CHANNELLING development aid directly to local decision-makers sounds like a good plan. Empowering local groups like community clubs and school boards means decisions can reflect actual needs on the ground. It should mean fewer bureaucratic hands in the pot, too. But a new report by two World Bank economists warns against relying on decisions made at the most local level of government. Entrenched elites, bribery and fraud are as much of a problem in village life as they are in big emerging-market bureaucracies.