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Civil Society Engagement eNewsletter - July 2010

1. World Bank Broadens Public Access to Information
2. CSOs Collaborate Actively on Access to Information Roll Out
3. CSOs Participate in Agriculture and Food Security Trust Fund Allocations
4. World Bank Group Finances Record $72 Billion to Help Developing Face Crisis
5. IDA Delivering Results for the World's Poorest Countries
6. Liberia and Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) Receive Debt Relief
7. Bank Chief Economist Discusses Growth Policies on Oxfam Blog
8. CSO Participants Provide Useful Feedback on 2010 Spring Meetings
9. World Bank Names Three New Vice Presidents
10. Historic Support to Haiti from Dominican Civil Society
11. World Bank Appoints New AIDS Director, Prepares for International AIDS Conference
12. Supporting Youth Engagement in Cambodia
13. The World Bank Appoints Special Envoy for Climate Change
14. Investing Across Borders: IFC Launches Report on Impediments to Foreign Direct Investments 
 

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

1. World Bank Broadens Public Access to Information
On July 1, 2010 the World Bank’s new Access to Information Policy was launched, making more information available to the public than ever before. The policy, approved by the Board of Executive Directors in November 2009, is a paradigm change to a ‘presumption of disclosure’ where all Bank documents are public unless on a list of exceptions, and an appeals mechanism has been established. It is broadly based on information laws adopted by India and the United States. According to Robert B. Zoellick, World Bank President, "this new policy constitutes a major shift in the Bank's approach to information disclosure, transparency, sharing of knowledge, and accountability.” More… 

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2. CSOs Collaborate Actively on Access to Information Roll Out
A number of CSOs played a significant role in the implementation planning phase of the Bank’s new Access to Information policy which was rolled out on July 1. CSO representatives worked closely with the Bank’s Access to Information Working Group (AIWG) in order to provide input and make suggestions on various aspects of the implementation plan such as translation requirements, user accessibility, and staff training. CSOs have been involved in the consultation phase of Bank policies in the past, but this is the first time that they have been involved in the implementation process of a major Bank policy and thus represents an important precedent. More...


3. CSOs Participate in Agriculture and Food Security Trust Fund Allocations
Three months after international donor agencies set up a new funding mechanism, Global Agriculture and Food Security Program (GAFSP), to support low-income countries as they scale-up support for agriculture and food security, almost $225 million for those countries has been approved for distribution and is on its way for implementation. The grants will benefit an estimated two million people in rural areas as each country works to increase food security, raise rural incomes, and reduce poverty. A unique feature of the program is that CSOs participate in GAFSP's Steering Group alongside representatives from donor agencies, recipient governments, and multilateral organizations. More... 

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4. World Bank Group Finances Record $72 Billion to Help Developing Countries Face Crisis
The World Bank Group committed more than $72 billion in fiscal year 2010, the highest level ever, to help developing countries face a fragile and uneven recovery to the financial crisis. In FY10 (July 1, 2009 – June 30, 2010), the Bank Group supported an estimated 875 projects to promote economic growth, poverty reduction, private enterprise development, and infrastructure; as well as support education, health, nutrition, population efforts. This assistance was provided via loans, grants, equity investments, and guarantees. More…

5. IDA Delivering Results for the World's Poorest Countries 
The World Bank’s concessional finance window, the International Development Association (IDA), is hard at work, delivering results for the poorest countries in light of the global financial crisis. Whether it is reducing malaria by 30% in Zambia, improving health systems to drastically increase life expectancies in Armenia, or expanding access to water to 94% of the population of Burkina Faso, IDA has been improving development outcomes in 79 countries. Learn more about what IDA is doing, watch a video of its results, and track IDA’s progress with an interactive timeline. More…

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6. Liberia and Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) Receive Debt Relief 
The International Monetary Fund and the World Bank's International Development Association (IDA) recently announced debt relief packages for these two low-income African countries under the Highly Indebted Poor Countries (HIPC) initiatives. Liberia received debt relief totaling $4.6 billion, and the DRC debt relief of US$12.3 billion. As a result of this relief, Liberia and DRC will no longer face a heavy debt service burden in relation to their revenue and foreign exchange resources. In case of Liberia, the debt relief should free up resources for it to spend on rebuilding from years of civil conflict, which left infrastructure in ruin and a generation of traumatized child soldiers in the West African country. And for DRC it is hoped that this will help the government strengthen the rule of law and improve governance – especially in the oil and mining sectors.
Liberia's debt relief full story
DRC's debt relief full story 


