The World Bank Group works with civil society, which includes: “the wide array of non-governmental and not for profit organizations that have a presence in public life, express the interests and values of their members and others, based on ethical, cultural, political, scientific, religious or philanthropic considerations.”
Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) have emerged as a major force in international development in the past 30 years.
The World Bank Group has been working to strengthen its engagement with civil society since 1981, when its first operational policy note on relations with CSos was approved by the World Bank’s Board of Directors. See more about the history of World Bank engagement with CSOs in the link above.
Interaction with CSOs
The Bank interacts with hundreds of CSOs every day throughout the world, engaging with them through information sharing, policy dialogue, strategy consultation, operational collaboration, and institutional partnerships.
There are over 120 professionals in the Bank’s Washington, DC Headquarters, and in over 100 country offices, that act as Civil Society Focal Points responsible for engaging CSOs from the local to the global levels. There is also the Global Civil Society Team located in the Bank’s External and Corporate Relations Department that coordinates the overall engagement and relationship management with CSOs.
Some examples of engagement are below.
- Policy Dialogue and Consultations
There has been a significant growth in the number of CSO representatives attending the Annual and Spring Meetings of the World Bank Group and International Monetary Fund. They participate in the Civil Society Policy Forum which includes a CSO Roundtable with Executive Directors, Townhall with the President of the World Bank Group, and a Civil Society Forum with over 40 policy dialogue sessions mostly organized by CSOs.
- Operational Collaboration and Institutional Partnerships
The Bank has steadily increased its operational collaboration with civil society organizations by involving them in Bank funded projects and by funding their development initiatives. The project development of CSOs in Bank financed projects has increased from 21% in 1990 to 88% in fiscal year 2015.
Beyond policy dialogue and operational collaboration, CSOs are also claiming a seat at the WBG governance table. CSO representatives, for instance, serve on the steering committees of the Global Partnership for Social Accountability (GPSA) and the Global Agriculture and Food Security Program (GAFSP) in both cases helping to allocate resources. CSO representatives also serve in advisory bodies of several WBG programs and funding mechanisms including the Citizens Engagement Framework, Health, Nutrition, and Population CSO Consultative Group, Global Environment Facility (GEF), and Climate Investment Funds (CIFs).
This section provides information on World Bank Group funding options for CSOs:
- The Global Partnership for Social Accountability (GPSA) is the largest funding mechanism the Bank has for CSOs. It was established in 2012 with the purpose of bridging the accountability gap between citizens and governments. The GPSA is based on constructive engagement between governments and civil society in order to create an enabling environment in which citizen feedback is used to solve fundamental problems in service delivery and to strengthen the performance of public institutions. Learn more about funding opportunities through GPSA.
- The World Bank procurement framework supports the execution of World Bank projects. Several CSOs have successfully bid and been awarded contracts to execute components of World Bank projects in support of the development objectives of our client countries.
- The Bank also provides grants to local nonprofits who provide charitable and social services in the Washington metropolitan area, or to international NGOs who support community development efforts, human rights, and environmental protection worldwide through its Community Connections Program.
World Bank - Civil Society Engagement Review:
|Fiscal Years 2010 -2012|
|Full Report (English)||Executive Summary - Arabic||Executive Summary - Chinese|
|Executive Summary - French||Executive Summary - Spanish||Executive Summary - Russian|
|Fiscal Years 2007 - 2009|
|Full Report (English)||Executive Summary (English)|
|Executive Summary - Arabic||Executive Summary - Chinese||Executive Summary - French|
|Executive Summary - Spanish||Executive Summary - Russian||Executive Summary - Turkish|
|Fiscal Years 2005 - 2006|
|Full Report (English)||Executive Summary (English)||Full Report - French|
|Executive Summary - French||Full Report - Spanish||Executive Summary - Spanish|
|Executive Summary - Chinese||Executive Summary - Arabic||Executive Summary - Russian|
|Fiscal Years 2002 -2004|
|Full Report (English)|
|Fiscal Years 2000 -2001|
|Full Report (English)|
|Engaging citizens through mediation in Kaduna State, Nigeria||2016|
|Civil society, public action and accountability in Africa||2011|