Statement of Impact

Enlarging access to data and to empirically grounded knowledge


1. DataCEM: an open platform enabling everyone to access Census micro-data from 1960-2010 
This data extraction application allows user-friendly access to the 1960, 1970, 1980, 1991, 2000, and 2010 Demographic Census micro-data, as well as supplementary documentation, handouts, and technical notes. Available in Portuguese and English, DataCem reduces individual data acquisition costs for time series on social and demographic aspects of Brazilian history. The totality of census information from 1960 to 2010 for Brazil, made compatible and standardized, is also available in full in database format.



2. ReSolution: giving every citizen the tools to be a social scientist and produce professional maps and data of São Paulo Metropolitan Region
ReSolution is a portal that allows users to format and save or print thematic maps of the São Paulo Metropolitan Region on a wide range of topics, including socio-demographic, urban accessibility and spatial segregation indicators. It was produced by the CEM (Center for Metropolitan Studies) and UCL (University College London). Similar maps could be produced for the London metropolitan region.

Informing public policy decisions and the production of State capacities

Sistema geolocalizado das escolas da RMSP

3. Empowering policymakers to understand how school performance is connected to social context
The website provides spatial information about the locations and conditions of education provision in the São Paulo Metropolitan Region. Any user can locate any school and get information about its facilities, and its performance in assessments conducted by the Ministry of Education. The same user may also compare this performance with neighboring schools in São Paulo and Brazil. The application offers data about the school’s local surroundings.

Estudos sobre precariedade urbana
Photo: Jorge Maruta - Jornal da USP - USP Images

4. Supplying comprehensive data of informal settlements and directly informing users about federal and municipal housing policies 
The CEM signed an agreement with São Paulo City Hall in 2016 to measure housing precariousness with a view to formulating a Municipal Housing Plan. As a result of this agreement, and for the first time ever, the city of São Paulo now has a digital database of the city’s favelas. 
The CEM also produced national estimates and intra-municipal mappings for 561 municipalities on the subject of informal settlements, this time under the auspices of the Ministry of Cities in 2007. This study revealed that twice as many residents lived in precarious housing as had been estimated by the IBGE (Brazilian Institute of Geography and Statistics). The Ministry of Cities referred to the survey results in its allocation of PAC (Growth Acceleration Program) funds; the results also influenced the field organization of the 2010 IBGE Census. Since then, several municipalities have used the data to formulate their own municipal policies. 
In 2013, the CEM was hired by Emplasa (the São Paulo Metropolitan Planning Company) to estimate and characterize housing precariousness in cities in the state of São Paulo. Data were applied to the State Housing Plan in a study using the same methodology and data from 2010.  

Estudos sobre Avaliação de Políticas Publicas

5. Developing evaluation tools to ensure accountability for municipal public policy performance
The CEM designed a spatialized evaluation model focused on public safety, health and education policies for the Mato Grosso State Court of Auditors. The model provides for a panel that monitors, evaluates and controls the performance of state and municipal governments in a given area on the basis of publicly available information. 

Studies on vulnerability, urban segregation and social structure

6. Data-driven targeting of public policy to specific vulnerable communities 
The Social Vulnerability Map was produced by the CEM in 2003 under an agreement with the Municipal Social Assistance Secretariat (SAS). The CEM developed a methodology to spatialize, at census tract level, the socioeconomic conditions and the access to public policies of vulnerable populations in the city of São Paulo, based on the 2000 Census. This mapping sought to indicate locations in the city with potential demand for the creation of new public facilities. It was a pioneering study, and formed the basis for the development of the methodology adopted later in the São Paulo Social Vulnerability Index (IPVS), which was developed by the Seade Foundation.

Empowering the State to map its own capacities for public service delivery

7. Empowering the State to map its own capacities for public service delivery 
The CEM has conducted studies on municipal capacity development in housing policy management, and these informed the decisions of the Ministry of Cities on rules for housing policy financing. The studies examined the evolution of municipal management instruments of housing policy throughout the 2000s, by mapping the main programs adopted by municipalities and the various forms of intergovernmental cooperation. Administrative capacities of Brazilian municipalities for housing policy and Administrative Capacities, Deficit and Effectiveness in Housing Policy

Informing society about social and urban dynamics

Informing society and decision makers about the causes of urban violence
Foto: Marcos Santos - USP Imagens

8.    Informing society and decision makers about the causes of urban violence
The “Tackling Violence” project, funded by the British Council in Brazil in 2016 and 2017 aimed at informing society about the role of illegal markets and badly targeted security policies. It produced a 10-session course entitled “What Produces Violence”, with its target audience being actors from the fields of public security and social protection policies, i.e., the Executive, the Legislative and the Judiciary, NGOs, social movements, policy makers, and others. It also involved a range of activities aimed at the creation a Human Rights Center in São Carlos City (São Paulo state) and to support Community Centers for Youth Rights (CEDECAs) in peripheral areas of São Paulo city. Key foci included amplifying the voices of those directly affected by State violence, and violence arising from involvement with illegal markets, as well as advocacy through the promotion of successful initiatives that dispense with punitive measures such as incarceration in an effort to reduce crime. The project also offered scholarships to young blacks recruited by criminal networks.

Commitment to the diffusion of technical knowledge

Quantitative Studies and Georeferenced Information Systems (GIS)

9.    Supplying geographic data and training policymakers to use spatial analysis in policy design 
One of the fundamental raisons d’être of the Center for Metropolitan Studies has always been the dissemination of knowledge and databases to support researchers, technicians, and public sector managers. One aspect of this is the Introduction to Geoprocessing courses that the CEM has offered since 2007. Courses have already been delivered to 68 groups comprised of students from various backgrounds who were trained in spatial analysis techniques. The students came from a huge range of areas, and were city and municipal officials, university and high school teachers, undergraduate and postgraduate researchers, liberal professionals, urban planners, engineers, geographers, epidemiologists, among others.
The target public of the course was technicians, managers and researchers unfamiliar with cartographic language who had not mastered geoprocessing tools – tools that offer the potential to show data spatially, to depict information according to location, to generate spatial statistics, and to reveal relationships between different layers of data, thus broadening the scope of data analysis and exploration.

Commitment to Open Science 

A commitment to open science
Foto: Marcos Santos - USP Imagens

10.    The CEM practices a policy of open access to the research data it produces and broad dissemination of its publications, as long as in so doing it does not break the rules of the publication vehicles. Books and articles by CEM researchers are available at our site.