PTP affiliated research

Different types of transparency, different impacts? Three analyses of municipal education in Brazil

BARROS, Jonas Coelho de

The study aims to examine three different types of transparency, and relative levels of government compliance with those transparency policies at the municipal level. The goal was to quantitatively measure the impact of transparency on public administration outcomes. More specifically, he examined the impact of different types of transparency on public education outcomes at the municipal level in Brazil. First, he used a Data Envelopment Analysis (DEA) to quantify efficiency in education expenditures and identify if both internal and external types of transparency correlate with greater efficiency. Second, a Propensity Score Matching analysis was performed to measure the impact of transparency on education using the Brazilian National Index of Primary Education (IDEB). Results showed that internal transparency is a significant but weak predictor of active and passive transparency. Moreover, active and passive transparency do not seem to be correlated among themselves. Third, the study provides tentative evidence that internal transparency might be correlated with greater educational efficiency, while active and passive transparency produced no such correlation. Importantly, the study found a strong correlation between transparent municipal administration and better results on the IDEB (matched municipalities).

Renunciation of benefits: transparency and evaluation of fiscal recovery funds program in Brazil

RODRIGUES, Natalia Ferreira de Carvalho

This study aims to analyze the transparency and effectiveness of a federal tax debt relief program in Brazil called Refis, a policy that is frequently applied during economic crises and gives rise to a large amount of tax expenditures. The study is divided into two main sections, employing the policy cycle as a framework for analysis: agenda-setting/formulation and impact evaluation on job creation/maintenance, which is one of the goals of the program. Design/Methodology: The first section evaluates the de jure policies of Refis enacted in 2014 and in 2017, based on better practice fiscal and tax transparency policies endorsed by multilateral organisms and the policies of countries with the highest scores on the Open Budget Index. The second section consists of a quasi-experiment, employing both difference-indifferences method and propensity score matching, to evaluate the impact of Refis enacted in 2014 on job creation/maintenance in companies that received tax benefits. Findings: The results indicate that the legal drafting of Refis in 2014 and 2017 do not fulfill the transparency criteria established by standard-setting institutions. With respect to the effectiveness of policy, the results show a statistically significant impact on job maintenance for small companies only. These companies, however, are responsible for only 8,2% of the debt included in the 2014 program. Research limitations: The main limitation is the scarcity of data available on the number of employees in companies that are in a dire fiscal situation, since they stop filing their tax returns (the main source of data on employment). Furthermore, the lack of disaggregated data about revenue foregone by Refis enacted in 2014 prevents a full assessment of the policy’s costs and benefits. Practical implications: The results can help design more suitable policies to the intended beneficiaries, such as the recently enacted law nº 13.988/2020. Social implications: This research may contribute to the transparent usage of tax benefits, such that tax debt relief policies can better serve the public interest instead of reinforcing rent-seeking practices. Originality: No other studies assessing the transparency and effectiveness of Refis have been identified.

Studies to implement a protection program and incentives for whistleblowers in Brazil. An analysis from the public servant's perspective

LIMA, Fabiana Vieira

This study explores better practice whistleblower regulation in the public service, explores the situation of Brazil in comparative perspective, and proposes innovations based on the perception of Brazilian federal public servants. Design/Methodology – Both qualitative and quantitative analyses, including: an analysis of complaints obtained from the CGU database; interviews with agents of the federal executive branch and a whistleblower who suffered retaliation; a survey and survey experiment. To obtain data, the following techniques were used: (a) a survey and survey experiment; (b) content analysis (CA); (c) multiple case study and (d) data analysis. Findings - Results - the survey results show a considerable percentage of anonymous complaints when it comes to irregularities in the public sector. They also show that public servants are still afraid to report and that they continue to suffer persecution, especially when their superiors are involved. Finally, the results suggest that public servants would enthusiastically receive a protection and incentives program, which would provide guarantees such as the protection of identity, guarantee of verification of irregularities by the control bodies, and protection against retaliation in the work environment, among other benefits. Amendments to Brazilian legislation and detailed regulation are needed in order for Brazil to meet international standards. Limitations - The main limitation of the survey is the absence of a database with anonymous complaints filed by public servants, and that the survey is based on possible omissions by public officials, that is, these data are not recorded in systems Practical Implications - The results indicate that in order to implement a protection and incentive program for reporting agents in Brazil, it is necessary to regulate Law no. 13,608, of January 10, 2018, as well as engage in awareness raising programs among public servants in order to promote a change of culture and greater trust in control bodies. Social Implications – A modern and comprehensive whistleblower program would help improve the process of fighting corruption, decrease resources diverted from the public sector, and contribute to a more efficient and effective government. Diminishing corruption and improving the operation of the public sector will further promote the economic, social and environmental.

