Update on the Safeguards Review and Update Consultation Process

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Extension of Consultation Period for Phase 1. The first piece of news is that we are extending the first period of until mid-April (the Spring Meetings) in order to allow more time for in-country consultations. We will officially close the first period of consultations during the IMF-World Bank Spring Meetings (April 19-21, 2013) with an event organized as part of the CSO Policy Forum. We are in the process of updating the website (all language versions) to reflect this change. This extension of the first period of consultation may have an impact on the overall timeline for the safeguards review. The overall timeline will be raised with Management and the Committee on Development Effectiveness of the Board of Executive Directors.

Countries Being Considered for Consultations During Phase 1. We are currently working on organizing about 20 in-country meetings with both government and non-government constituencies. The countries under consideration include:

  • Africa: Senegal, South Africa
  • East Asia and Pacific: China, Indonesia, Philippines, Vietnam
  • Europe and Central Asia: Georgia (+ Armenia via video-conference), Kazakhstan or Kyrgyzstan, Romania (+ Moldova via video-conference), Russia, Turkey
  • Latin America and the Caribbean: Argentina, Guatemala, Peru
  • Middle East and North Africa: Morocco, Tunisia
  • South Asia: India, Nepal or Sri Lanka

In addition, we are also planning meetings with constituencies in Australia, Belgium, Canada, and Japan.

Please note that confirmation of participation of the all countries included on this list is pending government notification, so this list is still subject to change.

Details on the location, date, and venue for in-country consultation meeting will be posted on the consultations website starting in early January 2013 as they firm up.

Expressing Your Interest in Participation in Consultations. You can express your interest in attending any of the face-to-face meetings by sending an email to safeguardconsult@worldbank.org and we will direct your communication to the country office team organizing the consultation event.

The selection of countries to include in the first consultation period was undertaken in consultation with Regional Management Teams and the Board of Executive Directors. Selection is based largely on the size/composition of the borrowers’ safeguards-related lending program. The greatest emphasis on in-country consultation meetings will be in the second consultation period, when more countries will be included.

Focus Groups of External Experts on Emerging Areas. We are also preparing for the focus group meetings of external experts on the seven emerging areas. The seven areas are climate change; disability; free, prior and informed consent of indigenous peoples; gender; human rights; labor and occupational health and safety; and land tenure and natural resources. We anticipate scheduling these meetings from February – April 2013. The location of each of these meetings is also in the process of being finalized. Each focus group will include around 10 participants, whom we will invite based on the following criteria:

  • Internationally or regionally recognized policy or technical expertise or significant hands-on implementation experience in the relevant emerging area
  • Familiarity with work of the World Bank Group.

Participants will be identified based on recommendations from World Bank specialists. We are also considering recommendations from shareholders and external stakeholders. We will seek to ensure that the composition of each focus group reflects a balance of perspectives in terms of gender, regions, and the types of expertise represented. The Terms of Reference for these expert focus groups is available on the website.

The locations, dates and participants of the focus group meetings will be posted on the safeguards review consultation website in advance of the meeting, and the summary of each discussion will be posted shortly after the meeting. Please subscribe for updates on the website to be alerted to new information on in-country consultations and expert focus groups as it is posted.

Thanks for Participation in Earlier Consultations. We’d like to thank all of you who have participated in the consultations held so far in Washington, Paris, Oslo and The Hague, as well as to those of you who have sent your views and recommendations by letter or email or whom we have met at conferences or other meetings. The feedback summary from the November 15 consultation in Washington, DC, has been posted on the website.

Share Your Views. We look forward to your continued engagement in the safeguards review process. Please continue to share your views with us through the safeguardconsult@worldbank.org account, and we will continue to post your contributions on the website.

Best wishes,
Safeguards Review and Update Team