Note: This is the German translation of an English original version available at http://participedia.net/en/cases/national-public-policy-conferences-brazil
Note: this is a German translation of an English case study available at http://participedia.net/en/cases/national-public-policy-conferences-brazil
The national public order conferences (conferências nacionais de políticas públicas) are arguably the greatest and most influential participatory experiences that Brazil is currently experiencing. The national conferences consist of levels of deliberation and participation that have been created to establish guidelines for the formulation of public policies at the federal level. They have been convened by the ministries and secretariats of the executive branch, deal with various policy fields and topics, and require equal participation by the government and civil society. National conferences must be preceded by deliberations at local, state or regional level. The aggregate results of these deliberations are the subject of the national conferences attended by delegates from previous rounds. In the end, a final document with guidelines for the structure of public order is produced, which is the result of a long process of deliberation and consensus-building between government and civil society. 
The first national conferences were held in 1941. Since then, however, the scope, scope and frequency have increased, particularly after the 1988 constitution and after Lula became president in 2003.
Between 1941 and 1988, national conferences were limited to health issues. There were a total of twelve national conferences in Brazil during this time, eight of which were about health. The other four also dealt with health-related issues. In comparison, there were 80 national conferences between 1988 and 2009  . The conferences started to include more issues such as human rights and social benefits and became more institutionalized in the second half of the 1990s.
Between 1988 and 2009, the range of public policy areas covered by the conferences was increased to 33 subject areas, which were categorized into six thematic groups in Pogrebinschi's research (2010): 
- Health : health, dental health, worker health; Indigenous health, mental health, environment and health; Science, technology and innovation in healthcare; Administration of health care, health education and work; Drugs and pharmaceutical treatment;
- Minorities: rights of the elderly; Rights of people with disabilities; Rights of homosexuals, lesbians, bisexuals, transvestites and transsexuals; indigenous peoples; public policy for women; Children's and youth rights, youth, promotion of racial equality; Brazilian communities abroad;
- State, Economy and Development: Solidarity Economy; Aquaculture and fishing; sustainable and solidary development of rural areas; Food security; Cities; Public security, communication;
- Education, culture, social affairs and sport: basic education; Technical and technological education; Indigenous education; Culture; Sports; Social services;
- Human rights
Of these 33 policy areas discussed during national conferences, 22 were included in Lula's government program between 2003 and 2009 (over a seven-year period). Pogrebinschi's shows that national conferences have become more extensive, far-reaching, inclusive and frequent since 2003. In addition, their structure has become deliberative and normative. 
The conferences have become more comprehensive due to the increased number of participants, both at national, municipal, state and regional levels. This also applies to the parallel virtual conferences. The conferences have become more extensive due to the increased number of subject areas that are dealt with. Of the 33 topics that were listed, only 11 were pre-2003 topics. Only 25 of the 80 conferences held between 1988 and 2009 took place during the 15-year period between 1988 and 2003, while more than 55 conferences took place during the Lula government's 7-year period between 2003 and 2009 . 
In particular, conferences were organized during the Lula government on the topics of minorities, education, culture, social services and sports, the state, economy and development, and the environment.
In addition, as a result of increased reach and scale, national conferences have become more inclusive as they bring together more diverse and heterogeneous social groups, including representatives from civil society and NGOs, social movements, unions, business associations and other associations. This includes both experts and laypersons. Civil society has become important in proposing new policy areas and defining the political agenda. The conferences have also become a place of cooperation between social and political actors - a cooperation that goes beyond party borders and electoral obligations. The conferences take place more frequently because their resolutions have incorporated criteria that make periodic repetitions mandatory. These are supported by the guidelines of the ministries, secretariats, national councils and working groups involved in the organization and laws of the conferences, which state that some conferences have to be held every six months. [8th]
After Lula took office in 2003, the participatory conferences underwent a deliberative and normative change. The conferences became more deliberative in the sense that they evolved towards consensus building in a context of diverse groups of participants standing in a process of publicly defending arguments. They also became more normative as the deliberations led to the preparation of a final document, which was debated, voted on using different methods and strategies for consolidating preferences, and which was finally adopted. This creates expectations for those involved in the process who are not just cognitive but also normative. This will also affect those who have not participated directly but who are indirectly affected by the possible consequences of the principles adopted. 