Use of social media by governors as an alternative to the media: evidence of Alagoas and Maranhão from 2015 to 2018

BATISTA, João Augusto Pereira

This dissertation aims to identify substitution effects on the use of social media by incumbent governors in the states of Alagoas and Maranhão from 2015 to 2018 as an alternative to traditional media. Design/Methodology – This study uses a similar systems comparative design to analyze media use and portrayals of governors around Brazil, centering its focus on an ‘outsider’ politician in the state of Maranhão and a traditional dynastic politician from the state of Alagoas. The study was based primarily on the collection of tweets by governors as well as newspaper articles published from 2015 to 2018. Metrics of salience and tone in newspaper coverage and social media usage were calculated from polarity lexicons in Portuguese. These metrics allowed for a comparative analysis of the states during the period of interest.Findings – In both states, the media vehicles of local political dynasties give greater visibility to incumbent governors than other newspapers, but their tone varies depending on the governor’s position in relation to the dynasties. Negative coverage by the traditional media of Maranhão is associated with a stronger use of social media in the case of the non-dynastic ‘outsider’ Governor, Flávio Dino (MA). The opposite holds true in the state of Alagoas, where Governor Renan Filho is part of a dynasty. Research limitations – The main limitation of the dissertation is that it only covers two states in Brazil in a defined period, thus privileging the goal of hypothesis generation as opposite to generalizability. Practical implications – The information collected during the research and the analysis may allow politicians and media outlets to rethink their informational strategies in an increasingly digital environment. Social implications – The results suggest that even politicians who face a hostile media dominated by entrenched elites can make communicational and political inroads via the use of social media. Originality – Based on the theoretical survey, this paper is the first to specifically observe the relationship between traditional and social media in the context of entrenched political powers dynasties in Brazilian states.

The perpetual electoral campaign: how Brazilian mayors secure reelection through government advertising

KOPP, Luis Felipe

Is a comparatively diminutive budget item – government expenditures on advertising in the news media – imperiling an effective news media and a transparent and competitive electoral process? High government expenditures on advertising open the door to political self-promotion, the cooptation of news media outlets, and may serve as pipelines for political slush funds. Analyzing an original database of 1,446 Brazilian municipalities (127 million people), we begin to gauge the systemic effects of government advertising expenditures, which are non-campaign budget item, on electoral success. On average, we find that mayors who win reelection spend 33% more on government advertising than losers. We also find that in the context of high expenditures, the number of newspapers is positively and significantly correlated to reelection. Our calculations indicate that current Brazilian legislative proposals to cap advertising expenditures at 1% of municipal budgets would, on average, increase the probability of reelection by nearly 80%.

