UPP Social Program
Pereira Passos Municipal Institute of Urbanism

A. Problem Analysis

 1. What was the problem before the implementation of the initiative?
Based on data from the 2010 census, the Pereira Passos Municipal Institute of Urbanism (IPP-Rio) estimated that 1,436,049 people lived in slums in Rio de Janeiro, or 22.72% of the municipality’s 6,320,446 inhabitants. Over the past decades, these relatively vulnerable communities and territories have been affected by public policies in a variety of ways, ranging from rejection, demolition and relocation, to a more recent recognition of the need for special attention and integration into the formal city. These neighbourhoods have received infrastructure improvement programs and have been increasingly integrated into official urban development governing systems. However, crime and public safety were usually absent from the public policy agendas formulated for these areas, in spite of a security scenario marked by a significant increase in the size and power of organised criminal groups over the course of the 1990s and 2000s. In December 2008, the Public Security Department of Rio de Janeiro State deployed its first Pacifying Police Unit (UPP), a new model based on community and proximity policing to restore and ensure legal and institutional control of the territories. These new units encourage closer ties between officers and local residents. The pacification policy also enables the improvement of public policies and services, which can now reach areas previously controlled by gangs or militias, contributing to the integration into the city of communities with a history of vulnerability. Authorities, scholars and many opinion formers expressed the need for a more comprehensive strategy of integration and development of slums. They argued that beyond an improvement in policing these communities should also be contemplated with better services and opportunities for sustainable social, economic and urban development. These concerns led to the UPP Social Program, which was established to produce policy relevant information about the communities that received pacifying police units (UPPs) and to contribute to an integrated and improved delivery of public policies. By 2013, a third of slum residents in Rio de Janeiro lived in areas covered by the UPP social program, amounting to over 500,000 people. The pacified communities are predominantly precarious informal settlements that have been subject to decades of violent territorial control by criminal groups, and are characterised by fragile socioeconomic indicators and limited access to public services. They are also densely populated. In the urbanized areas of Rio de Janeiro municipality population density averaged 11,071 inhabitants per square km in 2010. The average density in pacified favelas was 39,494/km2. In Rocinha, one of the largest slums in Latin America and the largest in Rio, density surpasses 80,000/km2. In addition to cramped living conditions, income levels and educational attainment are significantly lower than the city’s average. The UPP Social communities are very young, 55% of residents are under the age of 30, compared to 43% in the whole municipality. Therefore a considerable proportion of the city’s future workforce will have been raised in these slums.

B. Strategic Approach

 2. What was the solution?
The program was preceded by a lot of research on the pacifying police units and their impact on social relations and the provision of services. Employing a variety of methods, including participant observation and interviews, researchers argued that armed criminal groups had for many years taken on institutional and regulatory roles within the communities where they lived and operated. Their removal from these communities left an institutional vacuum. Researchers also highlighted that the state was not entirely absent. Instead, its presence was heterogeneous, poorly coordinated and highly inefficient. The pacification of these areas represented not only an opportunity to expand policies and projects in these areas, but also a chance to rethink the structure and patterns of relations between the state and the vulnerable communities, in order to optimise the effects of public policies. An integrated and coordinated approach was required to respond to the complex challenges faced by the pacified communities. Between June and December 2010, the state government of Rio de Janeiro convened a consultative group comprised of representatives from several sectors, including academia and media, which conceived the foundations of the UPP Social program and began its implementation as a pilot-project in three communities, Providência, Borel and Cidade de Deus. The program was subsequently transferred to the municipal government through a political-administrative agreement between the two levels of government due to the recognition that many of the most essential services were part of the municipal mandate. On the 4th of January 2011, a decree by the Mayor of the City of Rio de Janeiro formally created the UPP Social Program and placed it within the structure of the Pereira Passos Institute (IPP-Rio). However, the state government is responsible for public security, high-school education and water services. Energy, gas and communication services are privatised in the whole city. Therefore institutional coordination between various levels of government and non-governmental organisations remained key objectives of the program, as well as the optimization of demand channels. The United Nations Program for Human Settlements (UN-HABITAT) was invited in June 2010 to coordinate the implementation of the UPP Social Program. UN-HABITAT was chosen as a partner, among other reasons, due to its expertise on human settlements and urban management, its technical capacity in the promotion of urban governance and housing practices, and most importantly its national and international network of collaborators from the civil society, private and other sectors. The mission of the UPP Social Program is to integrate the pacified slums into the city by contributing to the consolidation of pacification and territorial control. As part of its strategy to achieve this, the program promotes engaged citizenship and local development by increasing community participation in local planning, by improving the tools available for public management and above all by coordinating the local operations of organisations from various sectors. The program is essentially a transitional policy. Once the residents of pacified slums gain access to public services that are comparable to those in the rest of the city, and attain higher levels of urban prosperity and human development, its mission will have been accomplished. Although the program’s primary target audience are the pacified communities, it can only achieve its goals by strengthening public, private and third sector capacities, in addition to local residents’.

