MDGs Commitments Agenda
Secretariat of Institucional Relations of the PResidency of the Republic

A. Problem Analysis

 1. What was the problem before the implementation of the initiative?
Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) were set by 191 countries - including Brazil - during the Millennium Summit held in 2000 by the UN. Those countries pledged to work to better the world by 2015. Working to achieve millennium goals, therefore, is a commitment of Brazil to the UN. Faced with the need to induce municipalities to achieve MDGs and to support them with major programs of the Union, Federal Government developed the on the MDGs-based Agenda, although Brazilian social policy is broader and more complex than that. This decision aimed to develop a simplified planning and monitoring tool to structure federal cooperation, capable of strengthening municipal management and society participation in achieving MDGs. The Brazilian State, in its democratic, republican and federative form, needs to build articulation and transparent dialogue spaces in order to promote interests integration between society and federal, state and municipal levels; by cooperation, rather than public policies competition, superposition, or spraying. On average, Brazil has improved its citizens’ living conditions, but problems persist across many municipalities, and to bring development to all it is essential to insert MDG targets in local agendas. By acknowledging the importance of federal intergovernmental cooperation and social control, Brazilian Federal Government is faced with the challenge of making them more concrete, especially that related to public social policies. Intergovernmental coordination mechanisms must be capable of promoting greater sharing of public policies management as well as of improving entities ability to carry out their constitutional responsibilities, since this is crucial for attaining federal cooperation foreseen in the Constitution and necessary to reach good results for the population with public monitoring of these commitments.

B. Strategic Approach

 2. What was the solution?
The 2013-2016 Federal Government and Municipalities Commitments Agenda seeks strategically align public policies to improve social participation and the federative pact between the Federal Government and more than five thousand mayors to implement actions that improve the population living conditions. The content of the Commitments Agenda is structured on the eight Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), resulting in national strategic alignment to achieve goals at the local level, through an agreement and monitoring system of the local goals which is open to citizens, based on 24 indicators that reflect the systemic vision of integrated management process, supporting information available through the internet . The set of information passed on to municipal managers and Brazilian society is the strategy for achieving the MDGs, through the guidance on key public policy and federal programs and their respective social indicators. By joining the Commitments Agenda, municipal mayors set annual targets for selected indicators from 2013 to 2016. The system of the Agenda annually makes the comparison between predicted and accomplished goals, enabling monitoring with transparency by society and managers of the three spheres of government. Objectives The 2013-2016 Federal Government and Municipalities Commitments Agenda first goal is to be an instrument that enables mayors of Brazil to establish and monitor a set of social commitments and explain how the main Federal Government’s programs can help municipalities to achieve MDGs and to assist them in public management planning. The second goal of the Agenda is to provide municipal managers with indicators that contextualize municipality in relation to the country, state and region to which they belong, with clear guidance on the selection of process indicators, relating them to the federal programs in order to introduce the culture of management for results. In this sense, the Agenda uses data as the primary base of support to strategic decision for mayors. Thus, with a web-based platform, mayors can work with information that allow monitoring municipal social indicators. The third objective is to provide information to society and meet with popular participation, as the Commitments Agenda also acts as an instrument of transparency and social cohesion. This initiative encourages public monitoring of the manager and expands the possibility of more closely monitoring by citizens whether the objectives are being annually achieved or not. Target group The Commitments Agenda is intended for all Brazilian citizens as it provides open information to the public. Thus,the Agenda creates preconditions for social control to be effectively carried by society because, for this to occur, it is essential that the State makes possible the necessary conditions and promote transparency in its actions, not only in public accountability concerning financial resources, but also in monitoring public policies. This is a tool for all managers of Brazilian cities, whom are challenged agreeing concrete cooperation within the Federation, strengthening municipal autonomy on what must be done, but annually signing commitments to meet the targets with indicators throughout municipal management. It is also intended to state managers interested in monitoring municipal performance, in order to support them in this process, including state reports developed for that.