According to official figures, approximately five million people have attended the 73 national conferences since 2003. These people are spread across all levels of the conference process. The process of deliberation begins at the local (local) or regional level, continues in all 27 states and is concluded in the national conference, which normally takes place in Brasilia, Brazil's capital. Some national conferences also previously hold 'free conferences' organized by civil society groups or 'virtual conferences' that aggregate contributions over the Internet. If a formal procedure is followed, the results of the free and virtual conferences, in addition to those of the local, regional and state conferences, are included in the basic document, which serves as the basis for deliberation at the national level. 
National conferences usually last between three and four days, but the whole process takes one year. Each national conference starts when the legal act that brings it into force and the commission that coordinates the conference. is used. The commission is made up of members of civil society and government, as are the conferences themselves (some are made up of three parties, with the third party also made up of representatives of the unions and employers' organizations involved in the issue). A very detailed agenda follows the enforcement of the internal rules that organize the process, as well as the methodology used to aggregate deliberations at all levels down to the national level. 
There is no single methodology that is used at all conferences. Some of them include very complex systems of prioritization (rather than a simple aggregation of preferences) that are used during several phases of a conference (from deliberations in the working groups to the final assembly) and in several phases before the national conference. No guideline that has been adopted at local, regional or state level is excluded in the deliberations that take place at national level. Even contradicting guidelines that have been adopted at different levels are presented again for deliberation at the national level. Even if the deliberation ends with a vote, as is the case in the final assemblies of the national conferences, the majority rule does not determine the outcome: an even distribution of votes between civil society and state representatives must be achieved to create consensus and a political guideline in to record the final report. 
Result and impact
The conferences were instrumental in improving the (participative and deliberative) design and implementation of national public policy conferences, particularly in areas where the executive has not yet implemented national principles. The most recent examples of this are the conferences on food and nutrition security, from which the first national guideline in this area was adopted in August 2010, the national youth conference, which has contributed significantly to a draft of a first national guideline on youth, which is currently being passed to Congress Assessment is available and the national conference on public security, which was held to draw up guidelines that lead to the drafting of a first national order of public security. 
The influence of national political conferences on the legislature is also growing. The final report, which contains policy guidelines and was approved by the conferences, drives legal activities in the congress. The impact on legislation can be measured based on the number of proposed laws and statutes, as well as their content. As shown in a study by Pogrebinschi (2010), from 1988 to 2009 19.8% of all laws proposed in Congress were substantially in line with the guidelines from the national conferences. The same applies to 48.5% of all constitutional laws. For the legislation passed, 7.2% of all statutes and 15.8% of all constitutional amendments passed by parliament deal with issues discussed during national conferences. 
Pogrebinchi's studies (2010) on the national conferences analyze their influence on legislative processes of the national congress between 1998 and 2009. Research shows that the conferences influenced precisely those legislative processes in the congress and thus also, through participatory and deliberative practice, representative democracy in Brazil.  Pogrebinschi emphasizes that these new mechanisms of participatory democracy should be recognized as an inherent part of representative democracy and should therefore be used to further legitimize them. 
Pogrebinchi's research has resulted in the creation of a database, ISEGORIA,  which is freely accessible to the public, the resolutions of the national conferences and summaries of the legislative decisions of the national congresses, including proposed laws, proposals to amend the constitution and laws, as well the final constitutional changes. The database enables advanced search functions based on categories such as national conference, year, topic or thematic category. It also offers keyword searches that can be used to find relevant legislative results. In addition to the information available through ISEGORIA, the database used for Pogrebinchi's research provides access to the guidelines created during the national conferences. A total of 1953 guidelines were categorized: 406 in the health sector, 349 in the 'Minorities' category, 178 in the 'Environment' category, 307 in relation to the state, economy and development, 195 in the 'Education, social services and sport' sector and 518 in in the category of human rights. 
The study also found that issues related to national conferences become more significant in terms of legislation after President Fernando Henrique Cardoso's (FHC) first mandate. This is even more so during the presidency of Luís Inácio Lula da Silva, where there was a veritable explosion of new laws related to the guidelines developed during the national conferences. The exact number is 2,233 legislative proposals being processed by the two houses of Congress, as well as 163 constitutional amendments, 216 statutes and effective constitutional amendments between 2003 and 2008, compared to 494 during FHC's mandate between 1994 and 2002.  These Findings indicate that from 2002, when Lula was elected and the dominant coalition in Congress consisted of the Workers' Party (PT) and the rest of the left-wing parties, not only the national conferences became more effective and present in the political arena, but the link between representative and participatory dimensions of democracy has been reinforced. 
