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Civil Society Engagement eNewsletter - April 2011

1. High Number of CSOs expected for the Spring Meetings
2. Mr. Zoellick Calls for Support of Civil Society in the Middle East
3. U.S. NGOs welcome Zoellick call for greater civil society investment
4. Open Forum on Food Crisis - Participate in the LIVE Chat!
5. Food Security Fears Rise Along with Prices
6. World Bank's Second Implementation Report on Access to Information (AI) Released
7. Arab Voices and Views: Webcast and Online Chat
8. Advancing Food Security in a Changing Climate

9. African Migrants a Vital Lifeline for the Continent
10. WATCH: Launch of Global Bank Report on Conflict and Security Webcast
11. Bank Launches iPhone App for Development Results 
  

 

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

 

MAIN STORIES 

1. High Number of CSOs expected for the Spring Meetings
The 2011 World Bank and International Monetary Fund Spring Meetings will be held on April 15 to 17 in Washington, DC. We expect to receive some 250 CSO representatives, including 35 CSO and youth leaders from over 30 developing countries sponsored to attend by the Bank and Fund. As in the past, the Bank and IMF Civil Society Teams will be organizing a Civil Society Policy Forum from April 13 - 16. The Policy Forum will compromise over 40 policy sessions ranging from aid effectiveness and food prices, to climate change. The highlight will be a CSO Roundtable on Food Prices with the WB President Mr. Zoellick and Ray Offenheiser, President of Oxfam/America. If you are not coming physically to the Spring Meetings, you can still join this conversation on the webcast by using these links:

For Windows Media streaming click here: mms://wbmswebcast1.worldbank.org/live

For Flash streaming click here: http://streaming7.worldbank.org/vvflash/extlive 

For detailed information on the participants, and policy sessions please click here... 

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2. Mr. Zoellick Calls for Support of Civil Society in the Middle East
The Turmoil in the Middle East has rattled financial markets, caused a spike in oil prices and cast a shadow over the regional and global economy. In his speech ahead of this week’s World Bank/IMF 2011 Spring Meetings, President Zoellick of the World Bank spoke about the lessons from the instability for the region, for the world, and for development institutions. He called for support from countries, foundations, and others to strengthen the capacity of CSOs working on accountability and transparency in service delivery, stating that the World Bank “could back this work with seed capital, and with knowledge exchange and research aimed at improving the enabling environment for social accountability”. Read the Speech…


3. U.S. NGOs welcome Zoellick Call for Greater Civil Society Investment
InterAction, the largest alliance of US-based nongovernmental international organizations, released a statement welcoming Bank’s President Robert Zoellick’s speech in which he described the importance of civil society's role in development economics. “Mr. Zoellick’s view that now is the time to help strengthen the capacity of organizations working on transparency and accountability, for example, is to be applauded.” “We also agree that multilateral and national development efforts would benefit from greater participation from civil society groups and the people they represent” said Samuel A. Worthington, president of InterAction. More...

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4. Open Forum on Food Crisis - Participate in the LIVE Chat!
On April 14, 2011 the World Bank is kicking off a 24-hour global Open Forum to find solutions to the food crisis and put food first for the world's 1 billion hungry people. This interactive online event will convene global thought-leaders and doers in a talk-show format focused on the issues and solutions to the crisis. They'll be joined by online participants from around the world who are already submitting their questions and ideas for solving the food crisis. The Open Forum will be capped with a webcast on Friday, April 15th from 10:00 – 12:00. The webcast will be hosted by Matt Frei of the BBC featuring experts, such as Josette Sheeran of the World Food Programme, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala of the World Bank, and Tom Arnold of CONCERN, who will debate the solutions needed to put food first. Visit http://live.worldbank.org/open-forum-food-crisis to submit ideas, post questions for food experts, and join the online debate to ensure everyone has enough to eat now and in the years to come.



5. Food Security Fears Rise Along with Prices
The 2008 food crisis hit poor people hard around the World but mostly in Africa. About 3.5 million children under 5 in developing countries die from causes related to undernutrition each year. In February, World Bank President Robert Zoellick urged the G20 to "put food first" as food prices hovered just shy of their 2008 peak and an estimated 44 million people fell into poverty. The Bank’s Global Food Crisis Response Program has helped 44 countries counter the food crisis by investing in agriculture and feeding programs. In the same speech to the G20, Mr. Zoellick said that Food security is now a global security issue, and that the World needs global action to ensure that “we do a better job of feeding the hungry before we face the future challenges of feeding the expected 9 billion people in the world in 2050." More…

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6. World Bank's Second Implementation Report on Access to Information (AI) Released
The Bank continues to make significant strides in both proactive disclosures and increasing public access to information, according to the AI second progress report which reviews implementation results for the period of October 1, through December 31, 2010. In comparison with the first quarter, the second quarter documented a 42 percent increase in simultaneously disclosed Board documents and a 46 percent increase in website visits to the Documents and Reports database. Other key highlights: summary of the public information access requests, AI committee decisions, successes of the mandatory staff training/learning program, and the more than two million page views counted on the Documents and Reports database since the implementation of the AI Policy in July 2010. Click here for the detailed report.


