Do International Organizations Listen to CSOs?

Posted 1 CommentPosted in World Bank blogs

This was a central question posed by CIVICUS in its recent report, “Beyond our Two Minutes: State of Civil Society / Intergovernmental Organization Scorecard”.  This first of a kind report considered the mechanisms for and effectiveness of the civil society engagement policies in ten prominent international organizations, including the World Bank Group (WBG). It was published as part of the “State of Civil Society Report for 2014” which has become an annual flagship report on the status of civil society worldwide.

The IGO Scorecard assessed the following IGOs:  FAO, OHCHR, ILO, UNAIDS, UNDP, UNHCR, UN Women, WBG, WFP, WTO.  The study assessed the civil society outreach policies and practices of the IGOs around four aspects and specifically: access, policy, programs, and empowerment.  The perception survey was based on two online questionnaires which CIVICUS sent out earlier this year, one geared to CSO representatives and the other for IGO staff.  CIVICUS received a total of 462 responses from CSOs (including 52 which commented on the WBG), and some 200 responses from IGO staff (including 26 from WBG staff).

Overall, the study found that global governance has undergone “incredible transformation” over the past 20-30 years and there is much more space for civil society to access global organizations today.  It notes that “where once IGOs had to justify the inclusion of CSOs in their work, today it is the exclusion of CSOs that requires justification”.  It cites as an example the fact that the number of CSOs accredited with the United Nations grew from less than 100 in 1950 to over 3,900 today.  Yet the report found that it is not clear how seriously IGOs take civil society outreach, and how much influence CSO leaders exert beyond their ‘two minute’ plenary speeches at UN conferences.  The Scorecard found that IGO civil society ‘focal points’ also  express concern about how effective their own outreach is, as well as feel that CSOs often lack the technical capacity and skills to  influence IGO policies.

Among the specific findings of the Scorecard was the fact that the three most commonly identified obstacles were: member states overriding CSO voices; consultations that had no discernable outcomes; and weaknesses in the outreach mechanisms of IGOs. Conversely, the three priorities cited for improving these approaches were: greater focus on local or regional outreach; need to engage a wider group of CSOs; and the need for more decentralized CSO outreach strategies.  It was interesting to note the difference in the priorities for engagement between CSOs and those who work within IGOs.  While CSO representatives complained of the lack of access and influence, IGO staff called for greater CSO capacity and pragmatism to engage.

The World Bank Group rated 5th or in the middle of the ranking. The report acknowledged the efforts made by the Bank to engage civil society on various levels of its engagement continuum, and cited the two most recent CSO engagement initiatives: the Global Partnership for Social Accountability (GPSA) and Citizens Engagement Framework. The most frequent ‘obstacles’ cited for the WBG’s efforts to engage CSOs were: i) consultations seem to have no tangible outcomes; ii) outreach mechanisms not accessible enough; and iii) governments override CSO voices. On a positive note, the CSO respondents acknowledged their substantive engagement with WBG staff during the Annual Meetings and the Bank’s increased commitments to consult on new or revised policies.

While this first edition of the Scorecard was based on a relatively limited survey sample and was short on details about each IGO, it represents a significant step in assessing the growing role of CSOs within global organizations. It seems to build on the methodology adopted by UK-based One World Trust in their ground-breaking Global Accountability Report of a few years back which also assessed the participation, access, and compliance mechanisms of international organizations. The difference is that the CIVICUS report focuses directly on IGO civil society engagement policies and practices, and also cross-references the perspectives of staff from both CSOs and IGOs.

Many of these IGOs, including the WBG, have been engaging civil society for decades now with varying degrees of intensity and success, and this IGO Scorecard represents the first time that these approaches are being assessed and rated across the institutional spectrum.  As the Scorecard is expanded to include other IGOs and refines its methodology going forward, I am sure that it will be quite useful to both CSO and IGO staff trying to move these relations beyond speech-making and policy dialogue, to effective operational collaboration around the world.

Engaging Civil Society on LGBT Issues

Posted Posted in World Bank blogs

The World Bank Group (WBG) is increasing its engagement with the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgendered (LGBT) community as part of its civil society engagement efforts at the global level. This comes as the campaign to reduce descrimination and promote inclusion of the LGBT community gains traction and visibility in the United States and many countries around the world. This interaction began last year when several CSOs reached out to the Global Civil Society Team to suggest introducing the LGBT issue within the WBG – CSO policy dialogue agenda.  As a result, the Bank hosted a session on LGBT coalition building during the 2013 Spring Meetings in April, and this was followed by a session on incorporating LGBT issues within Bank social assessments at the Annual Meetings in October.  In addition, the Bank sponsored an LGBT leader from Guyana to come to Washington for the week-long Civil Society Program during the Annual Meetings.

