Mapping Survey Taxation and Development

This study provides a country-specific and a thematic overview of activities and initiatives undertaken to improve revenue systems in developing countries.
May 2010

The present mapping study reveals that quite a number of actors are already working on taxation and development, reflecting the importance of mobilizing own revenues for sustainable development and poverty reduction. Including bilateral donors, international and multilateral institutions, regional networks, NGOs and research institutes, these actors cover a very broad range of organizations with different priorities and modalities of work. Yet, the mapping reveals that these organizations are often active in the same region or even country and mostly work on identical or at least related aspects of taxation and development. 

With respect to country-specific activities, the study indicates a generally good worldwide coverage of tax-related assistance projects. Yet, activities are partly very intense with up to five donors working on tax issues in the same country while other countries are not supported at all. Especially in Africa where revenue raising capacities are weak, there is both the need and the scope for more assistance in the area of taxation and development. With respect to the topical mapping, tax-related activities cover a very broad range of issues including many aspects, areas of expertise and country groups. These activities are often carried out by all of the organizations with only slight concentration on selected issues. Thus, the division of labor between the different actors is still rather weak.  

The activities of the organizations described in this study indicate a high potential of duplication of work, including projects of multiple donors in a specific country as well as identical working areas as regards the content of the programmes undertaken. Although it is not clear whether duplications actually occur, it is obvious that organizations need to increase the level of information sharing to guarantee that assistance is indeed complementary and aligned.