BRIEF

SSKE Activity Request - Q&A

July 17, 2015

1) May family members (wives, children, etc.) accompany the visiting delegation?

It is not recommended that visiting delegations bring family members, since a World Bank SSKE is an official mission for learning purposes. In case family members do accompany a delegation, all logistics issues are responsibility of the individual delegate that is bringing the family member. This includes hotel, air tickets, etc. In addition, the agency/consultant hired for the mission logistics is not responsible to accommodate the family agenda during the mission (this includes family transportation, site visits, etc.). TTLs should always emphasize this issue to the visiting delegation prior to the mission, during the proposal stage.

2) Should every mission contact the visiting country’s respective Embassy/Consulate when arriving in Brazil?

Depending on the nature of the SSKE, timeframe, visiting delegation’s rank, etc., it is not mandatory at all to visit the Embassy. This is a best practice that has shown positive results for delegations that might come from the same country, as well as the visiting mission. Embassies may offer assistance during the mission, such as logistics, or translation contacts. Last but not least, the Ambassador might want to invite the delegation for a rendezvous and provide further information to the delegation in regards to the mission. Embassies tend to be the formal contact for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, which may also help in the mission agenda (scheduling of important meetings, for example).

3) Do I have to hire an agency/consultant to assist the mission? Where may I obtain possible suggestions of names?

A SSKE mission requires a lot of attention to details on logistics (transportation, hotel, air tickets when travelling from cities in Brazil), agenda preparation, etc. It is recommended that someone assists the team from Brazil. Many times, the SSKE mission will be supported by a Brazilian counterpart, such as a Ministry or National Agency. In those cases, the counterpart takes care of logistics and other issues. If that is not that case, it is recommended to hire assistance for the mission.

Suggestion on names (agencies or consultants) may be obtained with Brazil CMU or Brazil South-South team. It is important to state in the Activity Request form all assistance that may be required from Brazil Country Office.

4) May local ACS/staff assist the mission?

It is important to remind that it is not responsibility of local staff/ACS to organize the mission agenda. They may assist with suggestions and contacts, but it is up to the requesting SSKE team to prepare the mission agenda, make all contacts, and take care of mission logistics.

5) Can I buy a mobile chip and calling card in Brazil for local communication?

It is not common in Brazil to find quick mobile cards (chips) at airports, nor calling cards (very common in other countries). Since hotel calls can be very expensive, for calling international numbers, we recommend the use of smart phones/tablets/laptops in Wi-Fi areas (very common in Brazil), using communication software/app, such as Skype, Whatsapp, or any other communication software/app.

Plan ahead your communication needs, based on this situation. If your country has an international communication data plan, or roaming signal, it is recommended to acquire before arriving in Brazil.

6) What is the best arrangement for local payments (hotel, meals, etc.)?

Bank staff

Bank staff pays directly at site (hotel, restaurant, taxi, etc.) and later on request for reimbursement in SOE.

Country delegation members

In the case of delegates, individual cases are considered for each mission. In general, delegates are provided a per diem individually for meals and informed on local values and rates. The per diems are usually delivered at the home country, before coming to Brazil. For this case, either the value may be directly deposited in the delegate’s Bank account, or someone in the Bank at the home country will deliver personally.

In some cases, an individual person of the delegation might handle all “money issues”, and the per diems will be handed to this person. Moreover, the consultant/agency hired to organize logistics should always take into consideration the per diem values when booking reservations.

The decision on how to “handle the money” is made by the requesting SSKE team, although under no circumstance should the consultant/agency hired for logistics take care of “money issues”.

One last case might be where main expenses (hotel and meals) are directly paid via TR. In this case, delegates would not receive a per diem.

As for hotel, air tickets and transportation, these are included in the Group TR made by the requesting SSKE team. Usually an executive van or minibus is rented for the group transportation during the mission, and the hotel bill is directly made to the Group TR (delegates don’t need to pay for the hotel at the spot, only Bank staff).

7) What are the some Security Issues to consider?

