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Submitted by Shanta on

Benim: Thanks for the thoughtful, if provocative, set of comments and questions. I agree that if the problem is government failure--that there isn't a political consensus for reforms that promote the interests of the poor--then the World Bank's and other aid agencies' traditional instruments--finance and knowledge in the form of advice to governments--are unlikely to bring about real change. However, there are alternatives. For example, if the Bank's knowledge is used to inform the public in general, and the poor in particular, about the benefits to them of reform, then it increases the chances that the elites will respond (for they don't want to lose power). Furthermore, if they come about, these policy reforms will make finance more productive, so that if there is, as you say, "an imperative to lend," this imperative will be more easily met. Shanta