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Osmany Porto de Oliveira

Participatory Budgeting (PB) has become one of the most popular citizen participation policies in the world. It was first implemented in Porto Alegre (Brazil) in 1989, under the Workers Party’s progressive government and subsequently gained further international popularity following the World Social Forums event in 2001. Several international organizations, such as the World Bank, actively recommend the implementation of PB. Today, about 2,800 municipalities across the globe have adopted PB. The region where PB transfers are now growing fastest is Sub-Saharan Africa and here there are over 200 policy transfer experiences. This chapter considers how micro and macro dynamics interacted on the transfer process of PB. Discussion examines key mechanisms that contribute to PB transfers and who the major actors are that engage in its promotion. The chapter focuses on the process of PB transfers to Southern African countries. Three cases are presented: Maputo in Mozambique, Makhado in South Africa, and Ampasy Nahampoana in Madagascar. The main argument is that the spread of PB in sub-Saharan Africa is the result of a set of forces deployed by individuals and institutions that are constantly working to legitimize participatory governance, connecting local, regional and global players through international events, training teams, as well as producing technical material. Three mechanisms of transfer are discussed in the chapter: 1) the circulation of individuals, 2) networking and, 3) induction. The narrative presents how these mechanisms operate both at the regional level, as well as in different cases. Moreover, translation processes – that is, the reinterpretation of the meaning of the ideational dimension of PB – are also highlighted as an important dimension of policy transfer. Finally, particular attention is dedicated to the activism and transnational circulation of individuals, identified as ‘ambassadors of participation’. These individuals play a key role in the transfer process of PB. Keywords: participatory budgeting, sub-Saharan Africa, ambassadors of participation, World Bank, Africities, UN-Habitat

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Osmany Porto de Oliveira

Policy transfer research has been experiencing dizzying growth lately. The interest in this phenomenon has accompanied the contemporary empirical reality of globalization, in which ideas, institutions and instruments of public action circulate more and more often between governments, accelerating this exchange of policy knowledge. Policy transfer specialists focus on an object that does not have a well-defined territoriality, has transnational connections, moves across distinct jurisdictions, and can also be modified during the process by distinct involved actors according to their perspectives and interests. Despite the importance of this theme in contemporary public policy analysis, this field still does not have suitable methodological instruments to compare transfers. This is due above all to the fact that conventional methodologies are focused on comparing territorial units, and are hostage to ‘methodological nationalism’. In this chapter it is argued that in order to access policy transfer in depth, it is necessary to move beyond comparative public policy analysis centred on national frontiers. The chapter outlines how different research adopts existing tools in the policy analysis area, adapting them and developing its own comparative methodological techniques and strategies to understand and explain international policy transfers.

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Edited by Osmany Porto de Oliveira

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Osmany Porto de Oliveira

This chapter presents an introductory overview to the different streams that analyses how policies travels, namely policy transfer, diffusion, mobilities and circulation research. Particular attention is dedicated to the dynamics of this phenomenon, considering the following elements of transfer research: the objects, levels and destinations; agents and arenas; mechanisms, resistance and translation. Six frontiers of knowledge are discussed. The role of time in policy transfer. The relationship between policy transfer and of culture. The use of foreign policy and development cooperation to transfer policies. The impact of recent political unfolding’s such as far-right, neo-populism and post-truth context to policy transfer. The geopolitics of policy transfer. Finally, the chapter examines the role of modern diplomacy and global governance in policy transfer, with reflections on the international responses to fight against Covid-19.

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Edited by Osmany Porto de Oliveira

This important Handbook brings together preeminent international scholars, sharing their comparative and international perspectives on the topic. Their original contributions cover the key issues and questions around policy transfer, diffusion and circulation research. Altogether, chapters illuminate how rich and provocative the current debate on the interpretation of how public policies travels is and the vibrancy of the area’s research within the broad planet of public policy analysis.
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Diane Stone, Leslie A. Pal and Osmany Porto de Oliveira

The literature on policy transfers has focused on learning among governmental agentes, especially states. However, in the contemporary era, agents such as consultancies, international organizations, and specialized private agencies have acquired progressively a more relevant role in policy design and delivery, knowledge production and transnational transfers. The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation sponsored projects on food security across Southern Countries. Ayala Consulting Group has been assisting to different governments to design Conditional Cash Transfer Programs. Mckinsey is developing and advocating for housing models for African cities. The Rio+ Center in Brazil have fostered sustainable development goals across the world, via the diffusion of best practices. In many instances, these organizational agents partner with counterparts to amplify messages, best-practices, benchmarks and international standards. Partnering with international organizations can provide official patronage and indirectly, legitimacy for the policy instruments or models being diffused. The effect is a convergence among models, which are not necessarily adapted to contexts where they are implemented. Considering the changes in the empirical landscape of policy transfer and the proliferation of new actors both private and intergovernmental, our aim is to present the main issues and questions about the role of the private sector on public policy transfer, as well as their type of engagement, interests, interactions and operational styles.