IFI governance


Bolivian NGOs angry at misrepresentation

15 March 1999

Key Bolivian NGOs feel that Wolfensohn has misrepresented the Bolivian National Dialogue (carried out in 1997) and subsequent process as a model for other countries to follow. Civil society groups have objected that they were not properly consulted in the National Dialogue:

  • the time for consultation was too short (whole dialogue took 15-20 days), and the government refused to give NGOs longer to prepare;
  • only 2 NGO networks were consulted (the private sector and Catholic Church were much better represented);
  • NGOs were not given access to information on which to prepare their input;
  • follow-up by the government and the Bank has been poor, eg. notice of Consultative Group meetings has not been given and there was no civil society representation at them.

The Bank’s matrix consigns NGOs to address equity issues, but they apparently have no role in the other 3 aspects of the plan – economic growth, good governance and alternative development.

If Wolfensohn had been told about these Bolivian NGO views he might have been more cautious about using this country as his sole example in his memo.