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Skills development and tools

IFS researchers are providing support to partner governments to conduct high-quality and independent analysis and modelling of the impacts of tax policy. In response to partner government demand, and in collaboration with our International Research Associates, we have developed an overarching skills development strategy, supported by specific and tailored activities. IFS-supported training is focused, appropriate, sequenced and organised to align with the analysis and development of the policy tools.

Our key activities are outlined below. As materials and resources become available, training content will be posted on this page.

1. Applied quantitative data processing and analysis training

We are supporting civil servants to develop quantitative skills to facilitate the detailed analysis of micro-data. This involves building familiarity with the relevant statistical software packages (such as STATA or MS Excel), as well as developing data protection, data sourcing, extraction, cleaning and analysis skills.  The successful acquisition of data processing and analysis skills is crucial to the co-production process (see below).

2. Co-production of tools and analysis

A core aspect of the IFS’s capacity support is the co-production of analytical and modelling tools, the analysis of policy and the development of policy reform options. In order to achieve this, we are undertaking a “learning by doing” and collaborative approach; although some formal training sessions are necessary, much of the learningoccurs through closer one-to-one coaching and mentoring . Where possible, IFS researchers work with civil servants to conduct quantitative analysis, interpret the results and draft working and policy papers jointly. Ongoing and regular remote support (though tele-meetings and emails), including structured feedback by IFS staff is crucial to the process. Co-authorship of research papers and policy reports is actively encouraged.

3. Workshops and lectures on tax policy principles and evaluation methods

The "learning by doing" approach is supplemented by workshops and lectures focusing on the theory and evaluation of tax policy. We have conducted workshops on the following topics:

  • The principles of tax and benefit policy design;
  • Introduction to tax policy evaluation methods;
  • The tax policy costing process;

4. Study tours and peer-to-peer learning

We  are organising a number of study tours for our partner organisations in order to promote peer-to-peer learning and the development of specific skills development objectives.