Draft Notes of WB-CSO dialogue on urban water and sanitation services, 18-19 Nov 2004

1 December 2004 | Minutes

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The following action points were identified by participants to the WB-CSO dialogue held in London, on 18-19 November. This is currently DRAFT (please send corrections and amendments to Belinda Calaguas at WaterAid- see below for contact details)

1. Information Access and capacity building

A group of CSO representatives identified by participants to the dialogue will work with a Task Manager in Washington in the first week of March 2005 in order to :

    Become familiar with all project documentation prepared at different stages of the WB project cycle
    Understand the significance of these documents – what purpose they serve to whom, what processes are gone through to produce them and who is responsible for these processes, where civil society involvement would be useful to their development, how to access these documents
    Inform the World Bank what documents are important to make public, how to do that proactively so that CSOs and other interested stakeholders can be aware/alert in a timely way
    Inform the WB how this information could be made more accessible to wider public, beyond website publishing
    Develop means through which interested CSOs can also acquire this knowledge
    CSOs and World Bank to discuss further how systematically to improve information access and dissemination around WB projects, policies, and how this can be done in a sustainable way.
    CSOs and World Bank to discuss further how to build civil society capacity to engage in the processes around the project cycle for purposes of scrutiny, etc.

2. Continuing dialogue

    The World Bank Water Week on 1-3 March 2005 presents an additional opportunity to continue discussions on the points raised during the 2-day dialogue (or to raise further issues for discussion).
    There is a slot reserved for a WB-CSO dialogue. The Bank would like to work with CSOs to prepare for this session.
    The WB would sponsor a limited number of CSO participants to the Water Week.
    The initial work on information access (see 1 above) could be pursued either a day before or immediately after the Water Week.
    CSOs to further explore how to continue dialogues with the Bank and to establish terms of engagement. Initially, terms of engagement could be established on the areas for further work/dialogue already identified

3. Tariff structures & levels/subsidies/cost recovery policies

    A further face to face discussion to map out the content of a WB-CSO dialogue on these issues is needed.
    Existing materials on tariffs, subsidies, cost recovery experiences and policy impacts would be identified and pooled so that the information could be shared and help participants to prepare for dialogue.
    A glossary of terms under this topic needs to be created to establish a common vocabulary which will enable further discussions on what we agree and disagree on.

4. Scaling up community interventions

Produce a ‘best practice’ report or compilation of documented cases of successful (and unsuccessful) scaled up community-based projects or scaled up projects with substantial community participation. The report could be used as a ‘tool kit’ on community-based & other civil society participation in development projects that go up to scale. The document could be produced through the following means:

    Participants writing a review of their own scaled up projects – this could generate some 20 or so schemes.
    5 of these projects would then be visited by a combined group of WB-CSOs, to verify/validate.
    The report will generate recommendations that could then be included in WB policies in relation to community/CSO participation in projects and on scaling up community-managed schemes.

5. Watsan lobbying/ advocacy capacity building / sector co-ordination

An advocacy pack will be produced to assist sector stakeholders in their lobbying efforts to prioritise WSS in PRSs and other government development plans. The pack will:

    Pull together & synthesise materials that identify links between water & santation to health, education, economic growth, and the MDGs
    Highlight examples of where advocacy has been successful in this area
    Provide examples of how to engage in policy processes of countries
    The pack will be used for capacity building – for use in training sessions, as a starting point to set up exchanges, etc.

Producing the pack alone will not build capacity, so there needs to be further discussions between WB and CSOs on how to build capacity, especially amongst sector CSOs to advocate for the sector.

WB and CSOs in the sector have a common interest in sector co-ordination (making all donors harmonise, ensuring transparent planning of water/supply development that achieves access for un-served and poor people, and making the sector stakeholders (government, providers, etc.) accountable for performance, and a participatory way of defining what the performance critieria are.

Annual Joint Sector Reviews (JSR) is one mechanism that would be important to promote in developing countries. To this end:

    WB to circulate ToRs for JSRs, on basis of Uganda experience.
    CSOs and WB to be familiar with JSRs, possibly through organising delegations to attend the annual JSR meeting in Uganda
    WB to involve CSOs in countries where they are in the process of setting up JSR mechanisms.

6. Way forward

    CSOs agreed that WaterAid will continue to be a point of communication on this plan of action.
    CSOs agreed that individual participants who want to pursue the specific items above, should proceed to enter into further discussions with the WB, and to ensure that these discussions are transparent to other participants to the dialogue, and to the wider group of CSOs who may be interested to participate. The subsequent WB-CSO initiatives that may develop need to facilitate participation of CSOs beyond the initiating partners.

Could participants please send feedback on these points or any necessary amendments to Belinda Calaguas

There were other points that were raised either by Bank staff or CSO participants during the 2-day dialogue that also needs follow up, but the group did not have time to explore these issues further. These include:

    criteria for performance benchmarking of reforming public utilities
    CSO roles and legitimacy/accountability; public investment & conditionality
    capacity building of civil society to engage with WB processes
    dialogue on continuing controversies to unblock it

For comments please contact: Belinda U. Calaguas; Advocacy Manager; WaterAid; Prince Consort House; 27-29 Albert Embankment;London SE1 7UB; Tel: 020 7793 4502; Fax: 020 7793 4545; email: