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Mainstreaming CSO Participation in the Annual Meetings

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 CSO 2011 AMs Townhall

Civil society participation at the 2011 Annual Meetings was the largest to date, both in terms of the number of CSO representatives as well as number of policy sessions.  The Civil Society Program included a CSO Roundtable with WBG/IMF Executive Directors, CSO Townhall with Mr. Zoellick and Ms. Lagarde, and dozens of policy sessions on energy/extractive energy, safeguards, disaster management, and aid effectiveness.  CSOs also released statements and newsletters on the outcomes of the various official meetings of the Development Committee, G20, and other official meetings.

The largest number ever of accredited, arrived, and sponsored CSOs participated in the 2011 Annual Meetings.  Nearly 1,000 CSOs were accredited, and some 600 attended.  See attached list of the 520 CSO representatives which picked up their accreditation badges (an additional 80 were given day passes).  The table below shows how these numbers have steadily increased over the past seven years. 

CSO Statistics

The largest contingent of CSO representatives were from North America (236) or 45%, followed by Europe (81) or 15%.  Three US-based CSOs – Bank Information Center, World Resources Institute, and Oxfam America – sent the highest number of participants.  Click here to see more complete information on regional and country origin of participants, as well as the institutional affiliation of participants.

PforR ConsultationsDue to the predominance of Northern CSOs at the Annual Meetings and in order to ensure that Southern CSO voices are also heard, the Bank and Fund have been implementing a CSO Sponsorship Program since 2003.  This year, we sponsored 60 CSO and Youth Leaders from developing countries to spend the week in Washington.  These CSOs came from over 45 countries and represented a wide range of organizations (NGOs, youth groups, trade unions, foundations) and thematic areas (development, environment, accountability, gender, education, agriculture).  The greatest concentration came from Africa (13) and the MENA region (10).  We also partially sponsored 5 CSO representatives from Japan so they can assist us with the 2012 Annual Meetings to be held in Tokyo.  The Bank and Fund Civil Society Teams organized a full week of activities for the sponsored CSO and Youth Leaders which began with an Orientation session on both institutions and included bilateral meetings with all six regional VPs and/or senior managers.   See list for sponsored CSOs.

CSO Participants at the ForumThe Civil Society Policy Forum, held between September 21 – 24, comprised over 50 policy sessions on a wide range of topics.  There were substantive and constructive discussions organized by several WBG Units on safeguards, Program for Results, disaster management, aid effectiveness, climate change, open development, access to information, and governance.  There was also useful dialogue on CSO-Bank relations in the wake of Mr. Zoellick’s Peterson speech, including a session with Managing Director Caroline Anstey.  Most of the sessions, however, were organized by policy advocacy CSOs such as Bank Information Center (BIC), Oxfam, World Resources Institute (WRI), and InterAction.  There were also a number of CSOs which organized policy sessions for the first time such as International Alert, CORDAID, and Conservation International.   Some 250 CSO representatives, Bank/Fund managers, government officials, academics, and others participated in the session panels.  Please see the online Forum schedule for participant lists, presentations, and summary notes for many of the policy sessions. 

Two highlights of the CSO Program were the CSO Roundtable with EDs and the CSO Townhall with Mr. Zoellick and Ms. Lagarde.  The CSO Roundtable was held on September 20 and had the participation of 20 Executive Directors or alternates from the WBG and IMF.  The session was chaired by two EDs, Ian Solomon (US ED - WB) and Moeketsi Marjolo (Africa Anglo ED Cluster - IMF).  The major topics covered during the session were the effects of the Arab Spring, WB gender campaign, and responses to the famine in the Horn of Africa (see summary). The CSO Townhall was held on September 22 and had some 250 CSO representatives in attendance.  It was chaired by Ingrid Srinath, Secretary General of Civicus, and two CSO discussants – Laila Iskandar from Egypt, and Milwida Guevara from the Philippines – provided initial remarks.  The main issues discussed at the Townhall were steps taken by the Bank and Fund to respond to the global economic crisis, Bank’s energy policies, and ways the Bank can work more closely with civil society. (see summary notevideo and transcript).

At the conclusion of the Annual Meetings, leading CSOs such as EurodadBretton Woods Project, and Oxfam sent out press releases or produced detailed accounts on the outcomes of the Development Committee, IMFC, and G20 meetings.   The main issues which these CSOs and others focused on the Bank included: gender policies, private sector strategies, food crisis, and global financial crisis.

CSOs and EDsThe Bank undertook several steps this year to mainstream CSO participation in the broader Meetings.  This included: organizing bilateral meetings for sponsored CSOs with all six regional Vice Presidents or senior managers; organizing the CSO Roundtable with EDs; placing CSO speakers in Program of Seminar panels; and inviting 82 CSO and Youth Leaders to attend the Opening Plenary.  We also received positive feedback from many of our sponsored CSOs about the quality of the CSO Program, as well as supporting messages from a number of CSOs about the Bank’s gender campaign and food security policies.   

2011 AMs Photo Gallery
CS Forum Schedule 
Lists of Arrived CSO Participants
Graphic Display of Arrived CSOs by Countries and Organizations
List of Sponsored CSOs and Youth Leaders
2011 Annual Meetings General Information for CSO 
CSO Townhall with Mr. Zoellick and Ms. Lagarde (Summary NoteVideo and Transcript)
CSO Roundtable with WBG/IMF Executive Directors
Arrived CSOs Assessment 
CSO Voices - Watch Video 


Last updated: 2011-10-27




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