 3. How did the initiative solve the problem and improve people’s lives?
The innovative initiative is to take a step forward when makes available, rather than information on public spending, indicators for checking, open mode, the process and outcomes of public policies in this country over the term of a mayor. It is not enough to spend public resources transparently, one must know concretely whether social gains are being achieved in each Brazilian city. The question to be answered is whether municipal social reality has changed for the better or not. In modern democracies, providing indicators on public policies goals and outcomes allows dialogue, legitimacy, partnership and corrects directions with municipal and state managers, organized civil society and citizens, which is essential for a qualified public management. Cooperation with society and between different levels of government should be concrete and with emphasis on transparency, motivating social participation process and intergovernmental cooperation on public policy.

C. Execution and Implementation

 4. In which ways is the initiative creative and innovative?
Actions and implementation steps First step occurred with the establishment of the Commitments Agenda working group to discuss the opportunity to align federal policies to the Millennium Development Goals. This group concluded in 2012 that municipalization assumes significance in the construction of the federative pact, given that most of the policies identified with the MDGs have the Union support programs to municipalities. In the second stage, the selection criteria of federal programs and the alignment with the eight MDGs were established, being considered: the coverage of the programs, which would provide cover to more than 5,000 Brazilian cities; the existence of indicators annually measured by the Federal Government, and governance by municipal managers to annually change these indicators. Then, about three main Union programs were selected, in a total of 25, that most contribute to each MDG, choosing only one indicator per program, aiming to compose the Agenda in a simplified manner to ease the adhesion of municipalities with greater disability management. The Commitments Agenda dissemination strategy began in mid-May 2012, from the March of Mayors to Brasilia in 2012, an event of the National Confederation of Municipalities - CNM and continues today. In September 2012, a pilot test was conducted with 10 municipalities participating in the MDG Award for improving the Agenda system with the criticisms and suggestions of the target group. The Commitments Agenda System was launched at the outset of the new mayors, in January 2013, in address on the occasion of the National Meeting of New Mayors and Mayors. Currently, its staff is composed by members of the Undersecretariat of Federal Affairs, the Ministry of Planning, Budget and Management, and the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro. This team follows the Agenda System development and implementation and monitors the process of adhesion of the prefectures.

 5. Who implemented the initiative and what is the size of the population affected by this initiative?
Given the complexity of the challenges faced by the Agenda System, deadlines ahead for the immediate release of the site, soon after the investiture of the mayors in January 2013, partnerships between the various agencies of the federal government, federal government employees, organizations have been established civil society organizations linked to the Millennium Development Goals, representatives of both municipalities municipal employees as mayors, municipal entities of representation, a Public Bank, Federal Savings Bank, and the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro. Given the complexity of the challenges faced by Agenda System, in front of deadlines for the immediate release of the site soon after the investiture of the mayors in January 2013, partnerships were established between the various agencies of the federal government, federal government employees, civil society organizations linked to the MDGs, municipalities representatives such as municipal employees and mayors, municipal entities of representation, a public bank (Caixa Economica Federal) and the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro. Efficient use of resources is mainly due to partnerships with various government agencies for supplying indicators data; to the simple and debureaucratisation solutions such as the use of existing records; and to the initiative to use events and partners virtual spaces to sensitize mayors for adhesion. Another important partnership was made with the General Secretariat of the Presidency of the Republic, which established a network of MDGs State Municipalization Nuclei to the society. This network of voluntary social organizations has worked to raise awareness of mayors and municipal managers to empower the MDGs Commitments Agenda.
 6. How was the strategy implemented and what resources were mobilized?
For the development of the initial phase of the system approximately R $ 300,000 (three hundred thousand reais) were invested by Ministry of Planning, Budget and Management of Brazil's Federal Government budget. The project has human resources staff composed of three distinct bodies: 1 Undersecretariat of Federal Affairs of the Secretariat of Institutional Relations of the Presidency of Brazil - SAF / SRI / PR; 2 Ministry of Planning, Budget and Management / Executive Secretary / Director of Information Technology - MP / SE / DTI; and 3 Alberto Luiz Coimbra Institute of Postgraduate Studies and Research in Engineering / Federal University of Rio de Janeiro - COPPE / UFRJ. Thus, the system is developed on the Agenda of the Center for Policy Support of Government / Program Systems Engineering and Computing / Alberto Luiz Coimbra Institute of Postgraduate Studies and Research in Engineering / Federal University of Rio de Janeiro (Capgov / laboratory PESC / COPPE / UFRJ). The project was based on the use of free software such as the PostgreSQL database and the framework MDArte.

