Complex World. Smart Solutions

The World Bank and the IMF convened civil society leaders in Washington D.C as the world faces unprecedented and interwoven challenges

Civil society organizations are at the forefront of a complex set of historic and interwoven challenges: climate change, high inflation, conflicts, energy and food crises. The ongoing war in Ukraine further exacerbates these challenges as frontline communities in the global south are bearing the brunt of unjust, ill-advised policies from decision-makers. As IMF’s Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva puts it :” the world economy was hit by one shock after another ” referring to COVID 19, the war in Ukraine and recent climate disasters on every continent.

Against this backdrop, a broad spectrum of civil society organizations from the global south participated in the Civil Society Policy Forum on October 10- 14th, 2022. They had the opportunity to raise their voices and advocate on issues that matter to them:

  • the unbearable burden of debt services on developing countries
  • the urgency of climate change (the urgency to act NOW)
  • the need for improved CSO engagement to fight corruption and increase transparency
  • Fairer macro-economic policies
  • Youth and Women empowerment

 This was a unique opportunity for the World Bank, the IMF and other policymakers to garner insights and recommendations from field-tested CSO leaders who offered fresh and honest accounts on the devastating impact of those issues on affected communities.

 Towards the next CSPF: Constructive engagement between CSOs and the Bretton Woods institutions

 Participating CSOs should:

  • organize preparatory meetings to develop issues-based or regional coalitions
  • Develop key messages and “asks” to be submitted to the policymakers
  • Develop an advocacy plan and a follow-up committee to make sure that their priorities remain on the agenda in-between forums
  • Remain connected and engaged through social media

 The World Bank and IMF should:

  • Give more space on the agenda to CSOs to develop and present their ideas
  • Make tangible, time-bound commitments to CSOs to respond to their grievances

Build a joint plan for concrete actions to be taken ahead of the next CSPF.

John Miller Beauvoir

Democracy and Governance Expert