How Indonesia Solved The Problem Of Disappearing Rice. No Fancy Tech, But Postcards

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Indonesia had a program (called Raskin) to provide subsidized rice to the poor.
The country was spending $1.5 billion a year on the program but less than half the rice was actually reaching the intended recipients.

The Postcard Experiment (Which Worked)

The solution lied in giving recipients written proof of what they were entitled to under the program.
Hundreds of thousands of postcards were sent to the intended beneficiaries of Raskin in more than 500 villages. The cards stated explicitly the eligibility for this program, how much rice they are supposed to get each month and this is how much they are supposed to pay.
What worked in their favor?
Village leaders, who were acting as middle-men lost their monopoly on information. Once villagers have an eligibility card with their name on it, they’re in a much better position to demand their full ration.

Simple, right?

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