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Civil Society Engagement eNewsletter - November 2009

1. WB Board Approved Landmark Information Disclosure Policy
2. WB Awards $4.8 Million to 26 Innovative Ideas to Save the Planet
3. Amnesty International Head Launches Book at Infoshop
4. Senator Kerry Calls for WB Leadership on Addressing Climate Change
5. World Bank - Indigenous Peoples Climate Action Fund Roundtable
6. WB Held 5th Bank – CSO Roundtable on the Food / Financial Crises
7. WB Data Now in Google Search Results
8. World Development Report 2010 on Climate Change Now Online!
9. World Bank Reform: Governance, Business Model and Products
10. Agriculture and Rural Development Action Plan
11. IFC Bond Provides Platform for Japanese Investments in Microfinance 


1 - WB Board Approved Landmark Information Disclosure Policy
The World Bank's Board of Executive Directors approved on 17 November the Bank's new policy on access to information which positions the Bank as a transparency leader among international institutions. The policy was informed by extensive external and internal consultations held in 33 countries and through the Bank's website. The new policy took into consideration the views of member countries, civil society organizations, academia, parliamentarians, media, the private sector, international organizations, donor agencies, and Bank staff. The new policy, which will become effective on July 1, 2010, represents a fundamental shift in the Bank’s approach to a ‘presumption of disclosure’ in which the Bank will disclose any information in its possession that is not on a list of exceptions. More… 


2 - WB Awards $4.8 Million to 26 Innovative Ideas to Save the Planet
Close to $5 million in grant money has been awarded to 26 innovative climate adaptation projects through the 2009 Global Development Marketplace, a global competitive grant program geared to funding innovation in development. This year’s contest “100 Ideas to Save the Planet” set a simple challenge: come up with one idea from your own community to help save the planet and its people from the effects of climate change. This ninth annual Development Marketplace which took place in Washington DC, November 9 - 13, was co-sponsored by the Global Environment Facility (GEF), the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), the Danish Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and the World Bank. To read more on the event and to meet the winners, click here…

3 - Amnesty International Head Launches Book at Bank’s Infoshop
Irene Khan, Secretary General of Amnesty International, launched her book at the Infoshop on October 21. The book “The Unheard Truth: Poverty and Human Rights” is based on many daunting experiences over her career working with refugees at the UN and fighting for human rights at Transparency since 2001. The book makes a cogent argument on how human rights and poverty are closely linked, and why organizations such as Amnesty International are expanding their concept of human rights to include social and economic rights. The panel included several book discussants: Ellen Dorsey, Executive Director of the Wallace Global Fund; and Varun Gauri, Senior Economist of the Bank’s Development Research Group. More…(this link opens in acrobat).


4 – Senator Kerry Calls for WB Leadership on Addressing Climate Change 
U.S. Senator John Kerry, Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, addressed World Bank staff in Washington DC on November 18 about the challenges of climate change and energy poverty. In his speech, Mr. Kerry said that the World is fundamentally operating in a new global economic landscape and that the current financial crisis has reinforced the notion that global institutions such as the Bank new to adopt governance reforms and new policy priorities in order to better face the challenges of the 21st century. According to him, the World Bank is doing vital work to roll back poverty, educate girls, promote good governance, spread economic opportunity, and lay the foundations for stable, well-governed societies. However, Mr. Kerry challenged the Bank to take the lead in shifting the balance toward climate solutions with its funding and intellectual leadership. More...


5 – World Bank - Indigenous Peoples Climate Action Fund Roundtable
The World Bank and First Peoples Worldwide (FPW) held a Roundtable discussion on Wednesday November 18, 2009 to present the Indigenous Peoples Climate Action Fund (IPCAF). The IPCAF will be managed by the First Peoples Worldwide FPW, and it will provide direct financing to selected indigenous communities around the world aimed at documenting indigenous responses (both mitigation and adaptation) to climate change and engaging in local, national and international climate change dialogue. The Fund is innovative as it engages directly with IP organizations and communities, and seeks their perspectives on this pressing issue. President Zoellick delivered the opening remarks in the event which brought Indigenous Peoples Representatives from around the. More...

6 – WB Held 5th CSO Roundtable on the Food / Financial Crises
The WB held the 5th Bank - CSO roundtable on the food / financial crises on September 10, 2009. About 70 civil society leaders attended the meeting either in person or via video conferences in 6 sites (Lilongwe, New Delhi, Brussels, Dublin, Geneva, and Atlanta). Representatives from the IMF and UN Agencies participated, as well has several dozen senior Bank staff. Mr. Zoellick shared his vision for tackling these global crises and cited specific examples of Bank policies and programs implemented to address these. More…


7 – World Bank Data Now in Google Search Results
The World Bank in collaboration with Google has launched a special public data search feature. At this stage, 17 of the Bank’s World Development Indicators can be searched by country including: CO2 emissions per capita, electricity consumption per capita, energy use per capita, exports as percentage of GDP, etc. This initiative is part of an ongoing World Bank effort to make data more accessible and understandable for everyone. From Google search results, which feature a Public Data graphing tool, users can click directly into a new World Bank Data Finder. Data Finder allows users to access indicator definitions, quick facts, interactive maps, and additional World Bank related resources. All of these features can be easily exported and embedded on other websites. More…