The “Coalition Building around LGBT Issues” session held on April 17 was organized by St. Paul’s Foundation for International Reconciliation and GLOBE which is the association of Bank LGBT staff. (see session summary)  The panel was composed of LGBT leaders from the US and Africa who shared their perspectives and personal experiences on fighting discrimination and policy advocacy. Rev. Albert Ogle of St. Paul’s Foundation described how homosexuality has been criminalized in 76 countries and the LGBT community is often among the most marginalized in developing countries, and called on the Bank to include the LGBT community in the development programs it finances. The session focused largely on Uganda as several panellists described the conflicting role played by faith-based organizations, some of which provided social services to the LGBT community while others actively propagate homophobia.  Victor Mukasa, a transgendered activist, described his compelling and troubling experiences in promoting LGBT inclusion in Uganda which led him to seek political asylum in the United States.

The more recent policy session “Social Assessment and LGBT Inclusion Issues: Advancing from Concept to Policy to Practice” was held on October 11. This panel was also organized by St. Paul’s Foundation and ReconcilingWorks: Lutherans for Full Participation. (see session summary)  This session focused on how the Bank should try to insert the issue of LGBT inclusion into Bank operations and also encourage its partner governments to do the same.  Rachel Kyte, Vice President for Sustainable Development, noted that it was time to take a fresh look at what “social inclusion” means for development, and highlighted a report just released by the Bank.  The “Inclusion Matters: The Foundation for Shared Prosperity” represents the first time that a major World Bank Group report addresses the exclusion faced not only by women and ethnic minorities, but also by the LGBT community. The report notes that lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender persons are targeted for exclusion in most cultures. Yet, the report also states that perception and policies on exclusion can change and cites several countries in Latin America and South Asia where LGBT inclusion is gaining strength. Another panelist, cited a research project being carried out by the Bank in India that is analyzing the levels of discrimination, violence, and exclusion among sexual minorities, and how this research is being used to develop a methodology to determine the “cost of homophobia” for the LGBT community and a country’s overall development.

Finally, Khemraj Persaud, Program Coordinator of the Society Against Sexual Orientation Discrimination (SASOD) in Guyana also spoke about LGBT coalition building efforts in his country.  He noted that while there is still widespread resistance to LGBT inclusion in the Caribbean region, they are beginning to see incremental changes in terms of governmental responses. In Guyana, for instance, the government has agreed to hold public consultations on enacting legislation to protect LGBT citizens from discrimination, and more positive political positioning has also been heard in Jamaica and Belize. These policy sessions represent an important first step in the Bank’s engagement of the LGBT community, and we expect that this policy dialogue will continue to grow and expand into Bank operations over time. Similar to other inclusion issues such as gender, it is being driven forward through a push – pull dynamic of outside pressure by CSOs and inside encouragement by staff.

Ascending the CSO Engagement Continuum IV – Institutional Partnerships

Posted Posted in World Bank blogs

As can be expected, this last step on the civil society engagement continuum has been the most difficult for the World Bank to achieve over the years.  This is because institutional partnerships necessarily involve common goals, shared decision making, and even long term relations.  While there are a number of examples of Bank – CSO partnerships in the areas of education, health, and environment, many of these are still ad hoc and pilot in nature.  Nonetheless, as the latest edition of the World Bank–Civil Society Engagement Review of Fiscal Years 2010–12 shows, this period represented a watershed in terms of promoting institutional partnerships by providing CSOs with a seat at the decision making table in several funding mechanisms.

During the past three years, the Bank did enter into new partnerships with CSOs on number of fronts.   In the area of access to information and open data, for instance, the Bank held joint training workshops on geo-mapping and collaborated on data collection on several programs such as Open Aid Partnership (see photo). In the environmental area, the Bank launched the Global Partnership for Oceans (GPO) in 2012 which includes more than 100 governments, CSOs, and business partners. To date, some 27 CSOs are supporting the initiative, including Conservation International, the Environmental Defense Fund, and World Wildlife Fund.  The Bank also established partnerships with Foundations in a number of areas such as health and education, support to fragile states, and gender mainstreaming.

It was in the area of governance, however, that the most important advances were achieved in the area of institutional partnerships.  The Bank has incorporated CSOs as advisors in a number of funding mechanisms over the years. The Global Environment Facility (GEF), for instance, has 30 CSO and indigenous people’s observers, who participate in semiannual Council Meetings. The Climate Investment Funds (CIFs), have 19 CSO representatives (chosen competitively through online voting), who serve as “active observers” on its five committees and subcommittees. The World Bank–Civil Society HNP Consultative Group includes 18 CSO leaders, who advise the Bank on its health, nutrition, and population agenda (see photo). Four civil society representatives sit on the 19-member Board of Directors of the Global Partnership for Education (GPE).

Between 2010 and 2012, however, CSOs were invited for the first time to serve in a decision making capacity in several new large funding mechanisms managed by the bank. The first was the Global Agriculture and Food Security Program (GAFSP), which has three CSO representatives (from Africa, Asia, and Europe) on the steering committee. Established in April 2010 to promote food security in low-income countries, it is governed by a 26-member steering committee composed of government, donor agency, and CSO representatives which has allocated over $900 million dollars to support food security projects worldwide.

