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Ghana learning review

A decade of innovation in tax justice and inclusive markets programming

2019 Tax Perception Survey Report

This Tax Perception Survey was undertaken by the Consortium of Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs), led by Christian Aid under the DFID supported Public Financial Management (PFM) Project title “Strengthening Public Financial Management, Anti-Corruption and Accountability Institutions in Sierra Leone” to understand taxpayer perceptions on the taxes they pay, their knowledge of the tax system, and confidence level in those handling such taxes. It is also important to understand tax payers wider views of government and how this relates to their attitudes and motivation towards paying taxes.

Use and abuse of tax breaks: how tax incentives become harmful

Taxation is essential to raise sufficient, equitable and accountable financing for development. Only through taxation can governments fund public spending on the essential services at the quality and scale necessary to realise the rights of all citizens. Yet many Southern governments decide not to tax certain corporations and companies in the hope that this will attract cross-border investment. Despite mounting evidence that the practice of offering tax incentives is both largely ineffective and detrimental to development, it is widespread. This report explains how tax incentives can become harmful, and discusses what can be done to stop their abuse.

Joint Country Programme newsletter - July - Sept 2018

A new country director, piped water comes to villages in Mumbeji, advocating for tax justice and more...

CAAGI information sheet

Collective Action for Adolescent Girls Initiative (CAAGI) is a Christian Aid funded programme that aims to improve significantly the choices and opportunities available for adolescent girls in Northern Nigeria to live productive and meaningful lives. It seeks to change individual and societal behaviours, attitudes and perceptions that hamper the opportunities of girls, using the strong influence of religion through religious leaders as enablers to facilitate this change. It is focused on addressing practices around early marriage, lack of access to education and economic empowerment for adolescent girls.

Key findings: religion and time of marriage

'Religion and time of marriage: the role of faith leaders in advancing the cause of adolescent girls - key findings' is a study, which listened to community members, local leaders, faith leaders, and adolescent girls in three areas of Kaduna state. It aims to find answers to four critical questions that revolved around the influence faith leaders have on: their congregations and community members governmental actors adolescent girls and other faith leaders In some regions in Northern Nigeria, the incidence of girl-child marriage is as high as 87%, leaving a high proportion of adolescent girls in the region with very limited choices and opportunities to reach their full potential (AfriDevInfo, 2016). Early marriage is highly prevalent in Northern Nigeria. The significance of religion in Nigeria and the lack of law enforcement on early marriage places religious institutions and leaders in a privileged position to exercise influence on eradicating the practice. In this context, Christian Aid - as part of the Collective Action for Adolescent Girls Initiative (CAAGI) project - commissioned a study that explored how Muslim and Christian faith leaders can advance the cause of adolescent girls in their timing of marriage. CAAGI seeks to improve significantly the choices and opportunities for adolescent girls in Kaduna state to live productive and meaningful lives.

Religion and time of marriage: the role of faith leaders

Adolescent Girls (AGs) in Northern Nigeria have very limited choices and opportunities to reach their full potential. Cultural and religious socialisations have resulted in girls feeling isolated and powerless and therefore conforming to cultural pressures to marry early. Although 43% of girls in Nigeria are married before 18, in the North West, child marriage prevalence is as high as 76%. The centrality of religion in Nigeria enables religious institutions and leaders to exercise considerable influence regarding the timing of marriage of adolescent girls. The study is a cross-sectional and mixed method study about the roles of faith leaders (FLs) in advancing the cause of adolescent girls regarding timing of marriage. This question was explored from four complementary perspectives: influence in congregations/community members influence in governmental actors influence in adolescent girls and influence in other faith leaders

