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Civil Society Engagement eNewsletter - May 2010

1. Bank – CSOs Debate Energy Strategy During the Spring Meetings
2. Bank Reforms Voting Power, Gets $86 Billion Capital Increase
3. CSOs Join the Global Food Security Trust Fund
4. Bank Launches Trade Strategy Consultations
5. Bank Provides Up Free Access to Global Development Database
6. Global Monitoring Report 2010: The MDGs After the Crisis
7. Brazil Becomes First Major Contributor to Haiti Reconstruction Fund
8. Indonesian Finance Minister to Join The World Bank
9. Opportunities and Challenges of Higher Education in East Asia – Feed Back Solicited
10. World Bank, National Geographic Join Forces to Save Tigers, Big Cats
11. World Bank Group Debars Macmillan Limited for Corruption
12. Bank Helps Countries Go Greener 


REGIONAL NEWS AND PROJECTS
JOBS
EVENTS
ON THE BLOGS
PUBLICATIONS / PODCASTS


1. Bank – CSOs Debate Energy Strategy During the Spring Meetings
The Civil Society Policy Forum (CS Forum) was held on April 22 – 25 just before and during the 2010 Spring Meetings in Washington, DC. The CS Forum was comprised of 40 policy dialogue sessions on a wide range of topics. The topic which sparked the most interest was energy policy as the Bank is in the midst of a year-long process to review its global energy strategy. Four sessions (three organized by CSOs) were held to offer differing perspectives on how the Bank should increase support for renewable forms of energy. These Spring Meetings represented, once again, record civil society participation both in terms of the number of CSO representatives in attendance and number of sessions at the CS Forum. More

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2. Bank Reforms Voting Power, Gets $86 Capital Increase 
The World Bank/IMF 2010 Spring Meetings concluded with agreement on a historic package of measures that included boosting the World Bank Group’s capital by more than $86 billion and a shift in voting power that gives more influence to developing countries. The 186 countries that own the World Bank Group also backed the Bank’s new post-crisis strategy, and a comprehensive reform package to make the Bank faster, more flexible, and more accountable. According to the World Bank Group President, Robert B. Zoellick , “this extra capital can be deployed to create jobs and protect the most vulnerable through investments in infrastructure, small and medium sized enterprises, and safety nets. More… 

 


3. CSOs Join the Global Food Security Trust Fund
Civil Society representatives were present at the launch and first meeting of the Steering Committee of the Global Agriculture and Food Security Trust Fund (GAFSP) which is administered by the Bank and financed (so far) by the governments of the Canada, Spain, and United States, and Gates Foundation. This is the first time that CSOs participate in the governance mechanism of a Bank-managed trust fund in the areas of agriculture and food security. This follows the five Food Crisis Roundtables Mr. Zoellick held with CSOs since March 2008 in which there was an expressed common interest to promote greater operational collaboration. There will be two CSO representatives (one each from the North and South) on the Steering Committee, and several CSO networks are in the process of selecting their representatives. More …

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4. World Bank Launches Trade Strategy Consultations
The World Bank Group recently launched consultations to gather input for a trade strategy, which is expected to be completed in late 2010. The consultations will be part of a broad effort to gather a wide range of views on how the World Bank Group can help developing countries create opportunities for the poor and grow economies sustainably. The first consultation meeting with CSOs was held during the Civil Society Policy Forum on April 23, and additional meetings will be held in Europe and other regions in the coming months. View the Strategy approach and Consultations plan as well as share your views. More... 


5. Bank Provides Free Access to Global Development Database
On April 20, 2010, President Robert B. Zoellick of The World Bank Group announced the institution’s new Open Data Policy. The Bank is now providing free, open, and easy access to its comprehensive set of data on global development. Some 2,000 indicators, including hundreds that go back 50 years will be available at the new interactive website “http://data.worldbank.org,” which offers advanced and accurate searches of databases, data visualization tools, and applications for developers. The data will be available in Arabic, English, French and Spanish for now and in additional languages in the future. The Bank’s new policy underscores its commitment to transparency and accountability. More…
 

