On July 18th 2019, the ISET Policy Institute hosted a summary event of the ReforMeter project, the exact topic of which was “3 Phases of Reformeter: What are the benefits?” The goal of the meeting was to summarize the three phases of the project and to discuss its results and challenges.

The opening remarks were made by Nato Beruashvili of USAID and Jean-Frederic Paulsen, Chairman of ISET’s Governing Board as well as the institute’s former interim director, who has helped oversee the implementation of the project since its inception in 2017 as a key part of its Steering Committee.

These were followed by a presentation from Gigla Mikautadze, ReforMeter’s Project Manager, who explained in detail every stage of the project, which was split into three distinct phases. The project executive team concluded that the evaluation of the reform implementation is not a simple task due to a number of obstacles the project faced during its implementation. Typically, all reforms are based on strategic documents, but not all of them include clear action plans and timelines, or, indeed, targets. In these cases, it is difficult to track a reform’s implementation and check whether the goals are achieved or not. Also, some of the reform documents have significantly changed in a short period of time, which made the previous strategy and appropriate actions irrelevant.

On March 26, ISET hosted Dr. Lotta Björklund Larsen of Stockholm University, Sweden, who presented a paper entitled ‘Tax Compliance. A Review of Recent Studies’.

“How are people made to pay tax, at the right time and the right amount?” Dr. Björklund Larsen began. “How are they made to comply? This is an eternal research question for tax collectors, law and policy makers, politicians, as well tax scholars. It is also a question that cannot be answered from the perspective of one scientific angle. In this presentation I reviewed research about tax compliance drawing on recent studies from economics, political science and anthropology. I argued that in order to understand why we pay tax—that is, why we comply with taxes and taxation—as well as why we avoid doing so, we have to look beyond legal changes, psychological experiments, economic results, the organization of revenue collection and all actors’ practices in society’s tax arena and study the type of relations, and expectations, that taxpaying is seen to create in society.

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