Citizen Today

Brazil's cross-sector collaboration

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Erik Camarano from Movimento Brasil Competitivo tells us how Brazilian government, and society, is benefiting from a new approach to cross-sector collaboration.

“Everyone wins when the country wins. Dialogue between public and private leaders always has this objective in mind.” - Erik Camarano, President, Movimento Brasil Competitivo

While both foreign investment and the economic growth rate are rising, Brazil’s public sector is facing its own set of challenges. Across its 26 states and one federal district, government at all levels is struggling with issues of capacity, reform and professionalization.

Movimento Brasil Competitivo (MBC), an organization founded in 2001, is pioneering an innovative approach to collaboration across the public and private sectors. It is overseeing a groundbreaking program whereby the performance and productivity of government departments and projects are overseen and reviewed by private sector organizations.

This model means that government is no longer responsible for everything as the private sector is accountable too.

With the costs of these reviews being met by MBC and its business partners and not by government, the underlying mission is to increase the capacity of the public sector by:

  • Introducing new methods of project management
  • Strategic planning
  • Tighter public financial control

The result should be:

  • Increased revenues
  • Reduced costs
  • Improved outcomes in areas such as health care, education and public safety

As part of each review process, MBC sets up a panel made up of business representatives that monitors the progress made toward mutually agreed outcomes. Public servants report into private sector reviewers and are held jointly accountable.

First tested in the Brazilian state of Minas Gerais, the approach has spread across the country with review projects having been implemented in 13 state governments, 11 counties, 2 state Courts of Justice and 4 agencies of the Federal Executive.

In addition to the 24 projects already completed, another 16 cases are under way. The results have so far totaled US$7 billion in increased revenues and efficiency savings, and improved results in crime reduction, child mortality and educational performance.

Asked how Brazilian citizens have reacted to this approach and results, Camarano says that they themselves have been a key factor in driving change. “People are demanding more transparency and improved services,” he says.

“We have a long-term vision for Brazil,” says Camarano. “But our work also demonstrates that citizenship is alive and well in our country.”