The DRM Innovation Fund is a multi-donor financing facility that aims to enhance domestic revenue mobilisation in developing partner countries. The Fund functions on a demand driven basis, where prospective recipients participate in an application process for innovative projects which aim to tackle challenges related to revenue mobilisation.

In the international community’s efforts to support domestic revenue mobilisation in developing countries, greater emphasis needs to be placed on the piloting of innovative ideas in finding solutions to the persistent challenges of revenue mobilisation. In this context, many African countries would benefit from support in bolstering their efforts to mobilise adequate revenue to fund the provision of government services and to strengthen development.

The DRM Innovation Fund seeks to bridge the gap by providing support for piloting short-term innovative projects in African countries. [view the list of eligible countries]. It aims to add value in specifically supporting innovative projects that have a direct impact on the performance of public administrations in domestic revenue mobilisation.

Innovation in this context is viewed broadly by the Fund as developing new solutions and approaches to tackle persistent problems related to revenue mobilisation. This may also include adapting approaches and practices used in other regions, sectors or industries and applying them to the context of domestic revenue mobilisation.

All project applications will follow an two-stage process and be evaluated against assessment criteria agreed upon by the DRM Innovation Fund’s governance structure, with support from the DRM Fund Secretariat.

The DRM Innovation Fund is financed by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF) and the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), and implemented by the GIZ and facilitated by the International Tax Compact (ITC). As a facilitator of results-orientated initiatives in the area of tax and development, the ITC brings together a broad variety of development actors, including policymakers, experts, academics and civil society leaders working in the field of development and taxation. The DRM Innovation Fund and the International Tax Compact seek to add value to initiatives in the field of taxation and development without duplicating existing structures and efforts.

The DRM Innovation Fund was officially established in June 2018 and launched with its first call for proposals in the latter half of 2018, which was well received by participating stakeholders. The Governing Committee of the Fund has approved another open round for applications in March 2020.

As this initiative is implemented by the GIZ, it is obliged to follow the organisation’s rules and procedures for the granting of financial contributions. In this regard, applicants are required to assess their own project needs and organisation’s eligibility for this type of support. [view the application guide]

The DRM Innovation Fund comprises three organisational structures in its overall governance (the Governing Committee, a panel of experts, and the Secretariat), each of which have a specific function and responsibility in supporting the Fund.

The roles of each of these groups, have been defined in the following way:

Governing Committee

The Fund ‘s Governing Committee comprises its co-financiers, the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

They are responsible for providing approval on funding decisions and the overall strategy of the Fund. The Governing Committee’s core responsibilities include, but are not limited to:

  • Approval of the Fund’s governance structure, processes and procedures, and definition of strategic priorities.
  • Making decisions on the eligibility and selection of projects, with support from the Secretariat.
  • Approval of additional funding provided by other development partners.
  • Advocating and advancing the Fund’s objectives

Panel of experts

The panel provides advice to the Governing Committee and the DRM secretariat for the assessment and selection of applications. Additionally, external tax experts will also be utilised when necessary to further support the assessment on the technical merits of applications.

The DRM Innovation Fund Secretariat

The Fund Secretariat is responsible for the Fund’s operational work.

Its core tasks and responsibilities include:

  • Preparation of operational rules, processes and procedures.
  • Execution of the Fund’s work plans and reporting to the Governing Committee.
  • Provision of advice and support to the applying institutions in the preparation of applications.
  • Support to recipients of grant agreement.
  • Preparation of GIZ grant agreements.
  • Examination of applicants’ project reports.
  • Financial management of the Fund’s resources.
  • Communication and public relations.