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Civil Society Engagement eNewsletter - March 2011

CONTENT

1. Accreditation Open for Spring Meetings
2. Zoellick Statement on Japan Earthquake and Tsunamis
3. Bank Vice President Sees Emerging Role for Civil Society in Middle East Transition
4. Food Price Hike Drives 44 Million People into Poverty
5. World Bank – CSOs Discuss Demand for Good Governance Program Update
6. Civil Society Consultative Group on Health, Nutrition, and Population
7. Call for Partners to Join Global Green Growth Platform
8. Bank Launches New Program Strategy for Africa
9. Consultations Launched on New Program For Results (P4R)
10. Feedback Sought: Improving the World Bank Website
11. World Bank Fellows Program Launched
12. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala Honored for Her Work on Behalf of Girls and Women 

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

MAIN STORIES 

1. Accreditation Open for Spring Meetings
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 is now opened through Monday, April 4. The Bank and IMF Civil Society Teams will also be organizing a Civil Society Policy Forum from Wednesday April 13 through Sunday, April 17. Information on the CS Forum schedule of sessions will be posted by March 21 on the Civil Society Website.


2. Zoellick Statement on Japan Earthquake and Tsunamis
World Bank President Mr. Zoellick expressed the institution's deepest sympathies to the people of Japan, especially to those who have lost loved ones in the earthquake and tsunamis. “This is a heartbreaking situation and the World Bank Group stands ready to help the government and the people of Japan in the recovery efforts,” said Mr. Zoellick. In addition, the staff on their own has set up a special fundraising drive to show their solidarity and support to the affected victims. As with post-disaster support efforts in the past, Bank staff contribution will be channeled through CSOs. In this case the CSOs who will receive Bank staff donations are: AmeriCares, American Red Cross, Doctors Without Borders, and World Vision. President Zoellick’s full statement.

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3. Bank Vice President Sees Emerging Role for Civil Society in Middle East Transition
At a recent speech given in Brussels, Shamshad Akhtar (World Bank Vice President for the Middle East and North Africa) stated that iIf supported by properly managed democratic transition, the political developments in the Middle East and North Africa provide a unique opportunity to leverage people and civil society power to change the landscape of the region, said. Read more


4. Food Price Hike Drives 44 Million People into Poverty
The recent “World Bank’s Food Price Watch” released ahead of the G20 Meeting of Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors in Paris has estimated that 44 million people in developing countries are slipping back into poverty. This is due to the rising food prices since June 2010 which experts say is 29 percent above its level a year earlier, and is only 3 percent below its 2008 peak. In the short term, the World Bank’s Global Food Crisis Response Program (GFRP) is helping some 40 million people through $1.5 billion in support, and for the longer-term the institution is boosting its spending on agriculture to some $6-8 billion a year from $4.1 billion in 2008. More... 

Food Prices Watch: http://www.worldbank.org/foodcrisis/food_price_watch_report_feb2011.html

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5. World Bank – CSOs Discuss Demand for Good Governance Program Update
The World Bank and InterAction jointly hosted a briefing session on the Bank’s Demand for Good Governance (DFGG) work. The session, held in Washington on February 23, 2011, was geared to collecting input on the Bank’s DFGG work as part of the preparation of the Governance and Anti-Corruption (GAC II) update. Some 30 CSO representatives, Bank staff, and others stakeholders participated. CSO discussants from Transparency International and World Vision International were invited to comment on the presentations and frame the discussion. More...


6. Civil Society Consultative Group on Health, Nutrition, and Population
The World Bank has established a Consultative Group of CSOs (CSCG-HNP) to share information, lessons learned, ideas, and advice that will inform the Bank's work in the health sector. A committee of CSO and Bank representatives selected the 18 members of the CSCG-HNP from among 120 nominations received worldwide. The first meeting will be held in the World Bank headquarters on April 18, 2011, following the World Bank-IMF Spring Meetings. More: www.worldbank.org/hnp/cso

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7. Call for Partners to Join Global Green Growth Platform
Pointing to the “inherently unsustainable development path we are on,” World Bank Vice President Inger Andersen called on governments, international aid agencies, and other development partners to join a new global knowledge platform aimed at fostering green growth. Ms. Andersen made this call recently at the launch of this new platform, being developed jointly by the World Bank, the United Nations Environment Programme, and the OECD. The Global Green Growth platform aims to bring together proponents of sustainable development to promote and implement green growth policies by exchanging knowledge, information, and experience. More… 


8. Bank Launches New Program Strategy for Africa
The Board of Directors of the World Bank Group on March 1 approved a new strategy for its development efforts in Africa. The strategy outlines three major areas – competitiveness and employment, vulnerability and resilience, governance and public sector capacity – through which the World Bank plans to deepen its partnership with Africa over the next 5 years. With Africa facing an unprecedented opportunity to transform itself and improve the lives of its people, this new ambitious strategy could help African economies take off. The strategy received input from more than 2000 stakeholders, including CSOs, who participated in the 8-month long consultation process. More... 

