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public policy

Health in first place

Projects from the fourth call for proposals also attend to education and the environment

FAPESP has published the list of 11 projects approved after the fourth call for proposals for the Public Policies Program. Created in August 1998, the program funds interdisciplinary projects carried out by universities and institutes in partnership with organizations responsible for public policies, with the objective of bringing closer together the research system of the State of São Paulo and society.

Research done in association should result in diagnoses that identify difficulties in the implementation of public policies, in innovative management analysis, in the drawing up of standardized methodologies and systematization, assessment, diffusion and a balance of the knowledge produced in each one of the areas of study. Besides taking an active part in all the stages of the research, the partner entity has to commit itself to use the results, should they be successful. In the first call for proposals, 61 of the 226 projects signed up were approved on the second, 87 proposals were put forward, and 42 selected. In the third, of the 42 projects entered, 17 were regarded as suitable. The result of the fifth call for proposals, in which 51 projects competed, will be made known in the next few months.

The projects will be carried out in three stages. In the first one, which lasts six months and has a budget limited to R$ 30,000 per project, the proponents should consolidate the partnership and carry out studies that guarantee the viability of the proposal. Those selected for the second stage, which lasts 24 months, will be able to rely on as much as R$ 200,000 for the research. The third stage of the program for the implementation of the proposals is not financed by FAPESP.

Public security
The projects currently under way involve, on the one hand, research institutes and universities, and, on the other, 27 city administrations and eight non-governmental organizations. The themes go from urban and domestic violence and violence against women to the situation of health in the state, also including employability and the computerization of libraries. A group of researchers from the School of Social Service at the Pontifical Catholic University of São Paulo (PUC-SP), in partnership with the Center of Reference and Support for Victims of Violence, a body linked to the Secretariat for Justice and the Defense of Citizenship, is drawing up a map of violence in three regions of the city of São Paulo and investigating the expectations and the needs of the victims of violence. Preliminary results show that most murders take place near the victim’s home. The research, the final results of which are to be made public before the end of this year, will provide input for public policies on public security.

In partnership with the Guaratinguetá College of Engineering, of the São Paulo State University (Unesp), the municipality of Potim has managed to improve the quality of the water consumed by its almost 15,000 inhabitants, with the introduction of dosers of chlorine in three artesian wells, completed with the application of fluorine. The project also provided for the expansion of the network, with the construction of another two artesian wells and the carrying out of a campaign to encourage the inhabitants to keep their water tanks clean.

The program also supported the project carried out by researchers from Embrapa Satellite Monitoring and technicians from the Secretariat for Agriculture and Food Supply of the State of São Paulo, which had the objective of assessing the result of agricultural policies. The proposal was to generate indicators of social and environmental impact that would make it possible to measure the efficiency of the nine main programs implemented by the secretariat. This system is being implanted in the capital and in the 40 regional offices all over the state.

Another successful example is the computerization of the collection of periodicals of the Professor Ernesto Manoel Zink Municipal Library, of Campinas, implemented with funds from the program, in a project coordinated by researchers from the Institute for Philosophy and Human Sciences of the State University of Campinas (Unicamp). The collection of periodicals, which has collected newspapers and magazines published since 1952, is an important source for research, since it holds a major part of the memory of the city and the region, and it will be available on the Internet for consultation by the interested public.

The 11 projects approved at the fourth call involve five city halls, the State Secretariat for Health and other bodies from the public sector. The research is intended to carry out everything from diagnoses about the use of the production, extraction and marketing of medicinal plants in the region of the Paraíba Valley, to the assessment of the urinary excretion of part of the population of the state of São Paulo, to measure the level of iodination of the salt consumed.