Primary Outcomes (end points)
Our baseline data will comprise survey answers by municipal health secretaries about perceived procurement risk, main challenges in budget execution and public service delivery in the context of COVID-19, captured by five questions asked before the intervention. Additionally, right after the interventions, participants will be requested to list a high-official in the municipality to receive further materials about the topic of the tutorial, and asked whether s/he would undertake a costly action (in terms of opportunity costs of time) to connect with other public managers on the topic of the tutorial, by informing all time slots they would be available to meet (in a structure meant to emulate a BDM elicitation procedure). Last, the survey has two optional questions at the end about the allocation of federal transfers to fight COVID-19 and the main difficulties linked to budget execution of those funds. Since those questions are after the intervention, they would allow to test for treatment effects on perceived risks, and to elicit experiment demand effects on previous budget allocations.
The follow-up dataset will repeat the 5 initial questions, and ask specifically about the usage of the templates provided by the Brazilian Attorney General’s Office.
Besides survey data, we have access to monthly data on federal transfers and respective budget leftovers for all municipalities, from CONASEMS. For health budget execution we have quarterly data from SIOPS (the federal system that monitors expenditures of the National Health System). For other, more detailed budget execution metrics (such as planned spending, delivery rates and payment rates, funded by both transfers and municipalities’ own budget), we will try to get access to quarterly data for the States of Ceará, Maranhão, Minas Gerais, Pernambuco, Piauí, Rio Grande do Norte, Rio Grande do Sul, Rio de Janeiro, Sao Paulo and Tocantins (based on contract-level data).
When it comes to health outputs and outcomes, we have monthly data from DATASUS for all municipalities. For other outcomes, such as education, we will investigate dropout rates (School Census in March/21) and standardized test scores (Prova Brasil in November/21). It is possible, nonetheless, we will not find impacts on those, as our intervention is in the early stage of public procurement. Other bottlenecks in execution and payment may prevent budget execution from increasing to a greater extent, or other constraints to quality spending might prevent higher execution from translating into improved public service delivery.