 3. How did the initiative solve the problem and improve people’s lives?
The most unique aspect of the program is its focus on continuous management and community participation. Fieldworkers are stationed in each of the pacified slums on a daily and continuous basis to liaise with residents, identify demands and potential partnerships, foment community organisations and monitor government activities. Data is generated in collaboration with local partners and fed into the program’s information systems. Many of the fieldworkers of the territorial management team were recruited to work in their own communities, increasing the program’s reach and breadth of local knowledge. Another unique aspect is the emphasis on coordination and increasing the efficiency of resource allocation. The continuous contact of UPP Social staff with local residents is increasing trust in public institutions. Lack of trust has previously hindered concerted development. The information provided by residents enables the municipal managers to understand the specificities of each territory and allocate resources accordingly. The exchange of information between different government departments avoids policy overlap, while promoting joint initiatives and more efficient and collaborative use of funds. It also facilitates the activities of private sector and civil society organizations that would find it hard to operate in the slums without the institutional partnerships and network of local relationships established by the fieldworkers.

C. Execution and Implementation

 4. In which ways is the initiative creative and innovative?
The UPP Social program is carried out in three main stages. The first is a pre-implementation stage during which preliminary studies on the territory are conducted and the main local stakeholders are identified. A logical framework is produced based on the collected data to guide future actions in each community. Once the first phase is concluded, the program is officially installed by a participatory meeting called UPP Social Forum, which gathers residents, local leaders, public authorities and managers, the pacification police, researchers, media and other agents. The forum’s goal is to establish a first contact with the community and to promote participation and the expression of local demands. Finally, there is a continuous management phase in which bonds with the community are strengthened through the organisation of meetings and the promotion of constant dialogue with community residents and other stakeholders. The program cycle of action is completed with the formulation, based on dialogue with the communities, of Local Action Plans that aim to promote full access for the communities to public services and to other rights that are readily available in the formal parts of the city. The UPP Social Program is divided into three branches. The territorial management team is in charge of mapping demands by creating channels for observation and dialogue with residents and local organisations. The institutional management team is responsible for mobilising a range of actors to formulate and articulate integrated responses and policies. The information management team produces data and processes the information generated by the other teams in order to conceive more effective and adequate policies adapted to the realities of each community.