 7. Who were the stakeholders involved in the design of the initiative and in its implementation?
The municipalities that joined the MDGs Commitments Agenda, from January 2013 until September 2, 2014, are 201 in number, which represents a percentage of 3.61% of all Brazilian municipalities. Table 1, below, shows that the Agenda has municipal adhesions distributed around the country, remaining only four states and the Federal District, where there were no adhesions. They are: Alagoas, Amapá, Roraima, Tocantins. On the other hand, the state with the largest number of adhesions is the Rio Grande do Sul - RS, with 45 municipalities that joined the Agenda. This good result is due to the sensitization work that the General Secretariat of the PR and the Municipalization State Nucleus ODM RS has obtained among mayors, showing how important the work of raising awareness for adhesion. Table 1 - Distribution of adhesions in the country State Adhered Cities % compared to country AC 4 0,07 AL 0 0,00 AM 2 0,04 AP 0 0,00 BA 2 0,04 CE 9 0,16 DF 0 0,00 ES 3 0,05 GO 1 0,02 MA 12 0,22 MG 34 0,61 MS 2 0,04 MT 7 0,13 PA 5 0,09 PB 10 0,18 PE 2 0,04 PI 4 0,07 PR 19 0,34 RJ 2 0,04 RN 4 0,07 RO 0 0,00 RR 2 0,04 RS 46 0,83 SC 9 0,16 SE 1 0,02 SP 21 0,38 TO 0 0,00 Source: Report of Adhesions of September 2, 2014 Table 2 shows that in larger population groups there is a tendency for greater adhesion than the smaller population groups. Municipalities like the city of São Paulo, in 2014 with 10,886,518 inhabitants (or considering the metropolitan region, ie, the 38 municipalities that surround the capital, the population reaches approximately 19 million people) joined the Agenda. This is for the reality of the larger municipalities to present better levels of public management than those small municipalities. To increase the participation of these even poorest municipalities in terms of management quality, it is important to invest in technical assistance, because, even simplified the Agenda is, management difficulties are so severe that there is low adherence. Table 2 Population range of municipalities that joined Population Adhered Cities Total Cities Percentage(%) Up to 5000 27 1301 2,08 5001-10000 38 1213 3,13 10000-20000 42 1403 2,99 20001-50000 39 1043 3,74 50001-100000 25 325 7,69 100001-500000 25 245 10,20 More than 500000 5 38 13,16 Source: Report of Adhesions of September 2, 2014 More evidence can be found browsing the Agenda own public access site at:

 8. What were the most successful outputs and why was the initiative effective?
The monitoring of the MDG Commitments Agenda System is performed by a set of reports developed and made available on the web site that provides answers directly related to municipalities adhesion to the Agenda. Data from these reports make it apparent which cities have joined, which MDGs and targets have been assumed, to which Federation State the municipality belongs and the date of adhesion, allowing an analysis that also ranks the population size, since we are dealing with a planning and monitoring tool to be applied to uneven Brazilian municipalities public management. Data analysis also allows to know the profile of municipalities system users and set strategies to increase adherence. As the Agenda System itself has the objective to allow monitoring and evaluation of municipal performance, it relies on a municipalities certification process for each Millennium Development Goal - MDG. It compares whether each goal was achieved by municipality, annually. A panel of medals that summarizes the overall municipal performance to demonstrate, year after year, which certificates each municipality has achieved is currently being developed. This will allow citizens, who are also our target group, to monitor and evaluate the management of their municipality in a simple and integrated way. There is also interaction with social networks, with a comment panel where users impressions, suggestions and criticisms are continuously and permanently published. The system also has the Commitments Agenda Call Center, via email ( or phone, from Monday to Friday from 10h to 12h and from 14h to 16h, as the service is conducted by trained students from UFRJ staff. Through this communication channel, the system monitors and guides the municipalities facing difficulties.

