Learn how the World Bank Group is helping countries with COVID-19 (coronavirus). Find Out

Best practices in implementation of social protection instruments and institutions at federal and state level

September 19, 2013


Bolsa Familia beneficiaries in Pernambuco, Brazil.

Valter Campanato/ABr.

This Grant complements the Bank´s 7 year support to Brazil in the implementation of its national conditional Cash Transfer Program (CCT) and other social safety nets (SSN). At the federal level, the Grant helped the Government design the productive inclusion programs targeted at the poor. At the state and municipal levels, it helped counterparts in undertaking assessments of their social protection programs and exploring ways of improving design of productive inclusion and labor programs.


This Grant has addressed two main challenges related to the development of the country´s Social Protection (SP) system: First, through the evaluation of a decentralized management index introduced as part of the country´s CCT program, Bolsa Familia (BF), it helped the Government to better understand how municipalities are managing applications and registrations in the existing targeting system and monitoring co-responsibilities in education and health.

Second, the Grant has helped to clarify the role of State Governments within Brazil´s social protection system. While the BF program had mainly involved national and municipal governments, the country´s poverty eradication strategy, Brasil Sem Miseria (BSeM) gives states more responsibilities.

This Grant supports the design of the overall plan, with particular attention to the potential for expanding the targeting system beyond the CCT and supporting a diagnostic of the SP systems in two states (Pernambuco and Alagoas), to identify opportunities to strengthen state level interventions in the framework of the national BSM plan.


This TF is aimed at addressing specific knowledge gaps of Federal and State Governments alike in the governance and execution of SP systems. Emphasis is placed in the design and execution of the national poverty eradication strategy BSeM.

The TFs value added can be seen particularly in its support of i) the operationalization of the strategy itself, ii) the improvement of municipal performance through a series of instruments and evaluations and iii) through the assessment of the SP systems and inventories of existing programs in the States of Pernambuco and Alagoas. The team worked intensively with the State Governments to help them carry out informative diagnostics of their SSN systems as well as executable strategies.

The team also worked with the Ministry of Social Development to enhance the understanding of the BSM Plan and to identify optimal ways to support its implementation.

This Grant supported the development of several knowledge products which will aim at better informing the federal and state governments in the execution of the wider SP strategy BSeM. As such, the TF financed several reports and knowledge generation instruments which have now been delivered to the client. These include:

  • SSN Review in the Osasco Municipality detailing workings of the index of decentralized management in one Brazilian municipality together with the record of SSN projects implemented at the municipal level.
  • Productive Inclusion BSeM (series of policy proposals for one of BSeMs dimensions)
  • Censo Suas Tables for Brazil (indicators to inform policy proposals at state and federal level)
  • List of Social Programs for Video and scripts (video made in the context of the conference on social protection systems and environmental sustainability)
  • Framework on Socio-Environmental Floor (framework to guide future interventions in social protection and environmental sustainability).
  • Brief of Social Assistance System in Alagoas and Pernambuco  (inventory of SP programs in Alagoas and Pernambuco)
  • Citizen Security Alagoas and Proposal for Citizen Security Intervention (studies informing one of the original components of the Alagoas loan and relation to SSN policies).

Bank Group Contribution

This Grant has a strategic alignment with three Bank-supported projects in the country. First, with a total contribution of US$772 million approved in two phases since 2005, the Bank is the leading external financing source of the country´s CCT program Bolsa Familia.

Second, the products developed in this Grant have provided important knowledge inputs for the preparation of two loans with the states as main borrowers: the Alagoas Poverty Reduction and Economic Inclusion Project for US$150 million, in preparation and expected to be approved by the end of FY2013, and the Pernambuco Expanding Opportunities DPL for US$500 million, approved in March 2012.


Activities of the Grant contributed to the exchange of information and best practices between the different levels of government (Federal and State). In addition, this knowledge has also been shared with other countries in the region, in particular through the Community of Practice (CoP) established among social protection partners in 15 countries of the region and other active development partners in the region such as the IDB. For example, in April 2012, The General Secretary of BSeM presented the plan during one of the CoP sessions.

Moving Forward

As mentioned above, this TF provided crucial resources for background studies for the BF project and the DLP already under implementation, as well as the SIL in Alagoas Pernambuco, which is in the pipeline.

The respective executing agencies have already received the reports and recommendations which came out of this TA and analyzing options for improving the design of program parameters and institutional arrangements. For example, a report containing recommendations on how to strengthen the National Commitment for Social Development became embodied through the BSM plan.

Similarly, some of the recommendations contained in the reports for Alagoas and Pernambuco have been included in the activities to be implemented within the projects. Moreover, there is now a new DPL in Pernambuco in preparation that is building on the previous DPL.


This Grant is closely aligned with state and federal-level SP programs; for example, in the State of Alagoas, where the most relevant poverty programs are federally funded. Bolsa Familia - BF (with 419,775 families) and the old age and disability insurance (with 102,308 beneficiaries).

The targeting system has 550,699 families registered, 97% of which qualified as poor and 73.3 percent of which benefit from BF. While the coverage and impacts of BF have been significant, the state has not addressed some of the more persistent elements of poverty and complex social issues.

This Grant has looked at these challenges for example by providing options for better targeting indigenous populations in the state and link them with federal and state programs (Currently only 42% of these populations are registered and 35% benefit from BF).