The most recent and promising case of CSOs being offered a deliberative role is the Global Partnership for Social Accountability (GPSA). CSOs have 3 seats (1 from a developed country and 2 from developing countries) on its 10-member steering committee, the same number allocated to governments and donor agency representatives (see diagram). The CSOs have the same voice as government and donor agency representatives to set overall policy direction, make budget allocations, and select projects for funding.

For a copy of the Civil Society Review full report and copies of the Executive Summary in six languages (Arabic, Chinese, English, French, Russian, and Spanish) please visit the civil society engagement website.

Ascending the CSO Engagement Continuum III – Operational Collaboration

Posted Posted in World Bank blogs

Operational collaboration between the World Bank and CSOs has grown significantly over the past two decades in such areas of health, education, and environment. Yet, because it largely occurs at the country level and within Bank-finance projects, this expanding collaboration is often not fully visible in Washington. As the latest edition of the World Bank–Civil Society Engagement Review of Fiscal Years 2010–12 demonstrates, important operational collaboration not only continued to grow over the past three years, but expanded to areas such as food security, disaster recovery, and access to information.

In response to the global food crisis which began in 2008, for instance, CSOs in Africa and Asia participated in the delivery of government programs in 16 countries (through seed distribution, school feeding, and agricultural production programs) financed by the Bank’s $2 billion Global Food Crisis Response Program (GFRP).  CSOs were also asked to participate in the governance structure of the Global Agriculture and Food Security Program (GAFSP) which has allocated more than $400 million to projects in 12 countries.

The Bank and CSOs also expanded their collaboration around disaster risk management and humanitarian relief as the world witnessed an increase in natural disasters.  The Global Facility for Disaster Reduction and Recovery (GFDRR) launched a multipronged approach that included drafting a civil society engagement strategy, hosting policy dialogue sessions, providing training, and piloting grant funds to CSOs.  There was also significant Bank-CSO collaboration on access to information and open development, characterized by joint data gathering and training initiatives.  CSOs participated actively in the planning phase of the Access to Information policy launched in 2010, by providing detailed feedback on the draft staff handbook and other documents, testing the usability of the new website, and hosting joint training sessions for CSOs to better access Bank documents.

The clearest indication of growing WBG – CSO collaboration however, occurs within Bank-financed projects.  The Civil Society Team analyzed project appraisal documents (PADs) for all 1,018 new specific investment and budget-support type development policy lending projects funded over the past three year, and found that 843 (82 percent) had some involvement of local CSOs.  As the chart below indicates, civil society involvement in Bank-financed projects is a historic trend which continues to climb over the past two decades.

That involvement included: consulting CSO on project design; contracting CSOs to conduct research or provide training; including CSOs in project advisory or decision-making bodies; and funding CSO community development and social delivery efforts. Examples of CSO involvement in Bank projects included earthquake recovery efforts in Haiti, monitoring World Bank projects in Nigeria, and training on open government in Tunisia.


Increased Bank – CSO collaboration was also witnessed in terms of Bank funding of CSOs. As a matter of fact, a significant milestone was achieved with one of the largest grant making mechanisms. The Japan Social Development Fund (JSDF) reported that for the first time in its 12-year existence, it provided most of its funds directly to CSOs rather than channeling them through governments. An internal review conducted in 2011 found that 26 funding mechanisms across the Bank provided grants directly to CSOs, totaling $197 million between fiscal 2008 and 2010.  These included the Civil Society Fund, Global Environment Facility, Development Marketplace, and the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI) Trust Fund. The Bank also established the Global Partnership for Social Accountability which made its first grants in 2013 to CSOs promoting more effective and accountable government services.


For a copy of the Civil Society Review full report and copies of the Executive Summary in six languages (Arabic, Chinese, English, French, Russian, and Spanish) please visit the civil society engagement website.

Ascending the CSO Engagement Continuum II – Consultations

Posted Posted in World Bank blogs

The Bank has learned a good deal about how to consult civil society over the years. The absence of consultation policies led to some of the most visible CSO advocacy campaigns opposing Bank-financed projects, such as the Narmada Dam in India and the Polonoreste Project in the Brazilian Amazon in the 1980s. Thus, while this third step on the civil society engagement continuum has been one of the most difficult to ascend, it has also shown the clearest progress in terms of more effective consultation practices.  As the latest edition of the World Bank–Civil Society Engagement Review of Fiscal Years 2010–12 demonstrates, today the Bank consults CSOs widely on its strategies, policies, programs, and projects worldwide.

