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Transparency and Oversight in Infrastructure Repair Processes (BR0105)



Action Plan: Brazil National Action Plan 2018-2021

Action Plan Cycle: 2018

Status: Active


Lead Institution: Ministry of Transparency and Comptroller General of Brazil – CGU

Support Institution(s): Ministry of Transparency and Comptroller General of Brazil – CGU Government Secretariat of the Presidency of Republic – SEGOV/PR Chief of Staff of the Presidency of the Republic Ministry of National Integration - MI Renova Foundation Human Rights Clinic/UFMG Environmental Services Management Lab/UFMG Conectas

Policy Areas

Capacity Building, E-Government, Infrastructure & Transport, Public Participation, Public Service Delivery, Subnational

IRM Review

IRM Report: Brazil Design Report 2018-2020

Starred: Pending IRM Review

Early Results: Pending IRM Review

Design i

Verifiable: Yes

Relevant to OGP Values: Access to Information , Civic Participation , Technology

Potential Impact:

Implementation i

Completion: Pending IRM Review


Commitment 6: Implement instruments and transparency actions, access to information and the development of capacities to expand and qualify the participation and public oversight over the repair processes.
Lead government institution Ministry of Transparency and Comptroller General of Brazil – CGU
Civil servant in charge for implementing at lead government institution Adenísio Álvaro de Souza
Position - Department General Coordinator/Federative Cooperation and Public oversight Coordination
Telephone (61) 2020-6516
Other involved actors Government Ministry of Transparency and Comptroller General of Brazil – CGU
Government Secretariat of the Presidency of Republic – SEGOV/PR
Chief of Staff of the Presidency of the Republic
Ministry of National Integration - MI
Civil Society Renova Foundation
Human Rights Clinic/UFMG
Environmental Services Management Lab/UFMG
Status quo or problem/issue to be addressed Lack of efficient communication, participation and public oversight over the repair process
Main objective Promote transparency, public oversight and access to information with people involved on the repair process.
Commitment short description Promote transparency and public oversight actions over the repair process of Mariana as well as at other municipalities in the region, due to dam ruptures.
OGP Challenge addressed by the Commitment Support civic participation
Commitment relevance Ensure that the affected people be informed about the operations related to the repair process.
Goal Increase the society participation and promote public oversight actions on the Marianas repair process as well as in other municipalities involved by dam ruptures.
Situation Initiated in October 2018
Results description Not available
Implemented until July/2020

Verifiable and measurable milestones to fulfill the Commitment Start date: End date: Responsible:
1. Mapping process to identify requested information, on the Transparency Portal, coming from the affected ones and its Municipalities


11/30/2018 Renova*
SEGOV/CT – CPDCS (Technical Communication, Participation, Dialogues and Public oversight Chamber)
2. Development of the Renovas Transparency Portal, with accessible language, prioritizing data in open formats.



Renova Foundation*
3. Held of dissemination campaigns over the Transparency Portal
07/31/2020 Renova Foundation*
4. Viability study over the establishment of a technical scientific knowledge repository


Chief of Staff Office/PR*
5. Promote training over transparency and access to information for managers and technicians, on affected states and municipalities


Renova Foundation
6. Promote training to the affected ones in order to promote monitoring processes over public policies in articulation to technical advisory services



7. Training workshops about risks managing over dam ruptures to the Municipalities City Halls


Ministry of National Integration*

IRM Midterm Status Summary

6. Transparency and Public Oversight over Mariana’s Reparation Processes and Other Municipalities in the Region

Language of the commitment as it appears in the action plan:

“Promote transparency, public oversight and access to information with people involved on the repair process.”

6.1. Mapping process to identify requested information, on the Transparency Portal, coming from the affected ones and its Municipalities

6.2. Development of the Renova’s Transparency Portal, with accessible language, prioritizing data in open formats

6.3. Held of dissemination campaigns over the Transparency Portal

6.4. Viability study over the establishment of a technical scientific knowledge repository

6.5. Promote training over transparency and access to information for managers and technicians, on affected states and municipalities

6.6. Promote training to the affected ones in order to promote monitoring processes over public policies in articulation to technical advisory services

6.7. Training workshops about risks managing over dam ruptures to the Municipalities City Halls

Start Date: January 2018                                                                           End Date: July 2020

Editorial note: to see the complete text, visit

Context and Objectives

In 2015, a privately owned dam broke, destroying Mariana city and its surroundings and killing 19 people. [36] The Samarco disaster is described as one of the worst environmental disasters in Brazil’s recent history. [37] Samarco exposed the complex legal system and policy aspects surrounding disaster recovery in Brazil, [38] including the challenge of claiming damages, holding government and private sector actors responsible, coordinating collective claims, and evaluating the impact of public policies in areas such as labor and environment. This commitment aims to promote transparency, public oversight, and access to information regarding these recovery processes.

