Syndicate content

Add new comment

Submitted by Ritva Reinikka on
Thanks very much for sharing the findings of your interesting paper on Benin and those from your work in India. In the Africa region we are discussing demand side governance a lot these days. You are finding that information alone will not create incentives to perform better and improve service delivery. One would need enforcement or at least a threat of enforcement. You mention that, "one of our emerging conclusions is that accountability failures of lower-level bureaucrats and providers are more likely to be addressed when higher-level politicians or powerful state actors endorse the information, signaling to civil society that their action on its basis will be taken seriously." In my Uganda experience in the 1990s this threat was definitely there as finance and other central government officials took the findings of leakage from the first public expenditure tracking survey in education seriously and initially indicted numerous district officials (which made headline news). While I have no research results on this aspect specifically, it likely sent a strong signal that the higher levels cared about what happened on the ground. And having the evidence out in the open made sure that the officials knew that the citizens knew ... and that the citizens knew that the officials knew that the citizens knew....