At the global level, the Bank held nearly two dozen multi-stakeholder consultations during 2010 and 2012 on such policies as environment, access to information, and social accountability (see photo). These consultations were conducted via face-to-face meetings, videoconferences, online email submissions, and web-based discussions. Just in terms of meetings, more than 600 public consultation meetings were held in over 100 countries, gathering the views of about 13,000 stakeholders.

The breadth and scope of each of these consultation processes varied depending on the breadth of the topic, expressed interest by various stakeholder groups, and the scope of the consultation plans. As the graph below demonstrates, the largest share of multi-stakeholder consultation meetings were held in Africa (29 percent), followed by Europe (18 percent), East Asia and Pacific (12 percent), and other regions.

While Bank consultations were generally multi-stakeholder in nature, CSOs constituted the largest constituency in most consultations. As the graph below shows, CSOs represented 39 percent, followed by government (23 percent), consultants and individuals (12 percent), and other stakeholders.

The perspectives and recommendations made by the broad range of civil society constituencies during these consultations improved the quality and impact of Bank policies and programs.  This was evidenced for instance with the Access to Information policy consultations in 2011 in which CSOs such as the Bank Information Center and the International Budget Project provided valuable feedback and technical assistance (see details) during the consultation and planning phase of the consultation process.

Although consultations at the global and regional levels are more visible, the most intense and ongoing levels of consultations occur at the country level, where the Bank carries out most of its development work. The most important consultations undertaken at the country level were related to the drafting of Country Assistance Strategies (CASs) and Poverty Reduction Strategies (PRSs). The venues and formats used to consult with CSOs on CASs and PRSPs included the media, opinion surveys, focus group meetings, public forums, and web-based platforms (see photo). The Review found evidence of civil society participation in 106 (82 percent) of the 129 CAS related documents approved by the Bank’s Board during fiscal 2010 – 2012. As the graph below shows, CSOs were consulted in 53 of the 59 CAS documents (90 percent), 37 of the 52 CAS Progress Reports (71 percent), and 16 of the 18 Interim Strategy Notes (89 percent).

CSOs were also consulted heavily during the preparation of the Poverty Reduction Strategies.  A desk review carried out by the Civil Society Team found there was some form of CSO participation in ALL of the 28 PRSP documents prepared during the three-year period, representing 100% coverage.

It is important to note, however, that the scope and intensity of the CAS and PRSP consultations varied across countries and was based on several factors including the: i) proactive nature and effectiveness of Bank outreach efforts; ii) openness and ability of governments to reach out to civil society; and iii) level of CSO activism and capacity to engage. For this reason, while it is clear that the Bank has made important advances in its consultation approaches, it still needs to improve the consistency and quality of its consultation efforts across the institution.  The Bank is in the process of developing new uniform consultation guidelines for Bank staff which should prove quite useful when launched in the coming months.

For a copy of the Civil Society Review full report and copies of the Executive Summary in six languages (Arabic, Chinese, English, French, Russian, Spanish) please visit the civil society engagement website.

Ascending the CSO Engagement Continuum I – Policy Dialogue

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Of all the steps on the World Bank – civil society engagement continuum, policy dialogue has experienced the greatest advances over the years. As highlighted in the latest edition of the World Bank–Civil Society Engagement Review of Fiscal Years 2010–12, this interaction expanded over the past three years via a wide range of issues and events including Food Roundtables, book launches, and CSO conferences. It was the unprecedented number of CSO representatives who attended the Annual and Spring Meetings in recent years, however, which most clearly exemplified the growing intensity of the policy dialogue.


Not many years ago, CSO voices at the Annual Meetings were more likely heard outside the security perimeter protesting a variety of Bank policies. Today, CSOs are coming inside in growing numbers to actively participate in the weeklong Civil Society Program. While only a handful of CSO representatives attended the Annual Meetings a decade ago, by 2011 this number had surpassed 600. CSOs came to dialogue with the heads of the Bank and the Fund, hold bilateral meetings with Executive Directors, engage the media, network with other CSOs, and organize policy sessions. Several participatory methodologies and new events embedded in the Civil Society Program have improved the quality of WB – CSO civil society participation at the Meetings:

  • In order to ensure that voices and perspectives from the South are well represented, the Bank and the IMF have continued to expand the number of CSO representatives from developing countries sponsored to attend the Annual and Spring Meetings. Since 2003, the Bank and the IMF have sponsored nearly 350 CSO and Youth Leaders from over 100 developing countries (see list) to participate in the Annual and Spring Meetings.
  • CSO representatives now meet formally with the Executive Directors of the Bank and the IMF. The CSO Roundtable, which generally attracts some 15–20 Executive Directors and dozens of CSO representatives, has generated thoughtful and substantive discussion of international development trends and issues.
  • A growing number of CSOs have been invited, for the first time, to attend the Opening Plenary which is the highlight of the Annual Meetings. The presence of CSOs in this session, alongside government delegations, exemplifies the important new role of civil society at the Annual Meetings.
  • CSO representatives are participating actively in the planning process of the Civil Society Program in order to ensure that their views and recommendations are part of the design. A CSO Group composed of 20 CSO and youth leaders from Turkey and countries in Eastern Europe and the Middle East were brought together to help organize the CSO events at the 2009 Annual Meetings in Istanbul, Turkey.
  • CSO participants are regularly asked to share their views on the quality and effectiveness of Civil Society Program. CSOs are asked to fill out online surveys at the conclusion of each meeting in order to assess the experience and make suggestions on how to improve it. (see 2013 Spring Meetings survey findings).

