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Integrity, human rights and public procurement in energy projects in Brazil

Grant number: 19/05627-8
Support type:Research Grants - Visiting Researcher Grant - International
Duration: January 05, 2020 - January 19, 2020
Field of knowledge:Applied Social Sciences - Law
Cooperation agreement: CONFAP ; Newton Fund, with FAPESP as a partner institution in Brazil ; UK Academies
Principal Investigator:Oscar Vilhena Vieira
Grantee:Oscar Vilhena Vieira
Visiting researcher: Liliane Chantal Mouan
Visiting researcher institution: Coventry University, England
Home Institution: Escola de Direito de São Paulo (DIREITO GV). Fundação Getúlio Vargas (FGV). São Paulo , SP, Brazil

Abstract

The interplay between public procurement, corruption and human rights is increasingly drawing closer scrutiny and raising questions about the role and duty of the state in addressing these challenges. In Brazil, recent events have brought this issue into sharp focus. Most notably, the Lava Jato corruption investigation uncovered collusion of a Brazilian conglomerate, a state-owned oil company and state officials in the procurement of public work contracts. One such contract was for the construction of the Belo Monte hydroelectric power plant, the world's third largest hydropower station, which has been heavily criticised for its negative impacts on local communities' rights and the environment. Together, these issues call forth the need to map human rights and corruption risks in the energy sector which plays a crucial role in the Brazilian economy. They also require the identification of areas of reform, including issues related to transparency and integrity of procurement systems. The proposed mobility exchange will enable closer links between the Centre for Financial and Corporate Integrity at Coventry University, and the Business and Human Rights Centre of Fundação Getúlio Vargas (FGV CeDHE), to develop high quality research activities in the area of integrity and human rights of procurement systems. We seek the support of the Coventry Co-Investigator (Co-I), Dr Mouan, to travel to São Paulo for 15 days in August 2019 in order to work with the Principal Investigator (PI) Professor Vilhena and other researchers of FGV CeDHE. The proposed visit would represent a first step towards establishing a comprehensive programme of research on integrity, human rights and public procurement in energy projects in emerging markets. Specifically, it would provide the Co-I, the PI and other collaborators with a unique opportunity to critically examine the current state of affairs regarding the above-mentioned issues in Brazil, compare this with the experiences of other emerging markets, and begin to plan for future developments in the partnership. The Co-I will be involved in 2 applied research projects of FGV CeDHE, namely What are companies reporting on human rights and what should they report to effectively prevent human rights risks and violations? and Click and Report,. The first project focuses on the promotion of an effective human rights reporting in Brazil, while the second focuses on increasing social participation in the decision making process of large infrastructure projects. Therefore, combined, the projects will enable the Co-I to actively contribute to the debate on transparency, human rights and public procurement in Brazil, particularly in the energy sector. For this, a comprehensive programme of research activities has been planned, as detailed in the main proposal. (AU)