8 -- World Development Report 2010 on Climate Change Now Online!
After more than a year's consultation, writing, and refining, the World Bank’s 2010 World Development Report on Climate Change is now available in its final form online. This final version contains quite a few changes to the text and graphics of the advance files that were posted in September. The report can be accessed full text online free of charge! The overview is also available in Arabic, Chinese, French, Portuguese, Russian, and Spanish. Please visit the Bank’s climate change blog to add your comments and the institution’s suite of multilingual websites which contain a wealth of materials on the topic, including multimedia. Also share the link ( with anyone you think might be interested.


9 - World Bank Reform: Governance, Business Model and Products
The World Bank Group is advancing multiple reforms to promote inclusiveness, innovation, efficiency, effectiveness, and accountability. It is expanding cooperation with the UN, the IMF, other multilateral development banks, donors, civil society, and foundations. In addition, the Bank is undertaking a major effort to overhaul its investment lending (ILs), development policy lending models (DPLs) and Country Assistance Strategies (CASs). The aim is to develop innovative business model and products that will provide clients with more flexible instruments, faster response time, improve risk management, and sharpen the focus on results. See the following links for:
Regular updates on World Bank Reform 
Investment Lending Reform 
Development Policy Lending Reform 
Country Assistance Strategies Retrospective and Future Directions

10 - Agriculture and Rural Development Action Plan
The World Bank has launched a new agriculture and rural development action plan in order to scale up its support for agriculture worldwide. The plan is based on three basic premises: : that three quarters of the world’s poor live by farming small plots of land; that population pressures and demand for new fuels will add to world demand for crops, while climate change could bring smaller yields; that long-term, strategic investments in agriculture can reduce hunger and poverty, and help the poor and the planet better cope with the effects of climate change. Watch video…


11 - IFC Bond Provides Platform for Japanese Investments in Microfinance
IFC announced on October 27 that it will list a bond to increase access to finance for poor and low-income entrepreneurs in developing countries. The bond will raise $300 million which is a comparable to IFC’s annual microfinance program in recent years. “Micro and small enterprises are key engines of employment generation in developing countries, but they rarely have access to services provided by formal financial institutions,” said Lars Thunell, IFC Executive Vice President and CEO. “Through this bond, IFC can extend the impact of its own activities in microfinance while providing a platform for Japanese investors to create opportunities where they are needed most.” Read more ...




Africa to Receive $1.1 Billion in New Financing for Climate Action
The World Bank and its partners through a jointly implemented Climate Investment Funds have boosted Africa’s efforts to invest in clean energy and prepare for the devastating consequences of climate change. In a recent Trustee meeting Barcelona, six African countries were nominated to receive $1.1 billion in new financing for climate action. These will cover a range of projects from solar water heaters to wind power development and development policy planning, to other new, scalable investments. Read more…


China Quarterly Update: Growth is Likely to Remain Robust
The World Bank’s economic data for the third quarter of 2009, released recently, confirmed an impressive recovery in China’s economy, supported by very large fiscal and monetary stimulus. Real GDP growth rose to 8.9 percent year-on-year in the third quarter. This is clearly good news, for China and many other countries whose economies are benefiting at the moment from strong demand from China. As the Bank’s economic team for China argues in more detail in the new China Quarterly Update, it also means that it’s time to consider a less expansionary macroeconomic policy stance and focus more on the structural reforms needed to rebalance the economy and get more growth out of the domestic economy on a sustained basis. Read more… 



Turkey’s Greatest Untapped Potential? Women
Female labor force participation can yield substantial social and economic dividends, says a new report from the World Bank and the Turkish Government. This report recently launched and co-authored by the World Bank and Turkey’s State Planning Organization (SPO) states that increasing the number of women who are actively employed in Turkey would reduce poverty, increase national economic output, and lead to improvements in social indicators like health and children’s education outcomes. The joint report investigates the reasons why a lower share of women participate in the labor force in Turkey than in the EU and OECD on average, and why that share has been decreasing. The report intends to inform policies promoting more and better jobs for women in Turkey. More… 


Argentina Supports Bank’s Capital Increase
The Argentinean President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner recently met with the World Bank Vice President for Latin America and the Caribbean Pamela Cox. During this meeting, President Kirchner made clear her support for a capital increase for the World Bank to allow it to continue providing the financial resources needed by Latin American countries for consolidating recovery from the global financial crisis. “Multilateral development banking institutions – both regional organizations and the World Bank – have contributed resources that were vital in alleviating the impact of a crisis that came from abroad. It is critical that these efforts continue in time, and it is therefore imperative that they be adequately capitalized,” said President Fernandez de Kirchner. Read more… 


REPORT - MENA Sets Business Regulatory Reform Pace 
The Middle East and North Africa (MENA) is the second most reforming region according to Doing Business 2010. Investigators and prosecutors from nine countries on the Mediterranean coast joined forces recently to step up the fight against marine pollution. Governments in the MENA Region are now reforming at a rate similar to those in Eastern Europe and Central Asia. Seventeen of 19 economies reformed in 2008/09. Egypt, Jordan and the United Arab Emirates were among the most active reformers. More... 


