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Vanessa van den Boogaard

Research Fellow

Vanessa is a Research Fellow with the International Centre for Taxation and Development (ICTD).

Dr Vanessa van den Boogaard is a Research Fellow based at the Munk School of Global Affairs and Public Policy in Toronto and leads the ICTD‘s research programme on informality and taxation with Max Gallien. She is a political scientist specializing in the politics of taxation and informal institutions and the political economy of development. She received her doctorate in Political Science at the University of Toronto. Her dissertation explored informal taxation and the state in Sierra Leone, and won the Vincent Lemieux prize recognizing the best PhD thesis in political science in Canada. Her current research primarily focuses on informal taxation and taxation of the informal economy in Sierra Leone, Ghana, the DRC, and Somalia.


Languages: English and French



International Centre for Tax and Development (ICTD)

The International Centre for Tax and Development (ICTD) provides research evidence that supports developing countries in raising domestic revenues equitably and sustainably, in a manner that is conducive to pro-poor economic growth and good governance.



Tax on mobile money transfers hits the poor hardest in Ghana

Ghana’s introduction of a 1.5% tax on mobile money transactions in May 2022 has been watched closely by policymakers across Africa. The proponents of the electronic transaction levy (e-levy) argue that taxes on mobile money — commonly referred to in Ghana as MoMo — present an opportunity...

Mike Rogan & 3 others

20 September 2022


Working Paper

Mobile Money Taxation and Informal Workers: Evidence from Ghana’s E-Levy

ICTD Working Paper 146

The use of digital financial services, including money transfers and mobile money, have expanded widely in lower-income countries in the past decade; 47 per cent of the population of sub-Saharan Africa (548 million) had a registered mobile money account in 2020, with 29 per cent of those...

Max Gallien
Max Gallien & 3 others

8 September 2022

Journal Article

Beyond Greed: Why Armed Groups Tax

Based on a review of the diverse practices of how armed groups tax, we highlight that a full account of why armed groups tax needs to go beyond revenue motivations, to also engage with explanations related to ideology, legitimacy, institution building, legibility and control of populations,...

Max Gallien
Max Gallien & 4 others

14 March 2022


Tax and Governance in the Context of Scarce Revenues: Inefficient Tax Collection and its Implications in Rural West Africa

Working Paper;139

In recent years, domestic and international policy attention has often focused on broadening the tax base in order to include a greater share of the population in the ‘tax net’. This is based, in part, on the hope that the expansion of taxation will result in positive ‘governance...

Rachel Beach

28 February 2022

Journal Article

Enabling Tax Bargaining: Supporting More Meaningful Tax Transparency and Taxpayer Engagement in Ghana and Sierra Leone

Development Policy Review 40.1

While there is increasing evidence that taxation can contribute to greater government responsiveness and accountability, such positive outcomes are not guaranteed. If the environment does not enable tax bargaining, there is a risk that taxation will amount to little more than enforced...

21 December 2021

Vanessa van den Boogaard’s recent work



The Governance research cluster works across a number of thematic areas that are focused on ensuring citizens are represented and governed fairly in a world of changing state authorities. Our work critically examines public authority and the institutions, networks and politics that shape it....