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Civil Society Engagement eNewsletter - December 2009

1. Bank – Civil Society Relations Debated at the Infoshop
2. CSOs Assess Quality and Relevance of Istanbul CS Policy Forum
3. Guidance Note on World Bank Multi-stakeholder Engagement
4. Environment Strategy Consultation Website in Numerous Languages
5. World Bank, World Food Program, and InterAction Debate Global Food Crisis
6. 10 Years of Carbon Finance Experience at the Bank
7. Bank-Siemens Settlement Directs $100 Million to Anti-Corruption Activities
8. School Meals Boost Education and Food Security for Children
9. Workers’ Remittances Fall Less Than Expected in 2009, But 2010 Recovery Likely To Be Shallow
10. Lessons from the Chad-Cameroon Oil Development and Pipeline Program
11. Greater Prevention Efforts Needed to Reverse Course of HIV/AIDS Epidemic
 


REGIONAL NEWS AND PROJECTS
JOBS
ON THE BLOGS
PUBLICATIONS / PODCASTS


1. Bank – Civil Society Relations Debated at the Infoshop 
The Civil Society Team launched its principal publication, “World Bank – Civil Society Engagement: Review of Fiscal Years 2007 – 2009” on December 8 at an Infoshop book launch. There were some 70 Bank staff, CSO representatives, and others in attendance. The report was presented by John Garrison (Senior Civil Society Specialist), and comments were made by Chad Dobson (Executive Director) of the Bank Information Center, and Alnoor Ebrahim (Associate Professor) of Harvard Business School. While acknowledging that the report documents important advances in Bank – civil relations over the past three years, both Chad and Alnoor made recommendations on how to improve the quality and consistency of this engagement. More 

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2. CSOs Assess Quality and Relevance of Istanbul CS Policy Forum
The World Bank and IMF Civil Society Teams solicited feedback from CSO representatives who attended the 2009 Annual Meetings in Istanbul, Turkey, on the quality and usefulness of the Civil Society Forum. A total of 158 respondents (30% response rate) participated in the online survey. Overall, they gave high marks (70% - 85%) on the ‘overall quality’ and ‘relevance’ of the Civil Society Forum. They pointed out that most of the sessions were useful to them professionally. They also noted that they were able to think of more concrete ways for further collaboration between their institutions and the World Bank/IMF. More… 


3. Guidance Note on World Bank Multi-stakeholder Engagement
As part of the implementation plan to strengthen World Bank Group engagement on governance and anticorruption, the Bank has prepared a Guidance note on multi-stakeholder engagement. This note provides guidance to staff on demand-side good practice and mandate issues vis-a-vis civil society engagement. Part two of this note discusses the applicable legal and policy considerations in more detail. And finally, part three provides guidance on good practice for ensuring the effectiveness of Bank interventions and that they are performed in a manner consistent with the Bank's mandate, with a particular focus on working with media, parliament, and civil society. More…

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4. Environment Strategy Consultations Website in Numerous Languages
The Environment Department of the World Bank is pleased to announce that the ongoing Environment Strategy 2010 Consultations' website is now available in Chinese, Spanish, Arabic, Portuguese, and French. This is part of the efforts to make this consultation process as inclusive and widespread as possible. Additionally, there are a number of upcoming events at which civil society participation are solicited and welcomed including Cote D’Ivoire, Senegal, and Croatia in December; Pakistan in January; and Spain, Sri Lanka, Kazakhstan, Bangladesh, Nepal, India, and France during February. For a full listing of the consultation schedule, please see 


5. World Bank, World Food Program, and InterAction Debate Global Food Crisis
Samuel Worthington, President and CEO of Interaction, Josette Sheeran, Executive Director of the United Nations World Food Programme, and World Bank President Robert B. Zoellick recently held a panel discussion on Global Hunger at the Brookings Institution in Washington. During the discussion these three leaders warned that the world needs to be prepared for another food crisis and take steps now to build food security in developing countries. Low food stocks, rising cereal prices, and the possibility that some rice-producing countries will have to import rice next year suggest food prices may rise in 2010. More...