 5. Who implemented the initiative and what is the size of the population affected by this initiative?
The program is administratively based on an international technical cooperation agreement between UN-Habitat and IPP-Rio, which represents the municipal government of Rio de Janeiro as the main executive stakeholder. The majority of program staff are based at IPP-Rio or UN-Habitat headquarters in Rio de Janeiro. However, most departments of the municipal government appoint a focal point officer responsible for maintaining frequent contact and liaising with counterparts in the UPP Social institutional team. In close collaboration with the territorial and institutional management teams, the mobilisation and partnerships team also promotes the engagement of civil society, private sector and academic organisations. For example, the not-for-profit institute of the telecom company TIM developed in partnership with UPP Social a research training scheme to teach research skills to young residents. The newly trained researchers then carried out a household survey on youth in the communities. The territorial management team engages local stakeholders, particularly community leaders, presidents of residents’ associations, representatives of community organisations, religious leaders, and public managers working in various public institutions, such as schools, kindergartens, health centers, social assistance centres and also UPP police officers.
 6. How was the strategy implemented and what resources were mobilized?
I. Human resources By 2013, 100 people were enlisted as program staff, of which six were permanent IPP-Rio employees and two were volunteers. The remaining staff were hired through the agreement with UN-HABITAT. There are several focal points employed by the other municipal departments. In addition, many former UPP Social staff are now working on other projects developed in partnership with UPP Social in the communities. The project developed in collaboration with TIM Institute, “Transformation Agents”, trained 100 young researchers and 10 research coordinators, all of which were recruited within the communities covered by the program. Due to the training they received, they are likely to be employed in future UPP Social projects. II. Material and Technical resources Following Brazilian legislation on international technical cooperation, IPP-Rio is responsible for providing at its headquarters the work space, IT equipment and other tools necessary to conduct daily operations. Staff members allocated in the program’s territorial team spend most of their time working in the communities, but they do not have a fixed base there, instead office space is provided at IPP-Rio headquarters. They also receive netbooks and internet dongles for fieldwork. III. Financial resources Between 2011 and 2013, BRL 12,326,892.75 (approximately USD 5,430,390.00 million ) are expected to be invested from the Municipal Treasury.

 7. Who were the stakeholders involved in the design of the initiative and in its implementation?
The most important achievement of the UPP Social Program has so far been the creation of a management model based on the participatory consolidation and analysis of information on the territories. With this information, it was possible to implement coordinated actions involving the municipal, state and federal governments, civil society, the private sector and the third sector. One of the first concrete outputs of the program was the waste collection scheme called “Let’s Agree” (Vamos Combinar). UPP Social staff mediated a participatory planning process that brought together local residents, NGOs and the relevant municipal departments to improve waste management. This kind of process has been replicated and developed to involve other governmental agents, becoming an important component of a comprehensive new management model. Another concrete output that has become a significant contribution to the success and innovative character of this new model is the Integrated Management System. It is an online database that registers supply and demand for public services in the communities. Fieldworkers input and categorise the demands and needs of each community, while the institutional management team inputs the services offered by each government department. User manuals were devised to describe the types of services supplied and to ensure the standardization of data. Rapid Participatory Appraisals are conducted in each community, increasing the precision of data available and the effectiveness of the Integrated Management System. These appraisals are qualitative and quantitative geo-coded surveys that enable the identification in each community of micro-areas. The territorial team observes, photographs and registers in standardised forms the infrastructure and services offered in each area, with the help of key local residents or respondents. The data is then processed by the information team, which generates maps and profiles of each micro-area. The standardised information enables sophisticated analysis and comparisons between territories, as well as the preparation of rapid responses in the micro-areas with the most urgent needs. The precision of public sector responses to community demands is further increased by the program’s address verification initiative. Many of the UPP Social communities have not been entirely mapped. An NGO with a respectable track record in Rio de Janeiro, Redes da Maré, trained UPP Social staff to employ census methods, verify addresses and validate or update official maps of the communities. This initiative contributes to the integration of informal settlements into the formal city, improving the quality of public administration and planning.