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6. Global Monitoring Report 2010: The MDGs After the Crisis
The 2010 Global Monitoring Report was launched on April 23 at the World Bank Headquarters. The report finds that the global crisis has slowed the pace of poverty reduction and is hampering progress toward other MDGs, but the effects might have been much more serious without sound pre-crisis policy reforms by developing countries. At the press conference during the launch, World Bank Chief Economist Justin Lin, IMF Deputy Managing Director Murilo Portugal and Delfin Go (lead author) also stressed that concerted efforts by International Financial Institutions (IFIs) also were essential in countering the effects of the crisis. More… 



7. Brazil Becomes First Major Contributor to Haiti Reconstruction Fund
The Haiti Reconstruction Fund (HRF) gathered momentum recently after Brazil contributed US$55 million to the multilateral mechanism set up to help the Caribbean nation rebuild following the devastating January 2010 earthquake. On May 11, 2010, Brazil became the first donor country to make such contribution, but at least 14 other countries are expected to contribute to replenish the fund, which the World Bank oversees as its fiscal agent and administrator. “Brazil leadership in supporting Haiti underscores an important feature of our multipolar world where emerging powers are taking on new responsibilities to assist those struggling with major development challenges,” said President Zoellick during the signing ceremony held at the World Bank’s Washington D.C headquarters. More... 

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8. Indonesian Finance Minister to Join The World Bank
Sri Mulyani Indrawati, Indonesia's finance minister, will be taking a senior position with the World Bank starting June 2010??. Ms Mulyani is widely credited with spearheading key macroeconomic reforms that helped make Indonesia the world's third-best performing economy in 2009. She has been lauded by the World Bank and others for her reform drives and anti-corruption efforts, including cleaning out the state Customs Department and more recently the Directorate-General of Taxation. In her new role Ms. Indrawati will supervise Latin America and the Caribbean, the Middle East and North Africa, and East Asia and the Pacific. Other recent high level appointments include Inger Anderson who will be Vice President for Sustainable Development, Carolyn Anstey will be Vice President for External Affairs, and Joachim von Amsberg will be Vice President for Operations Policy and Country Systems. More… 



9. Opportunities and Challenges of Higher Education in East Asia – Feed Back Solicited
While it’s widely accepted that higher education is critical to fostering growth and development in East Asia, it’s less clear that this sector is keeping up with the changing skills that will be needed by the region’s labor markets. The World Bank is analyzing a number of case studies to shed further light on emerging educational trends in both the region as a whole and in specific countries. Initial results show that, without structural shifts in higher education, lower to middle-income East Asian countries may hit a “glass ceiling” of development. You are invited to review the case studies and provide feedback on the opportunities and challenges of higher education in East Asia. More…

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10. World Bank, National Geographic Join Forces to Save Tigers, Big Cats
On April 21, 2010, the World Bank and National Geographic announced a joint effort to save the tiger and other big cats, symbols of the threat to global biodiversity. In the Year of the Tiger and on the eve of Earth Day, organizations that are part of the Global Tiger Initiative met in Washington to inaugurate National Geographic’s “Vanishing Icons” photo exhibit, dedicated to saving tigers and other big cats from extinction and expanding knowledge about the connection between biodiversity conservation and development. According to President Zoellick of the World Bank, “If we fail to save the tiger, its loss would be a dramatic indication of our failure to safeguard biodiversity and its largely untapped potential to spur balanced development.” More… 



11. World Bank Group Debars Macmillan Limited for Corruption 
The World Bank Group has debarred Macmillan Limited, a U.K. publishing company, declaring the company ineligible to be awarded Bank-financed contracts for a period of six years in the wake of the company’s admission of bribery payments relating to a Trust Fund-supported education project in Southern Sudan. The eight-year proposed debarment was reduced due to early admission of corrupt payments, and can be reduced to three years subject to continued cooperation. According to Mr. Leonard McCarthy, Integrity Vice President at the World Bank Group, this debarment demonstrates the World Bank’s unwavering commitment to ensuring all those who participate in World Bank-financed projects, including those who do not actually get contracts, are held to the highest levels of integrity, while also encouraging companies to come forward and join the Bank's fight against corruption. More…