7. Bank Chief Economist Discusses Growth Policies on Oxfam Blog
The Bank’s Chief Economist, Justin Lin, was invited to be a guest on the blog maintained by Duncan Green, head of research for Oxfam/GB on his From Poverty to Power blog site. The exchange was based on a paper recently released by Justin entitled "Growth Identification and Facilitation", which focuses on the role governments can play in promoting economic growth through industrial policies. This was an interesting exchange of views which points to the increasing potential of the blogosphere to promote more informal and interactive policy dialogue between the Bank and CSOs. More... 

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8. CSO Participants Provide Useful Feedback on 2010 Spring Meetings
CSO participants surveyed after the 2010 Spring Meetings gave high marks for the logistics, policy sessions, and overall usefulness of the Civil Society Policy Forum. They also shared comments on what they felt worked well (e.g. diversity of topics, better understanding of the Bank ) and provided specific suggestions on how to improve the CS Forum in the future. These included: avoiding too many simultaneous sessions, more time built into the schedule for participants interactions, and greater access to Bank / Fund staff. More... 


9. World Bank Names Three New Vice Presidents
The World Bank President Robert B. Zoellick announced the appointments of three new Vice Presidents to mark the start of the 2011 fiscal year which started on July 1, 2010. These appointments include Ms. Inger Andersen as Vice President of the Sustainable Development Network; Mr. Joachim von Amsberg as Vice President Operations Policy and Country Services and Caroline Anstey as Vice President External Affairs. These new appointments come in the wake of the largest lending levels in Bank history, and are in line with the commitment to reach gender balance in senior management by 2012. More...

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10. Historic Support to Haiti from Dominican Civil Society
After the devastating January 12th earthquake in Haiti, the Social Development Civil Society Fund (CSF) provided unprecedented support to the World Bank’s Dominican Republic Country Office through the provision of US$181,000 that supported thirteen initiatives in support of the recovery effort in Haiti. This financing will support the promotion of disaster mitigation; cross-border trading programs for women entrepreneurs, sexual and reproductive health attention for youth, and reduction of potential gender-based violence among others issues. The CSF has supported the Dominican Republic since 2001, providing over US$250,000 towards the civic engagement of the most vulnerable. More...


11. World Bank Appoints New AIDS Director, Prepares for International AIDS Conference
Five years until the Millennium Development Goals deadline, and days until the XVII International AIDS Conference in Vienna, the World Bank is reinforcing its focus on the HIV/AIDS fight. A further indication of this is the appointment of Dr. David Wilson as the new Global HIV/AIDS Program Director. Dr. Wilson, a Zimbabwe national, will lead the Bank's conference delegation to the Vienna conference. Wilson will lead the Bank’s global HIV/AIDS strategy by focusing on four key areas: promoting effective HIV prevention strategies; helping countries strengthen their public health systems to ensure that antiretroviral treatment is reliable and can be sustained; integrating HIV response into the Bank’s broader work on social safety nets and other development interventions; and helping countries better target their responses. In FY10, the Bank disbursed $327.4 million for existing HIV/AIDS programs and committed $303.8 million in new initiatives. It also provided assistance to 65 countries so they could improve their national HIV/AIDS responses via the AIDS Strategy & Action Plan.

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12. Supporting Youth Engagement in Cambodia
The World Bank Civil Society Fund (formerly known as the Small Grants Program) is helping Cambodia's youth engage in community development. By supporting civil society organizations that encourage engagement of poor and marginalized groups, the Civil Society Fund is helping local people participate in decision making to improve community development, service delivery and good governance. Read the stories of community members who have found new motivation and confidence through the program. More…


13. The World Bank Appoints Special Envoy for Climate Change
The World Bank recently announced the appointment of Andrew Steer, a UK national as Special Envoy for Climate Change for the institution. This new position which took effect from July 1, 2010 was created amid unprecedented demand from developing countries for Bank support in their efforts to address development and climate change as interlinked challenges. Steer, a UK national, returns to the World Bank after three years as Director General, Policy and Research at the UK Department of International Development (DFID) in London. In earlier years at the World Bank he held a number of positions including Country Director for Indonesia and Vietnam and Director of the Environmental Department. Steer will guide the Bank's work on climate change, oversee the Climate Investment Fund, co-chair the Strategic Climate Fund, and help mobilize climate financing. More… 

