Christian Science Monitor: Fix aid delivery to India's poor
"The World Bank on Wednesday recommended a radical overhaul of India’s social programs. “Marginal changes alone may not deliver the kind of safety net which a changing India needs for its poor and for its economy,” Mr. Blomquist wrote.
One of the primary problems, the World Bank said, was “leakages” — an often-used term in development circles that refers to government administrators and middle men stealing money, food and benefits. The bank said that 59 percent of the grain allotted for public distribution to the poor does not reach those households."
The good news is 59% is lower than what many U.S charities grab in administrative fees!
So, how can the donor and the Indian poor "cut out the middlemen" and transact their transfer transaction? If the poor had direct deposits, then the donor could directly wire in the resources. I realize that the poor do not have bank accounts. An alternative would be if the Donor could "helicopter drop" the equivalent of "debit cards" that would have a fixed amount of $ on them and could be used for food purchases at any time. In both cases, improvements in technology allow the donor to connect with the poor without having to trust some government or middle man to distribute the food.
There could also be more randomized field audits to test for corruption in India and those who are caught could be punished in a high profile setting. Such "shock and awe" examples might deter some corruption and thus help the poor. ...