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World Bank Institute Alumni Newsletter (Issue 1, February 2007)

Welcome to this first World Bank Institute (WBI) Alumni Newsletter. The purpose of the WBI Alumni Newsletter is to provide you with a concise and timely selection of news and information from WBI. For more Information visit the WBI Alumni webpage:

In this issue:

  • Governance Roundtable & Tuning in to Good Governance
  • Global Forum & Development OUTREACH issue on Science & Technology
  • Social Accountability Network Launch in Africa (ANSA-Africa)
  • Poverty & Growth Blog: Building Capacity to Reduce Poverty
  • Training New Professional Urban Managers in India
  • WBI's Leadership Capacity Development Program
  • To Receive this Newsletter or Manage Your Subscription

1. Governance Roundtable & Tuning in to Good Governance

Two recent WBI events focused on governance: (1) the Measuring Governance Roundtable, a two-hour session held January 11, 2007, provided an opportunity for World Bank staff and external experts to discuss data and methodologies used to develop governance indictors, the advantages and disadvantages of various indicators, issues related to the use of indicators in measuring the results of various development policy actions, and directions for future development. (2) African mayors, local public officials, members of local communities, representatives from civil society, and journalists, are collaborating with WBI governance experts to design a radio program that will support knowledge sharing and dissemination of good governance practices in their countries. The first step was a videoconference conversation on January 17, 2007, facilitated by Global Development Learning Network (GDLN) Affiliates who brought together stakeholders in Benin, Burkina Faso, Madagascar, and Senegal, and the WBI team in Washington.

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2. Global Forum & Development OUTREACH issue on Science & Technology

Do you know about WBI’s Development OUTREACH quarterly magazine? Each issue of OUTREACH focuses on a new topic and presents a range of viewpoints by renowned authors and specialists worldwide, using language that is accessible to a general reader. You can access the online version or sign up to receive a subscription by mail.The January 2007 OUTREACH on Science & Technology: Building Capacity for Development was timed to coincide with the Global Forum: Building Science, Technology, and Innovation (STI) Capacity for Sustainable Growth and Poverty Reduction that was held in Washington, DC from February 13-15. The Global Forum discussed strategies, programs, and policies for sustainable growth and poverty reduction through the development of STI capacity. OUTREACH magazine highlights topics that were central to the discussions at the forum, such as infrastructure investment, education, STI local applications, commercialization of science, scaling up innovation, and more.

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3. Social Accountability Network Launch in Africa (ANSA-Africa)

Government and civil society leaders from across Africa met in Pretoria, South Africa, in December to launch the Affiliated Network for Social Accountability (ANSA)-Africa, innovative new mechanism to support social accountability initiatives on the African continent. The launch was hosted by South Africa ’s Human Sciences Research Council (HSRC), which is partnering with the World Bank in sponsoring the initiative. The network is governed by an African-led executive committee, with representation from Francophone, Anglophone, and Lusophone countries, and a technical advisory group that will provide expertise on a wide range of subject areas as the initiative develops With an initial endowment for three years from the Bank’s Development Grant Facility, ANSA-Africa will link with partners across the continent who in turn will forge their own regional and local associations to support social accountability initiatives. ANSA-Africa also works to build the capacity of African institutions, a key concern of WBI, which is managing the effort in collaboration with the World Bank's Africa Region. ANSA-Africa will help improve current methodologies, such as citizen report cards, participatory budgeting, and participatory public expenditure tracking surveys, among others, that ensure greater transparency in the use of public resources and responsiveness to citizen demand.

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4. Poverty & Growth Blog: Building Capacity to Reduce Poverty The Poverty & Growth blog is maintained by WBI’s Poverty and Growth Program. The blog tries to bring together everything you want to know about poverty and growth, including knowledge, news, resources, tools, ideas and commentary on issues relating to the design, implementation, monitoring, and evaluation of poverty reduction policies and strategies. The Poverty & Growth blog aims to reach participants in WBI courses, partners, researchers, academia, civil society, government officials, and people interested in poverty reduction.

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5. Training New Professional Urban Managers in India Except for the very large cities, few urban managers in India ’s small and medium sized towns have the professional training to tackle the numerous challenges their burgeoning metros face. This article, written by WBI staff based in India, explores the increasingly critical need for India to have a well-trained cadre of professional city managers who understand the myriad problems of their booming centers of growth.

WBI has facilitated the establishment of a Certification Program in City Management at the Administrative Staff College of India (ASCI) Hyderabad and the Yashwantrao Academy of Development Administration (YASHADA) Pune. These are two of the country’s premier institutes for training administrators in modern management techniques. The program’ core curriculum covers areas such as municipal financial management, municipal services management, as well as municipal governance including procurement and contracting. Unlike other training programs, it emphasizes the testing of participants on each module.

Six-hundred participants have already graduated from the ASCI-WBI course and gone back into their home towns putting into practice what they have learned in a number of critical areas. It’s the quality of the programs combined with the possibility of networking with peers from across India that makes civil service officers join the course. The program represents a major step forward towards producing innovative urban managers across the country that will ultimately transform India ’s urban landscape and benefit the country’s swelling urban populations.

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6. WBI's Leadership Capacity Development Program WBI's Leadership Capacity Development Program offers customized support to top level decision makers; groups of government, civil society, and private sector leaders who are looking for innovative solutions to tough development challenges. One of several WBI programs that conduct leadership-related activities, the Leadership Capacity Development Program, formalized in July 2006, has evolved in the past few years to respond to increasing demand by national leadership teams for activities that expand their capacity to govern responsibly and effectively, fulfill promises to their people, and satisfy donor requirements.

The Leadership program's customized approach means identifying needs and designing activities in consultation with the client. Client ownership means that the program enters at the request of the Head of State or Senior Minister, works with local steering groups, supports extensive background research using local consultants, and engages continuously with clients in the preparatory and delivery phases. Types of interventions include: (a) case studies of international best practice; (b) learning seminars, including South-South exchange; (c) process-oriented practical pilots in selected sectors; (d) peer-to-peer knowledge sharing of relevant experience; (e) team Coaching at top levels on critical issues; and (f) twinning of regions facing similar challenges.

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