AFRIQUE/MONDE

CSPF, a platform for global dialogue

Written by Dr. Florence Akano

In an increasingly interconnected world, the importance of collaboration between international financial institutions and civil society organizations (CSOs) cannot be overstated. The CSPF offers a unique platform for open dialogue and knowledge exchange between CSOs, WBG and IMF staff, government representatives, and other stakeholders, addressing a wide range of shared development issues.

Empowering Civil Society: The Core Objective of CSPF

The primary objective of the CSPF is to foster dialogue and cooperation between CSOs and international financial institutions, such as the World Bank and the IMF. The forum allows CSOs to voice their concerns, exchange views, and contribute to the global development agenda. Held biannually during the Spring and Annual Meetings, the CSPF has evolved into an integral part of these events, creating opportunities for CSOs to engage directly with the institutions and other stakeholders.

The Diverse Participants of CSPF

CSOs worldwide come together at the CSPF to participate in these critical discussions. The attendees represent a wide spectrum of expertise, including development economists, social activists, and members of CSO networks. This diversity enriches the quality of the dialogue and ensures that a broad range of perspectives is considered.

CSPF banner. Photo: imfconnect.org

Exploring the Program: Themes and Sessions

The CSPF for the Annual meetings 2023  in Marrakech boasts an impressive program featuring 33 carefully selected sessions. These sessions cover many topics, offering deep insights into critical issues affecting global development. Key themes include:

Progressive Fiscal Policies to End Austerity: Taxing Wealth to Fund the Care Economy Organizers: Financial Transparency Coalition, APMDD, Tax Justice Network Africa, Christian Aid, CPD, LDC Watch, South Asia Alliance for Poverty Eradication (SAAPE), Rural Reconstruction Nepal Location: SC03 Saghro

This session delves into the need for windfall taxes on corporations, inheritance taxes, and wealth taxes to finance the care economy and fill the gaps exposed during the COVID-19 pandemic. The session will also scrutinize the progressiveness of the IMF’s fiscal policy advice.

Adolescent Girls in Fragile Contexts Organizers: Save the Children, CARE International Location: SC06 Acacia

Given that 73% of those living in extreme poverty reside in fragile contexts, the risks faced by adolescent girls cannot be ignored. This session explores these girls’ challenges, including gender-based violence, school dropout, early marriage, and early pregnancy.

Civil Society Roundtable with Executive Directors of the World Bank Location: AA08 Bab Mansour

This session provides an opportunity for CSOs to engage in a conversation with the Executive Directors of the World Bank about shared development priorities.

Transformative Policy Pathways: Lessons from Feminist Economics Programming for the IMF Organizers: ActionAid, IPD, WEDO, FEAM, The Global Alliance for Tax Justice, Center for Economic and Social Rights (CESR), Southern and Eastern Africa Trade Information and Negotiations Institute (SEATINI), Third World Network, Recourse, AMwA, MENAFEM, Gender Action, Bretton Woods Project (BWP) Location: SC03 Saghro

This session shares expertise from civil society on research, strategies, and alternative policy pathways for a feminist transition at national, regional, and global levels.

An Evolution to Accountability Roadmap: Lessons for the Bank’s New Chapter Organizer: Accountability Counsel Location: SC06 Acacia

This session explores critical lessons from the World Bank’s Independent Accountability Mechanisms and their role in guiding the institution’s evolution.

These are just a few of the many sessions that will be held during the CSPF. This year’s hybrid nature allows for in-person and virtual participation, ensuring a wider reach and engagement.

Influential Voices: Distinguished Speakers

The 2023 CSPF will feature a lineup of distinguished speakers who will bring their valuable insights and expertise to the table. Notable figures include Kristalina Georgieva, the Managing Director of the IMF, and Ajay Banga, the President of the World Bank. These influential voices will lead CSO Townhall sessions, providing a direct channel for civil society to engage with these global institutions.

Towards a More Inclusive Future

The Civil Society Policy Forum, during the Annual Meetings of the WBG and IMF, serves as a vital link between civil society and international financial institutions. It plays a key role in shaping global development policies, fostering equitable growth, and enabling dialogues leading to effective solutions. The themes, speakers, and interactive sessions offered by the CSPF promise to pave the way for a more inclusive and sustainable future.

The CSPF is a testament to the power of collaboration, where civil society’s perspectives and experiences contribute to the global conversation on development. With the world’s eyes on Marrakech, the CSPF is set to be a pivotal moment in ongoing discussions about shared global development goals.

The CSPF presents an invaluable opportunity for CSOs to influence global development policies and advocate for change. With its diverse program, esteemed speakers, and innovative hybrid format, it stands as a critical moment in the ongoing dialogue about the world’s shared development objectives. As Marrakech beckons, it offers the world a space for dialogue, exchange, and transformation.

About the author

Dr. Florence Akano

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