Intersectorality in a conditional cash transfer programme: Actors, convergences and conflicts

This study aimed to analyse intersectoral arrangements among the health, education and social assistance sectors in the operationalization of the Bolsa Família Program (BFP). A qualitative approach was carried out, in a peripheral region of a large urban centre of Southeast Brazil. Data content analysis was performed on the basis of reference in the Actor–Network Theory (ANT) using statements by the actors and considering ideas in dispute and work processes in the geopolitical territorial context. Seventeen managers of Municipal Secretariats of Health, Education and Social Assistance were interviewed, as were basic education, primary health care and social assistance professionals. One-off, episodic and discontinuous intersectoral actions were identified, with limited integration among sectors. Convergences and conflicts were found with respect to the institutional processes of BFP. The convergences referred to the conceptions shared among the actors about the role of intersectoral collaboration, as they recognize themselves as providing care to the same vulnerable population. Considering the multiple vulnerabilities of these families, the convergence of actions from different sectors can impact factors that condition inequalities. The conflicts were related to institutional conditions, to sectorized work processes and to a lack of understanding by professionals about the duties of their respective sectors.