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6. 10 Years of Carbon Finance Experience at the Bank
Carbon finance is an important revenue stream for greenhouse gas mitigation projects. It has so far played a catalytic role in leveraging other sources of finance in support of low carbon investments. However, there is still room for improvement, according to an initial assessment released recently by the Bank. The publication, 10 Years of Experience in Carbon Finance, looks at the Bank’s experience of working with the Kyoto Protocol’s flexibility mechanisms (Clean Development Mechanism and Joint Implementation). According to the assessment, the experience of carbon finance has – and continues to be – one of rich learning. Read More…


7. Bank-Siemens Settlement Directs $100 Million to Anti-Corruption Activities
As a result of a settlement reached with the Bank, Siemens AG will distribute funds totaling $100 million over 15 years to nonprofit organizations worldwide that promote business integrity and fight corruption. “Siemens stands for clean and sustainable business,” said Peter Y. Solmssen, member of the Managing Board and General Counsel of Siemens AG. “This initiative will boost our efforts for more business integrity and fair market conditions globally. We are looking forward to making this a joint success with the World Bank and other partners.” For eligibility and modalities for accessing the fund, read more…

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8. School Meals Boost Education and Food Security for Children
As governments worldwide continue to grapple with fallout from the global economic crisis, a new report from the World Bank and the World Food Programme (WFP) shows that school feeding and other food-based safety net programs are vital to keeping children in school, improving their learning and health, and promoting food security. Although the report says that most countries offer school meals to their students, poor countries face a double burden of trying to expand under-funded feeding programs while fending off the worst effects of the financial, food, and fuel crises, with too little support from the international aid community. More… 


9. Workers’ Remittances Fall Less Than Expected in 2009, But 2010 Recovery Likely To Be Shallow
Migrant workers have sent less money home during the economic crisis, but new data indicate that remittances overall will decline less than expected in 2009, thanks mainly to a remittance “boom“ in South Asia and strong flows to East Asia and the Pacific. New data indicate global remittances will fall to $317 billion in 2009, down from a higher-than-originally-predicted $338 billion in 2008. The expected 6.1 percent drop is smaller than the Bank’s July prediction of 7.3 percent. But the Bank warns that remittances may only have a shallow recovery in 2010 and 2011, especially if the economic recovery turns out to be jobless. More...

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10. Lessons from the Chad-Cameroon Oil Development and Pipeline Program
The Independent Evaluation Group (IEG) published their evaluation of the World Bank Group supported Chad-Cameroon Pipeline Program. The evaluation assessed the performance of a program of five World Bank financed projects, two IFC loans and three IFC advisory services operations in a cluster. In doing so, the evaluation combined an assessment of the development effectiveness of the program as a whole, with an assessment of each individual operation. Some of the main findings indicate that while the main project was technically well implemented and a financial success, the objectives of capacity building to manage the petroleum sector and helping Chad reduce poverty and improve governance were not met. However the IEG report stated that the World Bank Group involvement resulted in stronger environmental and social protection and in higher expenditure allocations to priority sectors than would have been the case otherwise.
For the full report, lessons learned and management response; please visit…


11. Greater Prevention Efforts Needed to Reverse Course of HIV/AIDS Epidemic
Marking World AIDS Day 2009 on December 1, the World Bank reaffirmed its commitment to fund effective HIV/AIDS prevention, care, and treatment programs in developing countries and urged countries and their development partners to intensify their efforts to prevent new HIV infections. The World Bank Group President Robert B. Zoellick applauded the considerable achievements by countries and development partners in expanding access to HIV/AIDS programs, while also noting the enormous challenges that remain. Preventing new infections, he said, remained vital to reaching the Millennium Development Goal of halting and reversing the HIV/AIDS epidemic. More...

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REGIONAL NEWS AND PROJECTS

AFRICA

Mauritania Seeks Harmonious Development through an Improved Business Climate
Despite its low ranking in World Bank “Doing Business” reports and numerous constraints identified in various studies, Mauritania has a wealth of attributes that should make it an attractive destination for foreign investors and help it generate sustained economic growth. A team of private sector experts from the World Bank recently visited the country as part of a move to formally re-launch World Bank operations after a 12-month crisis-related suspension. One of its primary goals was to re-start a 2008 Business Environment and Enterprise Performance (BEEP) survey. To better improve its performance and use its resources more judiciously, Mauritania received an envelope of $5 million in 2008 as part of the BEEP agreement. More... 

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EAST ASIA AND THE PACIFIC

Sectoral Governance Assessment in East Asia
The East Asia and the Pacific Region of the World Bank recently hosted a number of donors, non-governmental organizations, and governments to a conference that began assessing governance at the sectoral level in the region. While country-level assessments identify broader governance trends, and project-level assessments identify 'micro' risks within each project, this new sectoral level assessment is projected to bridge the two by analyzing how institutional and governance factors can affect overall organizational incentives, performance, and developmental risk. More…

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EUROPE AND CENTRAL ASIA

Financial Crisis Hits Pension Systems in Europe and Central Asia
The financial crisis has significantly impacted pension systems in the countries of Europe and Central Asia and many governments have been tempted to make policy changes in response to the increased pension deficits, says ‘Pensions in Crisis,’ a new Bank report. But despite the severity of the crisis, it pales in comparison to the demographic crisis the region will face, and Bank experts urge countries in the region not to make any policy changes focused on addressing short-term fiscal concerns that make the long-term even worse. More… 


