In 2017, the ICTD launched the Africa Property Tax Initiative (APTI) to support efforts to strengthen property taxation across Africa. Building on the success of that work, we are excited to announce the transformation of the APTI into the Local Government Revenue Initiative (LoGRI), which will expand and extend the pioneering work of the APTI.

The APTI program produced novel research into the challenges of, and more effective approaches to, property tax reform, while building broader networks in Africa – and supporting several government partners in the development of innovative reform programs. LoGRI aims to build on those successes by supporting local government revenue mobilisation more broadly by developing policy-relevant research, knowledge, expertise, and tools to enable governments to raise more revenue, more equitably and fairly, and in ways that promote trust, transparency, and accountability. It is, in turn, committed to providing hands-on support and advice to government partners pursuing reform efforts. LoGRI has a broad geographic mandate across lower-income countries in Africa and South Asia, with an emphasis on working in both anglophone and francophone Africa.

Like APTI, LoGRI aims to be a unique bridge between applied research, policy debates and direct support for local revenue reform programs. This approach reflects a belief that research and direct involvement in reform programs can be mutually reinforcing. High-quality, interdisciplinary and applied research can inform more effective approaches to strengthening local revenue mobilisation. Meanwhile, direct involvement in supporting reform programs can provide unique insights and learning to inform research, and the development of tools and resources to support reform efforts across countries.

Central to LoGRI’s mandate is an understanding that reforming subnational revenue collection is not merely, or primarily, a technical challenge, but is equally a political challenge. It is likewise not amenable to a single approach across contexts, but requires solutions deeply rooted in the local environment in which the reform is being pursued. The program is correspondingly committed to interdisciplinary approaches to understanding reform, and to developing context-specific understanding of reform challenges and potential solutions.

The expanded LoGRI initiative has received over $4 million in support from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the French Ministry of Economics, Finance and Recovery, the Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation (Norad) and German Development Cooperation implemented by Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH. The new program will be based at the Munk School of Global Affairs and Public Policy at the University of Toronto, and will continue to operate as a broad global network guided and led by government and other partners in the countries where we work. The new initiative is led by Dr. Titilola Akindeinde (Executive Director), Dr. Colette Nyirakamana (Research Lead), Ann Perry (Director of Administration) and Dr. Wilson Prichard (Chair, ICTD Executive Director and Associate Professor at the Munk School), along with a growing team, including Moyo Arewa, Nicolas Orgeira, Graeme Stewart-Wilson, Rosetta Wilson, Emile Eleved, Marly Augustine, Marie-Reine Mukazayire, and Paul Fish.

In the months ahead, LoGRI will be recruiting to expand our team in areas including research, technical reform implementation and communications. We are currently inviting expressions of interest to expand our networks of individuals at all career stages who have experience in these areas and/or interest in property taxation and public administration in lower-income countries. We particularly encourage candidates from the regions in which we work to reach out, and welcome inquiries from early-career candidates. Please send expressions of interest and CVs to Ann Perry at [email protected]. Specific roles will be advertised in the near future through our networks.

quote from director Titilola Akindende

quote from ICTD Director Wilson Prichard