A meeting of the ATI Consultative Groups took place on 1 June 2018 in Stockholm, hosted by the Swedish Ministry of Finance. The aim of the meeting was to begin developing concrete deliverables to support the fulfilment of the ATI commitments. Participants discussed past efforts to identify appropriate and internationally comparable domestic revenue mobilisation (DRM) indicators, as well as those criteria considered essential for developing a comprehensive measurement framework.
The session opened with an introduction from Gunilla Näsman from the Swedish Ministry of Finance. This was followed by a remarks from ATI Co-Chair Steve Rozner (USAID) highlighting the importance of the meeting in ensuring a well-rounded set of manageable indicators that capture various aspects of the DRM progress such as effectiveness, efficiency, transparency and fairness.
Two sessions then followed, with the first focusing on discussing the experiences, lessons learnt and challenges faced by most institutions who develop and use DRM measurement indicators.
Daniel Nuer from the Ghana Ministry of Finance spoke from a partner country’s perspective about the importance of meeting the revenue targets set by the government. Joseph Stead of the OECD emphasised the role of comparable tax statistics in measuring progress of DRM reform.
Conclusions of the session included encouraging countries to embed the TADAT methodology into their regular performance monitoring, reporting and accounting systems; ownership should be fostered in implementing DRM reforms; and donors and development partners need to complement each other using the TADAT results for technical assistance project.
The second session of the meeting explored the experiences of users of DRM indicators, focusing on what they consider to be the most important criteria.
Vishal Gujadhur from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation highlighted four dimensions of tax reforms – efficiency, effectiveness, fairness and transparency – that should be considered in measuring DRM reform in order to guarantee a comprehensive approach. John Mpoha from the Malawi Ministry of Finance suggested not completely doing away with current indicators, but rather building on them. He pointed out that although the conventional tax-to-GDP ratio is not always completely accurate, it remains a useful measurement for countries like Malawi.
The discussions and conclusions of this meeting provide a valuable evidence based for the work of ATI Consultative Group 2, which has been tasked with overseeing activities that support the fulfilment of ATI commitment 2 regarding DRM indicators to measure reform progress and performance.
Please find the report to the ATI meeting in Stockholm here.