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Civil Society Engagement eNewsletter - March 2012

1. ACCREDITATION OPEN: Spring Meetings
2. SEEKING FEEDBACK: The World Bank Social Protection & Labor Strategy 2012 – 2022
3. INPUT SOUGHT: Modernizing the Operational Policy on Financing Guarantees
4. APPLICANTS SOUGHT for Inspection Panel Vacancy
5. Global Poverty Indicators Show Drop in Extreme Poverty
6. New Global Center Assists Countries in Conflict
7. New Bank Report Calls for Increased Tracking of Illegal Logging
8. Global Partnership Launched to Preserve Oceans
9. Free Mobile App - “World Bank at a Glance”
10. Business Leaders Join World Bank in Talks to Protect Asia’s Wild Tigers 
 

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

 

MAIN STORIES

1. ACCREDITATION OPEN: Spring Meetings 
The 2012 World Bank and International Monetary Fund Spring Meetings will be held over the weekend of April 20-22, 2012 in Washington, D.C. As in previous years, the Civil Society Policy Forum, a program of policy dialogues for Civil Society Organizations (CSOs), will be held between April 18 and April 21. All CSO representatives interested in participating in the Spring Meetings must obtain individual accreditation and are encouraged to do so early as the process takes up to three weeks, and accreditation will close on April 10. For more information and accessing the online accreditation form, click here…

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2. SEEKING FEEDBACK: The World Bank Social Protection & Labor Strategy 2012-2022
The first draft of the World Bank Social Protection and Labor Strategy is now available online for comments and feedback. This draft is a result of the first 2 phases of multi-stakeholder consultations held around the World between January 2011 and January 2012. The draft strategy highlights that people and families around the world are discovering new and improved ways to address such risks as economic crisis, unemployment, disability, and illness. The new Strategy lays out a path to deepen the Bank's involvement, capacity, knowledge and impact in these areas over the next decade. The draft Strategy is open for comment until April 6, with the final strategy to be launched during the World Bank/IMF Spring Meetings in mid-April. Click here to provide feedback on the strategy.


3. INPUT SOUGHT: Modernizing the Operational Policy on Financing Guarantees
The World Bank is seeking input from CSOs and other stakeholders on the review of its operational policy on Financing Guarantees. Guarantees are used to help member countries mobilize private financing for development purposes. They are distinct from and complementary to the Bank’s other development finance instruments: investment lending; development policy lending; and Program-for-Results financing. Guarantee operations are a small share of the Bank's portfolio, but they have been effective in leveraging limited Bank resources to mobilize greater private financing for critical projects and programs. The consultation period will close end of March 2012. To share your views, go to the guarantees website and submit your feedback online.

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4. APPLICANTS SOUGHT for Inspection Panel Vacancy
The World Bank is inviting applications for an opening on its Inspection Panel. The Panel, created in 1993 and consisting of three members with overlapping 5-year terms, carries out independent investigations at the request of affected people to determine whether the Bank has complied with its policies and procedures, and to address related issues of harm. Reporting to the Board of Executive Directors, the three Members manage the general operations of the Panel and its activities with the support of a Panel Secretariat. Deadline April 13, 2012. Please visit the Panel’s website for the position description and other information.


5. Global Poverty Indicators Show Drop in Extreme Poverty
In every region of the developing world, the percentage of people living on less than $1.25 a day and the number of poor declined between 2005-2008, according to estimates released in late February by the World Bank. This is the first time since the Bank has been monitoring global poverty, that there has been a broad reduction in poverty numbers over a three-year monitoring cycle. According to Martin Ravallion, director of the Bank’s Research Group and leader of the team that produced the numbers, “the developing world as a whole has made considerable progress in fighting extreme poverty, but the 663 million people who moved above the poverty lines typical of the poorest countries are still poor by the standards of middle- and high-income countries.” More…

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6. New Global Center Assists Countries in Conflict
With more than 1.5 billion people living in countries afflicted by repeated cycles of conflict and violence, the World Bank has opened a new Global Center on Conflict, Security and Development in Nairobi, Kenya to make its financial support and expertise work better for poor and vulnerable people living in fragile countries. The center also aims to establish a stronger community of practice and knowledge-sharing across the worldwide network of practitioners who work on development issues confronting fragile and conflict-affected countries. At the opening ceremony of the new center in Nairobi, Bank Managing Director Caroline Anstey said that “this ‘hub’ represents a strategic shift in the way the Bank helps fragile and conflict affected countries, and will make the institution more flexible and smarter about how to improve people’s lives in desperate situations.” More...