Some general safety tips:

•       Plano Piloto (Brasilia main central region) is considered a relatively safe place, but pay attention.   The most common crime is "express kidnapping".  Avoid staying inside a parked vehicle when waiting for someone.   It is advisable to park the car, lock it and move away from it;

•       Follow your "gut instincts" ... If you have a feeling that something is not right when you are arriving home,  or that you are being followed, don't enter your house.  Go to a different location as a precaution - for example a shopping center where there are many people, or a police station, such as Rio Branco;

•       If you find yourself in a dangerous or threatening situation, don't try to be a hero.  Give the aggressor what he or she is asking for and stay calm.

•       In case of a medical emergency in the office, proceed as follows:

1.    Notify the Security Champions 24/7 (Roberto 61 9971-4860 and/or Monica 61 9941-3004) or for the Police dial 190 or 3248- 2882

2.    For First Aid, call the condominium on 3327-3900 and ask for the Bombeiro

3.    If necessary, call an ambulance on 3248-3030 (VIDA) or 192 (SAMU)

Personal Security tips on the Streets of Brasília (and other Brazilian cities)

1) Do not walk alone! Whenever possible, avoid exposing yourself to a transgressor action by walking unaccompanied through desert places or late in the night. At a party or an event please wait for someone to leave together. As a precaution is better to have be on the safe side.

2) When you are alone avoid streets and surrounding areas without light. Keep alert when you pass by a suspicious individual and do not stop to attend requests that are suspicious. Walk on alert and if you feel any sign of dangerous, do not hesitate to cross the street.  As soon as you notice that you are being followed by a stranger, do not think twice and just enter in the first available shop, residence and other locations with individuals to ask for help.

3) Do not carry with you great amount cash or other values. If it is essential, please avoid exposing wallet/purse where you are carrying these values. Ladies should firmly carry their hand bags and should stay constantly alert while exposed.

4) While stopping at bus stations, try to get off at the stations located near stores or in front of commercial areas.

5) If you are using public transportation, and if it gets invaded by transgressors, remain calm. Look down and do not start a dialogue with no one. If you are approached by the transgressor, do not react and follow his/her instructions. Goods are replaceable, life is not!

6) Do not date or have long dialogues inside cars, while parked, especially in front of your residence, shopping centers, supermarkets and other public parking areas. You can become an easy target to criminals.

7) Mistrust strangers who are trying to get close with an suspicious conversation, especially on non-expected areas. Do not accept invitations from them before getting to know more about his/her life background. It is always important to assure you are on safe ground once you meet new people.

8) Mistrust any strangers approaching you to propose "super business". Be careful and look for the police for help. Common area for this crime is close to ATM machines outside shopping centers and Commercial Bank entrances.

9) Do not walk armed. Individuals who carries fire gun, frequently are killed for misuse or for reaction from criminals. Other frequent killing rate is the accident at residence involving guns and children. If you decide to have a gun at home, please make sure it is locked away from all.

10) Criminals prefer to attack their victims when they were distracted. Do not argue with the aggressor because this could increase his/her tension and it could be used against you. Remain calm at all times.

8) Are site visits (tours) possible during the SSKE?

The main concern for a SSKE mission is the learning acquired to solve development issues that were raised in the planning stage. It is very important to always keep in mind that a SSKE is not a “tour trip”, and the role of the TTL in enforcing this message to the visiting delegation is essential. With that in mind, a couple of site visits may be allowed, depending on the mission agenda and logistics issues raised during the mission preparation. If a site visit is to be conducted, it is recommended to do it in the beginning of the mission, in order to “break the ice”, and get participants more engaged in the learning mission.

9) How to deal with Translation issues?

By protocol of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (Itamaraty), Brazilian institutions are not supposed to present any sort of technical material in foreign languages, only in Portuguese. Even such, many institutions try their best to make presentations in English, although the ideal case is to hire an interpreter to accompany the mission. Embassies are a good source of names in these cases. It is recommended to sort this issue as soon as possible; language is always a major barrier in South-South mission.

There are also a number of World Bank registered service providers, which may be requested to RM in Brazil.

Interpretation services may also be requested using e-service for Bank staff.

10) How to deal with VISA issues?

Please refer to the instructions presented at the Mission Preparation stage.

For a complete list of countries that require a VISA to enter Brazil, please go to: http://www.projectvisa.com/visainformation/Brazil

 

If you have further questions regarding specific issues on a South-South Mission to Brazil, please send them to brazilsouthsouth@worldbank.org