Another significant form of policy dialogue occurred around the impacts of the recent global food crisis and involved staff from the Bank, United Nations, and leading international CSOs. Since March 2008, the Bank hosted eight Food Roundtables with CSOs on the global food crisis, three of these held between 2010 and 2012. More than 150 representatives from leading CSOs and civil society networks in the United States, Europe, and more than a dozen developing countries participated, either in person or via video conferencing. Most of the roundtables, co-chaired by Bank President Robert Zoellick and various CSO leaders, addressed a number of issues such as the need to scale up agricultural production in developing countries, the role CSOs have played in government food security programs, and ways to increase development aid for agriculture and food security.

This dialogue led to greater mutual understanding and trust, which resulted in increased operational collaboration on agriculture and food security. For example, local CSOs participated in the delivery of government programs (including seed distribution, school feeding, and agricultural production programs) financed by the Bank’s Global Food Crisis Response Program in 16 countries. At the global level, for the first time, CSOs were invited to serve on the steering committee of the Global Agriculture and Food Security Program, which has allocated more than $400 million to food security programs in 12 countries since 2010.

  The Bank also engaged in policy dialogue by hosting CSO book launches at its InfoShop (its Washington, DC, bookstore and public information center) and discussing CSO reports. In October 2009, for instance, it launched The Unheard Truth: Poverty and Human Rights, by Irene Khan, Secretary General of Amnesty International.  Senior Bank managers were invited to speak at many large CSO events, such as the annual InterAction Forum and the CIVICUS World Assemblies. Managing Director Sri Mulyani Indrawati, for instance, spoke at the 2011 CIVICUS World Assembly in Montreal, and Managing Director Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala spoke to CSO activists at the “Stand Up for the MDGs, Take Action” event on the eve of the Millennium Development Goals (MDG) summit in New York in September 2011 (see photo).

For a copy of the Civil Society Review full report and copies of the Executive Summary in six languages (Arabic, Chinese, English, French, Russian, Spanish) please visit the civil society engagement website.

تقرير جديد يبرز حدوث تقدم كبير في العلاقات بين البنك الدولي ومنظمات المجتمع المدني

Posted Posted in World Bank blogs

استعراض مشاركة البنك الدولي مع المجتمع المدني للسنوات المالية 2010 – 2012“، يعرض فيه أبرز التطورات في علاقاته مع المجتمع المدني خلال السنوات الثلاث المنصرمة. ويشرح التقرير كيف تطوَّرت هذه العلاقات في الكثير من المجالات التي تتراوح من الحوار والتشاور بشأن السياسات إلى التعاون على مستوى العمليات. وهو أكثر الاستعراضات شمولا في سلسلة استعراضات المجتمع المدني منذ صدور طبعتها الأولى في عام 2002.

وتتمثَّل هذه العلاقات المتنامية بوضوح وجلاء في تزايد أعداد ممثلي منظمات المجتمع المدني الذين حضروا الاجتماعات السنوية واجتماعات الربيع. فقبل عشرة أعوام، حضر أقل من 100 من ممثلي منظمات المجتمع المدني الاجتماعات السنوية، ولكن بحلول عام 2012 شارك أكثر من 600 في برنامج منتدى المجتمع المدني الذي استمر أسبوعا. وأقام البنك الدولي أيضا أكثر من 20 حلقة تشاور مع العديد من أصحاب المصلحة الرئيسية على المستوى العالمي بشأن الإستراتيجيات القطاعية، وأدوات التمويل، والدراسات البحثية خلال فترة الاستعراض، وعقد أكثر من 600 اجتماع للمشاورات العامة في شتَّى أرجاء العالم، وقام بتجميع آراء نحو 13 ألفا من أصحاب المصلحة الرئيسية. واستمر البنك الدولي أيضا في المشاركة بنشاط مع دوائر مُعيَّنة مثل نقابات العمال والمؤسسات والشباب.
ويُبرِز الاستعراض أيضا أمثلة مهمة للتعاون على مستوى العمليات في مجالات الرعاية الصحية والتعليم والتعافي من الكوارث وحماية البيئة. وعلى المستوى القطري، تم اتخاذ مبادرات مشتركة مبتكرة، مثل إنشاء شبكة إقليمية للمساءلة الاجتماعية في الأردن، ومراقبة مشروعات البنك الدولي في نيجيريا، وجهود التعافي من الزلازل في هايتي. ويظهر التقرير مشاركة منظمات المجتمع المدني في 82 في المائة من كل المشروعات الجديدة التي تم تمويلها خلال الأعوام من 2010 إلى 2012 وعددها 1018 مشروعا.

