Blog

The World Bank’s Evolving Relationship with Civil Society

Until the 1980s, the World Bank had very little interaction with civil society. From then on, however, engagement became ever more a feature of the Bank’s way of working. Four factors, in particular, have shaped this....

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The Sardar Sarovar Saga

Civil society campaigns have provided powerful impetus towards strengthening the “downwards accountability” of the World Bank. The most widely publicized of such actions has been the twenty-year international campaign about the Sardar Sarovar dam on India’s Narmada River. The story of the dam is particularly salutary in that it provoked a…...

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Corruption Scandals ‘Destroyed’ Public Trust in Vaccine Distribution

High-level corruption scandals around the world have exposed the actions of health ministers and high-level officials who manipulated the system to ensure close contacts receive COVID-19 vaccines out of turn. Such dealings have “destroyed” public trust in the vaccine distribution process and could hinder steps taken to move past the…...

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Civil Society Organizations Can Be a Powerful Tool in Getting People Vaccinated

As countries undertake the world’s largest vaccination drive, the innovation, expertise, and community reach of civil society organizations should be a key component. Given the unprecedented scale of this undertaking, as well as the numbers and logistics involved, this will be extremely challenging. A key but previously underutilized set of…...

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How to Monitor Procurement During a State of Emergency: 4 Lessons Learned from Argentina

As COVID-19 swept the globe, the government of Argentina responded by imposing a state of emergency, sidestepping traditional procurement safeguards in the interest of speeding up emergency response. While it was important to provide relief as quickly as possible, the state of emergency also created a series of conditions which…...

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Ensuring Good Governance in COVID-19 Vaccination

Equity, safety, coverage, transparency, accountability and control of corruption - good governance in short - are key goals in COVID-19 vaccination country programs. Governments and donors including the World Bank are taking actions to achieve these but face formidable challenges....

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In Myanmar, Ten Years of Democracy Produced Today’s Youthful Protestors and Tomorrow’s Leaders

As protesters laid siege to the US capitol last month, many wondered whether the United States’ imperfect democracy would survive. “Democracy has prevailed,” US President Joe Biden said in his inaugural address, and indeed it has for now. However, Myanmar has not been as fortunate, facing a coup on February…...

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Equitable COVID-19 Vaccination: How CSOs Can Help Make It Happen

In order to enhance the equity and effectiveness of COVID-19 vaccination campaigns in developing countries, global leaders must enact an international initiative promoting civil society involvement and citizen engagement in vaccine distribution....

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PEACE Project in Myanmar: Lessons for CSO Capacity Building for Civic Engagement

A recently concluded project in Myanmar has demonstrated the importance of not only training civil society organizations to enhance their civic engagement capabilities, but also giving them opportunities to apply learnings to achieve the best results. Ultimately, this project was “very successful” in its efforts to “sustainably increase civic engagement…...

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Uganda’s Internet Shutdown Impacts COVID-19 Response

The internet shutdown during Uganda’s recent general election constitutes a significant setback to anti-corruption efforts in the country, and could hinder efficiency of COVID-19 response programs, according to two local civil society leaders....

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