 8. What were the most successful outputs and why was the initiative effective?
The participatory planning processes, the Integrated Management System, the Rapid Participatory Appraisals and the address validation initiative all require the joint efforts of more than one program branch or team. Additionally, each team has its own management and monitoring instruments. The territorial management team maintains an open calendar of activities in each community that is accessible to all members of staff. An internal field diary, in a blog format, is updated regularly to register activities. The territorial team also produces “portraits” of each community included in the UPP Social Program with information on the territory, the channels of dialogue established with residents, community leaders and organisations, and on the public sector interventions in course. One of the main duties of the institutional management team is to supervise the Integrated Management System, which is updated with public sector and civil society facilities, activities and investments in each community. The system allows the production of reports on public service demands that are forwarded to the relevant departments. Partnerships and meetings with government focal points or external partners are also registered in reports. The information team produces three main products, all of which are directly related to monitoring and evaluation; 1) maps with information on the geographical limits and micro-areas of each community, public facilities, infrastructure and high risk areas; 2) consolidation and standardisation of the data generated by the Rapid Participatory Appraisals; 3) “territorial overviews” with the most important maps of each community and analyses of its main characteristics, including socio-economic and demographic indicators. Much of this information is provided to other government agencies and has been used, for example, to conduct local diagnoses for urbanisation programs. The communication team manages and monitors the program website, social media platforms, references to the program in print media, external requests and events. Reports and newsletters are produced on these activities. The team also provides strategic guidelines for future activities of the president of IPP-Rio and of the UPP Social Program’s top managers.

 9. What were the main obstacles encountered and how were they overcome?
Due to the historical absence of public authorities and services in the vulnerable communities of Rio de Janeiro, one of the major challenges faced by the UPP Social Program has been the residents’ lack of confidence in public interventions. This challenge is shared by practically all government agents, and the recovery of trust is a long process. Participatory processes, training and the provision of information all contribute to trust building. Another key challenge is the traditional fragmented approach to policy planning. Despite some progress in the past years, the instruments in place to ensure that different government departments share common goals, and monitoring and evaluation systems, are still fragile and underdeveloped. Although it is not an exclusive characteristic of the city of Rio de Janeiro, the predominant atomised conception of public management has a very negative impact on slums. The construction of a more integrated and socially inclusive city can only be accomplished if this inefficient conception is overcome. In addition to the lack of horizontal integration of municipal government departments, the lack of vertical integration between the municipal, state and federal levels of government is also a major problem for strategic planning and effective policy implementation. That is precisely why the program has focused so much on institutional and integrated management. Quite ironically, as the number of program staff increases, integration also becomes an internal challenge. An Integrated Database is currently being designed to join all the information systems and management tools of the program under one platform, in an attempt to avoid overlapping activities and to ensure the flow of strategic information between teams. This new tool will also minimise the negative impact of employee turnover on the retention and availability of information.

D. Impact and Sustainability

 10. What were the key benefits resulting from this initiative?
The delivery of public services is not the main goal of UPP Social. Instead, the program produces information and facilitates participatory governance mechanisms that will help other branches of government to deliver their services. Since the first participatory planning project supported by UPP Social was carried out, significantly improving the quality and coverage of waste management, several other services have improved, particularly health, education and social welfare. Most recently, the program helped to manage the construction of sports facilities in Rocinha and Batan communities, in partnership with the state government Department for Sport and Leisure and with the public utility company Light. This project was funded by the national development bank BNDES, and benefits around 400,000 people. The local knowledge and network of relations with community organisations added to the project by UPP Social made it much more attuned to the actual demands of the beneficiaries and increased its long term sustainability. New performance indicators have been produced based on the information generated by the program, and existing indicators have become more precise and valid. Given that the program does not provide end-user services, measuring its actual impact is quite a challenge. Between 2009 and 2013 around BRL 1.5 billion, approximately US$ 650 million, were invested in the communities in which UPP Social operates. The allocation of these resources has become more efficient than in previous experiences with slum interventions, as a result of the program’s participatory managerial expertise. The initiative to map all the streets and alleys, and provide residents with a postal code, enables residents to access address based services and strengthens a sense of community belonging and citizenship. Ultimately, the various projects and monitoring mechanisms established by UPP Social are part of a wider policy that seeks to fully integrate the slum territories into the city. To ensure the consolidation of the pacifying process and the improvement of public services in the territories, the City Hall, with the assistance of UPP Social, is establishing results agreements for public services. The goal is to include these in the municipal Action Plan, which contains detailed working plans for each department, covering goals, metrics, and schedules and culminating with a results agreement, which establishes a performance management model based on meritocracy and on the monitoring of important indicators to evaluate and reward public officials based on the results they achieve.

