FEATURE STORY

CSO Engagement with World Bank Deepens: Record Number of CSOs Participate in Flagship Spring Meetings Events

May 26, 2015


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© Simone D. McCourtie/World Bank

CSO representatives from around the world attended the 2015 World Bank/IMF Spring Meetings which took place in April.  The centerpiece of their participation continued to be the Civil Society Policy Forum which was held from April 14 to April 17. Other activities tailored to them included a Roundtable with World Bank Group Executive Directors and an orientation session on the World Bank Group.   In addition, this year, more CSOs than ever before participated in panels during flagship and open sessions that were part of the Bank’s main Spring Meetings program highlighting the importance of and value that CSO s bring to the comprehensive Spring Meetings agenda.  More than 500 CSOs from more than 54 countries attended the Meetings. These representatives included 15 CSO / Youth Leaders and Academics sponsored by the World Bank and IMF to participate in the Spring Meetings, of sponsored CSOs).  The sponsored CSOs were selected from a wide range of institutions and sectors in collaboration with the World Bank and IMF’s country offices.

The Civil Society Policy Forum included 50 sessions on a wide range of topics, reflecting the breadth of development issues that the World Bank Group and IMF are mandated to address.  The majority of these sessions were organized by CSOs themselves and included sessions on citizen engagement, youth, nutrition, health, financial inclusion, human rights, financial intermediaries, private sector engagement and Ebola. Popular topics were grouped into streams, including, on the morning of Thursday, April 16, four sessions on gender. The gender stream covered a range of concerns, culminating in a session with senior director Caren Grown that discussed the upcoming consultations on the World Bank’s new gender strategy. Linked to the upcoming major global development conferences in 2015 – Financing for Development in Addis Ababa, the Post 2015 summit in New York and the Climate summit in Paris – there were a number of CSO sessions related to the process to determine the next set of development goals. The review of the World Bank’s Environmental and Social Safeguards continues to be closely debated by civil society and following the close of a second round of consultations with stakeholders, CSOs were keen to debate the proposed content and hear feedback from staff on next steps.   See archived video


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The CSO Round Table with Executive Directors, was once again one of the most popular sessions at the Civil Society Policy Forum and an important opportunity for the Executives at the helm of the World Bank Group to hear the voices of CSOs directly. This year’s session was co-chaired by Merza Hasan, Dean of the Board and Lindsay Coates, Vice President of InterAction and approximately 200 CSO representatives and 23 EDs or Alternates attended, more than ever before.  What ensued was a candid discussion that did not shy away from some of the more sensitive issues including human rights and safeguards, and also touched on important topics such as citizen engagement, open data and technology in development, private sector development, the Bank’s role in Fragile and Conflict Affected States and Ebola.

But perhaps one of the most defining features of the 2015 Spring Meetings was the strong representation of CSOs on the panels that constituted the main program of the Forum, beginning on Wednesday, April 15 with the Flagship on the Power of Faith to End Extreme Poverty featuring prominent faith-based organizations and religious leaders as well as World Bank Group President Jim Yong Kim, and culminating in the Flagship Action 2015: Mobilizing Citizens to Action  For People & the Planet event with President Kim and United National Secretary–General Bank Ki-Moon.

Other sessions with CSO panelist included:

As the Civil Society Policy Forum continues to advance efforts to strengthen engagement between the Bank and this important stakeholder group, the representation of CSOs in the high level panels at the World Bank and IMF Spring and Annual Meetings will be an important indicator of progress.

The CSO Round Table with Executive Directors, was once again one of the most popular sessions at the Civil Society Policy Forum and an important opportunity for the Executives at the helm of the World Bank Group to hear the voices of CSOs directly. This year’s session was co-chaired by Merza Hasan, Dean of the Board and Lindsay Coates, Vice President of InterAction and approximately 200 CSO representatives and 23 EDs or Alternates attended, more than ever before.  What ensued was a candid discussion that did not shy away from some of the more sensitive issues including human rights and safeguards, and also touched on important topics such as citizen engagement, open data and technology in development, private sector development, the Bank’s role in Fragile and Conflict Affected States and Ebola.

But perhaps one of the most defining features of the 2015 Spring Meetings was the strong representation of CSOs on the panels that constituted the main program of the Forum, beginning on Wednesday, April 15 with the Flagship on the Power of Faith to End Extreme Poverty featuring prominent faith-based organizations and religious leaders as well as World Bank Group President Jim Yong Kim, and culminating in the Flagship Action 2015: Mobilizing Citizens to Action  For People & the Planet event with President Kim and United National Secretary–General Bank Ki-Moon.

As the Civil Society Policy Forum continues to advance efforts to strengthen engagement between the Bank and this important stakeholder group, the representation of CSOs in the high level panels at the World Bank and IMF Spring and Annual Meetings will be an important indicator of progress.

The CSO Round Table with Executive Directors, was once again one of the most popular sessions at the Civil Society Policy Forum and an important opportunity for the Executives at the helm of the World Bank Group to hear the voices of CSOs directly. This year’s session was co-chaired by Merza Hasan, Dean of the Board and Lindsay Coates, Vice President of InterAction and approximately 200 CSO representatives and 23 EDs or Alternates attended, more than ever before.  What ensued was a candid discussion that did not shy away from some of the more sensitive issues including human rights and safeguards, and also touched on important topics such as citizen engagement, open data and technology in development, private sector development, the Bank’s role in Fragile and Conflict Affected States and Ebola.

But perhaps one of the most defining features of the 2015 Spring Meetings was the strong representation of CSOs on the panels that constituted the main program of the Forum, beginning on Wednesday, April 15 with the Flagship on the Power of Faith to End Extreme Poverty featuring prominent faith-based organizations and religious leaders as well as World Bank Group President Jim Yong Kim, and culminating in the Flagship Action 2015: Mobilizing Citizens to Action  For People & the Planet event with President Kim and United National Secretary–General Bank Ki-Moon.

As the Civil Society Policy Forum continues to advance efforts to strengthen engagement between the Bank and this important stakeholder group, the representation of CSOs in the high level panels at the World Bank and IMF Spring and Annual Meetings will be an important indicator of progress.




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