The World Bank Group's Interim Strategy for Myanmar will end in June 2014. The World Bank Group is in the process of preparing a Country Partnership Framework to succeed the ISN and to guide the WBG's engagement in Myanmar over the next four years. This process will involve consultations with a wide range of stakeholders, including government ministries, development partners, civil society, and the private sector. A consultation plan and timeline will be developed in the coming months, and posted here for comments. Brief summaries of consultation meetings will also be posted here as they become available. A summary from a preliminary meeting with CSO representatives to discuss the consultation process held on November 7, 2013 is posted below.
On November 7, 2013, an initial discussion was held between the team working on the forthcoming Myanmar Country Partnership Framework (CPF) and a number of umbrella/coordination NGOs (pdf). The objective of the meeting was to seek input from CSOs on how to consult with civil society effectively during the preparation of the CPF, to ensure a substantive and inclusive dialogue during the preparation of the CPF. Participants welcomed the discussion and made a number of suggestions, including: (i) post a timeline for the development of the CPF, as well as proposed times for consultations; (ii) draw on CSO mapping to conduct a mix of consultations: some segmented (i.e., INGOs and local NGOs, as well as segmentation between NGOs working in different parts of the country and/or different thematic areas) and some joint, bringing together a diverse group; (iii) circulate materials well in advance to allow everyone the chance to review them ahead of the meeting, cognizant that many NGOs members are volunteers working in their free time; (iv) conduct consultations in different parts of the country (i.e., not just Yangon and Nay Pyi Taw, but in different states/regions and also at the township level where possible); (v) establish and clearly identify feedback mechanisms for the process; (vi) maintain and make public brief minutes of discussions; (vii) schedule meetings well in advance; and (viii) provide translation where needed.
The Bank team thanked participants for these suggestions, which are consistent with best practices for consultations, but particularly helpful in understanding the Myanmar context. The Bank team also noted that with the Bank's Access to Information policy most information about the Bank Group's operations in Myanmar were publicly available, and urged participants to make use of this. Participants noted that given limited connectivity, downloading documents was sometimes difficult -- the Bank team noted this and further noted (i) that hardcopies of relevant documents, including project documents, were available at the Bank office in Yangon, as well as at a number of libraries and information centers around the country; and (ii) that to the degree possible, it would seek to present on its website not only full reports, but also pdf versions of the Executive Summaries (where available) to facilitate downloading.
Participants offered their help in organizing consultations with CSOs during the CPF preparation process as needed, which the Bank team accepted. Additional discussion took place focusing on specific parts of the Bank program (on community-driven development, electric power, agriculture). The meeting concluded with agreement by the Bank to share with the groups a proposed consultation schedule, once a timeframe for the CPF development had been developed.