Attend Spring Meetings on Development topics from Apr 17-21. Comment and engage with experts. Calendar of Events

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Dear Dr. Mor, Thank you for these very thoughtful remarks, and for engaging this discussion. If I might react first to your point 2): the availability of credible channels of information is, of course, a pre-condition for using these for accountability gains. Your efforts towards institutionalizing these channels within government in India are truly admirable. Thank you for sharing the recent report on this high profile initiative in India to harness ICT for more effective government functioning and greater accountability. I wonder whether this initiative might also champion the cause of filling the knowledge gaps we’re discussing here? Let me continue with education as an example: the key accountability failure in public education services that seems to have been identified for India is weak teacher incentives, reflected most visibly in high rates of teacher absenteeism. Community residents are likely to be the repositories of information about the presence or absence, or misbehavior of teachers in schools. If channels for crowd-sourced feedback of such information were created, would citizens respond in "sufficient" numbers? Would this enable state action to strengthen teacher incentives? Would this improve teacher performance and learning outcomes in public schools? My guess is the answer would be “it depends”—on the political economy context of different states, and perhaps even different districts within states; and on the design of accompanying interventions, perhaps tailored to different political economies, to encourage citizens to use such channels to exact accountability. Would there be scope within this initiative for a learning program on such questions, to evaluate actual impact on accountability? (I do have reactions on your point 1 as well, but I wonder if you would bear with me in taking this offline, so this very important discussion you have initiated on further institutionalizing and facilitating the “Right to Information” may remain in the limelight.)