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When government policies are based on sound data and research, and are built and executed with efficiency, the outcomes can be remarkable. Such is the case with academia da cicade in Brazil. These are local gyms or fitness centres for citizens and are available for free. Based on the idea that people know what is unhealthy so it is access to affordable fitness routines and good instructors that can make the difference, the fitness centres are popular with the poverty-stricken and violence-prone population. They are already making a difference. However, there are more lessons as well – how difficult it is to keep something so useful sustainable.