 9. What were the main obstacles encountered and how were they overcome?
The MDGs Commitments Agenda System faced many challenges to be efficiently overcome, so that municipal information was available through goals indicators that align key public policies and programs of the Federal Government to the MDGs, but we highlight three major for this. The first challenge was to keep it simple to access the system both for municipal managers and for the general population. For this to happen efficiently, the System Agenda presents structured for two distinct forms of access: Public and government. The second challenge was related to indicators and data. All information available was spread in several different organs and restricted to the assignment of each, without adding an overview of integrated local management systems. Selection of 24 indicators aligned to the MDGs faced several issues such as: lack of information standardization; low update of annualized data from municipalities; resistance of the involved organs in selecting only one indicator per program for the simplicity of the system; the need for communication in clear and appropriate language to the population; the difficulty in explaining to municipal managers how to calculate the selected indicators; and finally, obtaining the contact details of each of the 5568 prefectures soon after the investiture of the mayors. The third and most important challenge remains regarding the awareness of municipal managers for adherence to the commitments of the Agenda. To face it with few resources, the strategy has been to disclose Agenda System in organized civil society and municipal associations events, and partners such as the General Secretariat of the Presidency and the UNDP. In addition, disclosure has also been made on partner sites, offering reciprocity in the Agenda site.

D. Impact and Sustainability

 10. What were the key benefits resulting from this initiative?
Although results still represent a small number of municipalities, the testimony of mayors who have joined the agenda comes to reinforce just how much this instrument can promote enhancements in local management. As an example, the testimony of the mayor of Clevelandia, a small town in the state of Paraná, in the south of the country, makes us realize that there was a strategic planning process a motivated by a vision based on the of the MDGs Commitments Agenda goals. This qualitative assessment can be found in the recorded testimony by video link available on the internet: Moreover, it can be verified in loco in the City of Clevelandia address: Praça Getúlio Vargas, 71 – Centro Clevelandia - Paraná – BRAZIL Zip code: 85530-000 Phone - General: (46) 3252-8000, Office Phone: (46) 3252-8027; Cell Phone: (46) 9905-0057 Mayor Alvaro Felipe Valerio Hours: Monday to Friday from 08h00 to 12h00 and 13h30 to 17h30.

 11. Did the initiative improve integrity and/or accountability in public service? (If applicable)
The Agenda was developed as a tool to be made available to society and to all Brazilian states and municipalities, in order to support a transparent intensive management process and to innovate intergovernmental management mechanisms to meet the challenges in an open manner and with social participation. This instrument relies on production and use of information provided by the Union, in order to support local public policies planning and management, seeking to guide interventions to promote equitable, integrated and efficient resources allocation. The relatively small investment in the provision of information associated with the solutions and innovations in planning and management are very useful to agree on a federal cooperation in the performance of various governments spheres. This experience has the potential to be an example to other countries that adhered to the MDGs and can be harnessed for Sustainable Development Goals - SDGs.

 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)
The critical Commitments Agenda point of success is related to sensitizing and training Brazilian mayors and municipal managers for cultural change and it does not happen quickly, so one of the lessons learned was not to get discouraged facing such a reality, but to persistently promote a change supported by the participation of society itself. Currently, indicators supported management is not general domain of most municipalities, especially smaller ones. Thus, it becomes a challenge to change the mayors’ culture for there is much resistance about concrete commitments for the entire term period and to convince them to adhere to the federal agreement based on annually measurable objectives and goals through 24 indicators. We observed that best results are in states with active networks composed by civil society, NGOs and partnerships with local government, as the state of Rio Grande do Sul - RS, with the largest number of adhesions (45 municipalities that joined the Agenda), where a networking demonstrates how important social participation is to sensitization for membership. Another critical factor is the indicators data provision annually updated by the agencies of the Federal Government. Databases take too long to be passed to the Agenda System with previous year update, so that the system can certify that municipalities achieve targets. Because the system depends on this update for the certification, there is an ongoing action to automate the data collection through a partnership so that data management is sent to the Personnel Office of the President of the Republic, being registered as a lesson learned that political support is very important to promote greater cooperation between government agencies that are not always willing to change their routine to cooperate with transparency and innovation initiatives.

Contact Information

Institution Name:   Secretariat of Institucional Relations of the PResidency of the Republic
Institution Type:   Government Department  
Contact Person:   Paula Losada
Title:   Mrs  
Telephone/ Fax:   55 61 34111728
Institution's / Project's Website:  
Address:   Palacio do Planalto, Praça dos Três Poderes, 4ºAndar, Sala 404
Postal Code:   70150900
City:   Brasilia
State/Province:   DF

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