Guacira Oliveira

Ashoka Fellow
Brazil
Fellow Since 2007

Citation

This profile was prepared when Guacira Oliveira was elected to the Ashoka Fellowship in 2007.
The New Idea
Guacira is changing the orientation of public policy decision-making to safeguard women’s rights as a fundamental part of public resources. She places public finance and budget monitoring as the leverage point between public policy and action. As a translator of what is legislatively and fiscally available for a wide range of issues, Guacira disseminates information social organizations can use to ensure laws are created and enforced. For example, by publishing the amount of money the state spent on abortions, she facilitated the creation of a law to distribute contraceptives in the public health system. 
Guacira is democratizing decision-making around budgetary issues. She does not decide priority issues, but links all concerns within the framework of gender, to access how public funds are spent on specific issues. She may, for example, teach the lesbian movement how to access public funds, or confirm that police have the budget they need enforce laws against men who fail to pay their fines when violent towards women. Guacira is uniquely adept at balancing between public institutions and grassroots social movements—she stays within a government reality while maintaining her credibility within the citizen sector. 
Most of Guacira’s work has been at the level of central government policy. Now, she is turning to the local level, to improve and empower local social organizations to monitor municipal and state policy and expenditures.
The Problem
The Strategy
The Person

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