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Dear Dr. Khemani, Thank for a very revealing post. I am so glad to learn that researchers such as yourselves are spending your time examining this very critical issue very carefully and building up the evidence base for what does not work; what works and the transmission path through which it does. I wanted to take this opportunity to share with you some of my perspectives on this issue as well and to solicit your reactions to them: 1. I wonder if the Central Limit Theorem does not apply to political processes so that what comes to fore are the central tendencies and not the tails. And perhaps the only way to counter this effect is to ensure that separate political processes are set up for each area of importance (such as Brazil's Health Assemblies and Councils) so that the averaging process now applies within a narrower domain. 2. As you point out in your Post, it is indeed possible for address failures at lower levels even within the current system. But given the complex ways in governments actually work in Federal structures like India there are many ways in which "accountability" finds expression. A recent report (www.bit.ly/TAGUP) takes the view (see Chapter 9) that transparency and crowd-sourced feedback has to become an integral part of government's own information systems and the default rather than the exception. I feel that these instruments will gradually reduce information-latency in the system and make it possible for resource allocation to happen in a more "accountable" fashion. For example this information could feed into the NDC and into Planning Commission led allocation processes. Eventually these channels could have great power as well even if they don't immediately impact electoral outcomes. Sincerely, Nachiket Mor