IFI governance


World Bank EDs and CSOs roundtable

12 April 2016

17 April 2016 | Minutes


Merza Hasan, Executive Director and Dean of the Board at the World Bank Group

Alex Sardar, CIVICUS


Merza Hasan

  • WB and changing global environment in terms of markets
  • we are going to face some challenges with regards to our mission
  • Modalities on how to meet the 2030 agenda and Financing for Development, but not stop there
  • Opened the dialogue on what type of Bank in the future, increase the effectiveness and efficiency, focusing on the client
  • Regional and global issues, especially global goods
  • How to partner effectively with private sector and other partners to leverage resources
  • w/in the bank need to work with other institutions efficiently
  • improve financial sustainability
  • lot of things happening in the globe, the refugee crisis, how to deal with it
  • how to help the MICs who are the big hosts of the refugees
  • the WB reformation is continuing, new procurement policy operation 1 July
  • soc and env framework, we have some issues, but certain we can move forward
  • Our project and beneficiary feedback is now at 77%, targeting soon 100%
  • On the website, we now have all the EDs uploaded in standard format, but some offices have some specifies according to need, countries covered and sectors
  • CIVICUS and partners will present the award for most transparent website today

Alex Sardar

  • unprecedented meeting, first time we have had 24 of 25 ED offices attending
  • taking questions from the floor but also from social media
  • will also present open for business award, for the board to be more transparent also for the public, started in 2013 with website challenge and information, since then info been free flowing
  • this years award goes to Germany (presented with award, plus orchid)
  • first question regarding the safeguards process, general accountability within the WB, touches on some of the most disenfranchised vulnerable populations
  • heard today about the latest transparency report

Q: This morning US Congress women wrote to WB expressing concerns about water PPPs until congressional hearing can be held, how will you address this.

Q: Does the WB consider widespread and well-known human atrocities in its records, such as DRC? Do you consider the background of that country.

Q: What is not mentioned is not visible, re LGBT community, concerned about the safeguards. What are you going to do in favour of this very excluded population.

Q fr social media: does the WB care about HIV/AIDS drugs

Q: Publish What You Fund: sneak preview of 2016 Aid Transparency Index, the IDA comes in 6th, however, IFC at only 31% – what will you do to ensure IFC improves?

Satu Santala, ED Nordic-Baltics

  • WB, public sector side of things, poor countries get financing from IDA
  • Gets decided in agreement with WB and country, in line with development priorities
  • Country programmes are written through new tools, which includes gender issues, based on this priorities gets decided and prioritisation
  • Depending on which issues a country have, in our programme in DRC there is an element of trying to address gender based violence
  • We are increasingly venturing into these countries where we don’t have a lot of experience, but we are tackling these issues

Alex Foxley, Argentina, Bolivia, Chile, Paraguay, Peru and Uruguay ED

  • LGBT and safeguards, we have been in conversation for a while, good meeting with Kim and staff yesterday
  • Announcement this morning that WB will create a position on senior management level to mainstream issues within the Bank itself, but also in policy dialogue
  • Also looking for options and president committed himself to find some funding for studies re discrimination of LGBT groups
  • Some cases in South Asia, also looking at Latin America, re economic costs of this kind of discrimination
  • Finished third round of consultation in about 30 countries, most borrowing countries, re implementation challenges for governments and stakeholders
  • Process also moving forward in form of informal discussion on specific issues, as underlined with differences, a number of meetings on working groups – not ready to declare victory, but better sense of where each one is standing and why
  • Means we now go back to management to start working on third draft, board will also continue informal discussion, decision point in July – draft second half of June
  • Expectation conclusion in end July before board recess, negotiations will begin in full now for the final stretch
  • Water PPPs, I’m glad this is an issue that is of interest to US Congress, but the way borrowing countries are addressing the issues depends on government programmes through democratic process
  • So in Chile after an intense process wants PPP, this has been the result of an internal and sovereign decision

Matthew McGuire, US ED

  • has been engaging with US Congress before, haven’t heard about this before, but look forward to speaking with her
  • PPPs are an important mechanism that sometimes works better than others
  • Colleagues will be in touch soon, so we know exactly what she is asking for
  • The decline in healthcare and education funding as countries move up the income ladder, needs smoother transition, as with move from IDA to IBRD country
  • Our view is that we need to think about this larger issues, so the funding doesn’t get set aside entirely – working on and trying to figure out right now
  • As more countries move up the income ladder it will be important to focus on


  • keen on business and rankings, results of IFC
  • board is frequently briefed by IFC on progress made, been looking carefully on transparency
  • voluntary disclosure of concern for civil society, we are pushing for this
  • hope to have better position next year

Arnaud Delauney, France alternate ED

  • focusing on how to engage in post conflict situations, keeping in mind don’t have same mandate as UN
  • how to address the impact and how to strengthen civil society – have a lot of countries in mind, try to engage positively with all partners, but not easy

Social media/overflow room: Nigeria, issue of displaced persons as a result of a WB funded project, what is the board’s view on how to deal with this issue?


  • been discussed inside and outside of the WB, have a policy but not perfect
  • situations of development and displacement is serious, we take it seriously
  • need to look at it and take appropriate measure
  • board keeps track of this discussion, work close with the Panel, regional vice presidencies in others – subject under constant review


  • assuming involuntary resettlement, not just displaced people
  • this afternoon we had a meeting on this issue, conclusion of the Panel and lessons learned are enlightening, eg risk analysis that needs to take place that is lacking – we need to look at this
  • the consultation process, everyone knows there are problems, and then the compensation


  • encourages board to speak to the evictee from Nigeria, she is here
  • civil society space, criminalisation of work, etc, including essential services, such as MENA where they are dealing with the refugee crisis
  • Haiti, how do we make sure younger nascent NGOs can be at the table
  • Engaging CSOs more directly rather than through government protocol
  • How does the WB view transparency and accountability through CSOs

Q: Safeguards, you have proposed policy for stakeholder engagement, how can you ensure it is really happening when implementation is in the hands of government

Q: From Kenya, Olkaria electricity programme, what is the role of the WB how can they check compliance of indigenous peoples issues

Q: From Nigeria, what are the EDs looking at regarding accountability in the food production sector.