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12. Bank Helps Countries Go Greener
It will be overstating the fact to say that Climate change is a major threat to hard-earned development gains around the world today. For this reason, the World Bank has stepped up its efforts to assist developing countries move to a greener development path through assistance that increases their resilience to climate risks and takes advantage of climate finance, private sector resources, and markets. This new commitment is best exemplified by the fact that Bank financing for climate-affected sectors reached $9.3 billion in the fiscal year 2009. The year also marked an all-time record in new renewable energy and energy efficiency financing of $1.3 billion, more than double that of fiscal year 2008. More...
 

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REGIONAL NEWS AND PROJECTS

AFRICA

Unleashing Entrepreneurship in Africa: Policy Choices Matter
Jobless growth has been rampant in Africa, where 7-10 million young people join the ranks of the unemployed each year. Speaking at a two-day summit on entrepreneurship organized by the White House in late April; the World Bank Vice President for the Africa Region Obiageli “Oby” Ezekwesili said that “unleashing entrepreneurship in Africa is heavily dependent on governments making the right policy choices”. In addition she noted the problematic propensity in Africa to emphasize large businesses at the expense of small and medium size enterprises. Small businesses create the most jobs in any economy, and governments across the continent can help facilitate the growth of small businesses by making the right policy choices, Ms. Ezekwesili said. More… 

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EAST ASIA AND THE PACIFIC

A Rising Middle-Income Nation - Impressive Development Results in Vietnam
As one of the fastest growing economies in the world—with average annual GDP growth of 7.2% during the decade prior to the FY08-09 economic slowdown—Vietnam has lifted some 35 million people out of poverty. Vietnam’s poverty rate fell from 58% in 1993 to 14% in 2008. The recent global economic crisis slowed the trajectory in Vietnam’s short term growth, but the government expects growth to rebound to 6.5% in 2010; and the World Bank’s country program is fully aligned with the Government’s Five Year Socio-Economic Development Plan. More...


EUROPE AND CENTRAL ASIA 

Energy Efficiency and Investments in Focus in Eastern Europe and Central Asia
The Eastern Europe and Central Asia region will face an energy crunch unless investments of more than $3 trillion are made over the next 20 years, says a recent World Bank report titled “Lights Out?”. Ukraine would be particularly hard hit should the energy crunch materialize. By adjusting tariffs, improving regulation, and attracting investments, Ukraine can save millions of US dollars, avoid the energy crunch, and improve its energy security in an environmentally sustainable manner. More…

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LATIN AMERICA AND THE CARIBBEAN 

Latin America Gets Greater Voice at World Bank after Voting Rights Increase
Latin America will have a greater voice and influence in World Bank decisions, following an increase in the voting rights of developing countries during the Bank’s Spring Meetings. Most countries in the region saw their voting power increase, with Mexico and Brazil getting the biggest boost. The World Bank Development Committee expanded the voting share of developing countries by 3.13%, increasing their collective share to 47.19%, after redistributing voting right from advanced nations to developing ones. According to World Bank President, Robert Zoellick, boosting voting rights of emerging economies is in line with new global realities, where developing nations play a growing role in the global architecture and the traditional First World-Third World paradigm is being replaced. More…
 


MIDDLE EAST AND NORTH AFRICA

World Bank’s Gas Flaring Reduction Partnership And MasdarTo Host First Middle East & North Africa Forum In Oman
In an effort to improve energy efficiency and reduce carbon emissions worldwide, the World Bank-led Global Gas Flaring Reduction partnership (GGFR) and Masdar, Abu Dhabi’s multifaceted renewable energy initiative, recently co-hosted the first Middle East & North Africa Forum on Flaring Reduction and Gas Utilization in Muscat, Oman. The regional forum, was also supported by authorities of the Sultanate of Oman. More...

