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Information systems and intergovernmental relations in Brazilian social policies: a study on users’ adaptations to the local context

Manuella Maia Ribeiro Eduardo H. Diniz Lya Cynthia Porto de Oliveira Sarah Martins Faleiros About the authors


The goal of the paper is to identify barriers to the adoption of information systems in Brazilian federal government social policies at the local level. The study focuses on users of information systems from other intergovernmental organizations that helped the federal government in the implementation of social public policies, especially at the local level. The federal government has been using information and communication technologies (ICT) to improve federal coordination of various social programs. This means that technology has been another component in the implementation of these policies. This paper adopts the assumption that users of information systems can change the context of technology use, not only the technology or information system itself. These changes, which were not foreseen by the system designers or policymakers, may explain the success or failure of the adoption of these systems in social policies coordinated by the Brazilian federal government. Case studies of two social programs in different areas (education and social assistance) were carried out in two Brazilian states (Pará and São Paulo). The focus of the article was to identify how users of information systems alter the context of information systems use. The findings helped to identify two dimensions that can cause difficulties or changes in the use of intergovernmental information systems at the local level: the technical and administrative capabilities of local governments and the rigidity of information systems and sharing of data and information to subnational participants of federal government social policies.

Intergovernmental relations; Information systems; Social policies

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