Brazil Consolidation of the Social Work Methodology for Slum Upgrading



Approval Date
Proposal Focus
Core Focus
Secondary Cities
Country Type


The Cities Alliance and the National Housing Secretariat of the Ministry of Cities signed a cooperation agreement in August 2009 focused on knowledge production and dissemination, with a view to up-scaling actions involving successful approaches to urban poverty reduction in Brazil. This agreement resulted in the elaboration of a Joint Activities Programme incorporating a platform and set of strategic priority actions to be undertaken jointly by the two partners. Among the specific themes identified in the Joint Activities Programme is "Strengthening the social work component and boosting community participation in the works related to upgrading precarious settlements".
The overall objective is to strengthen the social component of slum upgrading programmes within the context of the National Housing Policy 1) To improve the technical skills of professionals working with local governments to enable them to undertake social work related to housing projects 2) To promote the exchange of experiences and information and to encourage theoretical and methodological discussion about social work specifically related to housing projects 3) Data systematisation of HBB / IDB Post-Occupancy Programme 4) Revision / definition of guidelines for setting up social work initiatives in slum upgrading programmes and projects
• Preparation and implementation of a Distance Learning Course on Social Work (definition structure and contents, , platform, selection of teachers, teaching materials, selection of students, application of the course, final certificate, and evaluation of the course. • Organization of an international Seminar on social work in social interventions (identification of speakers/relevant experiences; agenda, invitations and logistics)Systematic reporting of the Seminar discussion and final recommendations Drafting of the publication with the results and recommendations of the International Seminar (content, proofreading, graphic design, printing etc) • Organisization of workshops with focus groups comprising Social Work experts • Systematic reporting of the focus group meetings and recommendations. Development of a final report with recommendations for the review of national guidelines for the social work activities in slum upgrading and housing programmes and projects
Expected Impacts and Results
The activities undertaken under this joint work programme contributed significantly to strengthening of the social component of slum upgrading programmes in accordance with the National Housing Policy of Brazil. It represents an important effort towards the enhancement of social sustainability of housing programmes, through the implementation of improved the mechanisms for participatory processes and inclusion of beneficiaries in discussion of public policies targeted at raising their quality of life and improving their citizenship. More than 2,000 social work professionals were involved in this process, directly and indirectly participating in the Distance Learning Course, the International Seminar and Focal Group workshops. On the other hand, the engagement of all these participants contributed with significant inputs for the Ministry of Cities to start up the process of review of the national guidelines for the social work component in slum upgrading and housing projects/programmes financed with federal resources (PAC/MHMLP). The compiled recommendations presented in the final report further boosted the process of review and preparation of national guidelines and normative for social work in slum upgrading initiatives, financed by the federal government and supported by the Cities Alliance.