UNU-WIDER and Norad agree on new USD 10 million research and capacity-building programme on domestic revenue mobilization

On Thursday 21 November, UNU-WIDER signed a contract with the Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation (Norad) for a research and capacity-building programme on domestic revenue mobilization (DRM). The aim of the programme is to help improve developing countries’ tax systems and strengthen their domestic capacities for revenue collection, leading to increased tax revenues.

The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development has set out ambitious goals for the world community. Several of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) recognize specifically the challenge of raising revenue in order to finance public spending in a sustainable manner to ultimately combat poverty and inequality. These challenges are particularly salient for developing countries.

Partnerships for development

Collaborating with UNU-WIDER – a global institute with strong ties to all developing regions and specialized in collaborative research on key policy questions – Norad’s support to the programme aims to strengthen the knowledge base on tax through North–South–South partnerships. The programme will build on UNU-WIDER's research and impact in the DRM area over the last five years.

Kunal Sen signing the agreement with Norad on DRM programme November 2019. Photo: Mbuto Machili / UNU-WIDER'I am delighted that UNU-WIDER will be working collaboratively with Norad on supporting developing countries to combat development challenges. The programme will deliver high quality policy relevant research on DRM, and address the real capacity needs of taxation authorities in low income countries', says Kunal Sen, Director of UNU-WIDER.

Tale Kvalvaag from Norad signing the agreement with UNU-WIDER on DRM programme November 2019. Photo: Norad'We are excited to partner with UNU-WIDER on this new programme. UNU-WIDER’s way of engaging individual researchers, research institutions and public officials in the South has proven to be effective. Evidence and knowledge is critical to reform public institutions, and equally important for us when we build knowledge programmes like Tax for Development', says Tale Kvalvaag, Director of the Knowledge Bank in Norad.

New tools, capacity-building, opportunities to engage

Norad’s funding to the research programme, USD 10 million, will be distributed over a four-year period. The research programme will cover six thematic areas:

1) Enterprises, livelihoods, and compliance
2) Tax and social protection modelling
3) International tax and illicit financial flows
4) Institutions and institutional design
5) Extractives
6) Domestic financing

Across themes the activities will ultimately provide new insights and tools for policy makers, and foster debate within academia and between academia and policy makers. Capacity-building and empowering researchers in developing countries is a common thread throughout all themes.

To ensure global inclusion and successful programme delivery, UNU-WIDER will engage its global network of researchers by advertising project collaboration opportunities and requests for research proposals. Interested researchers are encouraged to follow up for opportunities to engage.

Transforming economies, states, and societies

The research programme on DRM is an important part of the UNU-WIDER 2019-23 work programme, the focus of which is to support the needed transformation of economies, states, and societies to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals.

For more information, contact:

Annett Victorero
Communications Officer, UNU-WIDER
+358-(0)9-615 99237