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Debating New World Bank Strategy with CSOs during Annual Meetings

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2013 CSO Roundtable with Bank EDsCivil Society participation at the 2013 Annual Meetings was significant and reflected the upward trend in CSO attendance, both in the number of sponsored CSO representatives from developing countries and the number of policy sessions hosted.  The Civil Society Program, held from October 7 – 12 included a week-long program of activities.   It began with orientation sessions on the IMF and World Bank Group which focused on their origins, structure, and policies.  The orientation on the WBG also included a hands-on presentation on open data programs such as Mapping for Results, Open Finances, and Open Knowledge Repository. The Bank also organized a number of sessions to discuss with CSOs its dual new strategy of ending poverty and promoting shared prosperity.

2013 AMs Sponsored CSOsA total of 660 CSO representatives participated in the Annual Meetings.  Of these 62 (nearly 10 per cent) were CSO / Youth Leaders and Academics from over 50 countries (see list). These were selected by Fund / Bank country offices and by several CSO networks, and represented a wide range of type of organizations (i.e. NGOs, foundations, youth groups and academics), and thematic areas (i.e. gender equity, disability rights, environmental protection).  In addition to organizing and participating as panelists in policy sessions, the sponsored CSOs had side meetings with several Bank Vice Presidents and Fund managers, as well as attending high level sessions such as “I am Malala”

Safeguard Update SessionThe core of the week-long program was the Civil Society Forum held on October 9 – 12.  It was comprised of 70 sessions with over 300 session panelists including CSO leaders, WB/IMF officials, parliamentarians, academics, business, and youth leaders.  There was a wide range of topics including: safeguards review, energy policies/climate change, disaster resilience, health care, WBG-CSO relations, debt/fiscal policy, Eurozone crisis, youth entrepreneurship, open data/citizens feedback, agriculture/land management.  There were several sessions on the WBG’s new dual strategy of ending extreme poverty by 2030 and promoting shared prosperity among the 40% poor around the world, including a session with WB Vice President Sanjay Pradhan who is coordinating strategy implementation.  Please visit the CS Forum online schedule to download presentations and view archived webcasts of some sessions, and visit the photo gallery for photos of the sessions.

CSOs mingling in their new spaceThe two highlights of the CSO Program were the CSO Roundtable and Townhall which have become standard features of the World Bank/IMF Annual Meetings. The CSO Roundtable with World Bank Executive Directors was hosted by Merza Hasan (Dean of the Executive Board of Directors) and co-chaired by Vicky Tauli Corpuz (Director, Indigenous Peoples' International Centre for Policy Research and Education / TEBTEBBA, Philippines).  The hour and a half session began with comments by Santu Santala (Executive Director of Nordic / Baltic Countries), and Cesar Gamboa Balbin (Director, Environmental Rights and Natural Resources / DAR, Peru).  It was the largest Roundtable to date with the participation of some 12 Executive Directors and 120 CSO representatives, and the key topic of discussion was the WBG’s new strategy.  The second highlight was the CSO Townhall with Bank President Jim Yong Kim and Fund Managing Director Christine Lagarde.  The Townhall was chaired by Danny Sriskandarajah (General Secretary of Civicus), and Winnie Byanyima, (Executive Director of Oxfam International), and Peter John Gordon (Lecturer, University of West Indies) who served as CSO discussants providing opening remarks to frame the debate.  The Townhall focused on several issues including end-poverty goals, Eurozone crisis, and safeguards review.

CSOs Rate 2013 AMs Civil Society Program
CS Forum Schedule
Photo Gallery
List of Arrived and Sponsored CSOs 
CSO Townhall (summary,video)
CSO Roundtable
General Information on CSOs Participation in the 2013 Annual Meetings

Last updated: 2013-11-28

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