Leakage and accountability in service delivery: Peru's "Glass of Milk" child nutrition program
Peru's "Glass of Milk" program focuses on reducing child malnutrition by assisting primarily children six years old or younger and pregnant and lactating mothers in poor marginal-urban and rural areas. After more than 20 years of program implementation, there is no evidence that the "Glass of Milk" has a significant effect on child health. This problem is associated with, among other weaknesses, fund leakages in the service delivery chain. This research analyzes the factors associated with high or low rates of leakage in the chain of supply distribution by the "Glass of Milk" program at the stage where mothers' committees interact with local governments and household beneficiaries. It adds to the literature on accountability mechanisms in public service delivery by determining whether top-down supervision or bottom-up monitoring have significant association with decreased corruption or decreased administrative inefficiencies. The research finds that mothers' committees receiving bottom-up monitoring (by beneficiaries) have roughly half the leakage rate of those that do not, whereas committees receiving top-down monitoring (by local governments) have the same average leakage rates as those that do not. This suggests that less leakage in the "Glass of Milk" program may be achieved by enhancing the incentives to household beneficiaries to collaborate in activities related to program execution, but not by intensifying supervision by municipalities over the committees.
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