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The World Bank has publicly committed to mainstreaming engagement with project stakeholders and civil society to achieve more inclusive development results. Yet typically Bank projects forge ahead to achieve these objectives without comprehensively understanding the dynamics of a country’s ‘civic space’, the actual environment in which communities will be engaging.

This paper makes the case for the Bank to more systematically incorporate civic space analysis when developing country strategies, demonstrating that this can be done through the Bank’s existing Country Engagement Approach and providing guidance and practical tools for how to accomplish this.






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