Transparent health: a analysis of compliance to the Access to Information Law in federal public health institutions

MARINHO, Tatiana Cerginer

Purpose- The present work evaluates transparency in 65 federal health agencies by measuring and analyzing the degree to which freedom of information (FOI) regulations are being followed. Design/Methodology- The research used the methodology developed by FGV’s Public Transparency Program. It is divided into three stages: 1) evaluation of active transparency; 2) evaluation of passive transparency; and 3) analysis of the active transparency of non-profit entities that signed agreements with the agencies surveyed. Findings- Results show that implementation of active transparency (information disclosed proactively on government websites) is low, resulting in an average score of 26.27% on a well-known index. Meanwhile, passive transparency (information provided as a response to requests for access to information) fared better, with an average score of 38.3%, but still poorly compared to the average Brazilian score, which is 52%. Research limitations- The analysis is restricted to the public health agencies at the federal level. Practical implications- This study improves our understanding of the motivations and obstacles that organizations face in applying the access to information law. In this sense it can point to weaknesses to better focus strategies to increase levels of implementation. It can also help to provide a comparative perspective among organizations, encouraging further research in order to evaluate sectoral compliance of organizations with the FOI law. Social implications- By identifying obstacle to transparency, this study contributes to movements for greater accountability in order to combat corruption and strengthen good governance. Originality- This is the first study that evaluates compliance with FOI laws exclusively in public health agencies.

Transparency in Brazil's capitals city councils


Legislative transparency has not evolved as quickly as it has within the executive, and the same can be said for municipal transparency in relation to transparency encountered at the federal level of government. The lack of transparency within city council renders it more difficult for citizens to choose the best representatives. At the same time, opacity generates fewer incentives for councilors to improve their representativeness. This study aims to evaluate the degree of transparency within the legislative assemblies of Brazil’s capital cities. To this end, this thesis develops two methodologies based on the 8 principles of open data. One measures compliance with the Brazilian Freedom of Information Act (FOI), and the other evaluation assesses the transparency of legislative processes. I evaluated 39 official websites from the 26 capitals. The results demonstrate an extremely low level of FOI compliance and a low level of legislative transparency. No correlation was found between transparency and municipal economic wealth, size of population, or levels of development. Findings show that poor levels of detail in complying with the Brazilian FOI law. One of the major problems appears to be the lack of any universal standards to orient what elements should be rendered transparent.

Forest Governance Transparency in the Amazon

Borges, Eduardo Bizzo de Pinho

“Transparência da governança florestal na Amazônia: uma análise de cumprimento da Lei de Acesso à Informação (LAI) nos estados” seeks to evaluate the extent of compliance with the Access to Information Law (LAI) in 105 state-level agencies responsible for forest governance in the nine Amazonian states.

As the quality of forest governance is a concept presupposing transparency and as the LAI is one of the most important legal instruments seeking to attribute transparency to the public administration in Brazil, evaluating the extent of its implementation is evaluating forest governance and its capacity to formulate and implement quality policies for forest conservation and use.

Open Data and Public Education

Santos, Otávio Albuquerque Ritter dos

This research attempts to analyze the effects of open government data on the administration and practice of the educational process by comparing the contexts of Brazil and England. The findings illustrate two principal dynamics: control and collaboration. In the case of control, or what is called the "data-driven" paradigm, data help advance the cause of political accountability through the disclosure of school performance. In collaboration, or what is referred to as the "data-informed" paradigm, data is intended to support the decision-making process of administrators through dialogical processes with other social actors.

This Master's thesis ultimately became an article published in the journal, Public Administration.

Active Transparency in Brazilian Federal Universities

Monteiro, Alessandra

Federal institutions of higher education must comply with the active transparency statutes of Brazil’s new freedom of information law (12.527) by keeping their homepages updated and complete with the required information. However, some federal universities are not prepared to deal with the FOI law and still suffer from management problems accumulated over the years.

This study analyses compliance with active transparency statutes in 53 federal universities, examining the information published on the websites of public organizations, comparing it with the content of FOI laws.

Transparency in the sale of Insurance

Sasaki, Luiz

Examining the prevalence of transparency in the sale of insurance in Brazil and around the world, this study considers the costs and benefits of this transparency through surveys and based on extensive contextual and scholarly analyses. The survey included 191 Brazilian insurance brokers, as well as insurance supervisors, organizations representing insurers and insurance brokers from a total of 39 foreign jurisdictions, in addition to the European Commission.