Ascending the CSO Engagement Continuum I – Policy Dialogue

Posted Posted in World Bank blogs

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

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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.