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GlobalDev’s year in a nutshell: getting to the heart of climate finance, effective tax systems and gender inequality

4 min


Catherine Otayek

2023 is coming to an end and what a remarkable year it’s been for GlobalDev! We celebrated our 5th anniversary in February and refreshed our look and website to give our readers a better experience. Further supporting our global readers and authors, we expanded our team so we can now accept articles in French and Spanish, alongside English.

In October, aligning with our mission to support the dissemination of development research, we organized our first communications training course. Researchers from low- and middle-income countries gained invaluable tools to communicate their papers effectively to a broad, non-academic audience. The training was a success, and we’re excited to now count this activity as a cornerstone of our program, alongside the blog.

All this while, we kept doing what we do best: spreading development research throughout the world, one article at a time, giving you, our readers, the expertise to unpick the problems that hamper successful development. As the year concludes, the GlobalDev team took a moment to reflect on the themes and blogs that we published in 2023. Here is a snapshot of our year.

Climate finance was at the heart of our attention at GlobalDev in 2023. In a series organized with the United Nations University Institute for Environment and Human Security, the Munich Climate Insurance Initiative (MCII) and LUCCC/START, GlobalDev authors tackled the core concepts and roadblocks of climate finance, its sources and its effects on different communities. They notably introduced diverse methods for gauging the shortfall in financial resources for addressing climate change and underscored the critical role of increased access to climate finance for women in low-income countries to enhance community resilience to climate change.

Additionally, research featured in GlobalDev emphasized the potential of directing climate finance toward poverty-fighting cash transfers to aid around 30 million fishers in the Global South, mitigating the impact of climate change on their homes and livelihoods. Climate finance was also explored as a driver for sustainable sanitation systems that reduce emissions while supporting public health, resource recovery, and climate resilience.

Another central theme this year was taxation and development. In a series organized with CERDI, UCA, FERDI, and the conference team at GDN, our authors presented innovative perspectives on tax systems and their potential impact on development. They emphasized the need to restructure tax and spending systems to support impoverished populations without overburdening governments, and to combat illicit financial flows which direct funds away from crucial poverty-alleviating and infrastructure initiatives.

Authors also delved into the crucial role of tax revenue mobilization to support development goals, particularly by promoting compliance through targeted education efforts among the young. Turning to multinational companies in developing nations, authors critiqued the OECD’s proposed global minimum tax, challenged the efficiency of tax incentives and explored alternatives. Shifting our focus to education funding, the positive impact of Nigeria’s Tertiary Education Trust Fund, sustained by a 2% tax on profits, was explored as a potential model for sustainable funding in developing countries.

The series further investigated how taxation directly or indirectly offers solutions to development challenges. Authors presented strategies for reducing informality in economies, using Uganda as a case study. This showed how governments can strategically use the tax system to curb informality while simultaneously fostering entrepreneurship and skills development. In parallel, an article examining the Philippines’ decision to block healthcare professionals’ emigration suggested a tax on temporary labor migration could safeguard local healthcare services.

Finally, the taxation series examined adverse outcomes of certain policies. An article exploring the impact of sector-specific taxation on mobile money warned of unintended consequences that could reverse gains from broader financial inclusion. Attention then shifted to Uganda, where an internet tax raised concerns about limiting women’s access and emphasizes the need to analyze gender equality impacts in tax policy discussions.

We addressed gender equality elsewhere with a two-part piece examining the exclusion of women in the development process in Nigeria and Vietnam, along with a discussion on malleable gender differences in social preferences among young boys and girls. We also covered conflict, social mobility, financing development, health, and more.

Throughout the year, our commitment to spreading development research remained steadfast. Looking ahead to 2024, we invite you to stay connected with GlobalDev for insightful articles on even more development challenges. Through our partnerships with key research and development organizations, we have set the stage for new series on critical policy topics, including biodiversity and development. Thank you for your continued support, and here’s to another year of sharing research that matters for development that works!

Catherine Otayek
Blog Manager, GlobalDev