IFI governance


CSO roundtable with World Bank Group executive directors

14 April 2015 | Note

Sponsor: World Bank Group

Chairs: Merza Hasan (WB Executive Director, MENA Constituency), Lindsay Coates (Acting CEO and President, InterAction)


Hasan: Website is up for each ED, however depends by ED.

Change: Positive impact of CSO feedback.

Development is a challenge. Request for positive stories…

2015 – FFD, COP 21, SDGs…

New strategy – fruits of change. New Country Diagnostic, expenditure review – increased efficiency, reforming safeguards and procurement – unprecedented level of consultations.

Engagement remains a priority and challenge.


Lindsey Coates (CSO):

Need to also ensure ‘mature dialogue’. 3 overarching themes – 20min per topic.

  1. What is the bank doing to mitigate negative impact
  • Financial intermediaries (report cited, Human Rights, land and resettlement), safeguards
  1. How to influence Bank for maximum positive impact
  •  citizen engagement, role of CSO, access to technology, gender, coal, renewable and climate.
  1. Emerging issues – AIIB, ebola, FFD. Role of private sector in development


Civicus Open for Business report:

Transparency and accountability – ED South Korea.

Mitigating negative impact:

South Africa: remember those who passed… Guatemala deaths. Minute of silence.

Safeguards – Petition 20 march no response to date. EDs, opportunity to work for improved HR environment.

‘Real development requires strong safeguards’…

Corporate Accountability:

Conflict of interest – EDs poised to expand. Water management, Tech advice and investors. Most essential public good. IFC divested from Veolia, however continues to invest in Manila water Corp. When will Bank stop such investments.

African NGO representative – nexus of development and conflict. Dr. Kim – focus on women.

A: Hasan: Safeguards – Gwen (UK) – must maximise good. E.i – must not compromise impact. Individual replies to petitions are unrealistic. Are being considered.

Ongoing different views within the Board. Some language on HR. Areas that can go further. Design vs. reality – implementation is the key. Bank recognises that it must do better vis-à-vis implementation.

Conflict of interest:

Frank (?) – two questions – should IFC invest in public goods – not all essential services must be provided by governments. Not 100% public market. Increased productivity.

Conflict of interest – WBG must always focus on improved regulation, service, etc, regardless of impact on IFC.

Violence and conflict – OECD – fragility report… poverty/conflict nexus.


Bank has made much progress but work remains. Much discussed in the Board. Focus on refinement of country diagnostic tools. Eg, gender is being re-prioritised.

HR – all taking suffering of others very seriously. Rare. Positive – Bank is doing and can do quite a lot. Following non-discrimination principle.

Nairobi hub – to provide support on this theme.

  1. How does WB frame its activity for positive outcomes

Gender gap/ economic activity – from outside the room.

What is the Bank doing to support inter-religious dialogue?

Uganda – LGBT currently asylummed in US. Why does Bank continue to support repressive regimes?

Mongolia – What happened to results based management? Now it seems there is more of a focus on government partnership. Must improve monitoring outcome. Devote small % of resources to this end. Focus on continued involvement on this process.

New York – data, technology and education. Is Bank working with private sector on increasing access to these resources.

A: Alex – working and learning for a number of years – reviewing gender policy. How to maximise and improve conditions of employment for women. Also focus on poverty of assets, including financial resources. Cross-cutting approaches – urban development, agriculture, health, etc.

Hassan – religion is potentially sensitive area. Bank must bring in religious institutions into discussion, however…

Jorgen – Bank will not discriminate against any government – conditionality is dead… Will seek to change from the inside. Must work to expand space of liberty, etc. Influence of Bank is overstated… demonstrative impact. Engagement does not equal endorsement. If government accepts that, then the Bank has been successful in opening space.

Programme 4 results – influence design – just agreed on large increase.

Emerging issues:

Water engineer: Afghanistan, Palestine, etc… Calls for information sharing. Tech focus… democratisation, la, la, la… Bank should encourage governments to share info through web, etc…

Kyrgyzstan LGBT – Disagrees with Swiss ED – WB can have an impact and lead change:

  1. Can Bank think of doing research on impact LGBT discrimination on economic growth?


The current model of development is endangering the planet… focus on extractives, etc. Is the World Bank taking into consideration environmental impact. What about the mass migration to developed countries? In Honduras many young people are leaving.

Hassan: Next development report on Internet and Data. Data is the key.

A: US (?) – LGBT – Agrees that Bank should assist to bring to light negative economic consequence of discrimination. This approach allows for the Bank to address governments on sensitive issues. Use of Bank –owned Systematic Country Diagnostic – not dependent on host government, which has input into the Partnership Agreements.


UK – sustainability – deliberate focus on sustainability. Climate proofing investments… Global practices are meant to look to do good. Unrealistic to expect that (Paul Collier, natural resources curse) poor countries should forego extractive resources… Others will do it, etc. Though decisions each time. Not right for a blanket ban on extractives.

Ethiopia: Must speak up for rights. WB support for ‘villagisation’ – what has Bank to speak up for rights.

Ebola – will Bank be part of Ebola Trust Fund

US – citizen engagement. International Climate Process – direct process, beyond consultation, need for direct ongoing role in decision making.

AIIB – impact and WB relation.


HR – ED that travelled to Ethiopia. IP issue/ resettlement. Discussed issues at all levels. Good discussions with the government – very receptive. Again, question remains, engagement vs. withdrawal. Thanks to the presence of Bank in Addis, IP was able to proceed with investigation.

Met with civil society – concerning improvement of impact on service delivery…

Ebola Trust Fund – Communique (for tomorrow) proposing fund/ insurance.

UK – many different mechanisms and players involved. At least three Ebola meetings during the meeting.

Finland – citizens engagement:

Kim’s commitment – when identifiable all beneficiaries will be involved. Looking to involve people beyond initial consultations.

AIIB – NED – hopes for Green, Clean, Lean and not Mean…

No competition. WB has offered all of its support.

US – New op ed – Under-secretary – (statements were five months old). Focus is to ensure that there is no ‘race to the bottom’. For that reason supportive of GIF.

GIF – role in establishing best practice. WB has important role.