A record number of CSOs participated in the recent World Bank – IMF Spring Meetings in Washington. Over 550 (see list
) civil society representatives – 200 more than in 2011 – attended the Civil Society Program which spanned five days from April 17 to 21, 2012. Of these, the Bank and Fund sponsored 29 CSOs / Youth Leaders and Academics (see list
) from developing countries in order to ensure that voices and perspectives from southern civil society and young people were adequately represented at the Spring Meetings. These sponsored participants participated actively in a week-long schedule of events, including numerous bilateral meetings with Bank and Fund senior managers.
The Civil Society Program included a CSO Roundtable with Executive Directors, an orientation session on the WB and IMF, Civil Society Policy Forum (CS Forum
), and a high-level panel on Social Accountability. The CSO Roundtable was co-sponsored by the Directors from Brazil, Kuwait, and United States, and attracted some 20 Directors or Alternates, and over 40 CSO representatives. It was characterized by a frank and constructive discussion on the role of governments at the Bank and Fund, impacts of the global economic crisis, and ways to intensify engagement with civil society.
The CS Forum comprised some 45 sessions on a wide range of topics including safety nets, youth unemployment, energy policies, safeguards, and aid effectiveness. Most of the sessions were organized by CSOs (i.e. Oxfam, Bank Information Center, Human Rights Watch, and World Resource Institute) although the Bank and Fund also organized consultation meetings on numerous topics such as debt sustainability and development policy lending. Nearly 200 experts from CSOs, governments, think tanks, businesses, and donor agencies participated as panelists in the CS Forum sessions.
The highlight of the CS Forum was a high-level panel on Social Accountability, which involved Bank President Robert Zoellick, government official, and several well known CSO leaders. At the end of the Forum, there was a planning session with Japanese CSOs on the upcoming Annual Meetings which will be held in Tokyo on October 10 – 12, 2012. See Forum schedule for a list of panelists, description, participants lists, summary notes, and presentations of many of the sessions, and a photo gallery.
CS Forum Schedule
CSO Roundtable with Executive Directors
High Level Session on Social Accountability
2012 Spring Meetings General Information
2012 Spring Meetings Feedback from CSOs