HBGDki is developing a collaboration with Dr. Maurício Barreto and his CIDACS team to leverage Brazil’s unified registry of social programs that includes 114 million people. Brazilian solutions to reduce inequity and improve health for the poor may be translatable to other countries.

On June 26–27, 2017, HBGDki team members Thea Norman and Tom Peppard met with Grand Challenges recipient Dr. Maurício Barreto and his team of data scientists, subject matter experts, and software developers in Salvador, Brazil, to share background on HBGDki and Centro de Integração de Dados e Conhecimentos para Saúde (CIDACS) projects and identify possible collaboration opportunities (Figure 1).

Figure 1. Participants of the meeting at Centro de Integração de Dados e Conhecimentos para Saúde (CIDACS). Left to right: Maria Yury Ichihara, Alex Menezes, Rosemeire Fiaccone, Leila Amorim, Maurício Lima Barreto, Thea Norman, Tom Peppard, Agostino Strina.

As part of their Grand Challenges project, the CIDACS team has developed a population-based cohort from the Cadastro Único (CADU), Brazil’s unified registry of social programs that includes 114 million people – half of the Brazilian population. CIDACS is in the process of linking the CADU database to databases for births, deaths, infectious diseases, nutrition, growth, hospitalization, subsidized housing, and water, positioning CIDACS as a premier data center.

The Brazilian cohort of 114 million digital anonymized subjects will become available for open research, providing a unique opportunity to study the impact of Brazil’s social protection programs (i.e., cash transfer, housing, wells) on diverse outcomes including health, education, work, and crime.

For the Foundation, the CIDACS work creates an opportunity to understand interventions, such as Brazil’s social protection programs, that reduced inequity and improved health for the poorest Brazilians. Lessons from Brazil may be translatable and inspiring to other countries that struggle with the same issues.

The CIDACS team is excited to pilot a collaboration with HBGDki in early 2018 that will focus on core HBGDki questions and evaluate nutritional and anthropometric covariates from the CIDACS data.

Natural experiments including policy evaluation and longitudinal data analysis using HBGDki modeling tools are being planned to provide answers to questions including:

1. What can we learn about stunting, wasting, and metabolic disease in Brazil by evaluating links between causative factors and outcomes?
2. Why is there persistent stunting and wasting in specific parts of the Brazilian population?
3. How does stunting trajectory compare between Brazil and other countries?
4. How does Brazil’s cash transfer program Bolsa Família improve primary care expansion and focus?