 11. Did the initiative improve integrity and/or accountability in public service? (If applicable)
The Program’s practices can be replicated, with appropriate institutional management adjustments, in situations where coordination between various sectors is required. In particular, the Integrated Management System is easily adaptable to public administration structures in other regions and countries. The participatory appraisals and mapping techniques that emphasise the specificities of each territory and its micro-areas could also be replicated, guiding the prioritisation of demands and action. These methodologies could be adapted to other socio-economic conditions. The municipal government of Rio de Janeiro intends to employ the UPP Social methodologies in a slum-upgrading and urban development project funded by the Inter-American Development Bank. It is also important to highlight that many national and international missions have visited the territories, including Dr. Jim Yong Kim, the President of the World Bank; HH Sheikha Moza, President of Qatar Foundation; Portuguese and British parliamentarians; and Mr. Laurent Lamothe, the Prime Minister of Haiti. UN-Habitat is in a prime position to disseminate the methodologies and technologies that have been devised as part of the program. IPP-Rio will send representatives to the 2014 World Urban Forum in Medellin and to other international conferences with the intention of exchanging best practices.

 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)
Ensuring easy and permanent access to information is one of the main lessons learned. This issue is being addressed to a large extent by the Integrated Database. For a project that is focused so much on the generation and distribution of information, the reliability, validity, security and systematisation of data is key. As the UPP Social Program grows in terms of personnel and the number of partnerships, strategic and integrated planning also becomes a major issue, which is only possible with the integration of information systems. In order to prevent overlap and incompatibility of activities and agendas the information produced by each team has to be registered in a central system and flow well between teams, in a timely manner. To operate in the field, particularly in vulnerable communities, relations must be based on trust. The quality and flow of information is only as good as the trustworthiness of the network of social and political relations that the program relies so much on. Trust building is not easy in communities with a history of confrontation and disappointment in relation to the state, but it is one of the key elements of the program’s sustainability and inevitably will remain among the top priorities. Trust between government departments and external partners is also an absolute requirement. There were many difficulties in dealing with the focal points in each government department and obtaining the necessary information. The manner in which information is requested makes a big difference. Reciprocity is essential to build trust and sustainability. One of the best ways to obtain information is to first provide it, giving before (or while) receiving. The institutional management team has always received a lot of time consuming requests for information. Making as much data as possible publically available contributed to reduce the pressure on the team, and freed work hours for other strategic activities. Enabling external stakeholders and researchers to analyse and process the data in a variety of ways can increase social impact, and can bring feedback and low-cost benefits to the program. Although informal relations are important, formalised transparent management agreements are also essential to ensure accountability and continuity, particularly between government departments. However, these agreements only work well if easy to manage monitoring instruments are designed and implemented. Allowing the participation of a wide variety of actors, especially the target beneficiaries, can prevent problems. Some of the results expected from potential partnerships turned out not to be priorities for the local communities. Without participation, there would have been a significant waste of resources.

Contact Information

Institution Name:   Pereira Passos Municipal Institute of Urbanism
Institution Type:   Government Agency  
Contact Person:   Eduarda de la Rocque
Title:   President  
Telephone/ Fax:   +55 21 2976-6666
Institution's / Project's Website:  
E-mail:   contato@uppsocial.org  
Address:   Rua Gago Coutinho 52, Laranjeiras
Postal Code:   22221-070
City:   Rio de Janeiro
State/Province:   Rio de Janeiro

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