The IPC-IG delivers four reports to FAO regarding the impact evaluation of the benefit granted to fishers during the temporary stoppage of fishery activities in Brazil


On 20 August, the IPC-IG team delivered to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) four reports that gather background information on the impact evaluation of Seguro-Defeso, a social protection programme that supports artisanal fishers during the temporary stoppage of fishery activities in Brazil. The studies are part of the first outcome of a project developed through a partnership between FAO and the IPC-IG, titled “Impact Evaluation of Seguro-Defeso on the Socioeconomic Conditions of Small-Scale Shrimp Fishers in Brazil”.

The first report discusses the evolution of the legal framework and related legislation to contextualise the main concepts of the Unemployment Insurance for Artisanal Fishers (Seguro-Desemprego do Pescador Artesanal—SDPA), also known as Seguro-Defeso. The regulations on programmes targeting artisanal fishers are key for both theirs and Brazil´s social security. It also outlines the Brazilian social security system that covers artisanal fishers and how it overlaps with the Seguro-Defeso

A second study provides an overview of the bibliography of the Seguro-Defeso policy and its context, focusing on the socioeconomic conditions of beneficiaries. Its features have been assessed by several studies, but none so far have carried out an impact evaluation. The lack of a counterfactual analysis reveals significant methodological and data limitations imposed by the policy (such as difficulty in defining control and treatment groups). The review of existing evidence outlines the main research topics, methods, data and samples employed by the authors, as well as the main outcomes and areas of debate. 

A third report comprises a study design for the Seguro-Defeso’s impact evaluation. It reflects changes in the methodology due to restrictions imposed by the COVID-19 pandemic. The revised design proposes an observational study based on reliable administrative data on beneficiaries and the use of a Generalised Propensity Score method to estimate the impact of the programme on the socioeconomic conditions of its beneficiaries. Given the heterogeneity of the study’s target population, two databases were considered. The information on people registered in the Unemployment Insurance Management Base, which is the Seguro-Defeso’s main benefit database, was cross-referenced with the Brazilian federal government’s Single Registry for Social Programmes database. Only those who are registered as active in the Single Registry were considered for the study. 

The last study is an administrative data inconsistency analysis that provides a description of the algorithms that were used to compile and extract information on artisanal fishers from the two databases. This information allows for the identification of the time of exposure and the amount of insurance that beneficiaries received up to 2018. Both the study design and the data inconsistency analysis also present an important discussion about the advantages and limitations of selected methods and offer solutions to overcome potential shortcomings.

A series of One Pagers summarising the main findings of these studies is expected to be published in the months ahead.