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Foreign policy and bureaucratic efficiency (1998-2022)

Grant number: 22/06597-8
Support Opportunities:Regular Research Grants
Duration: June 01, 2023 - May 31, 2025
Field of knowledge:Applied Social Sciences - Administration - Public Administration
Principal Investigator:Pedro Feliú Ribeiro
Grantee:Pedro Feliú Ribeiro
Host Institution: Instituto de Relações Internacionais (IRI). Universidade de São Paulo (USP). São Paulo , SP, Brazil
Associated researchers: Camilo Martín López Burian ; Francisco Urdinez ; Italo Beltrão Sposito ; Luis Leandro Schenoni Santos ; Pietro Carlos de Souza Rodrigues ; Rodolfo de Camargo Lima ; Túlio Sérgio Henriques Ferreira


What is the most efficient way to organize diplomatic bureaucracy and distribute a country's foreign policy resources? Foreign policy is still, unlike other public policies, treated as a black box with regard to the use of public resources. However, given the contextual changes and the consequent complexity of the process of formulating and executing foreign policy, it is crucial to understand the efficiency of the distribution of public resources in the country's diplomacy. This project aims to collect data and develop an efficiency index that allows evaluating the diplomatic representations of Brazil and federal spending on foreign policy between 1998 and 2022. Given the importance of foreign policy as a means of achieving important national goals, the evaluation of the efficiency of spending in diplomacy can produce positive impacts without necessarily demanding an increase in resources. The research intends to use an index of international engagement of Brazil disaggregated by country as the result of foreign policy, considering several dimensions of the country's international insertion and not just commercial and economic aspects. On the other hand, the human and financial resources used in each diplomatic representation of the country, as well as the other federal resources used in foreign countries, configure the expense with diplomacy. We use the Data Envelopment Analysis (DEA) as our main method. Based on a linear combination of foreign policy expenditures and results, DEA allows specifying the efficiency frontier, building an efficiency index and comparing the performance of diplomatic representations and countries' expenses over time. In addition to offering a new database on the performance of the Chancellery, we hope to publish our results in academic journals, in addition to producing and disseminating a complete report with recommendations for improvements by the Brazilian diplomatic organization, subsidizing important discussions such as those currently taking place in the Federal Senate on the Itamaraty's efficiency. Finally, we aim to build a website with easy and didactic access to all the data collected, contributing to the transparency of Brazilian spending on foreign policy. (AU)

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