Involving CSO representatives in the planning process for the Civil Society Program has led to increased and more substantive civil society participation at the Annual Meetings over the past few years. This was vividly exemplified at the recently concluded Annual Meetings in Tokyo which witnessed the largest number of CSO participants and policy sessions to date. The cornerstone of this participatory approach was the convening of a CSO Planning Group composed of 17 CSO and Youth Leaders from throughout the world invited to help plan the CSO Program (see photo and list).
Increased CSO participation in Tokyo was most evident in the number of CSOs who attended the Meetings. A total of 630 CSO representatives from a wide range of constituencies such as NGOs, labor unions, youth groups, faith-based organizations, and foundations participated. The Bank and Fund also sponsored the largest number of CSO / Youth Leaders and Academics – 56 from to 45 developing countries – who travelled to Tokyo to ensure that Southern voices and perspectives were represented (see sponsored CSOs list). They participated in a week-long schedule of events which began with an orientation session on the Fund and Bank and included attending the Opening Plenary of the Annual Meetings which featured Crown Prince Naruhito.