The Civil Society Town Hall with Jim Yong Kim and Christine Lagarde, the flagship event of the Civil Society Policy Forum, took place on Wednesday, October 11 from 5:30 – 6:30pm. Abdel-Rahman El Mahdi, founder and President of the Sudanese Development Initiative, moderated the event. The Town Hall was held in the Preston Auditorium to accommodate the increasing number of Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) that attend the World Bank and IMF Annual Meetings, which is indicative of the increasing engagement between the Bank and CSOs. Around 350 CSOs attended in person, with more viewing the event via livestream in English, Spanish, and French. More than 200 people engaged in those three languages on social media during the livestream.
Each year at the Annual Meetings, the Civil Society Town Hall provides an opportunity for President Kim and Managing Director Lagarde to discuss common areas of interest with members of civil society. The event on Wednesday kicked off with questions on the role of civil society in the Bank’s and IMF’s work and went further to discuss issues related to gender and access to capital; policies to address inequality; support for countries dealing with the fallout from natural disasters; tracking emissions in Bank-funded projects; and the Human Capital Project. The President also announced at the Town Hall that the Bank would start keeping a scorecard to track greenhouse gas emissions across the Bank’s project portfolio in Fiscal Year 2019.