Citizen monitoring is vital to ensure an effective disaster recovery process and to avoid future disasters, a threat identified for other dams in the region. [39] Sadly, a similar disaster, the Vale disaster, occurred in the region in 2019, killing more than 200 people in the city of Brumadinho. [40]  The commitment proposes mapping information requests from the Transparency Portal initiated by those affected by the Samarco disaster. The portal was deployed as a joint project by government and civil society (Milestone 6.1). [41]

The commitment also involves developing and launching a thematic transparency portal, in partnership with the civil society organizations (CSOs) in charge of the portal (as authorized by the government). [42] This portal would group the information and activities already done for recovery in certain areas and among certain populations. The new portal will include technical, scientific knowledge and use open data standards (6.2–6.4). Similarly, it will train citizens to use the portal to prevent future disasters (6.5–6.7).

The commitment is specific enough to be verifiable. It has a component related to the dissemination of information to the public (e.g., information on repairs is published online) and another component of civic participation (e.g., the government has empowered civil society to run the initiative).

Raquel Aparecida Pereira from the Comptroller-General’s Office of the Union (CGU) [43] notes the commitment’s contribution to transparency through aspects related to freedom of information, civic participation, and the use of established councils, including those directly related to subnational administrations. Valdênia Santos Souza (also CGU) commends the commitment’s impact on public accountability, [44] arguing that access to information in such contexts leads to opportunities for social control.

Nevertheless, according to IRM standards, in order for a commitment to be relevant to public accountability, it must effectively provide a mechanism for government to justify its actions. This commitment does not fulfill that requirement. As argued by both sources, however, the access to information and civic participation activities do promote citizen use of the governmental process of damage repairs, either by easing access to public information or by offering contact channels to start the process outside of the portal.

The innovations of this commitment include a formal collaboration agreement between the Renova Foundation, a CSO established to address the Samarco disaster, and the CGU. The commitment also allows any user of the portal to suggest policies and encourages new forms of civic participation. [45]

The commitment has a moderate potential impact. Its objective mainly aims to improve public accountability, but the milestones are restricted to access to information and capacity building activities. Additionally, the fact that the Renova Foundation, and the portal, date prior to the start of the commitment makes it difficult to evaluate what the contribution of the commitment will be during the action plan period. However, the broad scope of the commitment should be noted. It includes a wide range of partners from civil society and government. In addition, the activities listed in the portal related not only to the Samarco disaster but also to other natural events that have taken place in the region.

The transparency portals and collaborative mechanisms will allow civil society not only to monitor the recovery, but also to partner with the government in assessing affected individuals requiring compensation. This will accelerate the process and allow civil society to act as witness to the recovery progress. These are innovations for Brazil. For example, before the commitment, all victims had to individually gather resources and sue for relief, despite being members of the same family. The main new portal allows families to seek relief en masse. Another transformation is the capacity of both portals to advertise events and align stakeholders, thereby increasing the efficiency of repairs. In terms of transparency, both portals track which materials are scarce. This is important given the recurring nature of such disasters in the region.

Next steps

The commitment should be prioritized in future action plans. Similar threats to dams and other environmental disasters could be monitored. The innovations from this commitment can strengthen open government initiatives in disaster recovery and mitigation. One key area of improvement is to shift action on environmental disasters from being reactive to being proactive. This can be done, for example, by promoting civic participation activities for specifically monitoring public or private infrastructure.

To increase the commitment’s potential impact, its milestones could highlight activities conducted by the Renova Foundation portal. These activities include establishing on-site offices to guide civic monitoring and repairs in the region, creating accountability materials, constructing budget transparency tools, and documenting best practices for future use.

[36] Adriano de Oliveira Dias, Gustavo Silveira da Luz, Viviane Kraieski de Assuncao, and Teresinha Maria Goncalves. “Mariana, the Biggest Environmental Disaster in Brazil: An Analysis of the Social and Environmental Conflict,” in Territorial Planning and Management: The Sustainability of Urban Ecosystems (Criciuma, SC: EDIUNESC, 2018),
[37] Ibid.
[38] Mariane Morato Stival and Sandro Dutra e Silva, “The Disaster of the Mining Dam in Mariana and the Impacts on International Environmental and Brazilian Law,” Revista Direito Ambiental e Sociedade 8, no. 2 (2018),; Carlos de Freitas, Mariano da Silva, and Fernanda de Menezes, “The Samarco Mining Dam Disaster—Exposed Fracture of Brazil's Limits in Disaster Risk Reduction,” Cienc. Cult. 68, no. 3 (July/September 2016),
[39] Nathalia Passarinho, “Dam Inspection: Federal Control Agency Is 2nd Most Exposed to Fraud and Corruption, Says TCU,” BBC, 13 February 2019,
[40] Renata Okumura, “Sobe para 224 o Número de Mortos Identificados na Tragédia de Brumadinho,” Estadão, 7 April 2019,; “Repeated Tragedy: Brumadinho Barrier Breaks and Punishes Minas Gerais Again,” GI, 27 January 2019s,
[41] Fundação Renova website,
[42] The Pathway to Reform website,
[43] Interview with IRM researcher, 21 March 2019.
[44] Interview with IRM researcher, 21 March 2019.
[45] Carolina Gonçalves, “Government Publishes Resolution Determining Dam Inspection,” Agência Brasil, 29, January 2019,


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