Governments, civil society organizations, aid watchdogs and many others have all demanded greater transparency from the World Bank. They've been getting progressively more and more of it, what with the Open Data initiative and the new Access to Information Policy. And now along the same lines, the World Bank for the first time will host an Open Forum on October 7 to run parallel to the IMF/World Bank Annual Meetings.
The idea behind the Open Forum is to draw in a global audience to participate in the event via chat forums, live blogging, Twitter, etc.—the full panoply of Web 2.0 tools. I have to admit to particular anxiety about the success of this event, since I've been helping organize one of the Open Forum sessions. Jumpstarting Jobs will bring in government officials, World Bank senior management, and topic experts who are attending the Annual Meetings to talk about the massive rise in unemployment following the financial crisis and what, if anything, can be down to resolve it. (The list of speakers isn't up on the web yet, but I'll update once it is.)
So, world, you laid down the challenge of increasing our transparency. Now the ball is in your court. You can already go to the Jumpstarting Jobs website and submit questions. You can also vote for others' questions. And during the day of the event itself, we'll be running chat rooms to facilitate discussion and gather questions in response to the live webcasts. The best of these will be directed back to the speakers at the session. And I'll also be live blogging during the session itself with my take on all these questions.
Bonus! The World Bank put together a short promo YouTube video to advertise the Open Forum, and I actually make a cameo in it. Thank goodness I kept my day job!