إلا أن مجال الحوكمة الرشيدة لربما كان هو المجال الذي اتخذت فيه أهم الخطوات لتدعيم العلاقات المؤسسية بين البنك الدولي ومنظمات المجتمع المدني. ومع أن منظمات المجتمع المدني لعبت دورا استشاريا في عدد من آليات التمويل على مر السنين، فإنها الآن تقوم بدور متخذي القرارات فيما يتعلق بآليات التمويل التي تتركَّز على الأمن الغذائي والمساءلة الاجتماعية.

وتحقق هذا التطوُّر في طائفة واسعة من مناحي المشاركة المتواصلة للمجتمع المدني التي تشمل الإفصاح عن المعلومات، وحوار السياسات، والمشاورات بشأن الإستراتيجيات، والتعاون على مستوى العمليات والشراكات المؤسسية. وكما يتضح من الجدول الوارد أدناه، فإنه مع كل مستوى للمشاركة، تزداد طبيعة التفاعل ومستوى اتخاذ القرارات والنواتج
المتوقعة. ويظهر الرسم البياني أيضا أنه مع زيادة مشاركة المجتمع المدني يزداد تأثيره، وأن معظم التقدم الذي تحقق حتى الآن حدث في المستويات الثلاثة الأولى للمشاركة المتواصلة.

وفي الأسابيع القليلة القادمة، سأقوم من خلال هذه المُدوَّنة بإبراز ما تحقق من تقدم على صعيد السياسات والأنشطة والبرامج في المنصرمة العديد من هذه المستويات على مدار السنوات الثلاث المنصرمة.

للاطلاع على نسخة من التقرير الكامل ونسخ من الموجز الوافي بست لغات (العربية والصينية والإنجليزية والفرنسية والروسية والإسبانية)، يرجى زيارة الموقع الإلكتروني لمشاركة المجتمع المدني

أضف تعليقا جديدا


New Report Highlights Significant Advances in World Bank – CSO Relations

Posted Posted in Uncategorized, World Bank blogs

The World Bank just released a new report — World Bank–Civil Society Engagement Review of Fiscal Years 2010–12 — that documents important advances in its relations with civil society over the past three years. It illustrates how these relations have evolved in many areas ranging from policy dialogue and consultation, to operational collaboration. It is the most comprehensive of the Civil Society Review series since its first edition in 2002.

The growing number of CSO representatives who attended the Annual and Spring Meetings most clearly exemplifies these intensifying relations. While less than 100 CSO representatives attended the Annual Meetings a decade ago, by 2012 over 600 participated in the weeklong Civil Society Program. The World Bank also held nearly two dozen consultations at the global level on sector strategies, financing instruments, and research studies over the period, conducting more than 600 public consultation meetings throughout the world and gathering the views of some 13,000 stakeholders. The World Bank also continued to actively engage specific constituencies, such as trade unions, foundations, and youth.

The Review also highlights important examples of operational collaboration in the areas of health, education, disaster recovery, and environmental protection. At the country level, innovative joint initiatives were undertaken—such as establishing a regional network on social accountability in Jordan, monitoring World Bank projects in Nigeria, and earthquake recovery efforts in Haiti. The report shows that there was civil society involvement in 82 percent of all 1,018 new projects funded from 2010 to 2012.

It is perhaps in the area of governance, however, that the most significant steps were taken to strengthen World Bank-CSO institutional relations. While CSOs have played an advisory role in a number of funding mechanisms over the years, they now serve as decision makers in funding mechanisms focusing on food security and social accountability.

These advances were experienced across the spectrum of the civil society “engagement continuum,” which includes information disclosure, policy dialogue, strategy consultations, operational collaboration, and institutional partnerships. As the table below shows, with each level of engagement, the nature of the interactivity, level of decision-making, and expected outputs increase. The graph demonstrates further that as civil society involvement increases so does its influence, and that most of the advance to date has occurred at the first three levels of the engagement continuum.

Over the next few weeks I will be highlighting via this blog the policy, activity, and program advances achieved on several of these levels over the past three years.

For a copy of the Full Report and copies of the Executive Summary in six languages (Arabic, Chinese, English, French, Russian, Spanish) please visit the civil society engagement website.


Is Civil Society Uncivil?

