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Submitted by Shanta on

Junaid: Thanks for the insightful comment. Yes, it is possible to do something "small" with the compact when the politics is dysfunctional (and, when it works, scale it up), as your Bangladesh arsenic case shows. But I still think it's a case of "politician-proof public policy". The intervention was small enough that the politicians didn't notice, nor did they anticipate that it could grow to a scale that undermines their rents. Sometimes, the political system is so weak and chaotic that it is possible to introduce reforms in the compact. Contracting out secondary education to the non-state sector in Bangladesh is an example. When the government saw that the innovation was working, they decided to implement it nationwide. We should continue to look for such opportunities, but we should be clear about what we're doing (tricking the politicians into not noticing). Since such opportunities are rare, we should devote more attention to changing the incentives facing politicians. Shanta