The impetus for this project came through an on-going policy research engagement with the Excise and Taxation Department in Punjab, Pakistan. The engagement – which investigated the role of incentives in tax collector performance (see http://epod.cid.harvard.edu/state-capacity) – created a massive amount of digitized administrative data that had the potential to improve the government’s decision making ability. As a byproduct of both the digitized data and the relationship built between policymakers and researchers, the team designed a demonstration pilot project to put the data into action.
Initial mapping showed that significant areas on the periphery of cities comprising dense urban localities were not paying property tax. This web-based tool helps identify urban areas that are not already covered by any property tax circle, and therefore can facilitate the department in expanding the property tax net in a more efficient manner. The project is also paying for the development of a user-guide for the tool and for a number of in-person training sessions with Tax Department officials across the province. We expect the training and subsequent utilization of the tool by policy makers to increase their demand for and capacity to utilize program data.
Below, you can explore the tool, which can also be found at http://techtabdeeli.com/cerp/.