Local Solidarity Governance: Strategies in Promoting Social Inclusion
Porto Alegre, Brazil
This program focuses on a change of culture and the way of considering citizens and political agencies.
This program does not focus on one single social practice, but rather upon a change of culture and the way of considering citizens and political agencies. As can be seen from the background history of the Local Solidarity Governance Implementation (GSL), this fits with objectives of the current application, as it raises public awareness of the challenges of the urban era and identifying solutions, together with disseminating a new concept based on the solidary management of public affairs and innovative changes in the ways of thinking about the relations and responsibilities of the inhabitants of the city. The Foundations of GSL are: plurality, dialog, consensus, social capital, transversality, and territory.
Background and objectives
To obtain firm results from implementing the PGSL, organised strategies are concentrated into:
- Raising awareness and training public-sector workers and managers, collegiate bodies, community leaders, representative bodies from organised civil society, Participative Budget delegates and advisors, second-and third-sector partners, universities and communication media for setting up, and implementing the PGSL;
- Setting up a strong and continuing training and skills network for Local Solidary Governance, through universities, research institutions and national, and international consultants;
- Connecting the Local Management Committees (of the Municipal Government) with the interdisciplinary teams of the Integrated Social Inclusion Programs, with reference to the strategic actions of Local Solidary Governance in the 16 regions of the OP;
- Monitoring, evaluating, and publicizing the Local Solidary Governance Management Process using monitoring and research instruments to be developed and/or adapted to the situations in each region of the city.
Financing and resources
Porto Alegre City Hall signed an International Technical Cooperation Project (914BRA3038) with the United Nations Scientific, Educational and Cultural Organization, UNESCO, to execute the project. Additional funding was provided by the local government.
Results and impacts
Results from the project include:
- Implementation of Local Solidary Governance in the 17 regions of the Participatory Budget (OP), with an effective impact on promoting the social inclusion of the most vulnerable sectors of the population;
- Qualification of technical teams, social organisers of the Local Solidary Governances, Participative Budget delegates, and advisors by investing in development of human resources, and improving information systems;
- Implementing the Local Solidary Governance Information System which, linked with other assessment tools, enables regular monitoring of indicators of social participation, social capital, human development and sustainable development, bringing greater agility and quality to the management process of governance within the logic of the Program;
- Strengthening the OP, expanding and quantifying citizen participation with other social and solidary-support networks in pursuit of co-responsibility for Sustainable Local Development. UNESCO and Porto Alegre City Hall are developing a general evaluation, but the annuals evaluation so far have been quite positive, especially regarding the new spirit that has overtaken the city and the use of our social capital as an asset.
Barriers and challenges
The main barrier of this project was encouraging and obtaining civil society participation due to mistrust and confusion. This was overcome by reaching out to local community leaders for help. Community leaders clarified confusion, and assisted in gaining local civilian participation.
Lessons learned and transferability
The PGSL has the potential to be disseminated and replicated throughout the world, as it deals with universal concepts, such as cooperation, social capital, plurality, dialog, and partnership. The idea of promoting an inter-sectorial and multidisciplinary network which is territorially organised for promoting spaces of coexistence between government and local society can and should be disseminated and replicated, simply adapting the principal points of restructuring according the needs identified by the players in their own regions. The PGSL’s methodological structure is a flexible tool which can be adjusted to the particular requirements of each region, without losing its conceptual value and theoretical foundations.
- Integrated Urban Governance Manual (see the link below)