MDG: Brazilian Transparency and accountability
Since August, 2012, BEMFAM (Family Welfare in Brazil), a Brazilian NGO focused on family planning, sexual and reproductive health and sexual and reproductive rights, has been developing a project in partnership with IPPF (International Planned Parenthood Federation) on the Brazilian’s government transparency and accountability related to the Federal budget provisions directed towards the implementation of the MDG 5b. In order to fulfill the MDG 5b until 2015, the Brazilian government would have to allocate sufficient resources to provide a better access to reproductive health to every one of its citizens. The indicators related to this MDG are: pregnancy rate in adolescence; unmet family planning needs; and use of contraceptives.
The Brazilian government, committed to transparency and society’s access to information, has made available the Public Transparency Website, the Federal Government Transparency Portal, and since 2011, with the Access to Information Law, the Access to Information website and the Electronic Information Service (E-SIC). During the first phase of the project, BEMFAM used the resources available and implemented by the Brazilian Government. The organization sent three requests via the E-SIC system to the Ministry of Planning, to the Ministry of Health and to the Ministry of Education, looking for more information on budgetary items related with the MDG 5b. All of these requests were answered in due time.
However, it was possible to see that, despite the Government’s Transparency and accountability, the items that relate to sexual and reproductive Health are not well specified in the bugdet. With 2015 approaching, it would be good if the Brazilian Government had these items specified or had the information regarding its efforts on MDG 5b available to not only the civil society, but to the general public.
In terms of transparency and accountability, civil society in Brazil has been organized in online forums, such as the E-democracia and Open Government Partnership email groups. Together, civil society and the Brazilian government are working towards more effective, transparent and responsible actions.
What BEMFAM hopes to contribute with other civil society organizations that have an interest not only in the MDG 5b, but also in transparency and accountability, with hopes to strengthen the political will of the Ministries and Government agencies that deal directly with this matter.
Image credit: Brasilia, Brazil by Rick Ligthelm via Flickr