This article examines findings of qualitative research carried out between 2009 and 2012 on the implementation of the Bolsa Família programme. Two very different Brazilian cities were selected for this study – Fortaleza in the northeast of the country and Florianópolis in the south. Interviews were conducted with both the managers of this programme and its beneficiaries and the findings led to a reconsideration of the practical implementation of the Bolsa Família at the local level. We will describe – from a feminist perspective – how the same national programme was implemented in different ways depending on the local context and policy. Whereas in one of the cities, we observed an increase in « feminist » – driven measures intended for female beneficiaries in order to supplement their current financial aid, this type of approach was non-existent in the other city. The municipal policy of the two cities in question are not too far removed from each other in terms of their overall approach – namely, targeting beneficiaries, providing cash transfer programs for the poorest and conditionality of aid. However, the achievements of the Bolsa Família vary significantly at the local level.
Mara Coelho de Souza Lago
Rosana de Carvalho Martinelli Freitas
Elizabeth Farias da Silva
Daniele Lopes Wohnlich
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