crisis Response Requires Financial Regulation Reform, Leaders Say

The most important lesson so far of the recent global financial crisis is the urgent need to reform global financial regulations, Latin American finance and accounting experts agreed at the third annual conference of Accounting and Accountability for Regional Economic Growth (CReCER), a joint organization of the World Bank, the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), the International Federation of Accountants (IFAC). “…The financial crisis will be overcome, but it would be unfortunate if overcoming this crisis results in levels of complacency in the system. We must work toward setting a global financial rules standard for regulation," said Pedro Malan, Trustee of the International Accounting Standards Committee Foundation (IASCF) and former Brazilian Finance Minister. Read more…



Annual Meetings: Yemen-World Bank Cooperation

Officials from the Yemeni Government and the World Bank met during the Bank-Fund Annual Meetings in Istanbul to discuss World Bank-supported projects in the country, the national reform agenda, and the new Country Assistance Strategy for 2010-2013. “The World Bank decision to change its financial support to Yemen from loans to grants is a major improvement of the Yemen-World Bank cooperation and reflects the trust that Yemen has gained with the donors for its commitments to the development plans and the progress achieved in financial and administrative reforms,” noted Abdul-Karim Al-Arhabi, Yemen’s Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Planning and International Cooperation. Read more…



Access to Primary Health Care in Afghanistan

Since 2003, the International Development Association (IDA) has provided some $120 million in grant financing for health projects in Afghanistan, and now millions of people in rural Afghanistan have access to primary health care for the first time. National coverage rates rose from 9 percent of the general population in 2003 to 85 percent in 2008 as a result of the basic health services provided by IDA-financed projects. With assistance from IDA projects, the number of health facilities has nearly tripled from 148 to 421 in the 11 project provinces, and around 20,000 community health workers—half of them women—have been trained and deployed throughout the country, increasing access to family planning and boosting childhood vaccinations. Read more…



Bank Internship Program

The Bank is now accepting on-line applications for the 2009-2010 Winter Internship Program. The Internship Program is open to qualified students who are nationals of the Bank's member countries, and offers successful candidates an opportunity to improve their skills and gain experience working in an international environment. Interns generally find the experience to be rewarding and interesting. The application period will end on Monday, November 2, 2009. Read moreApply for the program 

Senior Natural Resources Management Specialist (International Hire, Washington DC Based)

The key role that the Agriculture and Rural Development Unit (ARD) of the World Bank plays in achieving the goals of sustainable development and poverty reduction is recognized as a corporate priority, and the Bank is sharply scaling up its work in this area. The World Bank’s ARD strategy is grouped around five major themes: raising agricultural productivity; linking farmers to market and strengthening value added; reducing risk and vulnerability; facilitating agricultural entry and exit and rural non-farm incomes; and enhancing environmental services and sustainability. For more information about this position which closes on November 13, 2009 visit….

For a full list of open positions and scholarships



Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala Recaps the 2009 Annual Meetings

Back from Istanbul, Sameer Vasta of the World Bank’s Media Team reviews some of the important events and messages that came out of the 2009 Annual Meetings and finds a short recap by Bank Managing Director Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala. Watch video… 

Speak Out—Online Chat on Strengthening Health Systems in Developing Countries

Latin America’s experience with the H1N1 virus has shown that a strong public health surveillance system is critical in mounting an effective response to the virus. The World Bank has been working with the United Nations and WHO to increase countries’ pandemic readiness through strengthening health systems. Keith Hansen, Bank Health Expert for Latin America and the Caribbean, was online on October 6 to answer questions about strengthening health care systems in developing countries. Find here the full transcript...



Book Launch: Moving Out of Poverty: The Promise of Empowerment and Democracy in India

While much is already known about poverty in India, there is still a great deal to be learned about how some people manage to escape poverty while others are unable to do so. The report of this study was launched at the World Bank Headquarters on October 13. This study brings together the life experiences of 30,000 women and men from 300 rural villages across Andhra Pradesh, Assam, Uttar Pradesh, and West Bengal during the decade from 1995 to 2005. It documents the entrepreneurialism of the poor, arguing that responsive local governments, when combined with collective action and access to information and markets, can do much to facilitate poor people's movement out of poverty. Read more… 

Development Outreach: Fragility & Conflict

Fragile and conflict-affected states are not new, but the challenges they pose have moved to the top of the development agenda in recent years. Experience has shown that the task of moving a poor, conflict-affected state out of fragility is a complex, difficult, and long-term project. In many cases, like in Afghanistan, gains have been hard-won, slow and uncertain. Nevertheless, recent history offers grounds for optimism. The October issue of Development Outreach looks at what international organizations and bilateral donors can really do to help fragile and conflict-affected states overcome societal tension and violent conflicts, and build the strategies, coalitions and capacity required to create conditions for growth and sustained development. Read more… 

Mobilizing the African Diaspora

The African Union and African governments want to engage the African Diaspora to help develop the continent. The Diaspora consists of peoples of African origin living outside the continent. They represent a tremendous wealth of knowledge and know-how that could to contribute to the development and building of the Africa Union. George Collinet talks to Shantayanan Devarajan, Chief Economist of the World Bank’s Africa Region and a member of the Diaspora himself. Listen to the podcast… 

SLIDESHOW: Africa's Infrastructure, A Time for Transformation

Sound infrastructure powers economic growth, enables trade, connects people, ideas, and technology, protects the environment, fosters social cohesion, promotes regional integration, and reduces poverty. But Africa’s “infrastructure deficit” makes for gloomy arithmetic. It’s time for a transformation. Watch the slideshow… 

For a full list of available publications:


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: 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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