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Taking a seat on Brazil's health councils
journal contributionposted on 2023-06-07, 16:30 authored by Andrea Cornwall, Vera Schattan P Coelho, Alex ShanklandAlex Shankland
In Brazil, it is common to find citizens jammed together into municipal halls on neat, narrow rows of white plastic chairs, each a personal podium for the citizens cum policy-makers participating in the country’s vaunted experiments in participatory democracy. The most internationally recognised of these experiments has been in participatory budgeting, but just as significant in Brazil has been the advent of health councils, now found in nearly all of the country’s 5,000-plus municipalities. These councils are empowered by law to inspect public accounts and demand accountability, and some strongly influence how resources for health services are spent.
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