“Cities against Poverty: Brazilian Experiences”

Research project funded by the Research Council of Norway (NFR) 2010 – 2013. Project leader: Einar Braathen (NIBR-project no.2884).

The project is conducted by NIBR (Einar Braathen) in partnership with Centro Brasileiro de Análise e Planejamento – CEBRAP (coordinator: Adrian Gurza Lavalle). Statistical analysis of available data sets helped trace the impact of local anti-poverty measures in the ten largest cities of Brazil. The project subsequently carried out qualitative research in four of the well performing cities, albeit with different sub-national, economic and political contexts: Porto Alegre, Curitiba, Recife and Fortaleza. The project has focused on the following sectors: social assistance (including child grants/ Programa Bolsa Familia), social housing (habitacão popular), basic sanitation (saneamento ambiental), and public transport (transporte publico). The aim is to identify the type(s) of (co-)governance configurations, and the extent of ‘pro-poorness’, that cause reduction of poverty and inequality in these cities.

A smaller follow-up study has assessed the impacts of the June 2013 urban mass protests.

Publications/project outputs so far (several more are due in 2013):

2013. “Transformation Institutionalized? Making Sense of Participatory Democracy in the Lula
Era.” By G. Baiocch, E. Braathen and A. C. Teixeira. Pp. 217-239 in K.Stokke & O. Törnquist (eds.), Democratization in the Global South: The Importance of Transformative Politics. Palgrave Macmillan: Houndmills, Basingstoke, Hampshire (UK).

Chance2Sustain: “Policies and politics addressing urban inequality”

Morro da Providencia favela

Work Package within the Research project City Growth and the Sustainability Challenge [Chance2sustain]. Funded by the EU Commission (FP7), 2010-2014. Work package leader: Einar Braathen, NIBR.

‘Chance2sustain’ compares 10 cities of different sizes and with a different economic base in four countries (India, South Africa, Brazil and Peru), all pioneering certain aspects of sustainable urban development. The key questions of the project are: How can cities in the South meet the sustainability challenge? What can be learned from the frontrunners? Among the five work packages, Braathen has coordinated WP3: “Policies and politics to address urban inequality: poor people networks, CSO networks and campaigns on sub-standard settlements in metropolitan areas”. The cities selected for the Brazilian studies are: Guarulhos (São Paulo), Rio de Janeiro and Salvador. Braathen has been responsible for the research on Rio de Janeiro. Project website:

Publications/project outputs so far:

2013. “Rio de Janeiro”
By E Braathen, T. Bartholl, A.C. Christovão and V.Pinheiro. Pp.134-163 in Braathen, E. (ed.), Addressing Sub-Standard Settlements. Bonn: European Association of Development Institutes

2013. “Rio de Janeiro: A City of Exception?”
By E. Braathen Opinion No 8 – March 2013. Bonn: European Association of Development Institutes.

2012. “Before The Party”
Director: E. Braathen. Photographer: Anne Kjersti Bjørn. Editor: Helga Fjordholm. Produced by Norwegian Institute for Urban and Regional Research (NIBR).

2011. ”Brazil: Successful country, failed cities?”
By E. Braathen. Published January 24.

2011. “Addressing Sub-Standard Settlements”
By E. Braathen. Policy Brief No.1. March 2011. Bonn: European Association of Development Institutes.