Has Brazil Taken the Right Approach to Education Reforms?

July 24, 2014

Emily Gustafsson-Wright – The Brookings Institution, 7/23/2014

In an interview with Inter-American Dialogue, Emily Gustafsson-Wright discusses Brazil’s new National Education Plan, which sets forth 20 goals that the country aims to achieve over the next decade. Read the full interview here

Brazil’s National Education Plan is indeed ambitious. With 20 targets ranging from universalizing access to early childhood education by 2016 to expanding enrollments at the post-graduate level, the federal government has set its sights high in an effort to address the issues of low PISA scores and large inequalities in educational access and quality in terms of geography, race and income. This is not the first time that the Brazilian government has proposed audacious education goals, however.

In 1998, it adopted a radical reform of education financing (FUNDEF and later FUNDEB) to equalize spending per student, and the record shows impressive progress resulted. In 2005, it set the target of raising learning outcomes to OECD levels by 2021 and put in place a highquality national assessment system to monitor and publicize the progress of every state, municipality and school in the country. But this time, a disconcerting factor is the outsized emphasis on spending more rather than spending better. A target to increase public education spending to 10 percent of GDP within a decade is beyond what any developed or developing country has found sustainable: the OECD average of 5.8 percent and Brazil’s current average of 5.7 percent are little more than half that. Where that money will come from, at least in part, was confirmed by President Dilma Rousseff when she signed a law that earmarks 75 percent of oil royalties for education. How it will be distributed and spent effectively is less clear.

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The end of deforestation in the Brazilian Amazon

June 9, 2014

Policy Forum, 2009

Brazil has two major opportunities toend the clearing of its Amazon for-est and to reduce global greenhousegas emissions substantially. The first is its for-mal announcement within United Nations cli-mate treaty negotiations in 2008 of an Amazondeforestation reduction target, which prompted  Norwato commit $1 billion if it sustains prog-ress toward this target (1). The second is a wide-spread marketplace transition within the beef and soy industries, the main drivers of defor-estation, to exclude Amazon deforesters fromtheir supply chains (2) [supplementary onlinematerial (SOM), section (§) 4]. According toour analysis, these recent developments finallymake feasible the end of deforestation in theBrazilian Amazon, which could result in a 2 to5% reduction in global carbon emissions. The$7 to $18 billion beyond Brazil’s current bud-get outlays that may be needed to stop the clear-ing [a range intermediate to previous cost esti-mates (3,4)] could be provided by the REDD(Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation) mechanism for compen-sating deforestation reduction that is under negotiation within the UN climate treaty (5), or  by payments for tropical forest carbon creditsunder a U.S. cap-and-trade system (6 .)

Wilson Center Global Fellow Carlos Eduardo Lins da Silva is awarded Premio Esso 2013

December 5, 2013


Wilson Center Global Fellow  Carlos Eduardo Lins da Silva shared the 2013 Premio Esso, or Exxon Award, for Best Contribution to Journalism.  Established in 1955, the Esso Journalism award is the most traditional and prestigious recognition for journalists in Brazil. The award is an especially  high distinction because it celebrates the independence, courage and creativity of Brazilian journalists in eleven categories.  The award of Best Contribition to Journalism honoring Lins da Silva was given to Revista de Jornalismo ESPM, the Portuguese language edition of the Columbia Journalism review, for which he is a co-editor along with Eugênio Bussi. CJR is published in Brazil by the Escola Superior de Progaganda e Marketing.  A highly accomplished journalist, author  and educator, Lins da Silva is editor of Politica Externa, Brazil’s top foreign policy journal. He was previously executive editor and Washington correspondent for daily Folha de São Paulo, and Public Policy Scholar at the Wilson Center.

Click here for more information.

Two Brazil education firms file for IPO’s; more M&A expected in Brazil

October 7, 2013

Rogerio Jelmayer- Wall Street Journal, 10/04/2013

Two Brazilian education firms this week filed for initial public offerings, amid widespread interest in the booming education industry in Latin America’s largest nation.

On Friday, GAEC Educacao SA, which operates under the brand name Anima Educacao, said it plans to raise as much as 626 million Brazilian reais ($282 million) from an IPO while on Tuesday, Ser Educacional S.A and its shareholders unveiled a plan to raise up to 976.5 million reais from an IPO.

Both companies said they will use proceeds to finance their expansion via acquisitions across the nation.

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TEDGlobal is heading to Rio de Janeiro in 2014

June 13, 2013

Kate Torgovnick – TED, 06/12/2013

Next year, TEDGlobal will be held for the first time in Latin America — in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, from October 6-10, 2014, on the beach of Copacabana. The theme for the event is, appropriately, “South!” and will be a celebration of the innovation, dynamism and creativity pouring out of South America, as well as out of the global south at large. Because fresh ideas can come from any direction.

