Brazil explains flagship programme to eradicate extreme poverty by 2014
New publication presents “Brazil Without Extreme Poverty” Flagship Programme and explains how the country plans to eradicate poverty by 2014, building on comphensive policy interventions related to productive inclusion that have already lifted 26 million Brazilians from poverty between 2004 and 2009.
Brazil has already achieved the first of the Millennium Development Goals (MDG) – to reduce by half the proportion of the population living in extreme poverty by 2015. The per capita income of the extreme poor has risen since 2003. This significant change is due to the implementation of well targeted public transfers – especially the Bolsa Familia Cash Transfer Programme, decline in fertility rates and a less known but nevertheless the most important factor: the productive inclusion of low-income population groups.
Productive Inclusion is undoubtedly one of the main objectives of the Brasil Sem Miséria (Brazil Without Extreme Poverty) Plan, launched in June 2011by President Dilma Rousseff as her government’s flagship programme. Productive Inclusion can be understood as ‘Policy interventions aimed at promoting Social Inclusion via the generation of new employment opportunities for the poor and the vulnerable so as to ensure a sustained and inclusive growth process‘.
So far, Brazil has provided the poorest segments of society with high quality opportunities (exit doors) and increased the work-related income of the poorest 20% of the population by 40% between 2003 and 2009.
”Brazil Without Extreme Poverty” is a new multibillion-dollar anti-poverty plan that would focus on 16.2m people still living in “extreme poverty” by expanding the government’s “Bolsa Familia” family stipend scheme – which have helped lift 26 million people out of poverty – and other benefits for small farmers, garbage pickers and others. The government planned to spend R$20bn ($13bn) annually over the next four years.
A new report “Exit Doors, Productive Inclusion and Extreme Poverty Eradication in Brazil” produced by the Secretariat for Strategic Affairs at the Presidency of the Republic (SAE/PR) and launched by the UNDP International Policy Centre for Inclusive Growth (IPC-IG) poses productive inclusion as a key strategy to eradicate poverty and explain how the integration of different social programmes has been producing outstanding results in the country.This new publication presents the Brazil sem Miséria plan for the first time in English and states that effective poverty eradication in Brazil results from ensuring the existence of high quality productive opportunities, making sure that these opportunities are easily accessible for the poor, as well as ensuring that the poor have the necessary skills to take advantage of them. Also it is important to remove any “artificial barriers” (in the form of discrimination and social exclusion), which may stand in the way of beneficiaries’ access to programs.
Conditions for a successful productive inclusion
Both the private and the public sectors need to work together to achieve productive inclusion. The report observes that the private sector typically “supports the creation of new productive opportunities and helps to improve the quality of the pre-existing ones” whereas the fundamental role of the public sector is to “allow [low-income workers] to fully take advantage of the available opportunities through removing barriers standing in the way of such opportunities, as well as providing minimum conditions for the poor in the form of cash transfer programs, food and transportation subsidies”.
The direct use of public expenditures to create local opportunities may be implemented in three ways: first of all, through the public creation of job positions via employment campaigns or the public selection of poor family workers (an example of this is the Brasil Sem Miséria Program which employs workers in community kitchens and other food security strategies). The second method is through the direct purchase of local products by public institutions, such as schools and hospitals (the Brazilian Food Purchase Program Programa de Aquisição de Alimentos da Agricultura Familiar – PAA), for example, purchases school meals from local farmers). Finally it creates local opportunities through linking public investments in infrastructure to the employment of poor family workers, as demonstrated by the Program to Accelerate Growth and the Minha Casa Minha Vida Housing Program.
Furthermore it is important for the public sector to act as a “legislator, supervisor and dialog promoter”, effectively targeting the productive opportunities towards “communities where high quality productive opportunities are scarce”. The work of the public and the private sectors must complement each other to generate productive opportunities in marginalized societies.
Expansion of local economy
Public policies play a significant role in the expansion of local economies. Through providing localities the access to new technologies, strategic minimum inputs (such as water, land, seeds), actively enhancing the quality, diversification and market expansion of local goods, as well as implementing policies through which the poor may be informed and trained for new work positions, the public sector effectively contributes to productive inclusion.
However, challenges remain. Brazil has not been able to completely eradicate extreme poverty, and thus it is vital to maintain and intensify efforts of poverty alleviation. It is necessary to continuously “create new opportunities, enhance the quality of existing ones, eliminate barriers and improve the access and conditions for the poorest segments of the population [in order] to fully take advantage of the available opportunities”. This is exactly what the Brazil Sem Miséria strives to do in its mission to increase productive inclusion.
Click here to download the “Exit Doors, Productive Inclusion and Extreme Poverty Eradication in Brazil” paper.
List of related IPC-IG publications and learning materials:
More IPC-IG social protection resources here.
The Secretariat of Strategic Affairs (SAE/PR) of the Presidency of the Republic is responsible for formulating long-term public policies at all three levels of government aimed to transform Brazil into a developed nation.
The International Policy Centre for Inclusive Growth (IPC-IG) is UNDP’s global forum for policy dialogue and South-South learning on development innovations. From its headquarters in Brasilia, Brazil IPC-IG is dedicated to equipping policymakers in the developing world with the skills necessary to design, implement and evaluate policies and programmes towards the attainment of high inclusive growth.
For further information or request for media interviews please contact:
Ms. Mariana Hoffmann
Communications Unit (IPC-IG, Brasília)
T: (+ 55 61) 2105 5022
M: (+55 61) 81256469