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Published June 30, 2021 | Version v1
Journal article Open

Social participation in water and sanitation planning in the city of Belem, State of Para, Brazil, between 1980 and 2015(in Portuguese).

  • 1. Federal University of Western Para, Santarem, Para, Brazil


The article discusses the role of social participation in the development and

implementation of three water and sanitation plans for the city of Belem, capital of theState of Para, Brazil: the Belem 2000 plan, which was launched in 1980; the Master
Plan for Water Supply and Sanitation for the Belem Metropolitan Region, developed
between 2004 and 2006; and the 2015 Municipal Basic Sanitation Plan. My research,
based on a qualitative approach, found that the role of social participation in the plans
was strongly influenced by the underlying forms of rationality of these plans. In the
normative rationality that predominated in the plans drawn up in 1980 and 2015,
social participation was limited to the participation of technicians, also due to legal
requirements. In contrast, the strategic rationality of the plan developed between 2004
and 2006 introduced a dialogue between different social sectors, which resulted in
processes of community-based validation and social legitimation of the plans. The
results show that merely tokenistic participation, as promoted by normative rationality
in public policy, tends to negatively affect social participation, especially in a context
like Belem’s during the period of the study, which was marked by the promotion of
private investment in water and sanitation services.


Vol8.No2 Art3.pdf

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