Oxfam collaboration leads to new tool for evaluating policy impacts

21 Jun 2024 | By Charmaine Smith
Image of education tools and graduate cap
21 Jun 2024 | By Charmaine Smith

Oxfam in Ghana and ACEIR researchers at the University of Ghana have partnered with the World Bank to launch a microsimulation tool on fiscal incidence analysis.

The tool can be used to assess government welfare and fiscal interventions and builds on a study by the ACEIR research node that is convened by the Institute of Statistical Social and Economic Research (ISSER), University of Ghana.

Their analysis, which applied the Commitment to Equity (CEQ) Institute’s framework for incidence analyses of government fiscals, examines and quantifies the extent to which different taxes (direct and indirect), government subsidies, and social spending affect poverty and inequality in Ghana.

The Ghana Fiscal Microsimulation tool – GhaSim – uses data from the 2017 Ghana Living Standards Survey 2017 to determine the effectiveness of government policies, especially social intervention policies such as the free senior high school policy, in reducing inequality and the poverty gap in that country. 

The tool can be used to assimilate and evaluate policy impacts on households' disposable income and effects of tax benefit reforms in Ghana. 

The public launch of the tool on 14 June 2024 was followed by capacity building on its use. The training was organised by the World Bank in collaboration with Oxfam and ISSER. University lectures, graduate students and representatives from civil society organisations (CSOs), Ghana’s Ministry of Finance, and donor agencies attended. 

Speaking to Radio Ghana at the launch, Dr Paul Correl, a senior economist in the West Africa team of the World Bank’s Poverty and Equity Global Practice, said the tool can be downloaded by anyone who wants to use it. An expanded and improved version is also anticipated for the future, he said.

The partnership with Oxfam emerged in 2023 when the ACEIR researchers from ISSER were invited to team up with Oxfam’s project that aims to use the CEQ methodology to contribute data to the Sustainable Development Goal 10 indicator that measures the redistributive impact of a country’s overall fiscal policy. 

This collaboration led to the researchers facilitating an Oxfam in Ghana capacity building workshop for CSOs on the use of the CEQ methodology. 

The researchers – Dr Kwadwo Danso-Mensah (now with the International Centre for Evaluation), Dr Richmond Atta-Ankomah, and Prof. Robert D. Osei – also published a policy brief on their study, which benefitted from inputs by participants in the capacity building event hosted by Oxfam in Ghana.

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