“Rio has been beckoning TED for many years, both metaphorically and literally,” says curator Chris Anderson, explaining why we opted for this new location. “It’s at the heart of a continent bursting with fresh thinking. We’re delighted to finally be going. This conference will be ambitious, a thrilling new chapter for TED’s growing community of global souls.”

TEDGlobal Director Bruno Giussani adds, “We are proud of the conferences we’ve held in Edinburgh. As TED’s international reach has expanded, Latin America has emerged as a clear and exciting next move. Rio is not only a hub of innovation, but presents a rich history and exquisite physical setting.”

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Agriculture and food security: Brazil’s chance to assume leadership among the BRICS?

June 11, 2013

Oliver Stuenkel – Post-Western World, 06/09/2013

The stark differences between Brazil’s and India’s agricultural productivity and their differing positions during trade negotiations in the past years are an often used argument of why South-South cooperation will always be an elusive dream. And indeed, India has often been accused of being a nay-sayer in the realm of agriculture, even by its fellow emerging powers.

It may then come as a surprise that agriculture and food security are among the first topics that emerged when the BRIC grouping began to discuss ways to cooperate. In fact, during the first BRIC Leaders Summit in 2009 in Yekaterinburg, a separate declaration on food security was issued, underlining the importance of the matter.

In the document, the BRICs professed to be “committed to opposing protectionism, establishing a just and reasonable international trade regime for agricultural products, and giving farmers from developing countries incentives to engage in agricultural production.” The 2-page document argues that “the developed and developing countries should address the food security issue according to the principle of common but differentiated responsibility”, a concept that would become a trademark of future BRICS declarations, particularly in the field climate change. Finally, the BRICs signaled their interest in cooperating by “sharing the best practices of operating successful public distribution programmes.”

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In Brazil, fine art draws crowds from favelas to fairs to museums

June 11, 2013

Vincent Bevins- Los Angeles Times, 06/11/2013

Instead of playing in the dirty streets after school, one hot afternoon kids in a local favela, or slum¸ are led into a giant space with bright, high white walls. Assistants lead them around, nudging them to engage with original artworks including reflections on graffiti in their neighborhood and huge collages created by celebrated New York-based Brazilian artist Vik Muniz.

A drum hangs from the ceiling, as do two wooden balls. A docent tells the kids they are free to throw them against the instrument and asks them what’s the difference between them and an artist. They are artists now too, she says.

It’s not just here at the Travessias 2 exhibition in the Maré favela, put on by the government, nonprofits and the Automatica production company, that the power of fine art is popping up in Brazilian culture.

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Brazil puts $680m into innovation centers

June 4, 2013

Luisa Massarani – RSC, 06/04/2013

The São Paulo Research Foundation (FAPESP) in Brazil will provide $680 million (£445 million) of fundingfor 17 Research, Innovation and Dissemination Centers (RIDCs). The money will keep the centres going for up to 11 years and will link 535 scientists from the state of São Paulo with another 69 from abroad.

A breakdown of the funding show that FAPESP will deliver $370 million and another $310 million will come from the host institutions where the centres will be based. FAPESP, an independent public foundation with a mission to foster scientific and technological development in the state of São Paulo, created the RIDCs programme in 2000. Originally, there were 11 RIDCs and now another seven have been created in this second round of funding.

‘Our motivation was to offer conditions for São Paulo scientists to attack complex and challenging issues,’ says Carlos Henrique de Brito Cruz, scientific director of FAPESP. ‘With such goals, the funding is offered in proper amounts in order to allow several scientists to be engaged on a long term basis – up to 11 years, with an evaluation of whether the project should follow on or not at years two, four and seven.’

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Brazil education: the deals keep coming

April 23, 2013

Pan Kwan Yuk – Financial Times, 04/23/2013

It is often said that you can’t put a price on education.

Not so in Brazil, where private sector education has become big business. The move on Monday by Kroton Educacional to acquire rival Anhanguera Educacional Participações in a R$5bn ($2.48bn) all stock deal is the latest in a wave of buyouts to hit the sector in recent years.

The combination of Kroton, Brazil’s largest listed private education provider with a market capitalisation of R$7.3bn, and Anhanguera, the country’s number two, will create one of the world’s biggest for-profit education company, with 1m students and a market cap of R$12bn.

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IRP announces two new media initiatives for 2013: apply now!

October 17, 2012

IRP, 10/15/2012

The International Reporting Project (IRP)is pleased to announce that applications are now being accepted for two new kinds of global reporting grants in 2013. For the first time in IRP’s history, each of these two new fellowship programs will be open to non-US media professionals as well as to US citizens.

In addition to these two new programs, additional IRP reporting fellowships on specialized topics may be announced soon. Watch our web site for news and updates!

Here are the details of the two new programs in 2013. Qualified applicants may apply to either or both programs.

Click here to apply for the IRP New Media Journalists Trip to India: Examining Child Survival

Click here to apply for IRP’s New Media Fellowships in 2013


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