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Brazil Invests in Open Government to Tackle Environmental Challenges

Brasil atiende retos ambientales a través del gobierno abierto

Tamara Bakuzis|

The world has been facing health, economic, political, and environmental challenges in recent years, and the expansion of open government policies is one of the necessary solutions to bring government closer to demands of society. Investing again in the potential of open government, Brazil has committed to a number of actions to tackle environmental issues through its latest OGP action plan.

Brazil’s recent action plan was co-created in a challenging scenario. For the first time, the country carried out the co-creation process in an entirely virtual way, allowing more diversity of stakeholders to participate. The Brazilian government consulted both public agencies and civil society to define the issues to be addressed through the plan. Selecting environmental themes to compose the plan shows the increasing interest of Brazilian society on these issues and that the population believes in the OGP platform as an appropriate space to improve dialogue with government agencies. 

After defining the themes, 72 virtual meetings were held involving 40 civil society entities and 38 government agencies, totaling 139 people. Establishing an innovative way of working to ensure the participation and inclusion of diverse agents in the co-creation process of the plan took great coordination between government entities and civil society organizations. To enhance participation, there were 24 public virtual consultations, so contributions could be made and further develop the specialists’ discussions. 

This approach provides a model of collaboration between the stakeholders in all phases of the process: development, execution and monitoring. This robust participation process —under constant improvement since the third action plan—brings legitimacy to the commitments and increases the chance of them being well implemented. 

Environmental issues have been worked on since the third action plan. In the fourth action plan, three commitments also addressed this subject. Despite important advances in those commitments, both society and the government have shown that several challenges remain. By prioritizing four commitments on the subject, Brazil’s fifth and current action plan confirms the demand and hope for advances from this way of working. 

Besides the development of open government policies in the environmental area, the commitments will allow the country to develop solutions on other subjects, such as human rights, transparency of electoral data, open science, participation in legislative matters and development, and combating corruption. Brazil’s fifth action plan emerges as a fundamental piece to strengthen ties and rebuild trust between society, the private sector, and the government.

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