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Brazil Exchange Program

Bilateral Consortium in Social Science and Public Policy

Project Overview

September 26, 2001: The University of Texas at Austin's Brazil Center has been awarded a $200,000 grant to form a Bilateral Consortium in Social Science and Public Policy with U.S. and Brazilian partners. Leading the consortium will place UT's Brazil Center at the forefront of binational cooperation on student exchange, curriculum development in the fields of social science and public policy, and policy research.

The grant was one of ten new grants to international teams announced recently by the U.S.-Brazil Higher Education Consortia Program, which is run cooperatively by the Fund for the Improvement of Postsecondary Education (FIPSE) of the U.S. Department of Education and the Foundation Coordination for the Improvement of Higher Education Personnel (CAPES) of the Brazilian Ministry of Education. The Brazil Center and the LBJ School have been invited to host the first Bilateral Project Directors Meeting at UT this fall.

The purpose of the U.S.-Brazil Program competition is to promote student-centered cooperation between the U.S. and Brazil, and to increase cross-national education and training opportunities in a wide range of academic and professional disciplines. The Bilateral Consortium in Social Science and Public Policy (BCSP) will include three U.S. partners and three Brazilian partners. The U.S. partners are the University of Texas at Austin, the University of California at Los Angeles, and the National Association of Schools of Public Affairs and Administration. The Brazilian partners are the State University of Campinas, the Federal University of Pernambuco at Recife, and the Getulio Vargas Foundation in Sao Paulo.

The BCSP will foster intellectual, educational, and public policy exchanges between the U.S. and Brazil. The BCSP will sponsor 40-53 graduate and undergraduate students in semester-long exchanges between the two countries. These exchanges will prepare them to be professionals or academics who are bilingual and have a deep appreciation of the political systems and policy objectives of a hemispheric neighbor. The BCSP partners believe that the program has potential for the broad dissemination of its work to other public policy programs in the two countries and elsewhere in the Americas.

The U.S. lead for the BCSP is Robert H. Wilson, Director of UT's Brazil Center and Mike Hogg Professor of Urban Policy at the Lyndon B. Johnson School of Public Affairs. The Brazilian lead is Pedro Luiz Barros Silva, Director of the Public Policy Studies Center (NEPP) at the State University of Campinas (UNICAMP), and the 2001 Instituto Rio Branco Visiting Chair in Brazilian Studies at the University of Texas.

The Brazil Center and the LBJ School hosted the 2001 Bilateral Project Directors Meeting at UT October 4-7. More than 50 participants from Brazil and the U.S attended, including FIPSE and CAPES representatives, the lead investigators from each team, and many of the partners. The Directors Meeting will focus on the successful management, administration, and monitoring of international consortia.

BCSP Objectives

BCSP Objectives Are:

  • Learner-centered program.
    The recruitment, academic preparation and supervision of students will overcome existing barriers to mobility and create a learner-centered program.
  • Collaborative coursework and research.
    Student exchanges would allow undergraduate and graduate students to complete collaborative coursework and research in an applied context, attending courses and conducting research in the Policy Research Field Stations alongside counterparts from another country.
  • Development of superior public policy professionals.
    Participating students would graduate with advanced proficiency in two languages, academic and research experience in a foreign country, increased competency in a specific policy area and deeper understanding of the new historical linkages between the two nations.
  • New, cooperative ties between US and Brazilian universities.
    The universities of the BCSP would establish new ties through student exchanges and disseminate their experiences to other universities in the two countries and throughout the Americas.
  • Curriculum development utilizing information technology.
    The partner universities plan to implement applied research courses each year with a joint teleconference session and internet-based exchange for students.

The BCSP proposal consists of four interrelated activities:

  • Consolidate interinstitutional agreements among the six partners;

  • Implement extensive student exchange and enhance student mobility through institutional agreements, targeted student recruitment, intensive preparation of students before traveling abroad, and a thorough evaluation of student exchanges;

  • Develop common curriculum and field research including peer review of curriculum of BCSP programs, coordinated courses in the two countries through collaborative curriculum development and supported by effective use of advanced telecommunications technology, and the testing of Policy Research Field Stations;

  • Dissemination of the BCSP experience in curriculum innovation in social sciences and public policy. The BCSP-member NASPAA-INPAE will utilize its network of higher education institutions in the Americas concerned with strengthening public management education to review and disseminate the BCSP approach and experiences.