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9. Consultations Launched on New Program For Results (P4R) 
In response to changing development needs and demand from client countries, the World Bank is proposing a new Program-for-Results (P4R) lending instrument for its operations. This instrument would focus Bank support directly on government development programs and link financing to the achievement of results. To inform the design of the P4R, the World Bank is consulting with a broad range of governments, development partners, civil society organizations, private sector, academics and other stakeholders. You are invited to participate in these consultations which runs through May 2011. More…


10. Feedback Sought: Improving the World Bank Website
The World Bank is redesigning its website and needs your help to figure out what's working well and what's not. To help us do this, you are invited to participate in an information 'scavenger hunt.' You are asked to perform a few search tasks related to the China section of the World Bank website. Complete the tasks as best as you can. Your participation and feedback will help improve our upcoming redesign of the "Countries" section. The activity will take approximately 10-15 minutes and will run through March 22. Click here to participate...

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11. World Bank Fellows Program Launched
The World Bank has launched a new global fellowship program which aims to tap new expertise for the Bank’s development work and strengthen its knowledge network. The Fellowship program will enable the Bank to attract global technical and policy experts for a three months to a one year period, to provide policy analysis, advise governments, promote knowledge sharing, and bring cutting-edge solutions to countries. The first fellow under the program, Michael Joseph, has been credited with the success of mobile phone banking in Kenya. More… 


12. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala Honored for Her Work on Behalf of Girls and Women
In celebration of the 100th anniversary of International Women’s Day, Women Deliver named the World Bank’s Managing Director Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala among “Women Deliver 100,” a list of the 100 most inspiring people who have delivered for girls and women. Honorees are both men and women who come from the fields of health, human rights, politics, economics, education, journalism, and philanthropy, and represent a great diversity of geographic and cultural backgrounds. More… 

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REGIONAL NEWS AND PROJECTS

AFRICA

Africa Less Exposed to Rising Food Prices, But Trouble Spots Remain
So far Sub-Saharan Africa appears less exposed to risks related to soaring food prices, according to the latest World Bank estimates published in Food Price Watch, a bulletin that tracks the food price trends in developing countries. However there is no room for complacency as poverty and food insecurity remain serious concerns. There are about three reasons for these positive trends: good harvests of maize, millet, sorghum and cassava; a relative stability of the price of rice in world markets; and less dependence on imported commodities such as wheat. More... 

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EAST ASIA AND THE PACIFIC

Supporting Climate Change Adaptation in Kiribati
The World Bank Board on March 1 approved the first Country Assistance Strategy for Kiribati. The strategy, which was developed in consultation with government, donors and civil society, puts climate change at the centre of the three-year plan. With 33 atoll islands, spread across an area the size of India, Kiribati is one of the most remote and geographically dispersed countries in the world. Its’ inhabited atolls lie only a few meters above sea level, making the country highly vulnerable to impacts from climate change and natural disasters. The Bank will therefore support Kiribati government on climate change adaptation measures, including managing groundwater reserves, improving coastal areas, and developing new sources of water. Read more… 


EUROPE AND CENTRAL ASIA

Empowering Rural Communities in the Kyrgyz Republic to Tackle Poverty
Over the last few years, small community-driven projects supported by the World Bank have touched the lives of almost half of the Kyrgyz Republic's scattered population of 5 million. Run entirely by the Kyrgyz people, the project has empowered tens of thousands of citizens, who generated and implemented ideas to improve their communities. They range from push-button traffic lights that save the lives of school children crossing busy roads, to school heating systems, bridges, health posts, computer centers, machinery workshops, textile cooperatives, storefronts, and even morgues. More…

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LATIN AMERICA AND THE CARIBBEAN

Early Childhood Initiative Helps Half Million Kids 
One year after the launch of a pioneering initiative to improve the well being of Latin American kids, more than half a million young children have benefited from the Early Childhood Initiative (ECD). An Investment for Life is a joint venture launched in February 2010 by Bank President Robert B. Zoellick, and Colombian pop star Shakira Mebarak. The venture aims to mobilize all sectors of society towards the implementation of comprehensive, well-articulated, and efficient ECD policies and programs to provide opportunities for low income children early in life. More...


