WORLD VOICE: 10 Takeaways from the @WorldBank’s #SMCSO15 Meetings #WorldMoms

WORLD VOICE: 10 Takeaways from the @WorldBank’s #SMCSO15 Meetings #WorldMoms

#WorldMoms Panel #SMCSo15 500

This week, World Moms Blog was invited to take part in the World Bank/IMF Civil Society Meetings in Washington, DC. I had the opportunity to be there Tuesday and Wednesday, and World Mom, Cynthia Levin, took over for Thursday and Friday.

The World Bank has a long history of lending since Breton Woods in 1944 when it was established after World War II. But, over the years it has also lended to projects that have had a negative impact on the local people in developing nations. And after years of protesting the World Bank, anthropologist and Partners in Health cofounder, Dr. Jim Kim, has been at the helm of the bank as President for the past 3 years.

The protests have now been brought off the streets and members of the public have been invited inside around the World Bank and IMF fall and spring meetings to represent the people in the countries where the bank lends. So, all is perfect now, right?

Development isn’t easy. There are still challenges when it comes to lending and looking out for the societies receiving the loans. The topics are intricate in the bank’s mission to end poverty and are reflected in over 50 different panels that are being presented at the meetings.

Here are my top 10 takeaways about the first two days of the Civil Society Meetings…

1) Not everyone here is from DC. The Civil Society Meetings attract and bring in a host of civil society members across continents to come and join in the conversations around poverty. In fact, a large portion of the meeting panels were pitched by civil society members. They are helping carve out the bank’s future practices (safeguards), providing new points of view by representing the people from their home countries and networking with their counterparts abroad to trade best practices and solutions.

2) Dr. Kim, World Bank President, says that the world can end extreme poverty by 2030. In 1993 41% of the world’s human population was living in extreme poverty (under $1.25 per day). With the help of the UN’s Millennium Development Goals (Do you remember our #Moms4MDGs campaign last year?) that percentage has been reduced to 14% in 2014 (data is still coming in to confirm this projected number). Statistics are according to the World Bank.

3) Some of the people on the planet who may be most affected by climate change know nothing about it. In the Pathway to Paris working panel on climate change, civil society members from Hoduras and Bolivia explained that when your focus is that you need to eat, climate change is not on the minds of people, but how to get food is. And they stated that when people are aware of the climate change problem, they expect that it is a problem to be dealt with by the developed world.

4) The consequences of radicalization and violent extremism in fragile societies is a popular emerging topic of interest among civil society members. There was a packed crowd (think Tokyo subway car) in the panel on the consequences of radicalization and violent extremism, and I didn’t get in! I really wanted to listen in on the conversation, but noted it was a high priority on civil society’s agenda as something that needed to be changed.

5) To reach the goal to end extreme poverty faster, the World Bank sees the importance in partnering with faith-based organizations. There were several panels on Wednesday, including a flagship event, that included members of the world’s largest religions discussing their motivations to help the poor from their faith. The key takeaway was that although the World Bank is a secular organization, there are benefits to ending poverty faster by working together with faith based organizations.

6) Human rights has not been written in as part of the World Bank’s safeguards and civil society is protesting. A man from the LBGT community, chased out of his home country of Uganda, asked the World Bank executive directors why they continue to lend to countries who do not value the rights of their people. Also, during a round table discussion with executive directors from the World Bank and the IMF, a woman from South Africa asked for a moment of silence for children who had died from the impact of a World Bank development project (I do not know the details of the project she was referring to.). Afterwards, a group of civil society members stood in unity with her wearing or holding yellow shirts demanding human rights be written into the bank’s safeguards. Civil Society members are standing up for their rights and joining the conversation to try to change bank policy.

7) The smallest member of the World Bank Group is MIGA. MIGA stands for Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency and has only about 33 employees and lends in the the most fragile states. For example, they were lending in Afghanistan when bullets were flying!

8) The official twitter feed for the IMF/World Bank Civil Society Meetings is “SMCSO15”. This is according to the postings in the meeting rooms at the World Bank. Twitter also self-populates with another hashtag being used, “SMCSO2015.” The twitter feed picks up on the flagship panels that are broadcast live to the public, which makes the online conversation awesome around ending poverty. You can check out our post from earlier this week on those flagship panels that have live feeds.

9) The open meeting policy at the World Bank allows the bank to hear and anticipate the effects of their lending in ways they haven’t in the past. Could you imagine if every business had this type of open meeting policy where civil society could pitch panels on the way in which it lends to better society? Although born out of unfair lending practices and people protesting the streets of the past, this model is ground-breaking. And the world needs ground-breaking when it comes to getting people out of extreme poverty and achieving the sustainable development goals of 2030.

