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Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs

Centre for Environment and Development (SUM)

June 11, 2003
The Role of the Private Sector in Poverty Reduction
A conference organised by the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) and the
Centre for Environment and Development (SUM) in connection with the TFESSD1
Reference Group
Oslo, Thursday, June 19 2003
Venue: Auditorium 2, Helga Engs Hus (University of Oslo, Blindern)

Purpose of the workshop

It is increasingly clear that the Millennium Development Goals will not be met merely with
the resources mobilized as ODA. Thus, the private sector will have to be included in the
efforts to reduce poverty. Norway has recognized the importance of the private sector and has
therefore recently agreed to provide finance to a Private Sector Trust Fund in the World Bank.

A main challenge in including the private sector in poverty reduction is improving the
investment climate in developing countries. This involves strengthening the enabling
environment for the private sector, including public as well as private institutions.
Infrastructure plays an important role in economic development and poverty reduction. The
conference will therefore deal with the role of the private sector in infrastructure development.
Infrastructure also highlights the issue of bringing services to the poor, and the conference
will take up the issue of water to focus on this challenge. The conference will bring together
NGOs, Bank representatives, academics, private sector as well as government representatives
to discuss these issues.

08:30 Coffee

1. Investment climate, growth, and poverty reduction

09:00 Diffusing Best Practices and Creating Capabilities, Perspectives on Policies for
Poverty Reduction. Neil Roger, Adviser, Office of the Director, Private Sector and
Infrastructure Network, World Bank.
What are the links between improving the investment climate and growth and poverty
alleviation coming out of the World Bank Group Private Sector Development

09:20 Ramping-up WBG work on the investment climate: lessons so far. Caralee McLiesh,
Economist, Investment Climate Unit, Private Sector and Infrastructure Network,
World Bank
What is happening with firm surveys, Doing Business indicators, investment climate
assessments and FIAS projects? How are they feeding into country strategies, lending
operations, capacity building? What are the emerging substantive lessons of the
investment climate work?

World Bank Trust Fund for Environmentally and Socially Sustainable Development. Financed by Finland and
09:40 Policies to attract FDI, Frank Sader, Trust Fund Coordinator, Foreign Investment
Advisory Services (FIAS) Program (WB/IFC)
Current thinking on the role that transparent environmental and other regulation play
in the investment climate.

10:00 Statoil – experiences in Foreign Investment. Christine Neset, Coordinator, Country

analysis & social responsibility, Statoil ASA

10.20 Discussions
Introduction to the discussion by Eli Moen (NORAD)

10:45 Coffee Break

2. Private participation in infrastructure

11:00 Private Participation in Infrastructure in Developing Countries: Trends, Impacts and

Policy Lessons. Clive Harris, Senior Private Sector Development Specialist, Private
Provision of Public Services Unit, Private Sector and Infrastructure Network, World
Distilling the experience with PPI over the last 15 years; what is the record, what are
the drivers and what are the policy lessons?

11:20 Private Infrastructure and the Poor: Increasing Access. Tim Irwin, Senior Economist,
World Bank
To what extent do the poor have access to infrastructure of reasonable quality? How
can policies centered on private provision address their needs?

11:40 Norwegian experience in Infrastructure in Developing Countries. Hans Olav Ibrekk,


12:00 Discussion
Introduction to the discussion by Benedicte Bull (SUM)

12:30-13:30 Lunch

2. Water for the Poor

13:30 Water Supply and Sanitation for the Poor: the challenge of meeting the MDGs.
Walter Stottmann, Manager, Water and Sanitation Program, WSP manager

13:50 Norwegian Church Aid – their approach and experiences. Gaim Kebreab, Senior
Adviser, Norwegian Church Aid

14:10 Challenges and opportunities in the water and sanitation sector - examples
from Balkan and China. Finn Medbø, Senior Advisor, Norwegian Institute for Water
Research (NIVA)

14:30 Public/Private partnerships - The Handwashing Initiative, Joana Godinho, Senior

Health Specialist, Human Development Sector Unit, ECA Region, WB

14:50 Discussion

15:35 Coffee Break

4. Closing Session

15:50 Concluding remarks by Leiv Lunde, Econ

16:30 End