The Prosperity Collaborative is a multi-stakeholder initiative dedicated to helping countries create better tax systems through innovative technology. Our work focuses on building and deploying new technology, improving capacity of tax administrations, and promoting open source technology governance models.
We are led by a broad coalition of stakeholders, including The World Bank Group, MIT Connection Science, EY, New America, and the Boston Global Forum Michael Dukakis Institute for Leadership and Innovation.
Revenues in 39 of the world’s 75 poorest countries are inadequate to finance basic state functions, let alone the additional investment needed in physical infrastructure, education, health and social protection to meet the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals. Yet there are signs of hope. New advances in technology have the potential to fundamentally transform government revenue and expenditure systems.
The Prosperity Collaborative brings together a diverse coalition of public sector, private sector, and non-profit partners to build new open source technologies to help governments solve their most urgent tax problems, while enhancing local capacity. By working together, we can create a new generation of digital public goods that help governments to improve trust with taxpayers, achieve more sustainable funding, and further progress toward the Sustainable Development Goals.
Our work focuses on three distinct efforts: developing new technologies to improve how tax administrations work, improving local capacity, and advocating open source technology governance models that promote transparency and interoperability.
Developing new technologies. We partner with local countries and our network of stakeholders to define needs that are commonly shared across tax administrations. Our technology solutions focus on helping governments to: improve trust between taxpayers and government by creating more efficient and transparent digital tax systems; improve efficiency and overall capacity within tax administrations through the use of technology to digitize and automate various tax processes; and increase overall tax compliance by both broadening the tax base by making it easier for taxpayers to pay taxes as well as through identifying and eliminating sources of persistent fraud.
Improving local capacity. We create and engage directly with local countries to configure our solutions to their specific needs, as well as to improve overall capacity through coordinating training and other resource development efforts.
Promoting open source technology governance models. The software we develop will be released to the public via open source or equivalent models. We believe that technology should be open source so it is easy for countries to incorporate and configure to their specific needs, interoperable with existing systems to lower implementation costs, and adhere to common standards and data models to encourage collaboration across countries. All the while, our systems will adhere to internationally recognized standards in data privacy and security, which is especially pertinent in dealing with sensitive taxpayer data.
We are building a global ecosystem of stakeholders, and there are many ways to get involved in our work:
Assist in building and deploying new technology. We are looking to work with technology partners to help build new technologies for a variety of tax administration use cases. The best technologies are those that address the 80% of needs that are common across tax administrations. These systems can be easily configured, deployed, and brought to scale with minimal implementation costs, and are available via open source or equivalent models.
Deploy technologies within your country. We are cultivating an initial group of developing country tax administrations who wish to work with us to deploy new technology systems. The countries most suited for our work are those who have committed to building new, digitally-enabled government systems to transform their societies, and are committed to achieving the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals.
For more information please contact Anders Hjorth Agerskov, Lead Public Sector Specialist at the World Bank Group.