?Brazil, HDI and the Third Sector?, article published in the newspaper Valor Econômico

Per Fred Seifert, Ricardo Martins and Leonardo Letelier

In July, the United Nations (UN) released the report containing the most up-to-date version of the Human Development Index (HDI), which measures the performance of each nation in topics such as health, education and inequality. According to the UN, Brazil showed consistent improvements. Even so, we are far from generating dignified living conditions for all citizens of our country. In this sense, in addition to the government, civil society can contribute a lot.

Although we have moved up one position, now occupying an intermediate 79th place among the 187 countries in the index, inequality is still the main obstacle to the improvement of our situation. If we have a general score of 0.744, whose maximum score is 1, we score a measly 0.542 in equality of income distribution and access to services such as health and education, which would put us 16 places below if only this item were considered. The United Nations highlighted that government programs such as ?Bolsa Família? and the policy of quotas in universities were very positive, but did they not have a greater reach due to the enormous social liabilities in Brazil? which can be, in part, supplanted by an organized civil society.

In order not to depend only on the State, which lives surrounded by other interests, non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and social businesses, with or without profit, have grown in the country. But the challenge is still great.

Lack of management capacity and fragmentation reduce a large part of the effectiveness of NGOs and social businesses

A widely cited, and real, barrier is a lack of management capacity. Although well intentioned, the lack of preparation for economic and financial management often prevents these entities from being successful in their endeavors. Allied to this point is the scarcity of resources ? even to improve management. This deserves special attention, because, although it is a country of great wealth, Brazil still distributes its resources in an extremely concentrated manner. And the richest part of the population donates little of their fortunes and time. Brazil is only 72nd in donations among the 146 countries in the World Giving Index, which, in addition to measuring financial donations to social organizations, also measures help to third parties and volunteering.

Finally, there is the problem of the dispersion of organizations: in addition to small effective local organizations, we need large-scale organizations, with strategic, managerial and operational sophistication, capable of dialoguing and articulating with smaller organizations, avoiding duplication of efforts and facing challenges. enormous challenges for the country.

Donations can be classified according to the reach horizon. Can they have an immediate bias, helping in urgent cases? the occurrence of natural disasters, similar to those that occurred in the mountains of Rio de Janeiro, for example. They can also be medium-term, such as the so-called "non-stamped" resources, that is, with no defined end, which can be used by organizations to strengthen their management, or long-term, helping to change the structure that generates the problems, supporting intermediary organizations that create solutions for the social sector as a whole. These three horizons? simplified in giving the fish, teaching how to fish and changing the infrastructure of the fishing industry ? they are complementary and show that donations are not reduced to that vertical view of simple, one-off acts of charity, from top to bottom.

Although highlighted in our country, the absence of a donation culture did not go unnoticed in other countries. In fact, it has become so evident that civil society itself has organized itself around this cause. Three years ago, a movement started in the US called #GivingTuesday. The central idea is to use the rhetoric of days of unbridled consumption, such as ?Black Friday? and ?Cyber Monday?, which follow the North American Thanksgiving holidays, and use it to mark a day of giving. #GivingTuesday has become a global movement, reaching dozens of countries and this year it arrives in Brazil in partnership with #diadedonate (in 2014, it will be on the 2nd of December).

Togo, Lomé. African schoolchildren holding hands Togo.

There are also interesting national initiatives to encourage donations. The campaign ?Donate More, Donate Better? brings together stories and actions of people who already donate resources. The objective of the initiative is not to allocate money to a specific institution, but to inspire others to do the same, creating an atmosphere of solidarity where everyone finds a way to contribute to changing the Brazilian social sector.

For those who can contribute financially, donating can be seen in another way within the system we live in: as the best investment available. If well applied, does it return human development and the happiness of those who most need a smile and does it represent a return to the role ? often underestimated ? that each one has today in society and the potential that each human being carries to transform the lives of others. Donating your time or skills is also in no way considered inferior.

The improvements in our society pass through a State focused on the interests of the people, companies with true social responsibility? far beyond financing external actions with an eye on your return to the company? and a profound review of our role in the system, moving away from individualism towards collective attitudes. Donating may not solve everything and be seen as a small gesture compared to the immensity of the problems we face. But it is through these subtle attitudes that, together, we can change the world. And let's face it, it's much better than doing nothing.

Fred Seifert is an economist at UFRJ, consultant at Sitawi ? Finance for Good since August 2011 and winner of the 2012 Itaú Sustainable Finance Award fseifert@sitawi.net

Ricardo Borges Martins, a social scientist from USP, is the coordinator of the Donate Mais Doe Melhor Campaign and the Eu Voto Distrital Movement rmartins@sitawi.net

Leonardo Letelier MBA from Harvard Business School, CEO of Sitawi ? Finance for Good, awarded by the IDB in 2011 as the best socially responsible investment in Latin America lletelier@sitawi.net




Related publications

Did you like our content?

Assine nossa newsletter e receba mais novidades sobre a Economia de Impacto.

Skip to content