Ricardo Motta
Assembleia Legislativa do Rio Grande do Norte

A. Problem Analysis

 1. What was the problem before the implementation of the initiative?
The identified initial problem was the difficulty for people with Down syndrome or the elderly to enter the labor Market; and also diffilculty of professionals interaction in the field of tourism with foreign tourists, caused by the language barrier due to the hosting of the World Cup in Natal. In the last decades, there has been important advances as regards to the inclusion of people with Down Syndrome in schools and ensuring elderly rights, but employment opportunities are still limited.

B. Strategic Approach

 2. What was the solution?
The solution was proposed by the State Deputy Ricardo Motta, Legislative Assembly of Rio Grande do Norte President. In the Down Syndrome inclusion project, pioneer among Assemblies of Brazil, was defined the hiring of three young people, indicated by the Down Syndrome Association of Rio Grande do Norte, to work in the ceremonial and plenary of the Legislative Assembly. The choice was based on the need of giving visibility to the work of these young people, demonstrating that they are responsible and able to accomplish tasks. And also to be an example and encouragement to other government and civilian institutions. The “Recomeçar” Project – directed to the elderly – and the “Assembléia na Copa” Project – for professionals in the field of tourism – were formatted and are executed by the Potiguar Legislative Office. This section was geared toward the requalification of the Assembly servers and also provides services to the community. Given the new demands of the labor market for the elderly, the solution was to offer English, Spanish and computer classes; and for the tourism professionals, the Project offers English classes focused on daily situations.

 3. How did the initiative solve the problem and improve people’s lives?
The Legislative Assembly, on the parliament condition, constitutes in a place for discussions and debates about the problems that afflict the population of Rio Grande do Norte. The deputy Ricardo Motta wanted to offer to society an example, showing in practice that giving opportunity for young people with Down Syndrome can reveal their talents, producing and working; so that the elderly may retrain and return to the labor Market; and that the tourism industry welcome and attend efficiently the tourists who are coming to Natal during and after the World Cup. One must consider the importance of tourism to generate employment and income for the population of Natal and the state in general. The success of the three initiatives, within the banner of social inclusion, is due to the commitment of all those involved – servers and the people that were benefited -, to the example that has inspired other institutions and to the demand of the audience due to the efficiency of the services offered.

C. Execution and Implementation

 4. In which ways is the initiative creative and innovative?
After the presentation of the proposal by the Deputy Ricardo Motta, legal sectors, education and social assistance were mobilized, inside the Legislative Assembly and the partner institutions, to work together on the approach and methodology of the three projects. In the case of young people with Down Syndrome, their future coworkers were also involved and trained to live and work together, in order to ensure the proper performance of them. In this case, given the limitations of the current legislation, signing an agreement with the Down Syndrome Association of Rio Grande do Norte and the Association of Parents and Friends of People with Disabilities of Banco do Brazil was required. People with intellectual disabilities in Brazil, decreed partially or totally unable by Justice, are not allowed to have an employment relationship under penalty of being barred from receiving pension for death of parents. And these young people have been working since August 2011. For the other projects, the skills that both the elderly and tourism professionals needed to acquire were established in order to elaborate the grids of the courses offered, and to define the classes locations. For the elderly (people over 55 years), classes are held in the Assembly. And for tourism professionals, classes take place in decentralized neighborhoods of Natal - to make the access easier for the students.

 5. Who implemented the initiative and what is the size of the population affected by this initiative?
Deputy Ricardo Motta participated actively in the three projects, from concept to implementation, and mobilized a team to put projects into practice. For the inclusion project for young people with Down Syndrome, those who worked directly with the Assembly were Israel Nunes, Wilton Monte, Pádua Martins, Adriana Trinidade e Flávia Urbano; the Down Syndrome Association of Rio Grande do Norte, Glauciane Santana and Margarida Seabra; and the Association of Parents and Friends of People with Down Syndrome of Banco do Brazil, Clécia Maria de Brito and Alexsandra. In the other two projects, those who directly participated were the teacher Mizael Barreto and his team, and Wilton Monte.
 6. How was the strategy implemented and what resources were mobilized?
The financial resources for the implementation of the three projects were provided by the Legislative Assembly; and the human resources came from the Assembly and from the partner institutions previously mentioned. For the project of Down Syndrome are invested R$ 2000,00 monthly, which are destined for the expenses on food and transportation. In the other projects, R$200.000,00 are spent on the making of courseware and teachers’ payment. It worths mentioning that the “Assembléia na Copa” and “Recomeçar” projects were launched in the first semester of 2012.

 7. Who were the stakeholders involved in the design of the initiative and in its implementation?
Among the results, we highlight society’s understanding and awareness of the potential and overall conditions of people with Down Syndrome and the elderly, as they contribute to the workspaces (1); significant improvement in the self-esteem of the public assisted in projects of social inclusion, as they rediscover themselves and find new opportunities in their professional lives, and this benefict ultimately extends to their personal life (2); contribution towards students and tourism professionals receiving better the foreign tourists who comes to Natal, professionalizing the customer service and generating a spontaneous publicity when these tourists return to their countries (3); the State Government, through a project proposal submitted by Deputy Ricardo Motta and within the perspective to put people with intellectual disabilities in the labor market, presented – and the Legislative Assembly approved – changes in social security legislation in order to allow employment relationships without prejudice to the receipt of pensions in the future (4); demand of institutions, inlcuding other legislative assemblies, for the models of social inclusion projects implemented to suit their own realities (5).

