This course offers an opportunity to get to get an understanding of the main issues in taxation in developing countries; and to share knowledge amongst practitioners and researchers. It is designed for a broad, non-technical audience of practitioners and policymakers, interested in or working on tax revenue mobilisation.


Monday 15 February 2016 – Thursday 18 February 2016

9:00 to 17:00 

Addis Ababa, Ethiopia


Why taxation?

Taxation is widely recognised as a core issue in development both in its own right as a source of development finance and because of how it can contribute to sustainable development, democratic institutions and state building. It will be central to financing the Sustainable Development Goals and donors already made a commitment to step up their efforts in this area under the Addis Tax Initiative. Despite this increasing policy attention, expertise on tax remains scattered.

This course will be co-hosted by the African Tax Administration Forum (ATAF) and the IDS-based International Centre for Tax and Development (ICTD). These are leading centres of expertise on taxation and development, having worked for several years in this area and in close collaboration with an international network of experts and practitioners.


Expert trainers

The course has been developed and will be delivered by internationally recognised experts in the field of taxation, who offer a mix of excellent research and teaching records as well as extended practical experience in developing countries.

Mick Moore (IDS/ICTD)

Nara Monkam (ATAF/ATRN)

Tomas Balco (African Tax Institute at University of Pretoria)

Giulia Mascagni (IDS/ICTD)


Course content and structure:

The role of taxation in development

Tax revenue bargaining, state-building, government accountability, and the social contract between governments and citizens.

Tax mix in developing countries, global trends in revenue mobilisation, main drivers and constraints to increasing revenues in developing countries.

Interactions of taxation with international trade and industrial development, and other economic policies.

International taxation

Taxation of multinational corporations in developing countries: transfer pricing, base erosion and profit shifting (BEPS), tax havens, fiscal incentives.

Taxation in the extractive industries in natural resource-rich countries

Current international processes led by the OECD: automatic exchange of information and the BEPS agenda. Participation of developing countries in international processes.

Sub-national taxation

Local government financing: intergovernmental transfers, sharing formulas, and local taxation.

What are the main political and economic constraints to local tax generation? Property taxation: country experiences, potential for local revenue generation, and main challenges.

Experiences on successful (or not) local revenue generation from developing countries.

The experience of tax administrations

Key challenges faced by tax administrations in developing countries: capacity gaps, staff retention, adoption of IT systems, enforcement and compliance, decentralisation.


The course is structured around four full-day sessions that combine knowledge-sharing from tax experts with open discussions amongst participants. The typical day will include a taught session outlining the main issues and conceptual framework for the topic of the day to bring all participants up to speed and set the stage for the discussion.

A minimum of two trainers will always be available in each day to ensure that participants are offered more than just one point of view. The course is highly interactive and participants are asked to take an active role by sharing their experiences. Group discussions will focus on what these experiences mean in the broader context of taxation and development, which helps to consolidate theoretical learning with practical experience.


Please note that this is a closed event, as the participants have already been picked.


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