ZANMOD – simulating tax and benefit policies for development in Zanzibar

ZANMOD is freely accessible for non-commercial research use. You may request access to the model here

ZANMOD, the tax-benefit microsimulation model for Zanzibar, is a highly versatile yet easy to use tool for policy makers and researchers alike. It allows the user to analyse and compare the effects of different benefit policy scenarios on poverty, inequality, and government revenues.

The model applies user-defined tax and benefit policy rules to micro-data on individuals and households and calculates the effects of these rules on household income.

With ZANMOD, users can simulate reforms of the Zanzibarian tax and benefit system. They can estimate, for example, the number of beneficiaries and analyse the characteristics of the prospective recipients of a hypothetical benefit. ZANMOD also allows users to implement hypothetical income tax and social security reforms and calculate their effects on inequality and the government budget. Existing policies or past policy reforms can be evaluated as well.

ZANMOD can answer for example following questions:

  • Do the prospective recipients of a new cash transfer work in the formal or informal sector?
  • How much would the proposed policy cost?
  • How could tax rates be increased to offset additional expenditures on social protection?

Possible policy reform simulations in ZANMOD include:

  • a scaled-up universal pension scheme
  • a universal child benefit
  • a universal old-age pension
  • a simplified presumptive income tax regime

ZANMOD has been developed in co-operation with the national team at Zanzibar Revenue Authority (ZRA), Southern African Social Policy Research Insights (SASPRI), and UNU-WIDER. ZANMOD is based on the 2019/20  Household Budget Survey (HBS), allowing for representative results on the national and sub-national level. Policies are simulated for the years 2019–23.

The model was launched in 2023, back-to-back with the first training course on the model. It is included in the 2024 SOUTHMOD model bundle, complementing the country model for Mainland Tanzania, TAZMOD.


Zanzibar Report v1.1