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Submitted by Bob on

Dear Sam,

Thanks very much for your comments. You are right in pointing out that this is a global problem and that doing this type of political economy analysis is difficult in countries where data is lacking or deliberately being obfuscated; Without the strong support of the Tunisian authorities, this research would simply not have been feasible. The fact that many government agencies, such as the Ministry of Finance and especially the Institut National de la Statistique, are working hard to achieve greater transparency attests to the desire of the Tunisian government to clean house.

In countries where governments are less collaborative and instead completely closed, such political economy analysis is (even) harder, yet all the more important. I believe the Banks's insistence on open data access are very useful in this regard. Where authorities are deliberately shying away from sharing data that can be used to help public policies, we should be especially on guard.