The University of Texas
About the Public Affairs Library

Library Hours

Library Map


Master's Professional Reports Abstract

Innovative Governance in Brazil
Paula Jean McDermott
Report 2001 M14345 Public Affairs Library.

The Projeto das Parteiras Tradicionais do Amapá (Traditional Midwives Project of Amapá) embodies a state government s attempt to engage a previously ignored segment of civil society. Designed to mobilize and support parteiras (midwives) in Amapá, Brazil, the project serves as a case-study of innovative governance.

Based on three months of field research, I find the Traditional Parteiras Project produces an end-sum gain by focusing attention on local knowledge and encouraging citizenship development. In so doing, it creates links between those who provide formal and informal health services to the state s women. Additionally, the project contributes to the debate concerning Brazil s high rates of cesarean section births and maternal mortality, by highlighting partos normais (normal or vaginal births).

The study, however, also flushes out challenges associated with the project s organizational structure. This governmental attempt to mobilize the grass roots does not demonstrate many of the benefits it claims. The parteiras involved with the project play a consultative, rather than a partnership, role, and lack strong leadership networks. These factors present obstacles to the sustainability of the initiative and should be considered by those who use the project as a model.

Nonetheless, the Traditional Parteiras Project sets a precedent in a newly-formed democratic state while demonstrating the influence of women in the policy process.


Perry-Castañeda Library
101 East 21st St.
Austin, TX. 78713

Phone: (512) 495-4250

Connect with UT Libraries

Facebook Twitter Instagram Tumblr Google Plus Flickr Pinterest YouTube

© The University of Texas at Austin 2017   UTDIRECT