The DRM Innovation Fund was commissioned in October 2017 by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF) and Germany’s Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) and lasted until October 2022. It was established operationally in June 2018 and launched its first call for proposals in the latter half of 2018. It was implemented by the German Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) and facilitated by the International Tax Compact (ITC). While the operational work was done by the DRM Innovation Fund Secretariat, a Governing Committee – composed of both co-financiers BMGF and BMZ – made and approved overarching and strategically oriented decisions.
The DRM Innovation Fund supported innovative projects which specifically assisted African governments in tackling the persistent challenges of mobilising domestic revenue. The supported innovation projects were short- or medium-term in nature and had a direct impact on the performance of public administrations concerned with domestic revenue mobilisation. The DRM Innovation Fund supported these projects with up to 100,000 EUR. In this context, innovation was defined broadly, in terms of developing new solutions and approaches to tackle persistent problems related to revenue mobilization – including adapting approaches and practices used in other regions, sectors or industries and applying them to the context of domestic revenue mobilization (DRM).
Throughout the term of the DRM Innovation Fund two funding cycles were carried out and five projects were implemented. Please find below a brief overview of their main objectives and primary stakeholders involved.
First Call for Proposals
Madagascar: Hetra E-payment System
Creation of a telepayment portal allowing taxpayers to pay their taxes online. Hetra ePayment simplifies administrative procedures, particularly payment formalities, by providing taxpayers with electronic transaction services.
Partner: DGI Madagascar
Zambia: Development of “TaxOnApp”
Development of an app that can be used on both Android and IOS, for the registration and collection of taxes. The app is linked to the existing “TaxOnline” system and connects several commercial banks to allow taxpayers to make payments.
Funded by BMZ
Second Call for Proposals
Ghana: Local revenue collection through the integration of electronic billing and payment options into dLRev
District Local Revenue (dLRev) is a spatial database revenue management software to assist local authorities in Ghana to better manage data acquisition, billing, and collection of revenues. The project aimed at integrating electronic billing and payment options into the software to reduce direct human interaction to help curbing the spread of Covid-19.
Partner: GovID Ghana (GIZ)
Tanzania: Boosting (and Covid-19 proofing) the collection of local revenue through digitalisation
In 5 pilot Local Government Authorities (LGAs), business license fees and service levies are collected using a mobile app (enables mobile payment) that integrates with PO-RALG’s newly implemented Tausi Management Information System (Tausi MIS), which is being rolled out in phases across government systems.
Partners: GFG Tanzania working with PO-RALG
Cameroon: Development of the DSF Module – RD TAS
Enhanced management of taxpayers and fiscal compliance by improving the Direction Générale des Impôts (DGI)’s capacity to manage and utilise annual tax return data submitted online, ultimately leading to an increase in domestic revenues. This is an enhancement to RD TAS which is integrated in the larger FUSION system.
Partners: Revenue Development Foundation (RDF) for DGI Cameroon