TAI Weekly

TAI Weekly|Tax Justice in Focus

By TAI (Role at TAI)


The OECD lays out its take on why enabling civil society is essential for development - have they captured all the arguments? 

Read the submission of 300+ civil society groups behind the #UnmuteCivilSociety campaign pushing for inclusive representation in the UN Summit of the Future process. 

Chavismo shows its most repressive face with presidential elections on the horizon. Maduro's government detains activists on charges of terrorism or treason, but also ordinary citizens (in Spanish).

Hanan Zaffar and Jyoti Thakur highlight the alleged use of Pegasus spyware by the Indian government to surveil journalists and other individuals. A joint investigation by Amnesty International and The Washington Post revealed over 300 phone numbers in India, including those of political figures and activists, reportedly on the surveillance list. 

Following Alexei Nalvany’s death, Frank Vogl, co-founder of Transparency International, reflects on the single most vulnerable feature of all authoritarian leaders – corruption. 

The Institute for Government argues that the UK needs increased government transparency, citing a rise in rejected Freedom of Information requests and a drop in the OECD's open data rankings. Via case studies, they argue that greater transparency brings essential benefits like public trust. 

Joanna Robin discusses a new rule proposed by the U.S. Treasury's financial crimes unit to address money laundering in the residential real estate market.

Deep sea mining is rightly controvesial, but the International Seabed Authority seabed mining regulations will determine if developing countries gain equal footing with developed countries in extracting deep seabed resources. Final regulations will have significant ramifications for foreign investment and economic growth globally.


You’ve probably heard of money laundering. But while some choose to launder dirty cash, others launder cows. Episode three of Barbecue Earth, Carnegie’s new podcast miniseries, tells the story of a Brazilian company’s entanglement with the smuggling and selling of illegal cattle throughout the Amazon. 


USAID: staff have been working for years to transfer more power and more funding to the local level. It's making progress, but it is slow. So, what's holding the agency back? For localization to succeed, David Ainsworth considers that USAID has to give money away differently.

HEWLETT FOUNDATION: shares updates from all the Gender Equity + Governance Program strategies and highlights from grantee partners. Sign up for the newsletter.

OPEN SOCIETY FOUNDATIONS: profiles Vladyslav Galushko, associate director oversees the work of Open Society in Eastern Europe, and issues a statement in support of the Senegalese Constitutional Court decision overriding an election delay.


In the world of philanthropy, the future is having a moment. Foundations are turning to forecasting tools to help prepare for climate and demographic change, emerging technologies, and threats to democracy.

The funder intermediary, Voice, stands steadfast in its mission to contribute to an inclusive world where empowered rightsholders can express their views and demand their rights for responsive and inclusive societies. See what they learned via their final evaluation report

CIVICUS: World Alliance for Citizen Participation has launched a 12-month Donor Transformation Challenge. The February Donor Challenge invites funders to reassess the most important considerations about relationships with grassroots activism and ways of support it. We invite you to take on this challenge - at TAI we believe that trust has to be earned, through caring human relationships based on principles of equity and inclusion and guided by mutual transparency and accountability mechanisms.


Today's AI tools may be designed in Silicon Valley, but much of the labor that fuels the boom is based in the Global South - raising questions about who benefits from the technology and at what cost. In Studio B: Unscripted on artificial intelligence, Nobel Peace Prize laureate Maria Ressa speaks with Digital Future Lab's Urvashi Aneja about the impact of AI technology, innovation, and machine learning on communities in the Global South. 


Civic Campaigns and Funding Trends in International Tax Justice Advocacy

This past week saw a landmark moment for tax justice advocates - a committee meeting that set the terms of reference for a UN tax convention process that will kick off in earnest in April. (Watch the session here.) For tax justice advocates this was a moment long awaited (and that some thought might never arrive. Now focus turns to whether the convention meets its potential for more equitable global tax governance.

Whether that potential is met will depend in part on resourcing for Global South governments and civil society to engage effectively. Where will that money come from? Here at TAI, partnering with OSF, we have just wrapped up a comprehensive scan of Funding Trends in International Tax Justice. The scan provides valuable insights into the funding landscape for tax justice initiatives - one clear headline is that the pool of funders for tax justice is very small in number and volume of grants compared to other issues. A step up will be needed to take advantage of reform opportunities. To get a sense of what support to governments currently looks at, check out the OECD’s 2024 Global Forum Capacity Building Report that lays out capacity-building and outreach activities carried out to help countries implement tax transparency standards.

One target for further reform is wealth taxes, and TAI Executive Director, Michael Jarvis, agrees with Simon Kuper that it is past time to tax billionaires. Emphasizing the urgency of increased taxation of the ultra rich to address climate, defense, health, and education needs, the call is for more donor support for smart tax reform at scale. 

How does civil society play an influential role? A new book edited by Paolo de Renzio lays out how civic actors influence tax policy with cases ranging from France to Guatemala to the Philippines to Uganda. Maryam H'madoun shares her insights from last week’s panel discussion for the launch of the book, reflecting on lessons from civic campaigns for tax reform and their role in creating fairer societies




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