THE NATIONAL POLICY ON SOCIAL PARTICIPATION
After the promulgation of the Federal Constitution of 1988, several mechanisms and forms of social participation were instituted, such as councils, conferences, support centres, processes of participation in the cycle of public planning and budgeting, public hearings and consultations, dialogue and negotiation desks, among others.
Between 2003 and 2012, more than 7 million Brazilian citizens participated in 87 national conferences, encompassing 40 sector areas. In the scope of the federal government, there are more than 120 councils, of which about 40 have in their composition the massive presences of civil society representatives, consolidating the spaces for dialogue and social control. Besides this, nowadays, there are about 270 public federal support centres that aid the citizens in their relations with the government.
The emerging ways of digital participation, the mobilizations and demonstrations of Brazilian society express the need for amplifying and qualifying the existing mechanisms, as well as the creation of new processes and forms of participation.
The National Policy on Social Participation consolidates the advancements of the last 10 years and will be the reference that will guide the organs and entities of the public federal administration for better usage of the diverse processes, instances and mechanisms of social participation that already exist, allowing for a greater degree of social adherence to the cycle of management of public policies and argumentation of the administrative transparency and the efficacy of public management.
Mainly, the National Policy on Social Participation opens the way for new forms of social participation, by means of social networks and digital mechanisms of participation via the internet. Therefore, it advances Brazil’s progress on the international agenda of social participation, conferring roles upon the new social movements in the network, at the same time as it recognizes and values the traditional forms of participation and the historical social movements.
DECREE OF THE NATIONAL ON SOCIAL PARTICIPATION
The National Policy on Social Participation (Política Nacional de Participação Social – PNPS) aims to strengthen and articulate the mechanisms and democratic instances of dialogue and the acting together of the federal government and civil society. The policy establishes objectives and directives related to the set of mechanisms created in order to allow commonality of decisions on programs and public policies, such as councils, conferences, support centres, dialogue desks, public consultancy, public hearings, and virtual platforms of social participation
The PNPS was constructed by means of an extensive participative process, the draft of the Decree being submitted to the public for consultation on the website of the General-Secretariat. More than 700 contributions were received during the public consultation.
The main objective of the PNPS is the consolidation of social participation as a method of government. To this end, all the organs and entities of the public federal administration, direct or indirect (respecting their specificities), will elaborate a plan of action every two years to expand and foster social participation.
NATIONAL COMMITMENT TO THE SOCIAL PARTICIPATION
The National Commitment on Social Participation (Compromisso Nacional pela Participação Social – CNPS) is an agreement among the federal, state and municipal governments that defines directives to the promotion of social participation as a method of government, with the objective of strengthening the mechanism and instances of dialogue between the State and Civil Society, with a view to the consolidation of participative democracy in the Country.
The National Commitment on Social Participation will be adhered to by the Mayors and Governors of the whole country. It is a document discussed and approved by the State Secretaries and by Municipal Entities, which will also be signed by the Minister Gilberto Carvalho.
It is a result of a collaborative and participative process of the General Secretariat of the Presidency of the Republic and of the Forum of State Secretaries of Social Participation, with the involvement of the Federal, State, Municipal, and Federal District Governments.
The General Secretariat of the Presidency of the Republic will make available, on the day of signing, a Technical Orientating Guide for the elaboration and implementation of the plans that contain methodologies, instruments and indicators for the participative processes and their evaluations.
The Website Participa.br is a dialogue platform of the Federal Government, linked with the social networks and the Digital Cabinet, strengthening and expanding dialogue and participation communities. The Website will allow the launching of consultations, conferences, debates, surveys, and the online transmission of events.
It comprises a network of dialogue communities that will involve public managers, citizens, organizations, networks and movements of civil society for the discussion of themes relevant to public policies.
Participa.br will provide a basic set of technologies and methodologies of Social Participation via the internet to be used by several public organs, institutions and other social participation actors.
Its objective is to discuss the political agenda with the actors involved and define the themes and methodologies that are most adequate for dialogue with civil society, adequate and customized toeach theme and context.