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Submitted by Shanta on

Ajith: You're right. The problem is that outcomes are harder to measure than inputs and you don't have as much control over them. It's much easier, as a policymaker or development practitioner, to talk about how much money you've spent than how many more kids can read and write. But we have to resist the temptation to take the easy way out. We could start by insisting that any statement about money should be accompanied by a statement about precisely what outcomes that money is supposed to achieve--and then hold the people concerned accountable for those outcomes. For instance, whenever the World Bank's board approves a loan, we issue a press release. It includes some language about outcomes, but rarely is it precise. Nor is there a mechanism by which the readers of the press release can check whether those outcomes were achieved. We can change this! Shanta