UNU-WIDER and Norad continue collaboration on domestic revenue mobilization

On Friday 8 September, UNU-WIDER signed a new agreement with the Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation (Norad), which confirms continued support to UNU-WIDER’s research and capacity development programme on domestic revenue mobilization (DRM).

The new agreement will ensure the partnership to continue for the next four years (2024–27). The second phase will continue the collaborative work that was initiated in the DRM programme‘s first phase during 2020–23 and builds on UNU-WIDER’s research and impact in the DRM area spanning more than a decade.

Rector of UNU and Under-Secretary-General of UN Tshilidzi Marwala, Norad’s Director General Bård Vegar Solhjell and UNU-WIDER’s director Kunal Sen in Oslo on 8 September 2023.
Rector of UNU and Under-Secretary-General of UN Tshilidzi Marwala, Norad’s Director General Bård Vegar Solhjell and UNU-WIDER’s director Kunal Sen in Oslo on 8 September 2023.
Raising revenue is essential for attaining sustainable development

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. Raising revenue to finance public spending is crucial for advancing of UN’s Sustainable Development Goals.

Some of the achievements of the programme so far include creating a secure tax research data laboratory in Uganda, adding four new countries to the SOUTHMOD tax-benefit microsimulation modelling family to facilitate better policies for poverty reduction, expanding the research frontier on the impact of illicit financial flows on developing countries, and engaging in high-level discussions  on the risks and opportunities of the extractives sector.

The second phase of the programme will build on the work carried out during 2020–23, while new avenues of inquiry are also introduced. The research undertaken in DRM Phase II is organized along three thematic focus areas: i) The empirics of tax and social protection, ii) Environmental taxation and just energy transition, and iii) Tax and governance.

The programme will also be an instumental part of UNU-WIDER’s 2024–27 work programme, which is designed around three interlinked mega challenges—enabling just energy transitions, building sustainable peace in conflict-affected states, and reducing inequalities across and within countries and across generations—and two additional themes, which cut across these challenges: data and gender.

Follow up for opportunities to engage

Across thematic areas the activities will ultimately provide new insights and tools for policymakers, and foster debate within academia and between academia and policymakers. Capacity development and empowering researchers from the Global South will continue to be a common thread throughout the programme.

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.

The agreement was signed on 8 September by Bård Vegar Solhjell, Director General of Norad, and Kunal Sen, UNU-WIDER Director. Tshilidzi Marwala, Rector of UNU and Under-Secretary-General of UN, was also present at the meeting. The signing took place in Oslo after the WIDER Development Conference Revving up revenue for development – the role of domestic resource mobilization, which brought together the findings and networks of the first phase of the DRM programme.

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