7. New Bank Report Calls for Increased Tracking of Illegal Logging
To commemorate World Forest Day on March 21, the Bank released a new report “Justice for Forests: Improving Criminal Justice Efforts to Combat Illegal Logging” which advocates new approaches to fighting illegal logging. Around the world, illegal loggers cut down a forested area the size of a football field every two seconds, generating criminal proceeds of between $10 billion and $15 billion annually. The report advocates that a full range of crime-fighting tools should be used to catch illegal logging organizations, rather than the low-level operators who cut down the trees. These tools include electronic surveillance, undercover operations and witness protection, according to the report. It also calls on governments to work with civil society and other actors to stem illegal logging. More...

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8. Global Partnership Launched to Preserve Oceans
The World Bank recently joined a powerful coalition of governments, CSOs, private companies, and international organizations to launch a global initiative to address widely documented problems of over-fishing, marine degradation, and habitat loss. The Global Partnership for Oceans was launched in late February during the Economist’s World Oceans Summit held in Singapore. During a keynote speech, World Bank Group President Robert B. Zoellick noted that the Partnership would bring science, advocacy, the private sector, and international public institutions together to advance mutually agreed goals for healthy and productive oceans. More...


9. Free Mobile APP – “World Bank at a Glance”
The World Bank launched on March 5th a new and free mobile App for the iPhone that provides a very straightforward and user-friendly introduction to the Bank. Whether you want general information about what the World Bank is and how it works with developing countries; or specifics on the Comprehensive Development Framework; or information on jobs and internships at the Bank, World Bank at a Glance will provide you succinct explanations and links to a large variety of information on the World Bank Group. For more information and to download the APP, click here... 

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10. Business Leaders Join World Bank in Talks to Protect Asia’s Wild Tigers
A group of influential business leaders from Singapore, India, Indonesia and Malaysia recently joined World Bank Group President, Robert B. Zoellick, and members of the Global Tiger Initiative (GTI) to brainstorm new strategies to save wild tigers from extinction and address threats to biodiversity in Asia. With only 3,200 wild tigers left in the region, the meeting of CEOs and regional heads of finance, infrastructure, and transport companies marks the first in a series of meetings to be held throughout the region to bolster support for endangered wild tigers and promote the need to preserve their habitats. “Tigers are an iconic species and to think that this species could be eliminated within our lifetime is a terrible tragedy,” Zoellick said. More...


REGIONAL NEWS AND PROJECTS

AFRICA


Mobile Technologies Aiding Poor Farmers in Kenya
The World Bank recently launched, in partnership with infoDev, a new technology that will connect smallholder farmers to knowledge networks and institutions which will help them raise incomes. This program will allow farmers’ organization in Western Kenya to use mobile phones to trade directly with exporters and bypass middlemen. This will allow them to increase their income, as well as provide timely information about disease outbreaks to farmers that would affect their livestock. More...

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EAST ASIA AND THE PACIFIC


China Urged to Redefine Growth Model
China should complete its transition to a market economy by strengthening its private sector, opening its markets to greater competition and innovation, and ensuring equality of opportunity. These are some of the key findings of the recent joint research report “China 2030: Building a Modern, Harmonious, and Creative High-Income Society”, which was carried out by a team from the World Bank and the Development Research Center of China’s State Council. The report lays out the case for a new development strategy for China which would allow it to rebalance the roles of government and markets, and become a high income country by 2030. More…


EUROPE AND CENTRAL ASIA


Road Improvement in Georgia to Benefit More Than 150,000 People
The World Bank Board of Executive Directors approved on March 15 a US$ 70 million loan and credit to Georgia for a local roads project. The project, which builds on an ongoing highway project, is expected to improve local road connections and reduce transport costs for citizens using the rehabilitated roads. According to Asad Alam, World Bank Regional Director for the South Caucasus, this will help spur economic growth and rural development in the project affected areas. More…

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LATIN AMERICA AND THE CARIBBEAN


Mainstreaming Gender into Local Development in the Dominican Republic
The World Bank joined local CSOs and the Dominican Federation of Municipalities (FEDOMU) to mainstream gender in local governance through a Gender Action Plan trust fund. More than 500 CSOs and local authorities were trained in Santo Domingo and in 9 pilot municipalities using a Guide on integrating gender into local planning processes including: budgeting; staff recruitment; and program implementation. Television spots were used to raise awareness of gender disparities in access to public services and in appointments at the municipal level, and the Guide were provided to all 155 municipalities in the country. The initiative has continued with the support of FEDOMU which is sponsoring an additional 10 regional municipal workshops. See additional information in the Spanish language website:


MIDDLE EAST AND NORTH AFRICA


Kuwait Joins Efforts to Cut Emissions from Gas Flaring
Kuwait has officially joined the World Bank-led Global Gas Flaring Reduction (GGFR) partnership in an effort to further reduce emissions from the burning of natural gas associated with oil production in the Middle East, and exploit the maximum potential from this valuable energy resource. With this move Kuwait becomes the third country in the Middle East to join the GGFR partnership. Welcoming Kuwait into this partnership, the Director of the World Bank’s Sustainable Energy Department S. Vijay Iyer says that “gas flaring reduction is a vital contribution to reducing greenhouse gas emissions, improving energy efficiency and mitigating climate change...” More...


