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Civil Society Engagement eNewsletter - February 2011

CONTENT

1. Zoellick: Bank Ready to Support Economic and Political Reforms in Middle East
2. Okonjo-Iweala: Food Price Volatility Still a Concern
3. Accreditation for Spring Meetings to Open on March 1
4. WB and Trade Unions Discuss Global Job Creation Policies
5. Public Voting Now Open: World Bank ‘Apps for Development’ Competition
6. Feedback Sought: Consultation on Bank’s Justice Reform Policies
7. Feedback Sought: World Bank's Social Protection & Labor Strategy
8. Global Innovation Competition Launched for Disaster Reconstruction
9. World Bank Country Office Holds Monthly Dialogue with Civil Society
10. Promoting Innovative Projects an Effective Way of Engaging Civil Society in Demand for Good Governance
11. Southern Sudan Advised to Involve Citizens Early in Development Strategies
12. Youth Unemployment in Middle East and North Africa 
 

 

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

MAIN STORIES

1. Zoellick: Bank Ready to Support Economic and Political Reforms in Middle East
The situation in the Middle East is "fragile" with countries like Egypt and Tunisia caught in a dilemma of "partial modernization" in which the political system does not allow the masses to benefit from economic advances, WB President stated to Reuters. Interviewed by phone from Berlin as riots raged across Egypt, Mr. Zoellick said the lender was ready to move quickly to support nations in the region as they press forward with economic and political reforms. More... 

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2. Okonjo-Iweala: Food Price Volatility Still a Concern
At the 2011 African Union Summit held on January 24 – 25 in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, WB Managing Director Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala addressed the heads of states, focusing on the danger presented by rising food prices. She also spoke to the New York Times, sharing her concern that “food prices are not only rising, but they are also volatile.” She said that the increase in the aggregate index has been driven primarily by grains – which increased by 21 percent between August and November 2010 – and that African countries are fortunate because the impact of this recent increase in food prices has not been as severe as the 2008 crisis. More...


3. Accreditation for 2011 Spring Meetings to Open on March 1
The 2011 World Bank and International Monetary Fund Spring Meetings will be held on April 16 and 17 in Washington, DC. CSO representatives interested in attending are encouraged to apply for online accreditation which will open on Tuesday, March 1 and closes on Monday, April 4. The Bank and IMF Civil Society Teams will also be organizing a Civil Society Policy Forum from Thursday, April 14 through Sunday, April 17. Information on the CS Forum and the schedule of sessions will be posted by March 1 on the Civil Society Website.

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4. WB and Trade Unions Discuss Global Job Creation Policies
The General Secretary of the International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC), Sharan Burrow, participated recently in discussions with World Bank President Robert Zoellick and IMF Managing Director Dominique Strauss-Kahn to discuss global economic recovery, job creation efforts, and other issues of common interest. The discussions, held in Washington on January 18 – 20, were part of a high level meeting which brought to Washington some 90 union leaders from 35 countries. This is the 4th biannual high level meeting held since 2002, which is part of a collaborative agreement between the Bank, Fund, and ITUC which involves annual technical workshops, ongoing information exchange, and staff secondments. More...


5. Public Voting Now Open: World Bank ‘Apps for Development’ Competition
The World Bank recently challenged software developers to create innovative software applications that bring new perspectives to development problems. The competition generated 107 apps entries from 36 countries, including games for children and statistical modeling tools. The Popular Choice Award will be determined by public vote and the winner will receive a cash award and a feature on the World Bank website. In other to help determine the winner, please cast your vote here for your favorite through February 28. See Press Release for more.

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6. Feedback Sought: Consultation on Bank’s Justice Reform Policies
The World Bank Group is preparing the second phase of its Governance and Anti-Corruption Strategy (GAC), which focuses on building capable states and enhancing development effectiveness. The Justice Reform unit under the guidance of a Bank-wide working group, is preparing a companion piece on Justice Reform which will complement and inform the GAC Strategy Phase II. The Bank now seeks input from external stakeholders on how the Bank can improve its work in justice reform to best support development effectiveness and poverty reduction. Online consultation and discussion began on February 8 and will run through March 15, 2011. To provide your input, please visit:


7. Feedback Sought: World Bank's Social Protection & Labor Strategy
Social Protection systems are central to prevention against drops in well-being, protection from destitution, and the promotion of improved opportunities and livelihoods. To respond more effectively to the emerging, fast-changing, and challenging global demands expected in the next decade, the World Bank is preparing a new Social Protection & Labor Strategy. On-line and face-to-face consultation process has been launched through May 2011 with a broad range of governments, development partners, civil society organizations, private sector, academics, and other stakeholders. To read the concept note and participate in the process, please visit:

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8. Global Innovation Competition Launched for Disaster Reconstruction
The Innovation Competition for Post-disaster Recovery and Reconstruction was recently launched to help identify the best local initiatives that could be replicated in disaster-hit areas around the world. Sponsored by the Global Facility for Disaster Reconstruction and Recovery (GFDRR), UN International Strategy for Disaster Reduction (ISDR), and the World Bank, the competition will showcase innovation in services, products, and approaches that have been implemented at the local level post-disaster. Three to five of the most innovative entrants will be invited (all expenses paid) to present their work at the World Reconstruction Conference being held in Geneva from May 10-13. The deadline for entries is March 1, 2011. More... 