 8. What were the most successful outputs and why was the initiative effective?
In the case of inclusion project for young people with Down Syndrome, the results are measured from the evaluation and follow-up done periodically with the three young men who became symbols of successful experience, which is considered a new and pioneering idea of Deputy Ricardo Motta. The example of the project was introduced in 2012, at the Brazilian Conference on Down Syndrome, and it was taken to knowledge of the Brazilian Congress, through the deputy Romário. As for the courses offered in “Recomeçar” and “Assembléia na Copa” projects, at the end of each module, an evaluation is made with students and teachers. In addition, the pedagogical team makes regular visits to monitor the development of the activities.

 9. What were the main obstacles encountered and how were they overcome?
In the projects including young people with Down Syndrome and the elderly, the main obstacle faced today is the prejudice. That is why the central idea of both, in accordance with the conception of Deputy Ricardo Motta, is to start breaking this paradigms and this prejudice by setting na example from the Legislative Assembly itself. And the Assembly has demonstrated daily that young people with Down Syndrome are fully able to enter the labor Market, and the elderly also are able to learn new skills required by the labor market and they can still be productive. After the launch of the project by the Assembly, both in private and in public institutions, we observe in Natal and other municipalities the interest in reproducing the projects for inclusion of people with Down syndrome.

D. Impact and Sustainability

 10. What were the key benefits resulting from this initiative?
The main benefits, as mentioned above, arise from the example of offering the opportunity and the right tools for citizens to make them respond satisfactorily, producing, working, growing and evolving from a professional point of view, and therefore in their personal lives. We have the examples of the three young people with Down syndrome who progressed significantly in their personal relationships and autonomy. And stories of seniors who were unmotivated or even falling into depression, and they rediscovered themselves after entering the “Recomeçar” project. One can say, with no doubt, that the Legislative Assembly, through the initiative of the State Deputy Ricardo Motta, offers now a better servise and it has grown closer the population as these sections of society - such as people with disabilities and elderly - see themselves represented and assisted in their needs. The Legislative Assembly has become an spokesperson, an example of what can be achieved and a changemaker in the lives of people assisted by social inclusion projects. In the case of the “Assembléia na Copa” project, the tourism professional – such as taxi drivers, buggy drivers, receptionists, waiters, police officers and professionals from public hospitals – are having access to English and Spanish classes in their workplace or in associations in their district of residence. Otherwise, they would not have time or could not afford the costs of these classes.

 11. Did the initiative improve integrity and/or accountability in public service? (If applicable)
The three initiatives, within the social inclusion project proposed by Deputy Ricardo Motta, were conceived and put into practice at the perspective of continuing to work after his tenure ends, and they were conceived to attend to other public and private spaces. Especially the project for inclusion of people with Down Syndrome, because of the adhesion of non-governmental organizations that can provide free and specialized knowledge and advice; and the cost of the project is considered low, becoming easier to be multiplied. The Legislative Assembly, under the guidance of deputy Ricardo Motta, offers to those who are interested the draft agreement, which can be easily adapted and put into practice by other institutions. Several institutions have requested a copy of the plan and agrement, and have made technical visits to the Assembly to see firsthand the operation of this and other projects. To the adoption of the Project for inclusion of people with Down syndrome by the Municipal Council of Caicó is in process of study, for further implementation.

 12. Were special measures put in place to ensure that the initiative benefits women and girls and improves the situation of the poorest and most vulnerable? (If applicable)
First of all, the Deputy Ricardo Motta highlights the importance of listening to the desires and needs of the population. The social inclusion projects emerged in 2011, from the request to hold a public hearing with different segments of society and the the constituted powers, in order to discuss the difficulties of people with Down Syndrome to enter the labor market. In preparation for this hearing, the deputy launched the idea of the Legislative Assembly going beyond the speech and being, in fact, a practical example by offering job openings for three young people with the syndrome. After that, the social inclusion issue gained new dimension in the legislative, and other social issues have emerged, like the elderly needs and then the tourism professionals directly involved with the 2014 World Cup in Natal. Deputy Ricardo Motta launched the ideas, the Assembly technicians developed the conditions for the projects to be effected, and now the Assembly has the ability to offer the expertise to stakeholders.

Contact Information

Institution Name:   Assembleia Legislativa do Rio Grande do Norte
Institution Type:   Government Agency  
Contact Person:   Flávia Urbano de Andrade
Title:   Press Coordenation  
Telephone/ Fax:   8432325766
Institution's / Project's Website:  
E-mail:   flavia.urbano2@gmail.com  
Address:   Praça 7 de Setembro s/n
Postal Code:   59025-300
City:   Natal
State/Province:   Rio Grande do Norte

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