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14. Investing Across Borders: IFC Launches Report on Impediments to Foreign Direct Investments 
The IFC just launched on July 7 in Vienna, Austria, a new report by the World Bank Group meant to compare regulation of foreign direct investment around the world. The report presents quantitative indicators on economies' laws, regulations, and practices affecting how foreign companies invest across sectors, start businesses, access industrial land, and arbitrate commercial disputes. According to the first issue of this report, overly restrictive and obsolete laws are an impediment to foreign direct investment, and their poor implementation creates additional costs to investment. More...

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REGIONAL NEWS AND PROJECTS

AFRICA

Consultations Continue on World Bank Strategy for Africa
Since June 1, consultative meetings have been held in 26 African countries as well as in France, Germany and Denmark, to discuss the World Bank’s strategy for Africa. To date consultation meetings have involved several hundred representatives of the private sector, civil society, government, academia, and media. Among the issues raised so far by participants are: importance of the private sector as the driver of growth; the need for targeted support to local entrepreneurs especially small and medium enterprises; and improved governance and the capacity of governments to manage resources. Consultations will continue between July 15 and July 26 with meetings in Guinea, United States, South Africa and Uganda. To participate, please visit....


EAST ASIA AND THE PACIFIC

Climate Investment Finance (CIF) Pilot Programs Kick Off in the Philippines
The Philippines on June 29, 2010, received from the World Bank a US$4.974 million grant for a CIF pilot project called the Climate Change Adaptation Project (CCAP). The CIF is designed to enable targeted rural communities cope with the impact of climate change. The Philippines has one of the highest exposures to climate change risks—including typhoons, floods, landslides, and droughts—of any country in the world. Specifically, this pilot project aims to develop and demonstrate cost-effective adaptation strategies in agriculture and natural resources management and strengthen the country’s institutional framework for climate change adaptation. More...

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EUROPE AND CENTRAL ASIA

Advancing Innovation in the Republic of Tatarstan
In cooperation with the Government of Tatarstan, the World Bank on July 9, 2010 launched a new report titled “Advancing Innovation in the Republic of Tatarstan: A Framework for Competing and Thriving in the Global Economy”. This report proposes a number of measures to ensure Tatarstan leverages its strengths by addressing a number of existing challenges to innovations. The study identified several areas in which regional innovation policy could differentiate itself from Federal innovation policies, to address regional peculiarities but also to complement some of the gaps in existing Federal policies. More...


LATIN AMERICA AND THE CARIBBEAN

World Bank Debars Fraudulent Bolivian Firm and Owner
The World Bank Group announced on July 13 that it has debarred the Bolivian firm, Sanea S.R.L. and its General manager, Jorge Castro Perez for four incidents of fraud related to a Bank Group-financed project in that country. Sanea had won a contract to provide surveying services for the Bolivia National Land Administration Project, which was designed to clarify the country’s land tenure situation, identify land suitable for establishing small farmers’ settlements, and promoting more sustainable use of land resources. However, Sanea’s bid included four sets of falsified documents that misrepresented the company’s financial and technical capacity to undertake the relevant work. The false documents submitted to win the WBG contract were discovered by Bolivian auditors reviewing Sanea’s financial records during a criminal investigation of Perez for drug trafficking. The Bolivian Presidential Anticorruption Delegate referred the matter to the Bank Group, leading to an investigation by its Integrity Vice Presidency (INT). More...