9. World Bank Country Office Holds Monthly Dialogue with Civil Society
As part of the monthly dialogues that the World Bank has with different constituencies in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Country Director Marie Françoise Marie-Nelly held a meeting with Congolese civil society organizations on Tuesday, 25 January 2011. The meeting focused on the importance of the Bank's supported governance project in the DRC with the project Task Team Leader, Tony Verheijen, explaining the objectives and components of the project. Following an substantive dialogue, Ms. Marie-Nelly urged the CSOs to promote governance among their constituencies and to help ensure that World Bank supported projects have a real impact on the living conditions of the populations. More...

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10. Promoting Innovative Projects an Effective Way of Engaging Civil Society in Demand for Good Governance
The World Bank in collaboration with other partners recently launched a 60-second video clip innovation competition among CSOs in the Dominican Republic (DR) on promoting the voice of the most vulnerable. The submission covered several themes, such as: impact of rural and micro entrepreneur women in the national economy; the rights of former inmates to access to jobs and credit; and the rights of persons with disabilities. During the videos launch on February 10th, the WB Country Manager in the DR, Roby Senderowitsch, explained that the video clips will be widely disseminate to TVs and Cinemas across the country to promote a more equitable development process and a growth model that is inclusive. More... 


11. Southern Sudan Advised to Involve Citizens Early in Development Strategies
Following a historic referendum in Southern Sudan, the World Bank is at hand early on to offer advice to the leaders of the world’s soon-to-be newest independent nation to involve their citizens in devising development strategies. “There is no silver bullet for building a newly-independent nation like Southern Sudan,” said World Bank Vice President for the Africa Region Obiageli Ezekwesili. However, “there needs to be a clear and shared sense of joint investment in the future of a prosperous nation", Ms. Ezekwesili continued. More… 

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12. Youth Unemployment in Middle East and North Africa
Youth unemployment rate in the Middle East and North Africa is 25%, or the highest in the world according to recent World Bank research. Unemployment is taking its toll on young people, often forcing them to wait years to obtain housing, get married, and have children. The World Bank Group, including the private sector arm IFC and MIGA is working with the League of Arab States to jumpstart youth-oriented programs in the region. The Bank Group is also backing many national efforts in the region with financing, policy advice, and analytical work. It is also piloting innovative job-training program in Yemen and the Adolescent Girls Initiative in Jordan that could be scaled up for larger impact. More...



REGIONAL NEWS AND PROJECTS

AFRICA

Cocoa Cooperatives Increase Incomes for Sierra Leone’s Farmers
The World Bank is helping cocoa farmers in Sierra Leone to form independent cooperatives to increase the value of their cocoa, and their ability to market and export it. So far, nearly 13,000 farmers have joined these cooperatives, receiving better prices from private companies who buy the cocoa. According to Mary Kaikai, a war widow and local farmer, “Within our cooperatives, a new sense of ownership and greater assurance of economic security and social safety net is creeping through our member farmers.” More... 

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EAST ASIA AND THE PACIFIC

Land Grants in Cambodia Help Families Escape Poverty
A World Bank-supported land grant project in Cambodia is giving many widows hope to escape poverty. One such person is Khiev Hieng, a 58-year-old widow, who received a 30 x 40-meter plot to build a house on 3.5 hectares of agricultural land for herself and six family members. Hieng is one of 479 poor and land-poor families in Tipo commune in Kampong Thom province each granted farm land and a house plot through a project called Land Allocation for Social and Economic Development Project (LASED), which is financially supported by the World Bank and technically supported by the German Society for Technical Cooperation (GTZ). More…


EUROPE AND CENTRAL ASIA

Turkey - World Bank Partnership Delivers Results
Turkey’s partnership with the World Bank on a number of fronts has achieved fast, sustained, and equitable growth. The country has eliminated extreme poverty, achieved the 5th Millennium Development Goal (MDG) of improving maternal health, and is well on its way to reaching other MDGs by 2015. In addition, this partnership has delivered macroeconomic stabilization as well as a clean, sustainable, and reliable energy sector. More... 

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LATIN AMERICA AND THE CARIBBEAN

Brazil: World Bank Commits Funding and Expertise to Support Victims of Rio Mudslides
In response to the devastating landslides in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, the Bank has committed its global disaster management expertise and funding of $485 million to support recovery efforts and provide a safe environment for thousands of affected families. According to Brazilian authorities the new resources will support the government’s plan to relocate families from risk areas and build new homes for those displaced by the mudslides. Risk management training will also be provided with the new funding the government source added. More...