Posted Posted in World Bank blogs

Photo:  Civil Society Team

Having worked with civil society engagement work at the World Bank for many years, it is not uncommon for colleagues to see me in the hallway and jokingly ask: “is civil society still acting uncivil?”. The assumption being that when CSOs criticize the Bank they are not being constructive and thus not acting civil. While I understand the good-natured ribbing, I and most of my Bank colleagues actually believe the opposite is true. Most advocacy CSOs are being effective global citizens by monitoring the policies and programs of governments and inter-governmental organizations such as the World Bank. After all, governments and multilateral development Banks serve at the behest of citizens and thus they should welcome a watchful eye from CSOs, media, and citizen organizations to ensure that its taxpayer-generated international development funds are being well spent. In addition, as Bank President Jim Yong Kim recently said at the closing plenary of the 2013 InterAction Forum, important changes and reforms in history – such as the concerted response to the AIDS epidemic – are often driven by citizen activism spearheaded by CSOs. He further argued that what is now needed is a global citizens’ movement to advocate for effective climate change policies.

To be fair, the concept that a critical civil society is being uncivil is outdated and reminiscent of a time when most advocacy CSOs were outside on the streets protesting Bank policies. Today, CSOs are more often found inside the Bank participating in policy dialogue and consultation meetings. The recently held Spring Meetings exemplified well this important change in civil society’s role at the Bank. CSOs came in ever-larger numbers to the 2013 Spring Meetings. More than 700 representatives from 100 countries participated in the week long Civil Society Program from April 15 – 20, 2013. The Program included an orientation session on the World Bank and a CSO Roundtable with Executive Directors (see photo) which has become a standard feature of Annual and Spring Meetings. CSOs also participated in several high level sessions such as the Global Voices on Poverty event with Bank President Jim Yong Kim and UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon.

More than the growth in numbers, however, the most significant aspect of civil society presence at the Spring Meetings was the informed and interactive nature of the dialogue during the 60 policy sessions held on a wide range of topics during the Civil Society Policy Forum. A cogent example of the significant nature of the policy dialogue was the session on the safeguards review (transcript, video). The four-hour session brought together some 60 CSO representatives from around the world with Bank Vice President, Kyle Peters, and the Bank’s safeguards review team to discuss the findings of the initial phase of the 2-year consultation process. The discussion centered on ways to streamline yet not weaken the application of the existing safeguards, and whether new principles such as human rights, gender equity, and disability inclusion should be incorporated into the revised policies.

Another notable session was on re-engagement in Myanmar organized by Burmese and US CSOs which brought together representatives from the World Bank, IMF, and Asian Development Bank to discuss the pace and scale of their re-engagement into that country. A third significant meeting was a briefing session with CSOs on the proposed new World Bank Group strategy with senior Bank managers leading the drafting effort. This will be the first time the Bank will have an overarching set of goals to guide its work and thus it is key to hear the views and perspectives of civil society on what is being considered.

The substantive nature of all three sessions clearly demonstrates how strategic and influential civil society participation at the Bank has become. From protesting outside the security perimeter a decade ago, CSOs are now a key component of the policy dialogue which occurs within the halls of the Bank, and their views are being clearly heard and taken into account. Thus the more appropriate question to ask is whether civil society is becoming “too civil” and may lose some of its advocacy edge as it engages more intensely with the Bank going forward. I don’t believe so, as there are many examples that show that civil society influence has increased as it has expanded its relations with the Bank but that is a discussion for another blog.

Ya está en funcionamiento innovador Fondo para la Auditoría Social

Posted Posted in World Bank blogs

Ryan Rayburn. Jim Kim con miembros del Comité Directivo durante la mesa redonda “Auditoría social y ciencia de la prestación de servicios”, realizada el 17 de diciembre de 2012. Photo:  Ryan Rayburn

Después de un amplio proceso de consultas y más de un año de planificación, la Alianza Global para la Auditoría Social (GPSA, por sus siglas en inglés) acaba de anunciar el 11 de febrero de 2013 la primera convocatoria de propuestas. Mediante sus políticas de transparencia, estructura de gestión incluyente y enfoque estratégico en la auditoría social, la GPSA claramente representa un hito en las relaciones entre el Banco y la sociedad civil. Después de 30 años de participación a través de diálogos sobre políticas, consultas, y financiamiento, la creación de la GPSA es una clara señal de que el Banco tiene la intención de institucionalizar y aumentar su respaldo a las organizaciones de la sociedad civil (OSC).

La idea de la GPSA surgió de un discurso pronunciado por el ex presidente Robert B. Zoellick, en el Peterson Institute en abril de 2011 tras la primavera árabe, en el que se refirió a la necesidad de un nuevo contrato social entre los ciudadanos y los Gobiernos. Señaló que el Banco estudiaría, junto con sus accionistas, mecanismos que permitan dar respaldo a las OSC dedicadas a promover la rendición de cuentas. Posteriormente, se realizó un amplio proceso de consultas sobre el diseño y alcance del fondo propuesto con diversas partes interesadas. Entre enero y marzo de 2012, más de 870 grupos de interés de 57 países participaron en 25 reuniones en persona y videoconferencias organizadas en todo el mundo. Además, cerca de 300 personas enviaron sus comentarios por escrito directamente al sitio web de la GPSA. Como resultado, varias recomendaciones de las OSC fueron incorporadas en el diseño de la GPSA, como por ejemplo: la necesidad de apoyar el financiamiento básico y a largo plazo de las OSC, y asegurar que tengan una representación adecuada en el Comité Directivo.

