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ICTD launches new Community of Practice for research and policy on gender and tax

A new Community of Practice on research and policy in Gender and Tax (CoPGT), whose secretariat is hosted by the International Centre for Tax and Development (ICTD), held its first official general meeting on Thursday, June 20th. The CoPGT is a partnership between the ICTD and the Center for Sustainable Development at the Brookings Institution, and aims to be a vibrant platform whose members can share research, best practices, and innovative approaches to considering the ways that tax policy, reform efforts, and administration affects male and female taxpayers and firms. Research and policy attention to this topic has increased in recent years, especially in lower-income contexts. As this area grows, the idea is for members to exchange ideas, knowledge, and critical reflections in an informal, technical setting, ultimately:

  • deepening our understanding of how tax systems impact men and women differently and,
  • promoting policies that address these inequities through regular meetings, workshops, and collaborative projects.

Dr Giulia Mascagni, one of the co-conveners of the CoP, said “Gender and tax has attracted lots of attention from funders and policymakers who want to make a difference towards gender equality in tax systems. However, practical guidance on how to do so remains scarce and limited to specific tax fixes. This Community of Practice will be an opportunity to discuss technical and policy solutions based on research and provide more practical guidance to policymakers.”

Dr Caren Grown, co-convener of the CoP, said “As more policy analysts and researchers take up the topic of how tax systems can support progress toward gender equality, it is important to develop frameworks and tools for countries at different levels of development, ensure that the right type of data is being collected to help  policy initiatives, and enable more communication and coordination across various stakeholders at both the global and country level.”

Giulia and Caren co-authored a recent policy briefing on gender equality in tax and fiscal systems,

Creation of the Gender and Tax Community of Practice

The CoPGT was created on the sidelines of the IAFFE conference in Cape Town in July 2023, where Dr Mascagni and Dr Grown convened a side meeting with researchers, and representatives from organisations and donors working on gender and taxation, including the African Tax Administrative Forum (ATAF), Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO), Gates Foundation, Hewlett Foundation, International Monetary Fund (IMF), the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), UN Women and the World Bank. The meeting sought to ascertain interest in creating a Community of Practice on Gender and Tax for key stakeholders in research and policy.

Last week’s meeting reiterated the CoPGT’s mission and goals, emphasising the need for collaboration and action to advance relevant research which will lead to progress in the field of gender and tax.

One of the CoP’s first major activities under the new formal structure will be a comprehensive mapping exercise to catalogue ongoing research and identify gaps and overlaps. This exercise will help coordinate efforts and leverage synergies among members, ensuring that research efforts are complementary and impactful.

Members of the CoP have expressed their enthusiasm for the initiative. Dr Sylvia Mwamba, Associate Director & Zambia Lead at IDinsight said “It’s truly an honour to be a part of this esteemed group, which offers a unique platform to delve into and highlight gender dimensions in public financial management.”

In its initial stages, the CoP will focus on technical dialogues about aspects such as administrative data for tax analysis, research methodologies, and fieldwork survey design. It will also engage with external stakeholders through seminars and discussions, fostering knowledge-sharing and collaboration.

The CoPGT is coordinated by Daisy Attu, who has extensive experience coordinating stakeholders and facilitating engagement, including amongst women leaders on taxation in the African continent.