Highlights: Meeting of UK NGOs with UK Alternate Executive Director to the World Bank

July 22 meeting with Caroline Sergaent

25 July 2008 | Minutes

July 22, 2008

Present: Caroline Sergeant (UK AED WB), Peter Taylor (Head of WB team, IFID), Mita Patel (Economist, IFID), Carl Kalapesi (Economist, DFID), Cathy Welsh (Equity and Rights team, DFID), Oliver Keetch (Policy Advisor WB, IFID)

NGOs: Peter Frankental (Amnesty UK), Robin Stafford (Transaid), Sarah Edwards (JDC), Matteo Bocci (CAFOD), Lies Craeynest (WWF), Jeff Powell (BWP)

1. Climate and energy

a. On the Strategic Framework for Climate Change (SFCC):

CS: This will go to the board in Sept, then tabled for the governors at the annual meetings in Oct. Once agreed, the regions will have to think how to integrate, then country directors how to align Country Assistance Strategies (CAS) etc. Opportunities for input will continue throughout.

b. On Climate Investment Funds (CIFs):

CS and MP:

  • No definitive start dates yet, although the funds are ‘live’ now. Strategic Climate Fund (SCF) is further along; Clean Technology Fund (CTF) design details still being finalised.
  • In each case, WB staff will identify projects on an ongoing basis, regular meetings of the trust fund committee will evaluate. No dates have been fixed yet for these meetings. No dates yet for partnership committee – Zoellick is keen for them to be happening soon.
  • US, UK, Japan and Germany are confirmed donors; others are rumoured but not publicly confirmed.
  • Grant/loan component will be guided by the Debt Sustainability Framework (DSF) and following IDA model, but the financing structure of individual projects will be up to the trust fund committees to assess on a case-by-case basis.
  • CIFs should not pre-empt UNFCCC outcome; no link to commitments signed up to under UNFCCC. Unsure whether Environmental Transformation Fund (ETF) will count towards UNFCCC obligations – to follow up.
  • CIFs should be additional to ODA commitments
  • Question is what should architecture look like 3-4 years down the line? Learn from health where we know that ‘letting a thousand flowers bloom’ doesn’t work (and moved to the International Health Partnership). DFID, GEF, UN, WB (Philippe Le Houerou, VP concessional finance and global partnerships) all thinking about this.
  • Oliver Knight (DFID, Low carbon development team) is working with DEFRA on UK position on definition of ‘clean technology’

c. On energy:

CS: SFCC and energy sector review will be key (nb. MP to get back to us about timing of WB energy sector review). We need a transformational shift, but a lot of countries haven’t even started to think about low-carbon growth paths. IFC will be integrated throughout. DFID’s ISP (see below) will include more thinking on IFC role. Rachel Kyte (newly appointed IFC VP Business Advisory Services, formerly IFC Director for social and environmental development) will be very good on this.

d. On WDR 2010 Climate:

CS: A woman leading at the Bank (unsure who). Early days. DFID will assign someone to work on this – key process. Publication September 09. Contact new WB Chief Economist Justin Lin early if we want to input into this.

2. Transport

CS: Agreed that Bank has over-emphasised infrastructure and equated transport with construction, and at the same time not paid enough attention to importance of transport to MDG attainment. But Bank will only respond to demand from countries. How can we better communicate transport services impact on MDGs? Side event at WB-IMF meetings? Need other sector people (health, education, watsan, etc.) to raise. She will ask WB staff to say where they’re at with thinking on this.

CK: African Development Bank big increase in infrastructure portfolio. Need to think about which functions for which institution.

3. World Bank governance reform

CS and PT:

  • Committee on Governance and Administrative Matters (COGAM) just met on this and will meet again in August. Development Committee deputies will meet 11 September in Mexico. Then it will be discussed by board before being tabled at annual meetings in October.
  • UK will continue to prioritise meritocratic leadership selection.
  • There has been no discussion on European consolidation at a high-level, and no plans to do so. Up to French EU presidency.
  • Sub-committee of COGAM is examining board procedures -led by Mexican ED Jorge Familiar and Dutch ED Herman Wijffels.
  • IEG already has a significant work programme (so asking them to evaluate WB governance as was done by the IEO may not be effective). UK would like IEG to look at the Bank’s matrix management.
  • Need continued CSO pressure on European capitals to get this discussed.
  • Ultimately needs new Bretton Woods conference

4. Human rights and the Bank

a. The Nordic trust fund

CW: Finally signed and about to be set up. Norway has contributed $25 million and the UK $50,000/year.

b. Is the WB subject to international human rights conventions?

CS: Former WB General Counsel Roberto Danino made progress on this. Has since been stalled. We are awaiting a new General Counsel to see if s/he will interpret the articles in a progressive way.

c. Does the UK consider its extra-territorial human rights obligations in its decision-making at the Bank?

CS: We could do more work to make this more systematic.

CW: DFID is communicating to its staff worldwide around the Human Rights Act. The National Audit Office (NAO) picked up (in their report on budget support) that DFID did not have sufficient systems in place to monitor human rights observance.

d. Will next year’s review of safeguards and performance standards (across the Bank, and by IEG) offer an opportunity to advance this agenda?

CS: Depends on progress with broader strategic framework (back to General Counsel) and work of Nordics.

CW: Noted work of OECD Development Assistance Committee (DAC) human rights task team – includes WB staffer Siobhan McKinnery. Also of note: DFID secondee to WB, Andy Norton, working on a rights-based approach to social policy in Latin American region; DFID considering similar work for African region.

5. HMG Updates

PT: WB Institutional Strategy Paper (ISP) will be published in the first half of next year. It will be high-level, with no more than 5 objectives – less detailed than the last ISP. The review of the last ISP is still awaiting ministerial approval.

CS: Susanna Moorehead, the new UK ED for the WB, will begin 2 September. She won’t be in London before annuals, but has plans to meet with UK NGOs regularly. Treasury has appointed an Alternate ED, but it is not yet public. Treasury has appointed a new advisor – Georgie Drummond. Caroline finishes end September. Possible to meet with her on way through London on way back from Accra.