South Sudan’s revenue complex underwent a series of reforms in the build-up to its 2011 independence and in the years that followed. Examples include the US Agency for International Development’s (USAID) ‘Strengthening Core Economic Governance Institutions II (CORE II) and World Bank and UN Development Programme (UNDP) technical assistance. These initiatives were costly for donor countries and organisations and frequently operated under the erroneous assumption that the region that is now South Sudan was a ‘tabula rasa’ or a blank slate upon which to project ‘best practice’ fiscal reforms and failed to work with the grain of the region’s pre-existing practices. These include heretofore unacknowledged legacies of colonial, rebel, and pre-separation tax practices, which Dr Matthew Benson’s wider research examines. Given that South Sudan’s revenue system is also the outcome of contemporary best practice for development actors in weak and fragile states, this project’s findings will be relevant to all conflict-affected countries. With this pressing global salience in mind, the project will draw crucial lessons from the South Sudanese example for how donors could incorporate research findings into future best practice.