Instituto Atuação – Brazil

Summer 2018 Fellow: Elena Crespo ‘20 (Public Policy)

Office Description

Instituto Atuação’s mission is the development of Brazilian democracy, with a focus on building a more democratic political culture, one of Brazil’s greatest challenge at the moment. Atuação is a Think + Do Tank, by developing internationally relevant research on democracy, and facilitating the implementation of initiatives to transform political culture. As we deepen our understanding of what constitutes a democratic political culture – i.e. political knowledge, community life (social capital) and levels of trust – the strategic locus to tackle this challenge presents itself at the local level, the communities, cities, where we develop and share our relationships and social ties. Thus comes Atuação’s short-term focus in the Cidade Modelo (Model City) Program, which aims to be a laboratory for democratic and civic innovations in the city of Curitiba. We facilitate the collaboration of cross-sector leadership in the city, providing research, and convening important actors to design and implement the most adequate interventions for each topic. A Local Democracy Index was also developed, by using data from a 900-people survey, stakeholder in-depth interviews, and background research on political culture theory.

Potential Projects

The major steps of this internship project are:

  • Familiarization with Instituto Atuação’s research agenda
  • Study of Systems Thinking methodology;
  • Familiarization with the Model City Program;
  • Study of our previous research works on the main theories that affect the development of a democratic political culture, and proposal of further literature and concepts that enrich our research agenda;
  • Analysis of the local (Curitiba) data available on that subject;
  • Development of benchmark and case studies in the proposed field of research, aimed at identifying relevant initiatives that may contribute to understand the situation of democratic culture in Curitiba, as described by the “Local Democracy Index”;
  • Proposing and developing a practical agenda that complement the previous theoretical research with data from Curitiba, by proposing, and possibly, conducting, in- depth interviews, surveys or other suitable research methodologies.

Desired Skills

  • A strong interest in democracy and development, specifically in democratic political culture, civic engagement, governance and public policy;
  • Proven research, writing and analytical skills;
  • Knowledge in quantitative and qualitative research methods;
  • Knowledge and previous experience on Latin American studies or on countries similar to Brazil;
  • Field research experience is highly desirable;
  • Good initiative, team spirit, work ethics and communication skills;
  • Ability to work in a multicultural environment;
  • Language proficiency or familiarity in Portuguese is highly desirable, but not necessary.
Apply Now!