The IPC-IG delivers technical documents aiming at the improvement of the Unified Social Assistance System (SUAS) of Bahia


Children in front of a poor house in Bahia, Brazil


In January, the IPC-IG delivered the second technical document with a description of the legal framework that regulates the transfer of resources from the co-financing of the State Fund for Social Assistance (Fundo Estadual de Assistência Social—FEAS) of Bahia to municipalities. This evaluation is part of a broader study, which aims at identifying and solving current operational obstacles regarding the transactions destined to social assistance.

Several technical orientations from relevant government agencies—such as the National Council of Social Assistance (Conselho Nacional de Assistência Social—CNAS), the State Council of Social Assistance (Conselho Estadual de Assistência Social—CEAS), the Ministry of Citizenship, as well as criteria foreseen by FEAS and by the Organic Law of Social Assistance (Lei Orgânica de Assistência Social—LOAS), among others, were taken into consideration in the making of the document.

Concerning the assessment of the co-financing of SUAS in Bahia, another technical document with a description of the administrative procedures and workflow of FEAS regarding the transfer resources to municipalities is expected to be delivered in March. In addition, an evaluation and a proposal for a redesign of the legal framework—including changes of norms and procedures—should be presented in May. The study aims at providing a proposal for the redesign of the workflow and the operation of the State Fund, to refine the management and execution of resources to 417 municipalities in Bahia.

In January, the Centre also presented a preliminary report with an analysis of the perception of state managers, the labour pool and beneficiaries regarding the communication and social participation in the mechanisms of SUAS Bahia. Through phone surveys, researchers sought to identify the workflow of the Social Assistance Municipal Councils (Conselhos Municipais de Assistência Social—CMAS), and the reasons for the low participation of beneficiaries in social control spaces. 

Researchers carried out 69 interviews in 38 municipalities in Bahia, covering 26 out of 27 Identity Territories (IT) in the state. ITs are divisions used by the state government to identify the specific needs of different municipalities. They are subdivided in rural areas by multidimensional criteria, such as environment, economics, society, culture, among others.

Among interviewees were 25 municipal managers, 24 municipal council workers and 20 beneficiaries of social assistance programmes, who also participate in municipal councils. A full report is planned for March, containing an analysis of the interviews, which should support the redesign of social assistance policies in the state. The goal is to increase the participation of both beneficiaries and social workers in social participation mechanisms.

The Centre also presented to the Social Assistance Oversight Board (Superintendência de Assistência Social—SAS) a preliminary report with an analysis of the indicators of the quality and supply of social protection services in Bahia. The report presents data divided by level of social protection complexity—ranging from basic, to medium-complexity special and high-complexity special— and subdivided by indicator type: supply and coverage of services provided; physical structure; human resources; and coordination with SUAS workers and beneficiaries. A final version of this report should be presented in March.

The “Strengthening Social Protection Policies in Bahia” project is a partnership between the IPC-IG and United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Brazil, which aims at supporting the government of Bahia’s Secretariat of Justice, Human Rights and Social Development (Secretaria de Justiça, Direitos Humanos e Desenvolvimento Social—SJDHDS) in the development of the participatory planning and management of social assistance in the state. It is expected to end by July 2021.

Photo: Maria Hsu on Flickr (CC BY 2.0)