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SOUTH ASIA 

Education in Bangladesh Continues to Improve
Bangladesh has made tremendous progress toward increasing both primary and secondary school enrollment. The World Bank supported ‘Reaching Out-of-School Children’ project has helped enroll more than 500,000 out-of-school children since 2004 through more than 15,000 schools in 60 high poverty districts. These schools provide education stipends, and distribute free books, stationeries and school uniforms. More than 90% of students who enrolled in 2005 completed grade five in 2009. Attendance is consistently high, and community members are deeply involved in establishing and managing new schools. Through initiatives like these, Bangladesh has also achieved one of the key Millennium Development Goals - gender parity in primary and secondary schooling. More… 


JOBS

Senior Social Development Specialist, Washington DC
The East Asia and Pacific (EAP) Region of the World Bank is seeking an expert in technical knowledge and policy guidance on various issues relating to involuntary resettlement and indigenous peoples, including on Inspection Panel cases. The selected candidate will be based in Washington DC and will lead/support a wide variety of social development, policy issues and safeguards-related functions for the Region as a whole, both in support of country-based social development staff and for activities with direct responsibility. Application closes on June 01, 2010. More... 

 Senior Social Development Specialist (Conflict), International Hire Nairobi, Kenya
The Africa Region of the World Bank is looking for a Senior Conflict and Development Specialist, to be based in Nairobi, to strengthen the quality and timeliness of the region's support to fragile and conflict-affected states throughout the Africa Region, with a particular focus on East Africa and the Horn of Africa. This recruitment should be seen in the context of the Region's decision to scale up its support to fragile states in the sub-region. Over the coming year, it is expected that a broader presence of sector staff will be built up in Nairobi to serve the Region's fragile states. Closing date is June 02, 2010. More...

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EVENTS 

Questions about Globalization and the Economic Crisis? Get answers from Nobel laureates at upcoming Development Debates.
On June 2, four Nobel Laureates in economics, Kenneth Arrow, Eric Maskin, James Mirrlees, and Robert Solow, will debate the question "What are the Development Challenges in a Post-Crisis World?" at the Annual Bank Conference on Development Economics (ABCDE 2010) holding from May 31 - June 2 in Stockholm, Sweden. The debate will be moderated by Stephanie Flanders, an award-winning British broadcast journalist, currently the BBC economics editor. The overall theme this year is Development Challenges in a Post-Crisis World and will focus on five broad topics: Environmental Commons and the Green Economy, Post-Crisis Debates on Development Strategy, The Political Economy of Fragile States, News Ways of Measuring Welfare, Social Programs and Transfers: Are We Learning? More… 

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ON THE BLOGS

The UN, the World Bank—and Twitter—Help Raise the Game on Malaria
Ray Chambers, the UN Secretary General’s Special Envoy for Malaria, was at the World Bank Headquarters recently to thank the World Bank President Robert Zoellick for $200 million in Bank funding for bed nets to help prevent malaria in Africa. Chambers conveyed a sense of great urgency as he described the UN’s sweeping campaign with 50 celebrities on Twitter—from Ashton Kutcher to Bill Gates— to raise the remaining half of the money required to ensure that all vulnerable people have bed nets by the end of the year 2010. More… 



PUBLICATIONS / PODCASTS

Yes Africa Can: Success Stories from a Dynamic Continent
The economic landscape of sub-Saharan Africa has changed dramatically since the mid-1990s, with stagnation giving way to dynamism in a broad swath of countries. A new study “Yes Africa Can: Success Stories from a Dynamic Continent” aims to change the dialogue on the continent by illustrating development successes at work. The study highlights, among other examples, increasing mango exports in Mali, the specialty coffee market in Rwanda, and a mobile-accessible electronic payment system in Kenya. More…


Indigenous Peoples Still Among Poorest in World, but Progress Reported in Some Countries
Indigenous peoples worldwide continue to suffer from higher poverty, lower education, and a greater incidence of disease and discrimination than other ethnic group, according to a new World Bank study – “Indigenous Peoples, Poverty, and Development”, launched in New York in late April. The study shows how success at achieving sustained growth and poverty reduction has helped indigenous peoples achieve better poverty, health, and education outcomes in some Asian countries. However, a poverty gap still persists between indigenous and non-indigenous populations, and while the gap is narrowing in China, it is stable or widening in most other countries. More… 

Full List of Available 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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