CIPR | Center For Inter-American Policy & Research

Tulane University

Jessica Rich publishes article for the Inter-American Foundation on Brazil's Grassroots AIDS Movement

September 25th, 2013

Jessica Rich, Center for Inter-American Policy and Research Post (CIPR) Doctoral Fellow, co-authored an article on “Brazil’s Virtuous Alliance: How the Grassroots and the Government Joined Forces against AIDS” with John Garrison, former Inter-American Foundation representative for Brazil and current coordinator for the World Bank’s efforts to engage with civil society.

In Brazil, epidemiology, politics and institutions converged to produce a grassroots movement and partnership with government that proved crucial to fighting AIDS. The Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) regularly identifies the Brazilian National AIDS Program as an example of “good practice” and points to the significance of its government/civil society collaboration (UNAIDS 2007). But even this distinction understates the multifaceted role of grassroots organizations as a driving force in AIDS policy. Their representatives have participated actively on the nation’s policymaking commissions as well as in countless planning meetings with Brazilian government officials and politicians. They do not hesitate, however, to voice criticism publicly or, when the state falls short of their expectations, to advance policy through the courts. An unusual blend of grassroots activism and political pragmatism over a 30-year span led to this effective approach to the AIDS epidemic, an effort that the IAF actively supported.

To see the whole article, please click here.