10) World Moms Blog’s panel on grassroots advocacy and social media in support of universal education is a go! On Friday, April 17th at 11am ET, World Moms Blog’s Cynthia Levin (USA & also of RESULTS), Aisha Yesefu (Nigeria) and myself, Jennifer Burden (USA), will team up with Allison Grossman of RESULTS and Kolleen Bouchane of A World at School to discuss ways in which civil society members can ignite change in getting more children into the classroom. Today, over 57 million children of primary school age on the planet are not being educated. The topic is vital and also very timely with the passing of the 1 year anniversary this week of the capturing of the Chibok Girls of Nigeria. We hope you will join us on Twitter under the hashtag #WorldMoms and #SMCSO15.

We agree that civil society should be a part of the conversation to effect change. You can join the World Bank Live Feed this week, too.

This is an original post to World Moms Blog by founder, Jennifer Burden in the USA. The World Bank has provided funding for Jennifer and Cindy to attend the meetings this week to help engage more members of civil society in the global discussions to end poverty, but has not directed our voice. 

Jennifer Burden

Jennifer Burden is the Founder and CEO of World Moms Network, an award winning website on global motherhood, culture, human rights and social good. World Moms Network writes from over 30 countries, has over 70 contributors and was listed by Forbes as one of the “Best 100 Websites for Women”, named a “must read” by The New York Times, and was recommended by The Times of India. She was also invited to Uganda to view UNICEF’s family health programs with Shot@Life and was previously named a “Global Influencer Fellow” and “Social Media Fellow” by the UN Foundation. Jennifer was invited to the White House twice, including as a nominated "Changemaker" for the State of the World Women Summit. She also participated in the One Campaign’s first AYA Summit on the topic of women and girl empowerment and organized and spoke on an international panel at the World Bank in Washington, DC on the importance of a universal education for all girls. Her writing has been featured by Baby Center, Huffington Post, ONE.org, the UN Foundation’s Shot@Life, and The Gates Foundation’s “Impatient Optimists.” She is currently a candidate in Columbia University's School of International and Public Affairs in the Executive Masters of Public Affairs program, where she hopes to further her study of global policies affecting women and girls. Jennifer can be found on Twitter @JenniferBurden.

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SOCIAL GOOD: World Moms Blog to Visit Uganda with UN Foundation

SOCIAL GOOD: World Moms Blog to Visit Uganda with UN Foundation

World Moms Blog founder, Jennifer Burden, is headed to Uganda soon with the UN Foundation’s Shot@Life campaign!

Last week I got the e-mail…”We have had a spot open up on our observation trip to Uganda (which is in two weeks), and we thought of you.” I had less than 24 hours to decide to accept the incredible invitation from the UN Foundation, and before I knew it, I was reading every travel advisory for Uganda under the sun.

The Shot@Life trip will be observing UNICEF’s bi- and tri-annual Family and Child Health Days, where children are given Vitamin A tablets to boost immunity and prevent blindness, deworming tablets to treat parasitic infections, routine polio and measles immunization, monitoring for nutritional status and insecticide treated mosquito nets to prevent malaria. There will also be visits to other routine immunization clinics, schools, places of worship and other places in rural Ugandan communities.

Could I leave my girls, 5-years old and 19-months old, for a week? They would be just fine for one week. Remember all that stuff you’ve told yourself about teaching social good to your children by setting a good example? Well, this. Yes, this.  (more…)

Jennifer Burden

Jennifer Burden is the Founder and CEO of World Moms Network, an award winning website on global motherhood, culture, human rights and social good. World Moms Network writes from over 30 countries, has over 70 contributors and was listed by Forbes as one of the “Best 100 Websites for Women”, named a “must read” by The New York Times, and was recommended by The Times of India. She was also invited to Uganda to view UNICEF’s family health programs with Shot@Life and was previously named a “Global Influencer Fellow” and “Social Media Fellow” by the UN Foundation. Jennifer was invited to the White House twice, including as a nominated "Changemaker" for the State of the World Women Summit. She also participated in the One Campaign’s first AYA Summit on the topic of women and girl empowerment and organized and spoke on an international panel at the World Bank in Washington, DC on the importance of a universal education for all girls. Her writing has been featured by Baby Center, Huffington Post, ONE.org, the UN Foundation’s Shot@Life, and The Gates Foundation’s “Impatient Optimists.” She is currently a candidate in Columbia University's School of International and Public Affairs in the Executive Masters of Public Affairs program, where she hopes to further her study of global policies affecting women and girls. Jennifer can be found on Twitter @JenniferBurden.