LATIN AMERICA AND THE CARIBBEAN

Ibero-American Summit Backs World Banks’ Recapitalization
The heads of state and government of Ibero-America, gathered for the 19th Ibero-American Summit, expressed their support for the work carried out by the World Bank and the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) in Latin America and the Caribbean, and proposed increasing their capital in order to handle the region’s growing demand for financial assistance. In a press release, Ibero-American leaders indicated that they “support a substantial increase to the IDB’s and World Bank’s capital to ensure that they have sufficient resources to fulfill their mandates with regards to development financing”. More…

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MIDDLE EAST AND NORTH AFRICA

Competition, Not Privilege, Needed to Increase Private Investment and Job Creation
A new World Bank report, “From Privilege to Competition: Unlocking Private-Led Growth in the Middle East and North Africa” (MENA), finds that the private sector is not yet generating enough jobs to sustain higher growth in the region. An estimated 40 million new jobs need to be created in MENA over the next decade; for this to occur, countries in the region need to reduce discretion in the business environment to encourage more entrepreneurs to invest. The playing field must be leveled for the region’s businesses. It will require increasing transparency and strengthening institutions that enforce the rules, the report continues. More…



SOUTH ASIA

Energy Intensive Sectors of the Indian Economy: Options for Low Carbon Development
At the government of India’s request, the World Bank at the ongoing Climate Change Conference at Copenhagen presented some draft findings from its forthcoming study, Energy Intensive Sectors of the Indian Economy - Options for Low Carbon Development. The study, commissioned by the government of India in 2007, is likely to be completed in early 2010. The study looks at five sectors of the Indian economy that accounted for three-quarters of India’s CO2 emissions from energy use in 2007 – power generation, energy-intensive industries (including iron and steel, aluminum, cement, fertilizer, refining, and pulp and paper), road transportation, commercial buildings and residential housing. More…

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JOBS 

Senior Operations Officer – Location Abidjan, Cote d'Ivoire
The World Bank Africa Region’s Sustainable Development Department, the Fragile States, Conflict and Social Development Unit (AFTCS) plays a strategic, advisory and knowledge role for the Region’s work in these areas. AFTCS is currently seeking a Sr. Operations Officer (conflict and development) to manage selected conflict and fragile states operations, including those related to demobilization and reintegration of ex-combatants, and act as an advisor and resource person on conflict and state fragility in the Region. Closing Date is January 4, 2010. More…

Sr. Health Specialist – Location Washington, DC
The Sector Evaluations Unit of the Independent Evaluation Group (IEGSE) is seeking to hire a Sr. Health Specialist to undertake sector, thematic and project based evaluations of World Bank engagement in the health sector. The Independent Evaluation Group (IEG) is the main organizational unit in the World Bank Group providing evaluation and feedback on the development effectiveness of Bank activities in client countries. Closing Date for all applications is January 13, 2010. More… 

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ON THE BLOGS

World Development Report 2011 Launches Conflict Blog
The World Bank World Development Report (WDR 2011) team has launched a blog focusing exclusively on conflict-related issues and fragile states. The goal of the upcoming WDR is to contribute concrete, practical suggestions to the debate on how to address violent conflict and fragility. Solutions will likely involve cooperation between a wide variety of actors including politicians, administrators, security officials, and civil society representatives at the local, national, regional and global level. The conflict blog will be one of many ways to gather input, feedback and continue discussions with stakeholders around the world. Join the conversation…


PUBLICATIONS / PODCASTS 

Social Dimensions of Climate Change: Equity and Vulnerability in a Warming World
On the eve of the Copenhagen meetings, the Social Development Department of the World Bank announced the publication of “Social Dimensions of Climate Change: Equity and Vulnerability in a Warming World”. The book focuses attention on previously neglected and poorly understood social dimensions of climate change. It highlights equity and vulnerability as central organizing themes and illustrates the multiple ways that pro-poor climate policy and action should be integrated into existing approaches to poverty reduction and development—from the local to the global levels. To browse the book and share your comments, visit…. 

Development Outreach Magazine – Growing Out of Crisis
The December Edition of the World Bank Institute flagship magazine in the field of global knowledge for development was released on Monday December 14. This latest issue titled “Growing Out of Crisis” offers a multifaceted picture that sheds new light on the impact of the financial crisis from different perspectives and in different parts of the world, and discusses changes at national and international levels that would better protect us from the next crisis. The main questions it addresses are: what were the prevailing economic conditions when the crisis struck; what was the impact during the first year of the global crisis; what policies have the developing countries taken in response; and what effects will those policies have on output, employment, poverty, and public finances. More... 


Full List of Available World Bank Publications 

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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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