Civil Society Partnership Award for Bhutan's Royal Society for Protection of Nature
Dr. Kinley Tenzin, Executive Director of the Royal Society for Protection of Nature received the Civil Society Partnership Award in recognition of its important contribution in ensuring that women and key stakeholders are able to participate meaningfully in the ADB-supported Gender-Inclusive Access to Clean and Renewable Energy in Bhutan. The award is given to a civil society organization which demonstrates innovation and partnership which have resulted to better and more inclusive development outcomes. Bambang Susantono, Vice President for Knowledge Management and Sustainable Development), and Amy S.P. Leung, Deputy Director General and Chief Thematic Officer, Sustainable Development and Climate Change Department; presented the award on 5 May 2017 during the 50th ADB Annual Meeting held in Yokohama, Japan.
The Royal Society for Protection of Nature is strengthening the participation of diverse social groups and stakeholders, in the areas of enterprise development and electrification. ADB recognizes that effective civil society partnership ensures that projects are responsive to the needs of the poor and marginalized.
Management meets with CSOs
ADB President Takehiko Nakao met with over 200 representatives of civil society organizations and NGOs on 4 May at ADB's 50th Annual Meeting in Yokohama. He answered questions on social and environmental safeguards, ADB's immunity, and Strategy 2030, among others. Also held on 4 May was a civil society panel on ADB's environmental and social safeguards delivery, and a session exploring opportunities for youth to contribute to development.
Participation in ADB projects
ADB NGO and Civil Society Center’s (NGOC) Haidy Ear-Dupuy discussed how using participation approaches can help in project implementation during a Poverty and Social Analysis Training. Around 40 ADB staff participated in the program held 18 to 20 October 2016 at its headquarters in Manila, Philippines.
"Good communication and participation approaches with communities, civil society organizations (CSOs) and governments can help facilitate project implementation," said Haidy. Aside from examples of ADB projects with effective participation approaches, she also cited successes in Open Government Partnership (OGP) where CSOs and governments jointly monitor projects through various means. Haidy advocates for OGP, an international platform to make governments more open, accountable, and responsive to citizens.
ADB’s Sustainable Development and Climate Change Department sponsored the event.
CSOs help ADB's Myanmar program
Civil society members of the ADB Myanmar Civil Society Advisory Group (CSAG) joined ADB's Myanmar Resident Mission in reviewing the proposed Country Partnership Strategy for Myanmar 2017-2021 on 12 October 2016.
Established in 2015, the CSAG is an innovative mechanism for strengthening civil society participation in ADB’s Myanmar operations. Comprised of around six civil society leaders across ADB’s operational areas, the CSAG provides insights on issues related to ADB’s strategy, programs and specific ADB-financed projects. The CSAG was formed as a key element of the Myanmar Civil Society Consultation and Participation Plan.
In 2015, ADB’s approved loans, grants, and technical assistance to Myanmar totalled US$449.25 million. ADB’s program in Myanmar aims to help grow the country’s economy and improve the lives of people, particularly the poor, women, children and other vulnerable groups.
Oxfam shares food security monitoring approach
"Food security measured at household level is a good indicator for inclusive development," said Oxfam’s Jessica Rosien in a seminar on "Make everyone count- Oxfam’s experience in monitoring food security at household level" held at the ADB headquarters in Manila, Philippines on 4 October 2016.
Analyzing ADB’s Vietnam Integrated Rural Development Sector Project targets and outcomes, Oxfam Vietnam’s Nguyen Tran Lam reports an overall improvement in food consumption of household beneficiaries. Improved standard of living through increased agricultural productivity are among the project’s objectives. Oxfam recommends ADB collect project specific primary baseline data before starting a project, and include food security indicators in its monitoring and design frameworks.
In 2015, there were 795 million people who are food insecure globally, and 513 million were in Asia and the Pacific, according to Food and Agriculture Organization.
The seminar was jointly organized by Oxfam and ADB’s Rural Development and Food Security Thematic Group.
ADB hosts Independent Accountability Mechanism Annual Meeting
President Nakao reiterated the importance of collaborating and partnering with civil society organizations in a keynote address at a forum with over 50 local and international NGOs on 6 September at ADB headquarters in Manila. The event kicked off the Independent Accountability Mechanism's 13th Annual Meeting. See the photo.
Outreach to Japanese Civil Society
ADB's NGO and Civil Society Center (NGOC) and the Japanese Representative Office organized an outreach to civil society organizations (CSOs) and NGOs in Japan. Christopher Morris, Head NGOC, and Suzanne Nazal, Senior Social Development Officer, held the outreach to promote understanding about opportunities for CSO participation in ADB operations. It also served as an opportunity for NGOC to engage key CSOs in Japan as it prepares the Civil Society Program of the 50th ADB Annual Meeting, to be held in Yokohama next year. As in previous years, the NGOC consults with civil society in advance of the Annual Meeting to ensure that the program is relevant and addresses CSO concerns on development issues.
A CSO forum was held on 2 September 2016, at the ADB Institute in Tokyo, which saw 33 participants mostly representing CSOs. Attendees from Japan's Ministry of Finance, and the City of Yokohama, were also present. CSOs expressed interest in taking part in the civil society program as it will provide a venue for policy dialogue as well as for knowledge-sharing.
Separate meetings were also organized with the following CSOs: The Organization for Industrial Spiritual and Cultural Advancement International, Save the Children Japan, Plan International Japan, and Japan NGO Center for International Cooperation.
The ADB Annual Meeting takes place on 4–7 May 2017, at the Pacifico Yokohama. Registration and accreditation of CSOs will open on January 2017. Read more on how civil society can participate at the Annual Meeting.
WWF calls for partnership with private sector for water
"Water scarcity hits the private sector financially", said Stuart Orr, World Wildlife Fund’s Freshwater Manager, during a presentation entitled, "Reducing Water Risks – Looking Beyond the Fence Line", held on 18 August 2016 at ADB headquarters in Manila.
Together with representatives from International Council on Mining and Metals and PGGM (a Dutch non-profit pension fund service institution), Mr. Orr discussed how collaboration with the private sector can contribute to stewardship of river basins, and other water resources to address water risks. The presentation emphasized that as a shared resource, and an important constraint to micro- and macro-level growth, water offers both risks and opportunities for the private sector. The discussions encouraged participants to get involved in the collaboration, and help develop policies that can facilitate public-private partnership for sustainable water resource management. Through its Corporate Water Stewardship program, the WWF collaborated with H&M (a fashion retailer) in producing two investigative reports on water scarcity in Bangladesh. The documents analyzed water governance gaps, and examined likely economic outcomes from varying water governance scenarios.
Learning to engage with civil society in the Pacific
A workshop on effective engagement with civil society organizations (CSOs) and NGOs, was held in Dili, Timor-Leste, on 27-29 July 2016. The program was designed to build the capacity of ADB staff and consultants based in the Pacific, to work with CSOs more effectively. The three-day workshop focused on applying participatory tools in engaging with civil society as they apply to ADB’s business process and in the context of the Pacific.
Participants comprised of staff and consultants representing 8 offices in ADB’s Pacific Department. They were joined by representatives from ADB’s executing agencies and governments, development partners such as the ILO and the World Bank, and NGOs, who participated in selected sessions.
ADB celebrates International Youth Day with regional forum
ADB’s Youth for Asia, with partners Plan International gathered 467 youth and civil society representatives from 27 countries for the 4th Asian Youth Forum on 10-12 August in ADB headquarters. Led by Vice-President Susantono, the meeting culminated in a renewed commitment to build youth awareness and strengthen multi-sector collaboration to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals. See the photo