Questionable Values? Policy Report

Why we believe that it is time to stop defending the indefensible across all the world’s tax havens. Following the hurricanes Irma and Maria that devastated a number of Caribbean islands in September this year, the focus has rightly been on supporting the hardest hit and those in greatest need. But as the rebuilding effort develops, many are starting to think more deeply about the long-term sustainability of these islands’ economies, and their ability to protect and provide for their populations in an economically and climatically uncertain future. What type of jobs, and what type of economy, should places such as the British Virgin Islands (BVI) be looking to build? This is a question that extends beyond the storm-hit Caribbean. Defensive measures against tax evasion and avoidance are on the rise in the US, the EU and emerging economies, driven in part by the exposure of these activities in successive leaks of information (most recently, the Paradise Papers). Such developments call into question the sustainability of any economic model that relies on providing various combinations of secrecy and low taxation. So far, many small offshore centres, and their supporters, have largely reacted defensively to the threat of change, arguing that media coverage has unfairly maligned ‘tax havens’; that the problem is not as large as portrayed; and that they are already instituting tax and transparency standards better than many large ‘onshore’ economies. However, careful scrutiny of one of the most comprehensive efforts to explain the role of international finance centres and to illustrate the impact that such a territory has on the global economy – the prominent report that the government-backed financial lobby group, BVI Finance, commissioned this year from consultancy firm Capital Economics – demonstrates major weaknesses in the arguments and conclusions presented, and suggests to us that such defences are more concerned with maintaining the status quo than a genuine concern for the wider global economy. Our analysis of the Capital Economics report is an example of why we believe that it is time to stop defending the indefensible across all the world’s tax havens. With public demand building for new regulation, and the ever-present threat of further mass leaks, the UK Government needs to initiate a serious discussion about alternative economic pathways for the British Overseas Territories and Crown Dependencies. Alternative futures for offshore tax havens are not only vital for the poorest countries of the world that lose tax revenues each year to the offshore system, but also for the ordinary women and men in places like the BVI, for whom a secure future is dependent on the creation of robust, equitable and sustainable economies.

Improving the choices and opportunities for adolescent girls

This toolkit was designed as a guide for religious leaders of both Christian and Islamic faiths in Nigeria as they address the challenges faced by adolescent girls on the issues of early marriage, education, reproductive health services and economic empowerment. It is an initiative of Christian Aid Nigeria, working in partnership with Gender Awareness Trust (GAT) and Development and Peace Initiative (DPI) as part of the Collective Action for Adolescent Girls Initiative (CAAGI). CAAGI seeks to improve the choices and opportunities available to adolescent girls in Northern Nigeria to enable them reach their full potential. The toolkit will guide faith leaders as they provide training and share messages/sermons on the accurate Christian and Islamic perspectives on issues of early marriage, education, reproductive health and economic empowerment of adolescent girls.

No more harmful traditional practices: working with faith leaders

In 2017 a consortium of members of the Joint Learning Initiative on Faith and Local Communities (JLI) undertook a study funded by the UK Department for International Development (DFID), entitled ‘Working effectively with faith leaders to challenge harmful traditional practices'. The United Nations has defined harmful traditional practices (HTPs) as follows: Traditional cultural practices reflect values and beliefs held by members of a community for periods often spanning generations. Every social grouping in the world has specific traditional cultural practices and beliefs, some of which are beneficial to all members, while others are harmful to a specific group, such as women. These harmful traditional practices include female genital mutilation (FGM); forced feeding of women; early marriage; the various taboos or practices which prevent women from controlling their own fertility; nutritional taboos and traditional birth practices; son preference and its implications for the status of the girl child; female infanticide; early pregnancy; and dowry price. Despite their harmful nature and their violation of international human rights laws, such practices persist because they are not questioned and take on an aura of morality in the eyes of those practicing them. Faith leaders are men and women recognised by their faith community, both formally or informally, as playing authoritative and influential leadership roles within faith institutions to guide, inspire or lead others (of faith). This may be within a formal religious hierarchy of accountability, but also includes informal movements. This report serves as a synthesis of the study findings.

Working effectively with faith leaders - harmful traditional practices

In 2016, the United Kingdom’s (UK) Department for International Development released a call for proposals for a study entitled “Working effectively with faith leaders to challenge harmful traditional practices.” A Consortium of the Joint Learning Initiative on Faith and Local Communities, an international alliance examining the contribution of faith groups to community health and wellbeing, undertook this study to investigate best practices around engaging with faith leaders on harmful traditional practices (HTPs). This study is currently on-going and will continue until 2018.

Faith leaders and family planning report

A report into the major barriers and opportunities for faith leaders engaging with their communities on family planning.

Benefits? Tax Incentives in Latin America and the Caribbean (Spanish)

Overview of the use of tax incentives that analyses whether or not tax incentives bring benefits to countries and communities.(Spanish)

Delivering for women and girls: role of gender responsive budgeting

This briefing lays out our recommendations for budgeting, which champions the rights of women and girls.

Masculinity and Religion in Nigeria: findings from qualitative research

This study on religion and masculinity in Nigeria was conducted seeks to establish the impact of religious beliefs on masculinity amongst Christians and Muslims, paying particular attention to selected states (Enugu, Kaduna, Lagos and FCT).