MIDDLE EAST AND NORTH AFRICA

Jordan: Building Confidence, Creating Job Opportunities, Changing Lives
As part of its global Adolescent Girls Initiative, the World Bank in collaboration with the Ministry of Planning and International Cooperation and other partners started a pilot project in Jordan to help Jordanian women enter the workforce with more confidence, sharper skills, and increased opportunities. Nine hundred (900) young Jordanian women are participating in this pilot program called, “Jordan New work Opportunities for Women (NOW)”. Borhan, a beneficiary of NOW had this to say, “Before I went into the program, I didn’t know what to expect, I didn’t know how to communicate well. I didn’t know how a CV is done. Now, I know how to meet with Human Resources and I know how to negotiate.” More... 

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SOUTH ASIA

Pakistan: Supporting Vulnerable Households in Conflict Affected Districts
The World Bank recently approved a credit worth US$250 million to assist Pakistan’s recovery efforts in the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) province and Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA). The Multi-Donor Trust Fund (MDTF) will co-finance the project through an additional grant of US $35 million. This combined support comes at a critical juncture in order to assist the poor and vulnerable households to cope with income shock due to militancy crises in KP and FATA. This fast-disbursing financing will assist the target households in recovery and promotion of human development through safety net support grants. More... 


JOBS

Senior Agricultural Specialist (Monitoring & Evaluation) - Washington, DC (International Hire)
The Global Agricultural Food Security Program (GAFSP) is a multilateral mechanism to assist in the implementation of pledges made by the G8++ at the L’Aquila Summit in July 2009 and was set up in response to a request from the G20 in Pittsburgh in September 2009. The objective is to address the underfunding of country and regional agriculture and food security strategic investment plans already being developed by countries in consultation with donors and other stakeholders at the country-level. The World Bank is seeking to recruit a Senior Agriculture Monitoring & Evaluation (M&E) Specialist to lead M&E activities associated with GAFSP to be housed in the Coordination Unit of GAFSP. While English speaking is essential, knowledge of a working French is desired. Application closes on March 7, 2011. More... 

Sector Manager, Education - Washington, DC (International Hire)
While many of the countries in the World Bank's East Asia and Pacific Region have achieved much in terms of getting their children to attend school at basic levels, they face ongoing challenges regarding the need to provide access at post-basic levels, improve the quality of schooling at all levels, and enhance the relevance of education for the workplace. Along this line and in consistent with the overall World Bank Education Strategy, the region seeks a sector Manager who will be part of a regional Human Development management team that works cohesively across sectors. Application closes on March 6, 2011. More...

For more Job Opportunities at the World Bank, Visit: www.worldbank.org/jobs 

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EVENTS

World Bank 2011 International Essay Competition on Youth Migration
The World Bank International Essay Competition 2011 invites young people to share their views on the opportunities, challenges, and implications of youth migration. The competition welcomes students and non students alike, between the ages of 18 to 25 to submit an essay or video on the impact of migration (internal or international, from a sending or receiving country perspective) on youth. Cash prizes will be awarded for selected winners at the ABCDE conference in May in Paris, France. Deadline for submissions is March 17, 2011. All information can be found on the essay competition website: www.essaycompetition.org.


ON THE BLOGS

Bashing the Bank: Assessing the Efficacy of CSO Advocacy
Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) have been targeting the World Bank Group for 25 years in an effort to influence its economic, social, and environmental policies. Many of these advocacy campaigns have been quite contentious and critical over the years, the most visible being the ‘50 Years is Enough' campaign of the 1990s which called for the abolishment of the Bank. While this particular campaign was obviously not successful, it is clear that some of the most important Bank reforms adopted over the years – environmental safeguards, compliance mechanisms, and access to information – were spearheaded by civil society. Building on this long advocacy tradition, an increasing number of Bank-watcher CSOs are undertaking external evaluations to assess and improve the impact of their efforts. More...

Moving From ‘Education for All’ to ‘Learning for All’
Elizabeth King, Sector Director in the World Bank's Human Development Network recently gave a keynote address on the theme, "Education for Economic Success" at the Education World Forum, which brought education ministers and leaders from over 75 countries together in London. In this blog she writes that for education results, it is important to invest early, invest smart, and invest in learning for all. More... 

Choosing Countries as Models of Growth
The World Bank's Chief Economist's Office is undertaking an approach on Growth Identification and Facilitation (GIF). An approach which tries to explains the economic success of a very diverse group of countries: China (with 1.3 billion population), Japan (100 million); Taiwan-China (20 million); Korea (40 million); Singapore (5 million); or Mauritius (400.000). In this blog, Justin Lin, the Bank's Chief Economist weighs in on the ongoing debate. More...

For more on World Bank Blogs, visit:

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WEB / PUBLICATIONS / PODCASTS

Natural Capital a Major Source of Wealth
A new report by the World Bank, The Changing Wealth of Nations was launched in Washington in late January 2011 to a packed auditorium. The report shows a clear link between careful management of natural capital—forests, protected areas, minerals, energy and agricultural land—with increasing levels of wealth and economic well-being. An example that stood out in the report is Botswana, in southern Africa, which economy has grown by an average of about 7.8 percent in the last two decades and has managed to increase its per capita wealth by an astounding 35 percent. 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



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