Strategies by Year:

Year I

  • Develop and approve the interinstitutional agreements
  • Create student mobility system
  • Initiate comparative curriculum review
  • Develop the courses on comparative public policy
  • Develop Policy Research Field Station concept

Year II

  • Exchange of 18 students
  • Implementation and evaluation of comparative public policy courses
  • Testing of Policy Research Field Stations
  • Dissemination of curriculum review and results from innovative courses

Year III

  • Exchange of 18 students

  • Comparative public policy courses, coordinated between the two countries
  • Comparative research projects in the Policy Research Field Stations
  • Dissemination of curriculum review and results from innovative courses
  • Initiate discussions of sustainability plan

Year IV

  • Exchange of 17 students
  • Comparative public policy courses, coordinated between the two countries
  • Comparative research projects in the Policy Research Field Stations
  • Dissemination of curriculum review and results from innovative courses
  • Development of sustainability plan
  • Project evaluation

Expected Outcomes:

The expected outcomes of the BCSP project are (detailed outcomes by year and goal can be found in planning timetable with outcomes by year, below):

  • Interinstitutional agreements among consortium members for student exchange
  • Exchange of 53 students during the FIPES-CAPES project
  • Graduate students - advanced training in comparative public policy research
  • Undergraduates - highly developed language skills and the broad exposure to social sciences and public policy in a multicultural setting
  • Student mobility system sustainable beyond the FIPSE-CAPES support
  • Network of Policy Research Field Stations sustainable beyond FIPSE-CAPES program
  • Promotion of collaborative curriculum development and research and student exchange in programs of public policy and administration throughout the Americas

Measuring results.

The BCSP proposes a four-level evaluation. The first three elements - student evaluation, assessing telecommunications of collaborative coursework, and peer review of curriculum development - will be conducted by BCSP itself. Evaluations will focus on the BCSP’s achievement of goals of the student mobility program. The Consortium also will use the evaluation process as a mechanism to make mid-stream program improvements and to design better exchange programs in the future. The results of these internal evaluations will be reported to FIPSE-CAPES in the BCSP annual reports. The fourth element, the Final Project Evaluation, will be conducted externally by a higher-education expert and focus on the project’s processes and performance.

  • The impact on students.
    Standard course and exchange evaluation forms will be developed by BCSP. Students, including exchange students, participating in the jointly offered comparative public policy courses will complete course evaluations. In addition, student exchange evaluations will be completed by interview upon the return of each student from a semester at the partner institution and will cover all elements of a students program abroad. Results of the student exchange evaluations would be compiled each year in a memorandum and in a summary form at the end of the third FIPSE grant year.
  • Assessing the potential for telecommunications in BCSP.
    Three sets of questions will guide the assessment of the telecommunications component of the innovative courses. The first concerns the feasibility of integrating teaching and curriculum across countries. Can courses in two different countries that are pitched at the right level and ask the right questions be successfully designed? To what degree and how does this experience in cross-cultural learning contribute to problem-solving capabilities around domestic policy issues? The second considers the impact of resource sharing on learning opportunities and skill formation. What new opportunities are offered at each institution? To what degree do students create or respond to them and thereby acquire new analytical skills? The third set examines whether this educational model can be sustained at reasonable costs, utilizing technology currently available at each BCSP partner.
  • Peer review of curriculum development.
    The peer evaluation of curriculum development by BCSP partners will produce written reports. Each year, the BCSP program will present these at the NASPAA-INPAE meetings to colleagues from institutions throughout the Americas. A report will be recorded of these discussions and become part of the annual report of the BCSP activities.
  • Final Project Evaluation.
    These three evaluations will be conducted annually by the BCSP consortium members. In the second half of the fourth year of the project, an independent evaluator in the US will provide a critical review of the overall project, building upon the annual reporting of the grant program activities, processes, and performance by BCSP.


University and Project Descriptions

The University of Texas at Austin (UT) was established by constitutional mandate in 1876. Today, more than 2,300 faculty members teach over 48,000 students, including about 12,000 students enrolled in graduate programs. The 300-acre Austin campus has eight colleges, six schools and 53 departments that annually offer over 6,000 courses. The student body has representatives from all fifty states and 104 foreign countries. As of the late 1990s, almost 35 percent of the UT student body were comprised of minority or foreign international students, thus insuring a rich diversity of interest and backgrounds. UT has the fifth largest library in the US, with 6.7 million volumes, almost 5 million microforms, and online access to hundreds of electronic databases.