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WORLD IMMUNIZATION WEEK: Reinventing the Party

WORLD IMMUNIZATION WEEK: Reinventing the Party

World Moms Blog contributors and friends at the inaugural “GAVI Global Tea Party” to raise awareness for life-saving vaccinations for children in the developing world.

In January of this year, my friend, Jen Burden, the founder of World Moms Blog, invited me to attend the very first grassroots advocacy party for the UN Foundation’s Shot@Life campaign at her house, here, in New Jersey. The theme of the party was “Around the World” and featured international food served in shot-sized glasses which we purchased for a $1-$3 donation.

Now, as a stay-at-home mom of two young boys, I jump at any opportunity for a fun night out with my friends! But I soon realized this night would be very special. How often do you know your actions are actually saving a child’s life?

Shot@Life seeks to “educate, connect and empower Americans to champion vaccines as one of the most cost-effective ways to save the lives of children in developing countries.” The money raised at this party went directly to purchasing vaccinations to immunize children against four deadly diseases: pneumonia, diarrhea, measles and polio. $20 is all that is needed to fully vaccinate one child, but sadly, 1 in 5 children around the world still lack access to these life-saving vaccinations.

Jen spoke that night about why she became a Shot@Life Champion. (more…)

World Moms Blog

World Moms Blog is an award winning website which writes from over 30 countries on the topics of motherhood, culture, human rights and social good. Over 70 international contributors share their stories from around the globe, bonded by the common thread of motherhood and wanting a better world for their children. World Moms Blog was listed by Forbes Woman as one of the "Best 100 Websites for Women 2012 & 2013" and also called a "must read" by the NY Times Motherlode in 2013. Our Senior Editor in India, Purnima Ramakrishnan, was awarded the BlogHer International Activist Award in 2013.

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SOCIAL GOOD: Inside the Shot@Life Campaign, Part 3

SOCIAL GOOD: Inside the Shot@Life Campaign, Part 3

This is part 3 of a three part series on World Mom’s Bloggers Jennifer Burden, Nicole Melancon and Kyla P’an trip to the Shot@Life Summit in Washington DC. at the end of January to attend a summit focusing on the Shot@Life campaign, hosted by the United Nations Foundation. Click on links here to read Part 1 and Part 2 of this series.  Part 3 will focus on what we learned at the summit and some of the amazing Shot@Life Champions that we met.

So what happens when you bring together 45 of the nation’s most enthusiastic, energetic Shot@Life Champions?  A huge success filled with ideas, excitement and passion to help save the world’s children from vaccine-preventable deaths.

The Shot@Life Summit was orchestrated by the United Nations Foundation to train, motivate, organize and provide the tools necessary for the Shot@Life Champions to launch the movement this coming April during Global Immunization Week.  The Champions represented all walks of life.

There were moms, bloggers, photographers, doctors, advocates, entrepreneurs, a teenager representing Model UN, and two brave men who represented Rotary International and The Lion’s Club (two organizations that have already done a substantial amount of advocacy and fundraising for vaccines).

To give an example of just a few of the many “champions” we met, Dr. Ari Brown, coauthor of the popular reference book Baby 411, was there representing the American Academy of Pediatrics; (more…)

Nicole Melancon (USA)

Third Eye Mom is a stay-at-home mom living in Minneapolis, Minnesota with her two children Max (6) and Sophia (4). Her children keep her continually busy and she is constantly amazed by the imagination, energy and joy of life that they possess! A world wanderer at heart, she has also been fortunate to have visited over 30 countries by either traveling, working, studying or volunteering and she continues to keep on the traveling path. A graduate of French and International Relations from the University of Wisconsin Madison, where she met her husband Paul, she has always been a Midwest gal living in Minnesota, Wisconsin and Chicago. This adventurous mom loves to be outside doing anything athletic (hiking, running, biking, skiing, snowshoeing or simply enjoying nature), to travel and volunteer abroad, to write, and to spend time with her beloved family and friends. Her latest venture involves her dream to raise enough money on her own to build and open a brand-new school in rural Nepal, and to teach her children to live compassionately, open-minded lives that understand different cultures and the importance of giving back to those in need. Third Eye Mom believes strongly in the value of making a difference in the world, no matter how small it may be. If there is a will, there is a way, and that anything is possible (as long as you set your heart and mind to it!). Visit her on her blog, Thirdeyemom, where she writes about her travels and experiences in other lands!

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