The South–South Partnership Puzzle: The Brazilian Health Expert Community in Mozambique

  • Paulo Esteves
  • Manaíra Assunção
Part of the International Political Economy Series book series (IPES)


The chapter looks at Brazilian health cooperation by focusing on one aspect that is often overlooked in studies about SSC: the sociology of SSC workers. The analysis departs from the position of the “cooperantes” that conduct Brazilian SSC based on their own policy experiences at home. By telling the story of how the BHEC was founded, the chapter explores the country’s progressive internationalization through an engagement in minilateral arrangements, such as the MERCOSUL, the UNASUL and the CPLP, as well as structuring SSC projects in health. The latter are referred to here as the South–South cooperation fold in health. The SSC fold supposedly gathers together agents from diverse countries around a shared understanding of health and healthcare in the aid relationship. However, taking the case of the health partnership with Mozambique and the establishment of an antiretroviral factory, the chapter argues that the common vocabulary is always subject to particular interpretations. These depend on the networks and sociohistorical processes in which the expert communities are embedded—that is, the agents’ structural positions.


Subject Position Health Expert Technical Cooperation Expert Community Public Healthcare System 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


  1. de Abreu, Fernando. 2013, June 28. O Brasil e a cooperação Sul-Sul. Rio de Janeiro: Colloquium BRICS Policy Center.Google Scholar
  2. Almeida, Celia. 2006. Health sector reform in Latin America and the Caribbean: The role of international organizations in formulating agendas and implementing policies. Well-being and Social Policy 2: 123–160.Google Scholar
  3. Almeida, Celia, Rodrigo P. Campos, Paulo Buss, José R. Ferreira, and Luiz E. Fonseca. 2010. Brazil’s conception of South–South ‘structural cooperation’ in health. Revista Eletrônica de Comunicação, Informação & Inovação em Saúde: 23–32.Google Scholar
  4. Bourdieu, Pierre. The field of cultural production: Essays on art and literature. New York: Columbia University Press, 1984.Google Scholar
  5. Buss, Paulo M. 2011. Brazil: Structuring cooperation for health. Lancet 377: 1722–1723.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Buss, Paulo M. and José R. Ferreira 2010. Health diplomacy and South–South cooperation: The experiences of UNASUR Salud and CPLP’s strategic plan for cooperation in health. Revista Eletrônica de Comunicação, Informação & Inovação em Saúde 4: 99–110.Google Scholar
  7. Buss, Paulo M. 2009. A UNASUL Saúde. Le Monde Diplomatique Brasil 26: 30–31.Google Scholar
  8. Buss, Paulo M., and Alberto P. Filho. 2007. A Saúde e seus Determinantes Sociais. Physis: Revista de Saúde Coletiva 17: 77–93.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Cesarino, L. 2013. South–South cooperation across the Atlantic: Emerging interfaces in international development and technology transfer in agriculture. PhD Dissertation. University of California, Berkeley.Google Scholar
  10. Cesarino, Letícia M.C.N. 2012. Anthropology of development and the challenge of South–South cooperation. VIBRANT—Virtual Brazilian Anthropology. April 4. Accessed 25 Sep 25, 2015.
  11. Comunidade dos Países de Língua Portuguesa. 2009. Plano Estratégico de Cooperação em Saúde na CPLP (PECS/CPLP) 2009–2012. Lisbon: New University of Lisbon, Anais do Instituto de Higiene e Medicina Tropical.Google Scholar
  12. Escorel, Sarah. 1999. Reviravolta na Saude: origem e articulação do movimento sanitario. Rio de Janeiro: Fiocruz.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Escorel, Sarah, Dilene Raimundo do Nascimento, and Flavio Coelho Edler. 2005. “As origens da Reforma Sanitária e do SUS.” In Saúde e Democracia: história e perspectivas do SUS, edited by Nísia Trindade Lima, Silvia Gerschman, Flavio Coelho Edler, and Julio Manuel Suárez, 59-81. Rio de Janeiro: Fiocruz.Google Scholar
  14. Esteves, Paulo, and Manaíra Assunção. 2014. South–South cooperation and the international development battlefield: between the OECD and the UN. Third World Quarterly 35(10): 1775–1790.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Ferreira, José Roberto. 1976. Estrategias internacionales en educación médica: asistencia técnica y cooperación técnica. Educación Médica y Salud 10(4): 335–344.Google Scholar
  16. Fraundorfer, Markus. 2015. Brazil’s emerging role in global governance: health, food security and bioenergy. New York: Palgrave Macmillan.Google Scholar
  17. Fiocruz. 2012 Centro de Relações Internacionais em Saúde (CRIS). Relatório de Atividades. Accessed May 25, 2015.