7. Arab Voices and Views: Webcast and Online Chat
In the past several months, people across the Middle East and North Africa have taken to the streets to demand – and in some cases obtain – change. On March, 21, the World Bank led Regional leaders, commentators and activists in a webcast discussion and online chat on social change, jobs and new media in the Middle East & North Africa. Watch the webcast, read the online chat transcript, and read Bank President Robert B. Zoellick opening remarks.

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8. Advancing Food Security in a Changing Climate
With 75% of poor people living in rural areas and most depending on agriculture for their living; experts are calling for agricultural production to increase by 70% by 2050 in other to feed a world population of 9 billion. Climate-smart farming practices, such as those initiated by Bangladesh and Kenya, are seen to increase productivity and incomes while fighting climate change. With support from the World Bank, Bangladesh has become the first country to put together a multibillion dollar strategy on climate change, including a plan to boost agricultural production and food security in anticipation of more adverse weather. Like Bangladesh, Kenya’s farmers are at the forefront of demonstrating the benefits of climate-smart agriculture. The farmers are using sustainable land management practices to enrich degraded soil in a pilot project supported by the Biocarbon Fund, a public/private initiative administered by the World Bank. More…


9. African Migrants a Vital Lifeline for the Continent
About 30 million Africans live outside their home countries, making migration a vital lifeline for the continent. A newly released joint report by the African Development Bank and the World Bank finds evidence that suggest migration and remittances lead to increased investments in health, education, and housing in Africa. Innovative financing instruments such as diaspora bonds can help African governments realize the full economic benefits of the phenomenon, says the new report. Speaking during the launch of the report, Hans Timmer director of development prospects at the World Bank, said that what is essential going forward will be, “adapting policy responses to demographic forces and crafting multilateral arrangements for managing future migration”. More… 

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10. WATCH: Launch of Global Bank Report on Conflict and Security Webcast
The World Development Report 2011 on Conflict, Security, and Development, which was released on April 11, asks what spurs risks of violence, why conflict prevention and recovery has proven so difficult to address, and what can be done to help restore a stable development path in the world’s most fragile and violence-torn areas. During the report launch on Thursday April 14 (13.30 GMT), there will be two panel discussions related to the report. You are invited to watch the live webcast, share your views, and ask panelists questions via the WDR 2011 twitter feed. Click here for details.


11. Bank Launches iPhone App for Development Results
The Bank is launching its first iPhone App for development results. The World Bank Results at a Glance is a free app that highlights 450+ World Bank results profiles across more than 85 countries over the last decade. It includes projects profiles and data collected from projects in which the World Bank partnered with developing countries toward progress on one or more of the Millennium Development Goals, and projects that advanced sectoral or thematic work in core international development areas. You can quickly and easily search results profiles by topic, country, keyword, or MDG and save them for later viewing even if you’re offline. For more information, go to: bit.ly/wbresultsapp.

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REGIONAL NEWS AND PROJECTS

 

AFRICA

World Bank to Help Zambia Develop Socially Desirable and Economically Viable Irrigation Schemes
Zambia’s Sixth National Development Plan’s goal for the agriculture sector is to “increase and diversify agriculture production and productivity so as to raise the share of its contribution to the GDP by 2015”. With the April 7, approved US$115 million credit by the World Bank, Zambia will be able to meet this goal. This credit will enable Zambia to overhaul its irrigation subsector and therefore help bring together smallholders and agribusiness investors in shared irrigation schemes with complementary roads and power with smallholders increasing their yield per hectare and getting professional guidance from the larger holders. More...

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EAST ASIA AND THE PACIFIC

Philippines: Hydro Power Injects Diversity into Sibuyan Island’s Economy
The residents of the Island of Sibuyan are used to suffering daily 12-hour blackouts due to limited and unstable power supply. This was a constant reminder of just how huge the challenge was in this predominantly farming and fishing community about 350 kilometers south of Manila. However, a new hydroelectric power plant, financed through a World Bank-supported project, is now providing 24-hour electricity for the island. Sibuyan residents now feel they just had taken a large step towards improving their community’s economy, including promoting ecotourism and mountain climbing among its renowned tropical mountains. More…


EUROPE AND CENTRAL ASIA

Over 4 million Uzbekistan Citizens Get Improved Electricity Supply
More than 4 million residential and business consumers of electricity in the South-Western part of Uzbekistan will have better access to reliable electricity supply. This is a direct impact of a recent support to the government of Uzbekistan by the World Bank to the tune of US$ 110 million IBRD financing. The country’s electric power sector is key to the Government of Uzbekistan’s welfare improvement strategy (WIS) which seeks to sustain growth, reduce poverty and raise living standards through regional development. This Project will help the government achieve this by strengthening the network and reducing transmission losses. More…