The Brazil Center of UT was inaugurated in fall 1995, as an autonomous unit under the umbrella of the Teresa Lozano Long Institute of Latin American Studies, to enhance and develop a wide array of Brazilian-oriented programs and to serve as an informational resource on Brazil for the wider public in the United States, and assist Brazilian scholars in establishing and strengthening their ties with this university. Over 40 members of the UT faculty are affiliated with the Center as a result of their teaching or research interests in Brazil. Students at UT can pursue undergraduate and graduate degrees in Latin American studies, degrees in disciplines but with a specialization in Brazil or through a wide range of joint degree programs at the graduate level, between Latin American studies and professional schools. Over 50 Brazilians are typically enrolled in UT degree programs each year and many more are visiting scholars. The Brazil Center is the implementing unit a of a major agreement, signed by the President of the UT and the Brazilian Minister of Education in September, 2000, to create the conditions to encourage the cooperation of Brazilian and UT-Austin professors, researchers, and students through long-term institutional arrangements, joint research projects, and conferences and to exchange scientific reports and specialized documentation.

University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA) was created in 1919 as the southern branch of the University of California. UCLA is today one of the leading universities in the world,renowned for education, community service and innovation. UCLA's most spectacular period of growth occurred in the 25 years following World War II, when it tripled its prewar enrollment of 9,000 students. In 1999-2000, UCLA celebrated 80 years of growth, from a small two-year college to a comprehensive institution in the elite company of the nation's most prestigious research universities. UCLA is a large and complex institution devoted to undergraduate and graduate scholarship, research, and public service. Some 163 buildings on 419 acres house the College of Letters and Science plus 11 professional schools and serve more than 36,500 students.

The School of Public Policy and Social Research (UCLA) was established in 1994 to set a new direction for policy education, research and action. The School's distinctive approach emphasizes solving problems across boundaries, particularly at the intersection where the public, private, and non-governmental sectors meet. Although it is one of the country's newest policy programs, the School is also one of the largest, incorporating two longstanding UCLA units with distinguished reputations -- the department of Social Welfare and the Department of Urban Planning -- with a vibrant new Department of Policy Studies. With 75 faculty and fellows and more than 500 students, the School offers master's degrees in public policy, social welfare and urban planning, and doctoral degrees in social welfare and urban planning.

The Latin American Center, the base for activities related to Latin America, sponsors interdisciplinary research, coordinates bachelor's and master's degree programs in Latin American Studies, issues publications, and hosts events for the campus community and general audiences. Established in 1959, the Latin American Center provides an institutional base of support for faculty, students, and visiting scholars. Some 40 core faculty members focus their teaching and research almost exclusively on Latin America and an additional 100 scholars have a substantial interest in the region.

The National Association of Schools of Public Affairs and Administration (NASPAA) through its InterAmerican Network for Public Administration Education (INPAE) sponsors a network of higher education institutions in the Americas committed to strengthening public management education. It is sponsored by leading schools of public affairs and administration in the United States and in Latin America, and coordinated by the National Association of Schools of Public Affairs and Administration (NASPAA). The goal of the Network is to build capacity within the higher education community in the Americas to train a new generation of public managers and policy analysts, to create new and strengthen existing linkages between government and the academic community aimed at providing solutions to complex public policy problems, and to form a sustaining higher education association for these goals. Activities of the Network include textbook development, technical assistance and curriculum collaboration, teaching workshops, policy studies and student and faculty exchange.

The Institute of Economics, at State University of Campinas (CAMPINAS) was created in 1984 to promote teaching and research in the field of economics. The Institute has 88 professors. Its' library has over 17,000 books, 710 serials, 2,100 dissertations and other multimedia resources, including on-line access to all libraries at UNIMCAP and to the on-line data service PERIE. In addition to its academic programs, the Institute develops applied research in the areas of agriculture, industrial economics and technology, industrial structure, small and medium businesses, regional disparities, labor economics, public finance, the banking system and social policy. More than 100 research projects have been completed with external funding.

