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SOUTHMOD: simulating tax and benefit policies for development


Working alongside South African Social Policy Insights (SASPRI), in a project funded by UNU-WIDER, members of the EUROMOD team at ISER are working on an ambitious research and development project which is building tax-benefit microsimulation models, based on the EUROMOD platform, for a selection of developing countries. These models are collectively known as “SOUTHMOD”.


The main focus of the project is on Africa where microsimulation models are being constructed for Ghana, Ethiopia, Zambia, Tanzania and Mozambique. These new models complement existing models for South Africa (SAMOD) and Namibia (NAMOD), which are also based on EUROMOD and have been put together by SASPRI. To provide further comparability, a model is being built for one country from Latin America (Ecuador) and initial scoping for one country from Asia (Vietnam) is being undertaken.

In producing these new microsimulation models, the project sheds fresh light on the system-wide impacts of social protection and tax systems in these countries, providing the analytical tools for policy makers and researchers alike to understand the current tax-benefit systems and to be able to simulate the impacts of policy changes – real and potential.

Whilst oversight of SOUTHMOD remains with UNU-WIDER, ISER and SASPRI, engaging local teams of model developers in each country is critical to the project’s success. In addition to providing the technical platform for these models in the form of EUROMOD software and tools, ISER’s role is to support the Ghanaian and Ethiopian teams. ISER staff are also be involved in the training of all local developers, in producing new tools and software add-ons for analysing income distributions, and for the construction of the model in Ecuador.

See UNU-WIDER’s project page for SOUTHMOD here and the June 2016 story from our newsletter here


Download the presentations from the project training course in Johannesburg (29 February – 4 March 2016) here:

Team members

Professor Holly Sutherland

Director of EUROMOD, Research Professor - ISER, University of Essex

Dr Chrysa Leventi

Senior Research Officer - ISER, University of Essex

Mr Kostas Manios

EUROMOD Software Developer - ISER, University of Essex

Ms Iva Valentinova Tasseva

Senior Research Officer - ISER, University of Essex

Dr Xavier Jara Tamayo

Senior Research Officer - ISER, University of Essex

Ms Katrin Gasior

Senior Research Officer - ISER, University of Essex

Woman selling rice in mali market credit overseas development institute

Photo credit: Overseas Development Institute