TaxDev researchers work closely with analysts and policymakers in partner countries to compile data, support the development of quantitative and technical skills, and conduct applied modelling and analysis. We work to respond to the priorities of our partners, supporting them to answer the key policy questions they face, and to better integrate evidence into the policymaking process.
TaxDev has been working with tax policy teams in finance ministries and revenue authorities in Ghana and Ethiopia since February 2016. As part of the expansion and extension of the programme in 2018, and in collaboration with ODI, we entered into two new partnerships with the Governments of Rwanda and Uganda in mid-2019.
In all four countries we work with partners to prepare for budgets and regular fiscal events, respond to new policy priorities, and to support longer-term reform objectives. This involves providing input into forecasting, budgeting, policy appraisal and costing processes, and assessing the impacts of proposed and actual policy reforms. In addition to assessing the revenue effects of polices, we work with partners to undertake analysis of the growth and distributional effects, and crucially to assess how specific policies impact upon low-income households. Most recently, we have also been working closely with partners as they develop strategies to respond to the coronavirus pandemic.
As well as informing decisions in particular policy areas, our co-production methodology aims to foster increased analytical capacity within government and support the development of sustainable models, tools and methods which can be used by partners over the long-term. We also collaborate with analysts and policymakers to assess the current opportunities and obstacles to making greater use of evidence in the policymaking process at different levels of government.
Across TaxDev, we share skills, experience, methods and resources to create linkages across countries and workstreams.
Broadly speaking, our work is organised around three main areas, which are outlined below:
A lack of access to taxpayer-level administrative data remains a key constraint for tax policy teams in many low- and middle-income countries, and much of the analysis undertaken currently relies heavily on aggregate revenue data, which may not provide sufficient detail to answer complex policy questions. Our goal is to work with partners to identify, source and compile relevant data and invest in relationships and mechanisms to support data sharing and extraction.
Using better data, we collaborate with analysts to enhance technical capacity through formal training, the co-design of applied research projects and the co-production of analysis. We work with partners to build statistical software and data analysis skills, critically assess and incorporate empirical evidence, build models and tools, and interpret and communicate findings. The aim is to support our partners to better shape the policy agenda and work with policymakers and politicians to make policy choices based on careful considerations of trade-offs and interactions.
We are also working to strengthen the bridge between the research conducted by analysts and the policy decision-making process. This involves reviewing the tax policymaking process and how it fits in to the wider budgeting process, looking at approaches to engage with external stakeholders including businesses and civil society organisations, and identifying some of the organisational constraints to conducting and using analysis, including investigating options to free up more human resources for analysis.
More detailed information about the specific work in each country can be found on our country pages.