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LATIN AMERICA AND THE CARIBBEAN

Crime and Violence: A Staggering Toll on Central American Development
On April 7, 2011 the World Bank released a report that portrays the tremendous threat to development potential in Central America caused by growing crime and violence. This threat does not only have an immediate human and social toll, but it is estimated that these sources of instability may decrease regional Gross Domestic Product (GDP) by 8 percent, once health, institutional, private security, and material expenses are accounted for. More…


MIDDLE EAST AND NORTH AFRICA

Gender Equality and Empowerment in the Middle East and North Africa
The Arab world is currently undergoing profound changes and the World Bank is striving to ensure that women in the region are able to play a greater part in the social and economic spheres in their countries. By building capacity for research and analysis on gender issues, the Bank is helping governments better integrate gender issues in policy. The Bank has provided “seed money” to develop knowledge products and fund knowledge sharing and capacity building initiatives across the region. In addition, the Bank has used its convening power to invite high profile advisory and steering committees which provide these initiative with credibility and visibility, and has used its partnership with various leading universities (e.g. Harvard and University of Chicago) to help researchers access cutting-edge resources. More… 

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SOUTH ASIA

Accelerating Implementation of India’s National e-Governance Plan
The Government of India has launched a flagship initiative called the National e-Governance Plan (NeGP), aimed at transforming the service delivery system across the country. To accelerate its implementation, the World Bank recently approved $150 million loan to India. Already twenty seven priority services have been identified that will benefit directly from this support. These include; online computerized services of birth and death registration, tax filing, land records, driver’s licenses and vehicle registration, passports and visas, agricultural extension services, and a wide range of municipal and panchayat (local government) level services. It will also enable e-services for a number of critical private sector services such as banking, insurance, and trade. More… 


JOBS

Senior Poverty Economist (Bamako, Mali)
Poverty Reduction Strategy Papers (PRSPs) have become the main instrument for country-led development strategies in low income countries, including a clearer focus on results (especially with respect to the Millennium Development Goals) and a better alignment of external assistance.The World Bank is looking for a Senior Poverty Economist to perform or supervise high quality analytical work using household and firm surveys in order to analyze household behavior and choices as they relate to poverty and the Millenium Development Goals in Mali. This work will require close collaboration with other teams including civil society organizations and other non-state actors in the country. Plaese note that proficiency in English and French is essential. Closing date is April 26, 2011. More...

 

Operations Analyst (Peri Urban Water Supply and Sanitation), (Maputo, Mozambique)
The Water and Sanitation Program (WSP), is a multi-donor trust funded program administered by the World Bank, comprising a field-based network of over 70 professionals based in four regional teams (Africa, East Asia Pacific, Latin America, and South Asia) managed from a small headquarters team in Washington, DC. WSP’s mission is to support the poor in obtaining sustainable access to water and sanitation services. This position will be responsible for delivering the WSP-Mozambique work program in relation to peri-urban water supply and sanitation. Language Requirements include English and Portuguese. Application closes on April 29, 2011. More...

For more job openings at the World Bank, please visit here...

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EVENTS

Pilot Executive Course in Communication and Governance Reform
The World Bank and the Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism are pleased to announce the 2011 pilot of the Executive Course in Communication and Governance Reform. The course is designed for senior communication professionals in Africa and the Middle East who want to build critical competencies in providing implementation support to change agents and reform leaders throughout government and civil society. The ten-day course will be held at the World Bank in Washington, D.C., from July 18 to 27, 2011. Please click here for more information, including participant profile, scholarships, and online application materials. You may also want to contact Helen Garcia, hgarcia@worldbank.org, with any questions or concerns you may have.


ON THE BLOGS

Nigeria has 100 million people under 30, the rough equivalent of the populations of Egypt, Tunisia and Libya combined.
In the 15-24 year age bracket in Nigeria, unemployment is estimated to be 46%. If the problems underlying these numbers remain unaddressed, there are likely to be strong tensions in the future, says Onno Ruhl, World Bank Country Director for Nigeria. Read the blog...

 

China’s Enduring Potential
China has been the fastest growing country in the world over the past two decades and as it gains economic clout, it is worthwhile to envision where the country is going and how it has gotten to where it is today, writes Justin Lin, World Bank chief economist. Read blog

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WEB / PUBLICATIONS / PODCASTS

The 2011 WDR on Conflict, Security and Development
This latest World Bank knowledge flagship publication that will be launched in April 2011 underlines the devastating impact of persistent conflict on a country or region's development prospects noting that the 1.5 billion people living in conflict-affected areas are twice as likely to be in poverty. Its goal is to contribute concrete, practical suggestions on conflict and fragility. More...

 

e-Atlas of Global Development Helps Visualize Data
The newly released e-Atlas of Global Development is a free, online, interactive tool, which maps and graphs more than 175 indicators from the World Bank’s database. Start here... 

For more publications from teh World Bank, please go to: http://publications.worldbank.org/

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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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