SOUTH ASIA


Community-Run Centers Improve Nutrition for Women and Children
Although India has seen strong economic growth over the past 20 years, childhood malnutrition rates have remained very high. The prevalence of malnutrition in children under five in India continues to be among the highest in the world – higher even than in Sub-Saharan Africa. A pilot program carried out under the World Bank-supported Andhra Pradesh Rural Poverty Reduction Project has shown that community-managed Nutrition-Cum-Day Care Centers (NDCCs) can make a difference. Although it is too early to measure overall reductions in malnutrition levels, early indicators show that the NDCCs display promising potential to improve the nutritional status of pregnant and lactating women and their children in the long term. More… 

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JOBS

Senior Social Development Specialist, Social Safeguards – Washington DC
The East Asia and Pacific Region (EAP) of the World Bank houses the Central Operational Services Unit (COSU). The mission of COSU is to provide professional guidance and leadership to enhance development effectiveness in the region. This unit covers six main areas: Quality Assurance and Results, Trust Funds Management, Procurement, Financial Management, Safeguards Secretariat and Anti Corruption. COSU strives to provide timely, high-quality value-added and cost-effective services to EAP task teams in the area of social development. Closing Date 02-Apr-2012. For details and to apply click here…


For more job openings at the World Bank, visit here…

EVENTS


Training Session for CSOs on Open Development Tools
The Civil Society Team partnered with the Bank Information Center to hold a hands-on training session on several of the Bank’s Open Development Programs. Some 20 CSO representatives from the Washington area participated in the two-hour session held on March 7. The session featured presentations on the following data platforms and tools: Projects and Operations, Open Data, Mapping for Results, and Open Finances. With an individual computer monitor and Internet access provided for each participant, the training session allowed for individualized exercises and interactive exchanges. Given the positive participant feedback, an extended training session is being planned to be held for CSOs during the upcoming Spring Meetings in mid-April. More... 

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ON THE BLOGS


From Spring to Renaissance: Repositioning of the Arab Cities
Home to one of the world’s most rapidly expanding populations, the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region is currently around 60% urbanized. The region will experience a 65% increase of its urban population, corresponding to over 130 million additional urban inhabitants by 2030. Cities in the region will face many challenges, from the proliferation of slums, informal settlements and increasing urban sprawl, to the growing urbanization of poverty. They are also confronted with lagging service delivery, dysfunctional land and housing markets, weak city/urban management, and a high vulnerability to climate change and natural disasters. Read the blog by Franck Bousquet, who works for the Bank in the MENA region here...


WEB / PUBLICATIONS / PODCASTS


Draining Development? Controlling Flows of Illicit Funds from Developing Countries: 
A growing concern among those interested in economic development is the realization that hundreds of billions of dollars are unlawfully flowing out of developing countries to tax havens and other financial centers in the developed world. These flows of illicit money, much of which is generated by corruption and tax evasion, dramatically reduces the effectiveness of foreign aid and robs countries of domestic funds for investment. What causes these massive, illegal outflows from developing countries, what are their consequences, and how might they be controlled? Access publication here....


New Demand for Good Governance Tool Available Online
The World Bank’s Actionable Governance Indicators (AGI) Data Portal consolidates information on actionable governance indicators, provides a one-stop-shop platform to navigate these indicators and their documents, and offers customized tools for data management, analysis and display. This portal recently launched a new section on Demand for Good Governance (DFGG) indicators. A country’s DFGG-at-a-glance report provides consolidated governance indicators on the following DFGG dimensions: transparency (media, access to information); accountability (anti-corruption, political environment, civil liberties); participation (CSOs, civic engagement, voting and political process); and socio-cultural environment (gender and minority groups, identity, relationships and attitudes, and development outcomes). More… https://agidata.org/site/

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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. Please share your comments on the Newsletter with us: civilsociety@worldbank.org. All past issues of the Newsletter can be found at here.

Last updated: 2012-03-22




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