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Submitted by Shanta on

Zahidbhai: Thanks for reviving this important issue. Your last point, that it is difficult to advance reforms in the face of powerful elites, raises a fundamental question about aid. How can government-to-government aid be a way of achieving reforms when forces within the government are resisting those same reforms? Elsewhere (, I have suggested that aid can be effective only if it is "disruptive." But few governments want to be disrupted. Perhaps aid should be used for only two things: (i) knowledge about government failure that is transferred to the poor, so they can bring pressure to bear on the elites; and (ii) cash transfers so that citizens, not governments, decide what to consume. Shanta