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On Tuesday March 15th, Professor Charlotte Watts, Chief Scientific Adviser at the Department for International Development (DFID), delivered the Sussex Development Lecture at the Institute of Development Studies (IDS). The Lecture was titled “Research and knowledge at DFID: what role for evidence in the new aid strategy?

“This is a piece of DFID-funded research that we love”

In Prof. Watt’s talk, she used a recent ICTD working paper as an example of research being successfully used to advance development. The paper in question was a result of research proposed by the Uganda Revenue Authority on taxing high net worth individuals, and was conducted with the support of ICTD funding and research guidance.

Prof. Watts said she loved the study because it produced interesting findings, and was also good value for money. As she explained, the study cost DFID £16,000 and it helped yield a staggering £2.5 million in additional taxes for the government of Uganda in only four months. This amount is equivalent to 2.5% of annual UK bilateral aid to Uganda.

As she said, “By honing in on bottlenecks to countries financing their own development, research can help us find responses to that and strengthen those systems. This is a really good example of research actually resulting in more income for the government.”

Read the paper “Boosting Revenue Collection through Taxing High Net Worth Individuals: The Case of Uganda”.