Although the organization of the conferences and the implementation of the results are not legally binding, with a few exceptions, and therefore depend on the political will of the government, the conferences are very institutionalized and have a certain degree of autonomy in the state.  Since they have been institutionalized as part of the process of formulating and observing executive policies, and thus as part of that structure, national conferences have generated results that have an impact on the formation of the legislative agenda as a source of information, as a mechanism for legitimation through participation or as a deliberative input for your own representative activity. 
Avritzer, Leonardo and Cleber Gesteira Matos. (2010). Experiências Nacionais de Participação Social. São Paulo: Editora Cortes.
Pogrebinschi, Thamy and Fabiano Santos. (2010). Entre a Representação e Participação: As conferências nacionais eo experimentalismo democrático brasileiro. Série Pensando o Direito. Ministério da Justiça, Brasília.
Pogrebinschi, Thamy. (2010). The National Conferences on Public Policies in Brazil: Participation as Representation. Memo prepared to be delivered at the 'Participation and Representation in Latin America Workshop', held in Washington DC, from June 21 to 23, 2010, under the auspices of American University and the University of British Columbia, supported by the Ford Foundation.
Pogrebinschi, Thamy. (2010) Moving away from liberal democracy: Participation, representation, and political experimentalism in Brazil. Paper prepared to be delivered at the Ash Center Democracy Seminar, Harvard Kennedy School, on September 8, 2010. Available at: http://ash.harvard.edu/extension/ash/docs/pogrebinschi.pdf
Pogrebinschi, Thamy and Santos, Fabiano. (2010) Participation as Representation: The Impact of National Public Policy Conferences on the Brazilian Congress. APSA 2010 Annual Meeting Paper. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=1643679
ISEGORIA: www.mj.gov.br/isegoria [DEAD LINK] - online database that classifies and organizes information on the resolutions from the National Conferences and legislative proposals related to them.
Websites of the National Conferences:
- Administration of Healthcare Work and Education: 3rd National Conference (2006): http://conselho.saude.gov.br/wgt/
- Aquaculture and Fisheries: Resolutions for 3rd National Conference (2009): http://www.mpa.gov.br/mpa/seap/3conferencia/site/nacional/texto-base-resolucoes2-versao.pdf [DEAD LINK]
- Basic Education: (2008): http://conferencia.mec.gov.br/index.html [DEAD LINK]
- Brazilian Communities Abroad: http://www.brasileirosnomundo.itamaraty.gov.br/noticias/v-conferencia-brasileiros-no-mundo/
- Child and Adolescent Rights: 8th National Conference (2009): http://www.direitosdacrianca.org.br/8a-conferencia-dos-direitos-da-crianca-e-do-adolescente/ [DEAD LINK]
- Cities: http://www.cidades.gov.br/conselho-das-cidades
- Communication: http://proconferencia.org.br/a-conferencia/ [DEAD LINK]
- Culture: 3rd National Conference (2014): http://www.cultura.gov.br/3cnc
- Dental Health: 3rd National Conference final report (2004): http://conselho.saude.gov.br/biblioteca/Relatorios/saude_bucal.pdf
- Drugs and Pharmaceutical Care: 1st National Conference final report (2005): http://conselho.saude.gov.br/biblioteca/Relatorios/confer_nacional_de%20medicamentos.pdf
- Environment: http://www.mma.gov.br/sitio/index.php?ido=conteudo.monta&idEstrutura=116
- Environmental Health: http://126.96.36.199:8080/cnsa [DEAD LINK]
- Food and Nutrition Security: 3rd National Conference (2007): http://webcache.googleusercontent.com/search?q=cache:DCNIPkFapJUJ:www.fbssan.org.br/index.php%3Foption%3Dcom_joomdoc%26task%3Ddocument. download% 26path% 3Dinformes-do-fbssan / informativo-fbsan-n-1-marco-2007% 26Itemid% 3D639% 26lang% 3Dpt-br + & cd = 3 & hl = en & ct = clnk & gl = approx
- Gays, Lesbians, Bisexuals, Transvestites, and Transsexuals: http://www.sdh.gov.br/assuntos/lgbt
- Health: 13th National Conference (2007): http://conselho.saude.gov.br/web_13confere/index.html
- Human Rights: 11th National Conference (2008): http://portal.mj.gov.br/sedh/11cndh/site/_index.html [BROKEN LINK]
- Indigenous Education: http://coneei.mec.gov.br/
- Indigenous Health: 4th National Conference (2006): http://conselho.saude.gov.br/wsi/
- Indigenous Peoples: 1st National Conference final report (2006): http://www.funai.gov.br/projetos/Plano_editorial/Pdf/Relatorio-Conferencia.pdf [DEAD LINK]
- Mental Health: 4th National Conference (2010): http://portal.saude.gov.br/portal/saude/area.cfm?id_area=1663 [BROKEN LINK]
- Professional and Technological Education: -
- Promotion of Racial Equality: 1st National Conference final report (2005): http://www.palmares.gov.br/_temp/sites/000/2/download/ICONAPIR.pdf [DEAD LINK]
- Public Policies for Women: 1st National Conference final report (2004): http://188.8.131.52/spmu/docs/anais.pdf [DEAD LINK]
- Public Security: http://www.conseg.sp.gov.br/Default.aspx
- Rights of Persons with Disabilities: http://www.pessoacomdeficiencia.gov.br/app/conade
- Rights of the Elderly: 1st National Conference (2006): http://www.sdh.gov.br/sobre/participacao-social/conselho-nacional-dos-direitos-do-Idoso-CNDI/conferencias/conferencias
- Science, Technology and Innovation: https://www.cgee.org.br/conselhos
- Social Services: http://www.mds.gov.br/cnas
- Sports: http://www.esporte.df.gov.br/#
- Sustainable and Solidary Rural Development: http://www.mda.gov.br/
- Workers' Health: 3rd National Conference (2005): http://conselho.saude.gov.br/wst/
- Youth: http://www.juventude.gov.br/conferencia
1. ↑ Pogrebinschi, Thamy, Moving away from liberal democracy: Participation, representation, and political experimentalism in Brazil (2010). Paper delivered at the Ash Center Democracy Seminar, Harvard Kennedy School, on September 8, 2010, p.2.
2. ↑ Pogrebinschi, Thamy and Fabiano Santos. (2010). “Entre Representação e Participação: As conferências nacionais eo experimentalismo democrático brasileiro”. Série Pensando o Direito. Ministério da Justiça, Brasília, p.43.
3. ↑ These are the national conferences that possessed a: a) deliberative, b) normative and c) national character, according to Pogrebinschi's research on the national conferences (2010): Pogrebinschi, Thamy and Fabiano Santos. “Entre a Representação e Participação: As conferências nacionais eo experimentalismo democrático brasileiro”. Instituto Universitário de Pesquisas do Rio de Janeiro (IUPERJ), p.31.
4. ↑ Pogrebinschi, Thamy, Moving away from liberal democracy: Participation, representation, and political experimentalism in Brazil (2010). Paper delivered at the Ash Center Democracy Seminar, Harvard Kennedy School, on September 8, 2010, p.23.
5. ↑ Pogrebinschi, Thamy and Fabiano Santos. (2010). Relatório Final da Pesquisa “Entre a Representação e Participação: As conferências nacionais eo experimentalismo democrático brasileiro”. Série Pensando o Direito.Ministério da Justiça, Brasília, p.43.
6. ↑ Pogrebinschi, Thamy, Moving away from liberal democracy: Participation, representation, and political experimentalism in Brazil (2010). Paper delivered at the Ash Center Democracy Seminar, Harvard Kennedy School, on September 8, 2010, p.3.
7. ↑ Ibid, p.23.
8. ↑ Ibid, p.3.
9. ↑ Ibid, p.4.
10. ↑ Ibid, p.9.
11. ↑ Ibid, p.9.
12. ↑ Ibid, p.10
13. ↑ Ibid, p.11
14. ↑ Pogrebinschi, Thamy and Santos, Fabiano, Participation as Representation: The Impact of National Public Policy Conferences on the Brazilian Congress (2010). APSA 2010 Annual Meeting Paper. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=1643679 , p.5.
15. ↑ Ibid, p.5
16. ↑ Pogrebinschi, Thamy, Moving away from liberal democracy: Participation, representation, and political experimentalism in Brazil (2010). Paper delivered at the Ash Center Democracy Seminar, Harvard Kennedy School, on September 8, 2010, p.15.
17. ↑ Ministério da Justiça. ISEGORIA. http://www.mj.gov.br/isegoria [DEAD LINK]
18. ↑ Pogrebinschi, Thamy and Santos, Fabiano, Participation as Representation: The Impact of National Public Policy Conferences on the Brazilian Congress (2010). APSA 2010 Annual Meeting Paper. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=1643679 , p.7.
19. ↑ Ibid, p.20.
20. ↑ Ibid, p.21.
21. ↑ Ibid, p.5
22. ↑ Ibid, p.28.