Hot potato

precisely because it has so many determinants, no one in government is willing to hold him or herself accountable for reducing child mortality.

That’s Shanta Devarajan, the World Bank’s Chief Economist for the Africa Region, on why so many countries are unlikely to meet their child mortality goals–a reduction by two-thirds–by 2015. He writes in his excellent new blog, AfricaCan.

Devarajan says that since politicians won’t take responsibility, informing parents is key.

The Bank has been on an information campaign for many years. I think it’s rooted in inclinations to microeconomic theory plus a few pieces of evidence like this brilliant corruption experiment in Uganda. The popular story is that corruption was slashed merely by publicly informing parents how much money was supposed to go where. While certainly true, a closer look suggests that the influence of information was small, and the popular wisdom somewhat exaggerated.

Readers: any good evidence on what drives down child mortality?