Under the World Bank Institute work program on “ICT for Empowering the Urban Poor” aimed at understanding how ICT can be used to address the key needs of the urban poor, an innovative pilot has been launched with the LAC Citizen Security team to capture feedback from residents of the well known favela “City of God” in Rio de Janeiro. This report describes the methodology and preliminary conclusions of the pilot.
"Sense of security is the feeling that the residents of the City of God. In a Getulio Vargas Foundation (FGV) research project [applied in this well-known favela in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil], 59.2% of the respondents said that the community was safer with the arrival of the State Government Police Pacification Unit (UPP) in February 2009. 10.9% also felt safe. 10% did not answer and only 8.3% felt less safe." (Source: http://www.rj.gov.br/web/imprensa/exibeconteudo?article-id=1302170)
The favela was one of the first to be benefited by the State Government UPP. The program was designed to regain control of favelas that for over two decades had been dominated by the drug traffic, becoming hot spots of crime and violence and deprived from the basic services. The Municipal Government followed with the Social UPP Program shortly after, aimed at integrating slums into the larger city by ensuring that residents have the same rights, services and opportunities as any other citizen.
In October 2012, Ronaldo Lemos of the FGV presented the findings of the pilot project at the World Bank. The pilot encourages residents to express ideas on what needs to be improved through an anonymous internet survey offered at public venues or at home. The survey was designed to allow for real time feedback to the Government which then would be used to influence program design changes.
This pilot has been conducted under a WBI work program on “ICT for Empowering the Urban Poor,” aimed at understanding how ICT can be used to address the key needs of the urban poor. The program was managed by WBI's Urban Practice on in collaboration with the Open Development Technology Alliance (ODTA) and the World bank's LAC Citizen Security team. The pilot has been extremely valuable in identifying ways to improve the relevance and effectiveness of the program for the poor, with plans for scaling it up to other programs in Brazil.