La GPSA fue aprobada formalmente por el Directorio Ejecutivo del Banco en junio de 2012 y pondrá a disposición de las OSC donaciones de largo plazo mediante un competitivo proceso de selección, para la realización de actividades operativas, de auditoría social, fortalecimiento de capacidad, y formación de redes de contactos. Además creará una plataforma mundial para el intercambio de conocimientos y la investigación con el fin de documentar y difundir las prácticas recomendadas y las lecciones aprendidas sobre auditoría social. Se está invitando a Gobiernos de todo el mundo a formar parte del programa para que las OSC de sus países puedan tener acceso a los fondos, y 12 países de cinco regiones ya han aceptado: Bangladesh, Filipinas, Honduras, Indonesia, Malawi, Mongolia, Mozambique, República de Moldova, República Dominicana, República Kirguisa, Tayikistán y Túnez.

El Comité Directivo de la GPSA fue convocado por primera vez el 17 de diciembre de 2012 y se reunió en una mesa redonda encabezada por el presidente del Banco, Jim Yong Kim. (Ver la foto). Este encuentro  titulado “Auditoría social y ciencia de la prestación de servicios” congregó a representantes de Gobiernos, OSC, organizaciones de donantes, y personal del Banco para debatir el tema de la mejora de la eficacia de la prestación de servicios a fin de responder mejor a las necesidades de los ciudadanos. Los panelistas intercambiaron diferentes experiencias nacionales que mostraron que cuando se escucha a los ciudadanos y los Gobiernos rinden cuentas, la prestación de servicios es más eficaz y sostenible. “Con la Alianza Global para la Auditoría Social, el Banco cuenta ahora con un instrumento eficaz para complementar la labor de los Gobiernos y el sector privado en la búsqueda de soluciones para acabar con la pobreza y aumentar la prosperidad compartida”, declaró el presidente Kim. El Comité Directivo celebró el mismo día su primera reunión de planificación para debatir la estrategia de la GPSA para el primer año, los procedimientos de concesión de donaciones, y un marco para la medición de los resultados.

La GPSA es única por varias razones. En primer lugar, proporcionará financiamiento a largo plazo (3 a 5 años) a las OSC, y también cubrirá algunos de sus gastos institucionales. En segundo lugar, es el primer mecanismo de financiamiento gestionado por el Banco que tiene plena representación de OSC en su estructura de gestión. Los representantes de las OSC no solo tienen el mismo número de bancas –tres– que los representantes de los Gobiernos y los organismos de donantes en el Comité Directivo de 10 miembros (el cual es presidido por el Banco Mundial), sino que tienen el mismo derecho de voto para seleccionar los proyectos que recibirán financiamiento y dar orientación general al programa. Los tres representantes de OSC, que fueron seleccionados después de una amplia consulta con las redes internacionales y regionales de la sociedad civil, son: Said Issa (gerente local de Asociación de Transparencia, Líbano), Akwasi Aidoo (director ejecutivo de TrustAfrica, Senegal) y Lindsay Coates (vicepresidenta ejecutiva de InterAction, EE. UU.). Los otros miembros del Comité Directivo son representantes de tres Gobiernos (Malawi, República Dominicana y Bangladesh) y tres organismos de donantes (Departamento para el Desarrollo Internacional del Reino Unido, Ayuda Finlandesa y la Fundación Ford). Además, 15 OSC internacionales se han unido como organizaciones asociadas para colaborar en las actividades de intercambio de conocimientos y formación de redes. (Ver la lista en el sitio web de la GPSA).

Hasta la fecha, la GPSA ha obtenido US$23 millones (US$20 millones del Banco Mundial y US$3 millones de la Fundación Ford) y se esperan más asignaciones de los donantes. La primera convocatoria de propuestas se está difundiendo ampliamente a través de diversos medios a nivel nacional, que incluyen periódicos y medios electrónicos, así como el sitio web de la GPSA. Las OSC de países que han aceptado formar parte de la Alianza podrán enviar propuestas a través de la plataforma de inscripción en línea a la que se podrá acceder desde el sitio web de la GPSA. Las oficinas del Banco Mundial en los países celebraron reuniones de consulta con las partes interesadas de las OSC y los Gobiernos para adecuar la convocatoria de propuestas a las prioridades nacionales, y también llevarán a cabo sesiones de orientación para las OSC interesadas en presentar propuestas. El rango de financiamiento será de US$500.000 a US$1 millón por donación, y se concederán por un periodo de 3 a 5 años. Tras el cierre de la convocatoria de propuestas el 14 de marzo, las solicitudes de donación se someterán a un proceso de revisión de dos etapas, que se explican en las guías de postulación.