Appropriate information technology systems are critical to realising the local government tax reforms that are the focus of growing international attention.
The two systems frequently favoured by donors and governments are sophisticated international systems, which offer the (elusive) promise of transformation, or, tailored systems developed locally by donors themselves, which promise low cost and local appropriateness.
However, international solutions are often high cost and poorly suited to local needs, while donor-led solutions risk a lack of sustainability. Using locally developed, frequently open source, private sector solutions can offer a superior option. However, their adoption requires commitment by donors and governments, including overcoming entrenched decision-making biases.