  18. Fiocruz. 2013. Centro de Relações Internacionais em Saúde (CRIS). Relatório de Atividades. Accessed May 25, 2015.
  19. Hodges, Tony, and Tibana, Roberto. 2012. Political economy of the budget in Mozambique. [complete final manuscript, 12 December 2004]. Accessed February 15, 2016.
  20. Høg, Erling. 2014. HIV scale-up in Mozambique: Exceptionalism, normalisation and global health. Global Public Health 9: 210–223.Google Scholar
  21. Irwin, A., and E. Scali. 2007. Action on the social determinants of health: A historical perspective. Global Public Health: An International Journal for Research, Policy and Practice 2(3): 235–256.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS). 2010. Global Report. UNAIDS Report on the Global AIDS Epidemic. Geneva: UNAIDS. Accessed August 31, 2015.
  23. Leander, Anna, and Tanja Aalberts. 2013. Introduction: The co-constitution of legal expertise and international security. Leiden Journal of International Law 26: 783–792.Google Scholar
  24. Lewis, David, and David Mosse. 2006. Development brokers and translators: The ethnography of aid and agencies. Bloomfield: Kumarian Pressa, Inc..Google Scholar
  25. Mosse, David. 2011. Adventures in aidland: The anthropology of professionals in international development. New York: Berghahn.Google Scholar
  26. Nunes, T.C.M. 1998. A Especialização em saúde pública e os serviços de saúde no Brasil de 1970 a 1989. Tese de Doutorado, Rio de Janeiro: Escola Nacional de Saúde Pública, Fundação Oswaldo Cruz.Google Scholar
  27. Olwig, Mette F. 2013. Beyond translation: Reconceptualizing the role of local practitioners and the development ‘interface’. European Journal of Development Research 5: 428–444.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Ooms, Gorik. 2008. Shifting paradigms: How the fight for ‘universal access to AIDS treatment and prevention’ supports achieving ‘comprehensive primary health care for all.’ Globalization and Health.Google Scholar
  29. Pavignani, Enrico, and Joaquim R. Durão. 1997. Aid, change and second thoughts: Managing external resources in the health sector in Mozambique. Maputo, Mozambique: Ministry of Health. Accessed July 20, 2015.
  30. Pfeiffer, James. 2003. International NGOs and primary health care in Mozambique: The need for a new model of collaboration. Social Science & Medicine 56: 725–738.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Roa, Alejandro C., and Felipe R. Baptista e Silva. 2015. Fiocruz as an actor in Brazilian foreign relations in the context of the Community of Portuguese-Speaking Countries: an untold story. História, Ciências, Saúde – Manguinhos, 22(1): 1–16.Google Scholar
  32. Russo, Giuliano, Lícia de Oliveira, Alex Shankland, and Tânia Sitoe. 2014. On the margins of aid orthodoxy: The Brazil-Mozambique collaboration to produce essential medicines in Africa. Globalization and Health, 10:70, 1–8.Google Scholar
  33. ———. 1986. A função de desenvolvimento de recursos humanos do INAMPS/MPAS. Rio de Janeiro. Cad. Saúde Pública 2: 570–575.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Ventura. 2013. Public health and Brazilian foreign policy. Sur-International Journal of Human Rights 10: 95–112.Google Scholar
  35. Vujicic, Marko, Stephanie E. Weber, Irina A. Nikolic, Rifat Atun, and Ranjana Kumar. 2011. GAVI, the Global Fund and the World Bank support for human resources for health in developing countries. Series produced by Health, Nutrition and Population Family. The World Bank’s Human Development Network: 1-16. AnAnalysisofGaviTheGlobalFundAndTheWorldBankSupportForHumanResourcesForHealthInDevelopingCountries.pdf. Accessed August 10, 2015.
  36. Werner, D., and D. Sanders. 1997. Questioning the solution: The politics of primary health care and child survival. Palo Alto, CA: Healthwrights.Google Scholar
  37. WHO and UNICEF. 1978, September 6–12. Primary Health Care: Report of the International Conference on Primary Health Care, Alma-Ata, USSR. Geneva: WHO.Google Scholar
  38. World Bank. 1987. Financing health services in developing countries: An agenda for reform. Washington, DC: World Bank.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Zanchetta, Margareth S., et al. 2014. Enhancing critical reflection of Brazilian Community Health Agents’ awareness of social determinants of health. SAGE Open, 1-14.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Paulo Esteves
    • 1
  • Manaíra Assunção
    • 2
    • 3
  1. 1.Institute of International Relations - Pontifical Catholic University of Rio de Janeiro, BRICS Policy CenterRio de JaneiroBrazil
  2. 2.Marie Curie Fellow - PRIMO NetworkUniversity of HamburgHamburgGermany
  3. 3.Associated Researcher BRICS Policy CenterRio de JaneiroBrazil

Personalised recommendations