IFC Supports Private Sector Growth and Investment Climate Reform in Bangladesh
The International Finance Corporation (IFC), a member of the World Bank Group, will increase its investments and advisory services in Bangladesh to help the country strengthen its private sector, create jobs, and better mitigate climate change. During a recent visit to Dhaka, Rachel Kyte, IFC Vice President for Business Advisory Services, pledged to strengthen IFC’s partnership with Bangladesh “to encourage reform and private sector investment that will improve lives and help the economy thrive.” Read more… 


NGO Relationship Adviser – Opening Closing December 3, 2009:

The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), Civil Society Engagement unit is seeking an NGO Adviser. This unit helps manage the Bank’s reputation through facilitating the ongoing dialogue and engagement with non-governmental organizations, policy think-tanks, academic research institutes, professional associations, business development organizations and other civil society stakeholders. The position is based in London. For more information and to apply, go to EBRD jobs…

For jobs and other opportunities at the World Bank, please visit:



Migration and Remittance Trends 2009
On the People Move blog, Dilip Ratha discusses the just released Migration and Development Brief by the World Bank, which reports the latest data on remittance flows. Newly available data show that officially recorded remittance flows to developing countries reached $338 billion in 2008, higher than the previous estimate of $328 billion. Based on monthly and quarterly data released by some central banks and in line with the Bank’s global economic outlook, the report estimates that remittance flows to developing countries will fall to $317 billion in 2009. This 6.1 percent decline is smaller than the earlier expectation of a 7.3 percent fall. Read more…


Restoring Balance: Bangladesh's Rural Energy Realities
Rural energy’s importance to the Bangladesh economy cannot be underestimated. The problems rural people face in obtaining safe, clean, and reliable energy supplies are not minor inconveniences. People are cooking with biomass fuels including large amounts of leaves and grass that expose them harmful indoor air pollution. They light with kerosene or sometimes candles which give off a dim light that hampers studying and reading in the evening. Finally, rural productivity suffers because of lack of access to modern energy. However, the picture also is not all bleak. This study underscores how improved access to rural energy services can created multiple benefits for rural life—from income and labor productivity to education and women’s health. Read more… 

Full list of available publications


Jobs for a Globalizing World: World Bank Labor Market Policy Core Course
The Social Protection & Labor Anchor and the World Bank Institute are pleased to invite you to the above course taking place in Washington DC from March 29 through April 9, 2010. This course offers a unique and comprehensive learning experience on how labor markets are being transformed in today's rapidly changing environment and what policy-makers should be doing about it. It builds on new research findings, as well as on practical lessons learned from the World Bank's unique global experience. It offers the distinct advantage of placing labor market issues and policy interventions within the broader context of overall economic and social development. The deadline for application is December 7, 2009. For registration which is required, go to: 

Visit this site for more information and to apply


Policy Advocacy Course: Citizen Engagement for Good Governance
World Learning's SIT Graduate Institute will offer a section of its 3-credit Policy Advocacy course in an intensive workshop and seminar format in Washington DC from January 9-29, 2010. The course is intended for graduate students at area universities and international development career professionals, in addition to students from the SIT Graduate Institute in Vermont. This is a 3-credit course that will be conducted during late afternoons on weekdays and on Saturday mornings to accommodate working professionals. The three course modules: (i) Classroom Learning, (ii) Field Visits and (iii) Independent Project are designed to foster individual and group learning on Policy Advocacy, Governance Reforms and Social Justice. More…

The 2009 Ibrahim Index - Measuring Good Governance in Africa
The Ibrahim Index of African Governance is a comprehensive ranking of African countries according to governance quality by government and non-state actors. Funded and led an African institution, the Ibrahim Index aims to be Africa’s leading assessment of governance that informs and empowers citizens to hold their governments and public institutions to account. Thus the index has been designed to stimulate debate in a constructive way and establish a framework for good governance in Africa. The Index assesses governance against 84 criteria and four broad indicators: safety and rule of law; participation and human rights; sustainable economic opportunity; and human development. To see the full results of the 2009 Ibrahim Index in graphical and tabular format and to learn more about the compilation of the index please visit... 

Terra Viva Grants
Terra Viva Grants is an online directory for identifying where to look for grants in the “green sectors” of international conservation and development. It is a free site, and it features detailed profiles of over 300 grant makers worldwide in environment, natural resources, energy, and agriculture. The site maintains an updated grants calendar, other funding news, and information resources for grant seekers. More… 

* Inclusion in this newsletter does not imply World Bank support or endorsement of these activities. If you would like to advertise your event or initiative in our newsletter, please send an email to:


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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