Q: From Kenya – WB/IFC helping small countries to progress and developments, we need to talk to the government, the government doesn’t want to talk to civil society

Q: Civil society participation and Syrian refugee crisis, WB providing aid, but not consulted appropriate on what is happening today.


  • agree that it is a serious issue with the closing space, part of other concerning trends
  • important to recognise important services by CSOs to poor communities
  • what the WB can and is doing, increasing share of our projects that have built in ways to engage with citizens – well on our way to 100% of projects with clear beneficiaries mechanism to deal with
  • grievance mechanisms inbuilt
  • further work on social accountability more broadly, eg the GPSA financing projects
  • there are a lot of tools, even in difficult environments
  • in analysis should understand what we enter into
  • safeguards and how do we ensure the implementation and engagement, misunderstanding that we would leave the entire implementation with borrower – implementer is the borrower, there are ways of doing this

Frank Heemskerk, Armenia, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Georgia, Israel, Macedonia, Moldova, Montenegro, The Netherlands, Romania and Ukraine ED

  • concerning with shrinking space, also bad economics
  • what can we do, set examples – we do consultations as EDs, we have trust funds that fund CSOs, should also understand differences of models
  • we decide on consensus, non-political, we have some issues to discuss but at the table we try to decide together
  • overall trend is very worrisome, important we all speak out, JYK is speaking out

Melanie Robinson, UK ED

  • question of MENA region and Syria, interesting time for WB and its role
  • meeting focus on this, how we can work with countries and communities, access to job, education etc
  • conference in UK last week, JYK was there – principles to listen more to host communities, and refugees more carefully, will be taken forward
  • how we can do this better, core principle

Ursula Mueller, Germany ED

  • given shrinking space, have to recognise the courage of civil society organisations
  • opportunity of 9 EDs to visit Lebanon to talk to refugees, which is vital
  • whenever we travel as board members, we ensure we have meetings with civil society, eg in Central Asia – we had frank discussions also with the government, re human rights abuses


  • some of the ways WB has done civil society vs. government engagement more efficiently, can make strong arguments re inclusive approach
  • next World Development Report on governance
  • in some of the hardest context, we have been able to open some of this space, eg in Ethiopia to build capability on the ground – government recognised the value in this
  • a good question for us to keep asking ourselves


  • met with Jackson from Kenya yesterday, visited the project, there is a plan of action to address the issues
  • will check with management exactly what is happening
  • other partners are also involved so will need coordinated approach with them


  • sanctioned vs unsanctioned civil society in countries
  • what role civil society could play – eg questions on IFC financing Egyptian firms through tax havens, what is the WB’s role in this
  • Oxfam – IFC financing in Health in Africa initiative and transparency
  • Ethiopia solidarity movement – does the WB apply its principles when working in developing countries


  • don’t want to comment on the four firms, take these issues seriously, looking into at the institutional department incl treasury


  • transparency of our report is good, don’t see an issue there, but can bring to a colleague at the IFC, I’m sure we can get an answer
  • many financial projects in MENA


  • coordinated development frameworks, SDGs, climate agreement, etc, to ensure they are inline or WB taking proactive effort to meet these
  • CAN asks what changes to policy and operations the WB is going to make re Paris Agreement
  • Partnership for Development effectiveness, what is WB doing re Busan on a country level

Q: Coordination amount ever growing development banks, how are policies coordinated or not – what convergence or not is there

Q; Compliance with Paris Agreement, why is the WB still funding exploration projects for fossil fuels?

Q; Different financial institutions financing development, asking for more just standards the response is re loosing business – standards for all the institutions, to ensure rights are preserved

Q: From Nigeria, Badia East, up til now 10,000 of us are still sleeping outside and children are not able to go to school. What is our fate?


  • Paris Agreement more a compass, clients are in the driver seats, there is a target and there is direction
  • How can WB help to be at their side to implement their ambitions
  • Need to make changes and evolve which is what we are doing
  • Release of action plan, builds on national action plans of countries
  • More about the dialogue with clients, tailoring progress, scaling up
  • Focus on adaptation especially in Africa
  • Need more partnership, leveraging impact
  • Committed 20% of grant financing, 30 billion Euros, things are moving


  • Mexico in constituency, discussed energy policy, looking more into renewables
  • Complex reforms that Mexico has gone through – investment in efficiency, participation in GCF, typical case where the country need to make the most of its resources


  • coordination of various development banks, AIIB is up and running, no projects, but starting cofinancing WB projects, with WB standards applying
  • Needs for meeting SDGs and climate commitments, its trillions of dollars needed
  • From billions to trillions came out of institutions coming together
  • Climate smart agriculture, energy efficiency, means it is not either or
  • WB thinking about how to help countries meeting their own commitments


  • Busan and SDGs – WB quite a good performer on Busan principles, generally good at being a partner in development, and WB does quite well on transparency, and focusing on results
  • Step changes with the WB engagement on what the world needs to do, have been very engaged – how can WB now work with a new set of partners, which is being discussed at the board, as we start to work with UN partners in FCAS for example
  • Want to do better on private sector, different way of working, different set of instruments, local currency markets eg
  • How can the WB do better and more responsive in working with governments, seen as bureaucratic – looking at some of these new challenges at the board, Forward Look