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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.

Christian Aid Ireland’s adaptive programme management

Governance, gender, peace building and human rights Tackling the problems of poverty, vulnerability and exclusion that persist in parts of the world that continue to be affected by violence or political insecurity is difficult for several reasons. For one, because of the complexity of the prevailing social, economic and political systems, solutions to chronic problems are far from obvious. One response to this aspect of the challenge is adaptive programme design and management. This paper, 'Learning to make a difference: Christian Aid Ireland’s adaptive programme management in governance, gender, peace building and human rights', is the product of a multi-year collaboration between ODI and the core team of Christian Aid Ireland to assess the relevance of adaptive or trial-and-error approaches to the field of governance, peace building and human rights. It explains the basis on which Christian Aid Ireland’s current five-year programme funded by Irish Aid has become committed to an adaptive approach. It then describes and seeks to draw lessons from the programme’s first year of experience, considering the possible implications for implementation over the coming years.

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.

Doing Accountability Differently - Voice to the People, Nigeria

Exploring practice and results of Christian Aid’s Voice to the People Programme in Anambra State, Nigeria. Enhancing accountable governance has long been a major concern of development programming, but matching this interest with change that is both sustainable and replicable at multiple levels has not been easily achieved. Recent studies suggest that accountability initiatives will only work if they take local power relations into account, and that the limited traction attained to date could be kick-started with a strategy geared towards vertically integrated accountability. To that end, Voice to the People (V2P) has taken a power-aware approach that enabled collaboration amongst community-level, local government and state-level actors and vertical integration of advances at each stage, making it an instructive case study for replicating and scaling up effective accountability programming. Drawing on focus groups and interviews with key informants and a review of project documents, this paper reflects on the lessons that can be learned from V2P, a programme funded by the UK Department for International Development (DFID) and implemented by Christian Aid in partnership with local organisations in Anambra State, Nigeria.

The Scandal of Inequality 2 (Spanish)

Describe las diferentes caras de la desigualdad en America Latina y el Caribe

Gender Justice 2017: just and equitable power relations for all

Gender injustice is rooted in unequal power relations and the most pervasive gender inequality is between women and men. Updated 2017 gender strategy. Our vision is to end poverty, and in our corporate strategy Partnership for Change, we identify three main goals which will help us to achieve this: Ensure just power relations Ensure equity and sustainability Ensure resilient and thriving societies Our approach Gender injustice is rooted in unequal power relations and the most pervasive gender inequality is between women and men. Gender injustice violates human rights, constrains choice and agency and negatively impacts upon people’s ability to participate in, contribute to and benefit from development and humanitarian relief. Unless we can help create just and equitable relationships between women and men of all ages and diversities, we will be unable to achieve equitable, sustainable, resilient and thriving societies. Gender justice is, therefore, at the heart of Christian Aid’s work. We also recognise that inequalities intersect and create complex disadvantages that compound gender injustice and poverty. We therefore take an inclusive and intersectional approach that enables us to address how inequalities, such as sexual orientation, ethnicity, age, class, religion, caste and disability, intersect with gender inequality and perpetuate poverty. Through our inclusive approach we can tackle barriers to gender justice that are global, and internal to Christian Aid, in a way that is targeted, sustainable, transformative and ‘leaves no one behind’, as set out in the Sustainable Development Goals. To this end, we continue to focus our work on challenging patriarchy and promoting the empowerment of women and girls, with recognition that men can also be adversely affected by patriarchy and ideals of ‘masculinity’. We also seek to broaden our understanding of gender to include, where relevant, transgender and minority genders, who face increased violence and exclusion.

Celebrating Inclusion - PACS India final report

A celebration of seven years of achievements, learnings and impact on the lives of millions of India’s poorest and marginalised people.

Governance and Accountability: lessons from Bangladesh and the occupied Palestinian territory

An assessment of our governance work, particularly looking at the impact of the Humanitarian Accountability Partnership (HAP) Standards and Participatory Vulnerability and Capacity Assessments in Bangladesh and the occupied Palestinian territory.

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)

Leave noone behind

In this report, we seek to illustrate the importance of the ‘leave no one behind’ principle. 

Leave no one behind - from goals to implementation

In this report, we seek to illustrate the importance of the ‘leave no one behind’ principle with case studies from across the world.The 'leave no one behind' concept has emerged as a specific call-to-action within the post-2015 development agenda. 

Final evaluation of the LEARN project - Ghana

Action for Local Employment, Accountability and Resource Mobilisation (LEARN) was an EU-funded project in Ghana implemented by Christian Aid and its partners.The overall objective was to support actions aimed at promoting an inclusive and empowered Ghana.Action for Local Employment, Accountability and Resource Mobilisation (LEARN) was an EU-funded project in Ghana by Christian Aid and its partners.This report presents the findings, conclusions and recommendations of the project’s final evaluation.