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MIDDLE EAST AND NORTH AFRICA

Demand for Financial Support Doubles in the Middle East and North Africa in the Wake of the Crisis
The World Bank committed a record $3.8 billion in fiscal year 2010 to support countries in the Middle East and North Africa as they recover from the financial crisis, representing a doubling over assistance in fiscal year 2009. “Our strategy to support the region continues to focus on generating growth and jobs as well as improving social protection for those people most in need,” said Shamshad Akhtar, World Bank Vice President for the region. More…


SOUTH ASIA

Addressing Energy, Revenue, and Security-Related Constraints at the Center of New World Bank Strategy for Pakistan
The World Bank’s Board of Executive Directors recently discussed a new Country Partnership Strategy (CPS) for Pakistan, and endorsed a proposed lending program of up to US$6.2 billion for fiscal years 2010-2013. The goal of the CPS, which is in direct support of Pakistan’s own Poverty Reduction Strategy, is to help steer its economy back onto a path of high growth by addressing the country’s key long-term constraints to growth. These constraints include weak revenue mobilization, unreliable energy supply, and a fragile security situation. The Bank will also continue its strong support to improve education and health systems, strengthen the potential for increased and more productive labor force participation, reinforce safety net systems, and enhance the earning capacity of the poor and vulnerable. More... 

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JOBS

Senior Social Development Specialist - Jakarta, Indonesia (International Hire)
The World Bank’s Social Development unit in Indonesia supports Indonesia’s National Program for Community Empowerment. The unit is seeking a Sr. Social Development Specialist to be based in Indonesia and whose responsibilities will include Task team leadership or membership for a range of Community Development Projects in the Indonesia Social Development Unit. Interested candidates should submit applications not later than July 27, 2010. More... 

Social Development Specialist - Washington, DC (International Hire)
The World Bank's Operations Services Department (LCSOS) of the Latin America and Caribbean Region (LCR) is seeking a Social Development Specialist to be based in Washington DC. The Department’s mission amongs others is provide tools to implement the Bank’s agendas in combating corruption, mitigating risks, and managing for results, learning, and knowledge in the region. The selected candidate will among other tasks conduct safeguards reviews with particular emphasis on social safeguards policies (Involuntary Resettlement and Indigenous Peoples) for the full range of Bank operations in the region. Closing date for all applications is July 27, 2010. More...

For More Employment Opportunities at the World Bank, please visit....

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EVENTS

CIVICUS 9th World Assembly, 20 to 23 August 2010 in Montréal, Canada
The World Bank Vice President for the Poverty Reduction and Economic Management (PREM)Network, Otaviano Canuto has been confirmed to attend this year's CIVICUS World Assembly. The World Alliance for Citizen Participation (CIVICUS) is an international alliance of members and partners which constitutes an influential network of organisations at the local, national, regional and international levels. Founded in 1993 and based in South Africa, CIVICUS has worked for 16 years to strengthen citizen action and civil society throughout the world, especially in areas where participatory democracy and citizens' freedom of association are threatened. On this 9th edition of its annual general assembly participants will be discussing various developmental issues such as Development Effectiveness, Climate Justice and The Challenges Economic Justice. Otaviano Canuto will be participating in the Economic Justice and sharing ideas on the World Bank's tool for helping the poorest nations called - International Development Association (IDA). More...



ON THE BLOGS

WikiLeaks: “The Intelligence Agency of the People”
This is a blog by Naniette Coleman, a Consultant in the World Bank on WikiLeaks; a tool recently described by Time Magazine as having the potential to "become as important a journalistic tool as the Freedom of Information Act". This blogger suggests that this might be a tool for fighting corruption or a conspiracy theorist’s dream. Wikileaks claims to have a “history of breaking major stories in every major media outlet and robustly protecting sources and press freedoms.” Read... 

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PUBLICATIONS / PODCASTS

How Well Is the Bank Doing on Gender?
Each year the World Bank Group takes stock of its progress implementing its Gender Mainstreaming Strategy, a strategy approved in 2001 that calls for the Bank’s backing of policies that create opportunity for both women and men in their countries’ development. In general the Bank is getting much better at integrating gender concerns into the structure of its day-to-day operations – in particular within its primary development document, the CAS (Country Assistance Strategy). However, though gender issues are increasingly included in the CAS, this has yet to reach 100 percent, as per Bank policy. More…


Low-Carbon Growth in Brazil
Brazil could reduce its greenhouse gas emissions by up to 37% by 2030, without negatively affecting growth or jobs, says a new World Bank study of low-carbon development scenarios in Brazil. The Brazil Low Carbon Study indicates that the country can mitigate and reduce emissions in areas such as changes in land use, energy, transportation and waste management, with no impact on economic development. More…

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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


Last updated: 2010-07-15




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