MIDDLE EAST AND NORTH AFRICA

Morocco Sets the Pace for Blockbuster Solar Development
Morocco recently began an important shift toward renewable energy with preparations under way for one of the world's largest solar power plants. Currently Morocco imports 97% of its energy which is dominated by coal, but with its new forward-looking energy policy the country is paving the way to become a major climate change mitigation player in the World. According to Jonathan Walters, World Bank energy specialist, "Morocco's clear intention is to rise to the challenge of commitments made under the Copenhagen Accord and the Union for the Mediterranean," and the World Bank is helping Morocco with the mobilization of the funds needed. More...

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SOUTH ASIA

Padma Bridge: Connecting People to Prosperity in Bangladesh
In order to improve connectivity and boost opportunities for people in Southwest Bangladesh, the World Bank recently approved a US$1.2 billion credit to Bangladesh for the Padma Multipurpose Bridge Project. The Padma Bridge is expected to unlock the potential and transform the lives of nearly 30 million Bangladeshis living in the country's Southwest region. By reducing distances to major urban centers like Dhaka by almost 100km, the bridge will facilitate regional trade, reduce poverty while accelerating growth and development in the country as a whole. More...


JOBS

Sector Manager, Health, Nutrition & Population, Middle East and North Africa
The sector manager who will be located in Washington DC, will provide intellectual leadership and strategic vision on health issues in the region and lead the development and dissemination of health strategies aligned with country needs and corporate priorities. Apply now.

Operations Officer (Knowledge Management), Environment
The administrative unit of the Climate Investment Funds (CIF) which is located in the World Bank’s Vice Presidency for Sustainable Development, is seeking an Environment Specialist (Knowledge Management Officer). This position will support the building and implementation of a CIF KM program that is designed and executed with the view to realizing maximum impact on CIF’s objectives of transformational change through global replication of outcomes and lessons from CIF funded operations. S/he will be located in Washington DC and will be reporting to CIF's Deputy Program Manager. Application closes on April 5, 2011. More...

For a full list of Open Positions and Scholarships visit....

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EVENTS

World Bank Live Event: Arab Voices and Views
In the past three months, people across the Middle East and North Africa have taken to the streets to demand – and in some cases obtain – change. To shed light on the implications of these changes and opportunities in the region and its inclusion in a global economy, the World Bank will host a discussion titled “Arab Voices and Views” on March 21, 2011 from 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m EDT/ 13:00 to 16:00 GMT. The event will be held at Bank headquarters in Washington, D.C. and live online. On how you can participate, click here…

 

The Disability Rights Fund (DRF): Request for Proposals
The Disability Rights Fund (DRF)—a grant making collaborative between donors and the global disability community which supports the human rights of persons with disabilities recently announced its first 2011 grants round titled, “Securing Rights.” Grant making in this round will be targeted to disabled persons’ organizations (DPOs) in five countries: Indonesia, Mexico, Ukraine, India, and Lebanon. The broad objective of the Fund—which was officially launched in March 2008 and is a Project of Tides—is to empower DPOs in the developing world and Eastern Europe/former Soviet Union to participate in ratification, implementation and monitoring of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CPRD). The deadline for applications is March 24, 2011. More… 

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ON THE BLOGS

Civil Society Finds its Voice in Tahrir Square
Civil Society Team’s John Garrison blogs on the emergence of civil society through the political uprisings in Tunisia, Egypt, and other countries in the Middle East. Read blog … 

Renewable Energy for the Poor
World Bank clean energy chief Dan Kammen blogs on benefits to the poor from clean and efficient energy use. Read blog…


WEB / PUBLICATIONS / PODCASTS

Podcast: Breaking the Glass Ceiling
Part one of ‘Breaking the Glass Ceiling’ presents how far women have come since a hundred years ago, when garment workers in New York City, fed up with low wages and poor working conditions, started a movement. Read more... 

Podcast: Youth, Agents of Change
Young people constitute a huge reservoir of energy that can move mountains. But in post-conflict countries, this energy can be channeled for good or ill. What causes some young people to keep on fighting while others are trying to make a better life for themselves and their family? Listen to podcast.

For more, visit the World Bank Publications catalog...

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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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