Fair Tax Monitor
Oxfam and Tax Justice Network-Africa (TJNA) have joined forces to #maketaxfair. Our view is that a society can only thrive if we leave no one behind. Fair taxation and public spending form the foundation of a fair society. For a strong social contract between citizens and the state, the state should:
- collect sufficient revenues in a progressive way, ensuring everyone pays their fair share.
- use revenues to fund essential services.
- collect and spend revenues in a transparent and accountable way
- ensure citizens can participate in the decision-making process around revenue collection and spending in an inclusive way.
In order to assess whether this is the case and to support civil society organisations to engage in dialogue with the relevant stakeholders and to support public participation, we (TJNA, Oxfam and partners) have developed the Fair Tax Monitor tool.
What is the Fair Tax Monitor?
The Fair Tax Monitor (FTM) is a research, advocacy and capacity strengthening tool. FTM reports provide evidence on tax, budgets and inequality by using the methodology prescribed in the Common Research Framework (CRF) (see below). The evidence is used to formulate policy recommendations, stimulate debate, and push for policy changes. By using the FTM tools, mutual learning and expert accompaniment, the participating organizations, their alliances and tax justice advocates have increasingly engaged in dialogue with key stakeholders and strengthened their advocacy capacity. The national level work is amplified through regional and global partnerships that aim to tackle these problems at every policy level. The co-creation and further development of the methodology is a continuous learning journey for all involved.
How does it work?
The FTM-analysis is rooted in the Common Research Framework (CRF) which divides the research into six thematic chapters which categorises the main issues that tax systems in developing countries face today. The six chapters are:
- PROGRESSIVE TAX SYSTEM
- SUFFICIENT REVENUES
- EFFECTIVE TAX ADMINISTRATION
- PRO-POOR PUBLIC SPENDING
- ACCOUNTABLE PUBLIC FINANCES
- WELL GOVERNED TAX EXEMPTIONS
The results from the FTM research are captured in FTM Country Reports. Since 2019 the FTM research framework has been enhanced and complemented with an annex focusing specifically on the issue of tax and gender.
The FTM toolkit includes the following documents:
- Common Research Framework (CRF)
- Scoring Methodology
- Guidance document
- Gender & Taxes paper
- Advocacy & Campaigning template
- Launch Guidelines
You can find more information about the FTM Methodology on this page.
Where has the Fair Tax Monitor been used?
In over fifteen countries in Asia, Africa and South America the FTM methodology has been used or is currently used: Bangladesh, Brazil, Cameroon, Egypt, Ghana, Mali, Morocco, Mozambique, Nigeria, OPT, Pakistan, Peru, Senegal, Uganda, Tunisia, Vietnam, and Zambia. You can find the FTM Country Reports for each of the countries where the Fair Tax Monitor has been used on the Countries page.
History of the FTM
The development of the Fair Tax Monitor was an organic process which started around 2013-2014 within the Capacity for Research and Advocacy for Fair Taxation (CRAFT) project with initial thinking on a Fair Tax Index. The initial thinking was further developed and piloted in 2015/16 and led to the creation of the Fair Tax Monitor. The pilot was implemented in 4 countries: Bangladesh, Pakistan, Senegal and Uganda.
Since the pilot phase various changes were made to improve the research framework and the methodology using the feedback from numerous consultations. Key improvements over time have been the expansion of the tax and gender analysis and deepening of the public spending chapter. In addition, we have also expanded the toolbox with supporting tools like the “research guidance document”, the “tax and gender” paper and the advocacy plan template.
The first set of revisions led to the 2018 CRF and Scoring Methodology, which was used for reports written in 2018 and the first half of 2019.
The second revision was done in mid 2019 and was used for reports written from mid 2019 until now.
In 2022, we are piloting additional Tax and Gender analysis in Uganda and Zambia, which uses the 2019 toolbox with a Tax and Gender annex. Simultaneously, we are piloting an additional Tax and Extractives analysis in Mozambique, which will use the 2019 toolbox with a Tax and Extractives annex.
Finally, at the beginning of 2019, the FTM team has also been working together with Action Aid (AA), to build on each other’s expertise and to expand the number of FTM countries.
Support for the FTM
The development and implementation of the FTM has been supported by the International Tax Compact (ITC), Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (SIDA), the European Union, the Finnish Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs.