FORUM: Civil Society Organizations at World Bank, International Monetary Fund
Civil Society Organizations (CSOs), including those involved with disability issues, have an opportunity to meet with staff members at the World Bank Group (WBG) and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) in Washington, DC, USA, April 10-13, 2008. Organizations interested in sending a representative must apply for accreditation by March 23, 2008.
Each year, the World Bank Group and the International Monetary Fund hold two major joint meetings. The larger of these, called the “Annual Meetings,” is held in the fall. A similar but smaller set of meetings, called the “Spring Meetings,” is held in the spring. The 2008 Spring Meetings is held over the weekend of April 12-13, 2008.
Also each year, representatives of non-governmental organizations (NGOs) may participate in a Program of Policy Dialogues for Civil Society Organizations (CSOs). The World Bank and International Monetary Fund civil society teams will also be offering an Orientation Session on the World Bank and IMF for interested CSO representatives attending the 2008 Spring Meetings.
The World Bank Group makes loans to the governments of developing countries to support projects to reduce poverty; improve infrastructure; and bring education, clean water, health services, and electricity to more poor people. The International Monetary Fund, among other things, advises country governments on their economic policies and lends money to governments to help them correct balance of payments problems. Thus, the World Bank is focused on fighting poverty, while the IMF is focused more on broader macroeconomic issues.
For more information about the participation of Civil Society Organizations, go to the page on the 2008 Spring Meeting targeted at representatives of Civil Society Organizations
Be sure to read all the information at the above link carefully before you decide whether it would be suitable to your interests to attend. For example, this is NOT the forum to attend if you are looking for concrete guidance on how to start a new project for disabled people in your country. This will NOT be an opportunity to ask for funding for your organization. You will NOT receive advice on improving or strengthening your organization.
However, if you represent a larger, more stable organization that is able to take a very long view on your future activities, then this forum might be suitable for you. It may help you learn more about the World Bank and the IMF. (If this interests you, then you will be particularly interested in the April 9 Orientation Session. Please note that regisration for the orientation session is handled separately from registration for the Policy Dialogues for Civil Society Organizations in general.)
Attending this event can also give you the chance to participate in many policy dialogue sessions. These sessions will bring together staff from the Bank and Fund; CSO representatives; government officials; and other individuals. People will use these sessions to discuss important issues that will be addressed during the 2008 Spring Meetings. This could be an opportunity to share your thoughts and learn from the perspectives of other participants.
Also, the IMF/WB Civil Society Team staff can help facilitate contacts between your civil society organization and journalists during the forum. You can also leave print materials about your organization at a table in the Press Room for journalists to pick up.
If you are reading this before March 15, 2008 then you may wish to consider submitting a proposal to host your own, two-hour session as part of the Civil Society Policy Forum. (Perhaps a session on disability inclusion in development?) Proposals should be short and should include the title, topic, and expected outcome of the panel. Also indicate who (if anyone) from the World Bank or the IMF you would like to be a part of the session. Send proposals by 5 p.m. EST, March 15, 2008, via email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
We Can Do learned about this opportunity for Civil Society Organizations at the World Bank’s CommNet blog at http://commnet.worldbank.org/node/3220.
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