Threats to Broad Consultation and Participation in Brazil, Co-chair of Open Government Partnership

As co-chair of the Open Government Partnership, in a very few months Brazil will play host to a meeting among more than 50 countries participating in an unprecedented global initiative: a ‘multinational and multi-stakeholder’ effort to improve accountability, transparency, access to information, and greater participation in the affairs of government. A sort of club for countries committed to openness, the OGP was announced at the United Nations in September 2011 and will take on a more concrete character after the April 2012 meeting in...

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Reviewing the New Brazilian President’s 1st Semester: Policy

Sure, federal governments run the postal service, a military that doesn’t have a lot to do, and a few social programs, but what the heck are they good for anyways, besides causing a lot of bickering in Congress? You’re not likely to find very good answers perusing the news. Look in any newspaper and you’ll see that headlines refer to conflict—the politics of policy make the news, not policy itself. Good policy analysis is difficult to find, which makes understanding what the heck goes on at the federal level a very difficult exercise...

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Freedom of Information Bill in Jeopardy as Rousseff Backtracks

[Published on by Greg Michener] President Dilma Rousseff reversed her support for expedited passage of a Brazilian freedom of information law this week, ceding to Senators’ desire to reappraise the law and include weakening amendments. The proposed changes to bill 41/2010 aim to eliminate time limits on how long information can be classified as secret and held from the public. Such amendments would contravene regional and national legal guarantees, in addition to delaying and enfeebling a prospective freedom of information law. About-face...

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