Engaging Civil Society to Make a Difference in Situations of Fragility, Conflict and Violence

April 19, 2017

Civil Society Policy Forum
April 17 – 21, 2017
World Bank Group / IMF 2017 Spring Meetings


Wednesday, April 19, 2017 | 2:00-3:30PM | I2-220 | 1850 I St., NW 

This event will not be livestreamed. Visitors that want to attend who do not yet have a Spring Meetings accreditation should email GPSA@worldbank.org by April 18, 5PM (EST) to obtain a Visitor Pass.

Opening Remarks
Debbie Wetzel
Senior Director, Governance Global Practice, World Bank

Sam Worthington
CEO, InterAction

Colin Bruce
 Senior Advisor, Fragility, Conflict & Violence, World Bank

Markus Kostner
Global Lead, Social, Urban, Rural, and Resilience Global Practice, World Bank

Izabella Toth
Senior Policy Strategist, Cordaid

Emma Arcodia
West Africa Program Development Coordinator, Search for Common Ground

This panel discussion will consider mechanisms for productively engaging with civil society in situations of fragility, conflict and violence. Using case examples and theories of change, the session will discuss how social accountability and citizen engagement can address some of the drivers of fragility and contribute to long term stability; how these approaches can strengthen institutional capacities, build citizen trust in government and state legitimacy, and improve delivery of basic services, and more.



Debbie Wetzel, a U.S. national with more than 25 years of experience in development work around the world, is the World Bank Senior Director for Governance since April 4, 2016. Ms. Wetzel was previously Director of Strategy and Operations for the Middle East and North Africa Region and prior to that served as Country Director for Brazil, from March 2012 until July 2015. Ms. Wetzel was the World Bank Group’s Chief of Staff to the World Bank President from 2010 to 2012. She has also served as Director for Governance and Public Sector, directing the Bank's work on taxation, public expenditures, decentralization, public sector reform and strengthening, governance and anti-corruption. From 2006 to 2009, she led the World Bank’s Economic and Public Sector Programs in Brazil, based in Brasilia. During that period she developed numerous programs with state and federal governments to help improve the effectiveness of public expenditures and achieve better results. Ms. Wetzel began her career at the World Bank in 1986 as a Consultant, joining the Young Professionals Program in 1993. She also worked at the Centre for the Study of African Economies in Oxford England in the early 1990s. During her career, she has worked in Central and Eastern Europe, Ghana, Hungary, Ukraine, Vietnam, Russia, the former Soviet Republics, West Africa and Zambia. Ms. Wetzel has a Doctorate in Economics from the University of Oxford and a Masters in International Studies from Johns Hopkins University, School of Advanced International Studies. Her BA is from Smith College. She is the author of publications on fiscal decentralization, public finance, governance, and sub-national affairs.

Sam Worthington is chief executive officer of InterAction, the largest U.S. alliance of nongovernmental international organizations, with more than 220 members and partners. Sam leads the U.S. NGO sector’s engagement at the highest levels with the UN, governments, and civil society groups around the world. He has testified before the U.S. Congress, routinely consults with the administration, speaks to boards and at universities, and is a regular contributor on numerous major national and international media outlets. Previously, Sam served as chief executive officer of Plan International USA (1994-2006), a large child-focused development NGO. Sam also sat on Plan’s global executive management team and chaired Plan’s national CEO team. Sam is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations; serves on the Advisory Committee for Voluntary Foreign Assistance (ACVFA) at USAID and the Inter-Agency Standing Committee (IASC) at the UN; and sits on the boards of the Center for Disaster Philanthropy, Van Leer Group Foundation, CIVICUS, and The Alliance to End Hunger. His numerous leadership roles include serving on the White House Task Force on Global Development and Poverty, working as a founding board member of the ONE Campaign, chairing the global NGO Impact Initiative on behalf of UN Special Envoy for Tsunami Recovery Pres. Bill Clinton, and serving on the steering committee of the NGO Leadership Forum at Harvard University. Recently, he was a resident fellow at the Rockefeller Foundation’s Bellagio Center. Sam holds a master’s degree with distinction from the Middlebury Institute of International Studies and a bachelor’s degree from the University of Vermont. As a Fulbright scholar he completed postgraduate research at the Institut Universitaire des Hautes Etudes Internationales in Geneva, and as a midcareer professional, an executive leadership program at the Harvard Business School. Among other awards, he has an honorary doctorate.

Presently, Markus Kostner is Global Lead for Stability, Peace, and Security in the Social, Urban, Rural and Resilience Global Practice of the World Bank. His expertise lies in fragility and conflict, crisis response, and social development. He has worked in the Social Development Department (Economist in the Post-Conflict Unit), the Africa Region (Lead Social Development Specialist, coordinating AFR work on conflict), the Middle East and North Africa Region (Country Program Coordinator for West Bank and Gaza), OPCS (Adviser in the Fragile and Conflict-Affected Countries Group), the East Asia and Pacific Region (Social Development Sector Leader), and the Latin America and Caribbean Region (Practice Manager). He has extensive experience in demobilization and reintegration of ex-combatants, community-driven reconstruction/development, and social analysis of natural disasters. He has task managed several operations and large-scale multi-donor trust funds, and (co-)authored various papers in these areas. He also led or participated in various post-conflict and post-disaster needs assessments and post-crisis responses. He is a member of the Fragile and Conflict-Affected States Global Expert Team and was a core team member of the 2011 World Development Report: Conflict, Security and Development.

Izabella Toth works since 1998 with the Dutch International Catholic Development organization, CORDAID, www.cordaid.org, first as Policy Advisor for Institutional Funding, and later as Senior Strategist, with portfolios of Relation management with the European Institutions and the World Bank. At European level, Izabella is member of the Board and Executive Committee of CONCORD, the European NGO Confederation for Relief and Development, and European delegate in the EC Policy Forum for Development. Since 2014 she was elected European representative in the CPDE Coordination Committee, since 2017 elected European Union representative in the Global Council of the CPDE. In 2016 she led the multi stakeholder GPEDC core groups in organizing the GPEDC HLM2 Leave No One Behind HLP. Izabella was born in Romania and studied at the Faculty of Humanities of ELTE University in Budapest, Hungary, as well as Dutch Law at ERASMUS University in Rotterdam, the Netherlands. 

Emma Arcodia is West Africa program development coordinator for Search for Common Ground (Search). She has expertise in West Africa and the MENA region and has worked extensively on countering violent extremism, security sector reform, youth engagement, and women’s empowerment. Prior to joining the West Africa team, Ms. Arcodia coordinated the Countering Violent Extremism project of Search in Tunisia, where she conducted thirty community dialogues across the country involving religious and community leaders, youth, CSOs and local authorities. Within that project, she conducted research on the push and pull factors to radicalization into violent extremism and briefed key government stakeholders with her findings. Before that, Emma worked on a women's empowerment project at Caritas Egypt in Cairo, which aimed at strengthening women's capacities in rural areas and increasing women's engagement in local affairs. She holds a Master's degree in Middle East Politics from the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS) - University of London, and a BA in Political Science and International Relations from the Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore - Milano. Emma is fluent in Italian, English, and French, and proficient in Egyptian and Tunisian Arabic.