Exchange Guidelines for UNICAMP The Center of the Study of Public Policy (NEPP) is an interdisciplinary Center dedicated to research on the analysis and evaluation of policies and governmental program. Its activities were initiated in 1982 and has its own space (930 square meters) on the UNICAMP campus. There are 20 offices for researchers, four meeting rooms, a Center for data processing, a Reference Center and an auditorium. Its computer facilities are integrated into the Computation Center of UNICAP, and to the Internet. The Reference Center is specialized in the analysis and evaluation of social policies. NEPP is recognized by national and international agencies as a premier center for social diagnostics, governmental program evaluation, and analysis of the process of program implementation. Governmental authorities and non-governmental agencies on these topics regularly consult members of NEPP. The principal research topics include: Integrated Evaluation of Social Policies, Local Public Policies, Labor Policy and Unions, Theory and Methods of Public Policy Analysis, Health Policy, International Comparative Studies of Public Policy, the Politics of Public Policy, Living Conditions of the Population, Poverty and its Reproduction. NEPP has extensive sectoral experience in Social Assistance and Welfare, Poverty Programs, Basic and Secondary Education, Health Policy and Programs, Popular Housing, Urban Mass Transit and Basis Infrastructure. Since 1982, NEPP has undertaken 130 projects.

The Federal University of Pernambuco (UFPe) was set up in 1946 following the grouping of a number of independent schools and colleges, including the Law School – one of the oldest institutions of its kind in Latin America. UFPe is now one of the country’s most important institutions of higher learning, and the most prestigious university in the Northeast and North of Brazil. Today, more than 1,700 faculty members– of which about half holds Ph.D.'s - teach over 24,000 students, including about 3,000 students enrolled in graduate programs. The 5 km UFPe campus has ten schools and 67 departments that offer 59 undergraduate and 150 doctoral and master’s programs. UFPe ranked 7th in an overall evaluation carried out by the Federal Scientific Research Council (CNPQ) of research in the country. There are currently over 50 international educational agreements between UFPe and its international partners.

The Department of Sociology at UFPe offers two doctoral programs in anthropology and sociology, and three master’s programs in Political Science, Sociology and Anthropology. The sociology program is one of the country’s oldest – it started offering BA degrees in sociology in 1952 - and has received the top rate awarded by CAPES for many years for the quality of research and teaching.  Apart from the University Library, students have access to the sectoral library for the social sciences which holds almost 30,000 titles. The Department occupies three floors in the CFCH building and is spread in over 50 office units and classrooms, and has its own auditorium for over 120 people. With a faculty of 43 members, the Department of Sociology houses one central computer lab, with over 25 PCs, and four facilities (stations), with 25 additional PCs which are available to students, and a fully equipped auditorium. About 14 faculty are directly involved with teaching and research in public policy in the Department. Two academic journals, with international editorial boards, are currently edited by faculty members: Política Hoje (since 1993), and Sociologia (since 1996).

There are a total of five Research Centers (Núcleos) in the Department, including The Center for Public Policy (Núcleo de Estudos de Opinião Pública e Políticas Públicas- NEPU), The Center for International Relations (NEPI), and the Center for Women Studies. Through its team of ten researchers, NEPU has done consultancy work for the World Bank, UNDP, the State Government of Pernambuco, the UK Department for International Development (through Universities of Birmingham and Sussex), UNESCO-IDB and The Ministry of Health, (the latter two in partnership with the University of Campinas and Fiocruz).

Fundação Getulio Vargas (FGV) The Getulio Vargas Foundation was created in 1945, in Rio de Janeiro, with the purpose of preparing managers for the public sector, as part of a more comprehensive effort of building new institutions and practices in the Brazilian State apparatus.  The Escola de Administração de Empresas de São Paulo (Sao Paulo School of Business Administration) was founded by the Getulio Vargas Foundation in 1954 as a pioneer institution in the teaching of business administration in Brazil. In 1969, the School established an undergraduate course in Public Administration, which currently receives 100 new students a year. The Master Program in Public Administration and Government was created in 1976 initially as part of the general Program on Administration and in 1983 it became a Masters Program in its own right. A PHD Program on Public Administration and Government will begin in 2002. The School of Administration has some 300 professors of which nearly 200 are tenured and the remainder junior and visiting faculty, many with business and public sector professional experience. It has the largest library of administration texts in the country and is currently rated as one of the top three schools of administration in Latin America.

The Center for Public Administration and Government (FGV) was created in the 1990s to give support to research initiatives of faculty members and students that focus on Public Policy Analysis, Public Management and Citizenship, State Reform, Federalism, Poverty Reduction and Local Development. Since 1995 it has hosted a joint initiative of the Ford Foundation and the Getulio Vargas Foundation to identify and disseminate innovative practices in sub-national government services that generate positive consequences for citizenship. The resulting data bank currently holds some 3,500 experiences in all areas of government activity and also serves as a stimulus for evaluation  research.

UCLA International Institute