CSO Programme


09:30 - 16:45
CSO Meeting Room 1, Level 2, EBRD Headquarters

The Civil Society Programme will take place on Wednesday 11 May and Thursday 12 May. The event will consist of a series of thematic panels, sessions between civil society representatives and the Bank’s staff and senior management, as well as two dedicated sessions with the Board of Directors and EBRD President. It will be an occasion for civil society stakeholders to learn more about the Bank and discuss issues of interest and concern regarding the EBRD’s policies and investment projects.
On occasion of the 25th anniversary of the EBRD, the Programme will feature multi-stakeholder roundtable sessions on key strategic themes related to the role of civil society as an important actor in transition and development processes.

Special features of the Civil Society Programme 2016 will be discussions on:

25 years of Transition - The Role of Civil Society in Central and Eastern Europe and Central Asia
Engaging civil society to promote transparent procurement
EBRD’s  Strategy for the Promotion of Gender Equality (2016-2020): the role of civil society
Inclusion through skills and innovation

In addition, a panel organised by the youth organisation AIESEC will look at the role of youth in shaping the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. The proposal from AIESEC was selected following a competitive process related to the call for proposals on the Role of CSOs in Development Finance that was closed at the end of March.

25 years of Transition: The Role of Civil Society in Central and Eastern Europe and Central Asia

A fire-side chat with Sergei Guriev, Professor of Economics, Sciences Po (incoming EBRD Chief Economist)

Civil society, operating in the space between public and private sectors, has played an important role in socio-political and economic transition processes around the world, including the EBRD’s traditional countries of operations. In 25 years since the establishment of the EBRD, civil society’s contribution to transition has varied across the post-communist transition region. In some countries, the work of civil society organisations (CSOs) has contributed to more democratic political systems and more open market based economies as a ‘reputational actor’ performing a ‘watchdog’ function and as a generator of ‘social capital’ necessary to sustain the change process through the difficult early years. In other countries, the focus of CSOs has been on providing a variety of social services particularly to disadvantaged and vulnerable people negatively affected by the transition process. Many civil society actors have been operating in restrictive regulatory environments, and have relied heavily on international donor funding.

What has been civil society’s input into promoting good governance, sustainable development and economic inclusion in EBRD’s traditional region over the past few decades? What are the key lessons learned, from both its successes and failures that can be applied to other countries embarking on a transition process? What steps could be taken to increase the role of civil society in promoting positive changes in societies and economies?

The discussion will look back at the key achievements and setbacks of the civil society sector in contributing to transition since the Bank’s establishment. It will also reflect upon the challenges ahead for civil society in building well-governed, sustainable and inclusive economies and societies.

This event will be open to all participants of the Annual Meeting and Business Forum.

Download the full agenda.

Our focused sessions are open to representatives of civil society organizations only.  

Enquiries: cso@ebrd.com

Find out more information about the 2016 Civil Society Programme.