F.A.I.R. – Even it Up!
A man pushes his bicycle, loaded with melons, past a billboard advertisement for Oman Air’s first class service (2013). Photo: Panos/GMB AKASH
F.A.I.R. – Even it Up! is a multi-country programme, which aims to tackle extreme economic inequality globally. It was co-created by more than eight Oxfam affiliates and 25 country offices at the end of 2015 and is closely linked to Oxfam’s Even It Up! Campaign.
In our vision for a just world without poverty, people can participate fully and influence the decisions that affect their lives. However, extreme economic inequality is holding back the global fight against poverty and equality and requires urgent action. Oxfam sees fiscal justice as central to the fight against economic inequality. Progressive taxation and public spending – particularly on essential public services and social protection – have been shown to have a powerful redistributive effect, making them essential tools in the fight against inequality and poverty.
Our vision puts active citizens and the civil society organizations that represent them at the heart of our approach. For Oxfam, fiscal justice is about people having the space, voice and agency to exercise their rights in order to monitor and influence fiscal systems to ensure that they are fair, to mobilize greater revenue and increase and improve spending for quality public services for all. It is about redressing the enormous power imbalances that currently exist, as a result of which large corporations and wealthy individuals are able to exert hugely disproportionate influence over political and economic policies, favoring their own interests at the expense of the interests of the majority.
The overall goal of F.A.I.R. – Even it Up! is to ensure that ‘Citizens are empowered to redress inequality of power and influence, so fiscal systems are more progressive, and governments implement tax and spending policies that benefit the many not the few.
Our intervention has four long-term outcomes:
- Tax systems generate more revenue and are made more progressive so the tax burden is more evenly shared and inequality reduced, particularly for women
- Budgeting processes become more transparent and spending on progressive public services that tackle gender and economic inequalities increases
- Southern governments, representing the interests of their citizens, are able to influence progressive changes to global tax systems and to resist external pressure to privatize or otherwise limit the provision of publicly-funded essential services
- Oxfam and partners access to skills building, knowledge sharing, evaluation and learning contribute to F.A.I.R. – Even it Up! outcomes
In order to achieve our outcomes and goal we have four key strategies:
- Citizen awareness, mobilization and campaigning for attitude change, engagement and empowerment.
- Capacity and alliance building for citizens and CSOs
- Strengthen dialogue and engagement with key decision-makers and informal power holders
- Research, advocacy and policy-influencing for policy and legislative change.
The program will provide a strong bridge between programs working at a local and national level, and Oxfam’s regional and global campaigning and advocacy, maximizing the two way benefit of applying greater regional and global leverage to support national level campaigning, and providing strong programmatic interventions at country level, which further support and shape Oxfam’s global Even it Up! campaign. A great example of this is the Finance for Development program, which involves local level work in 9 countries as well as regional and global level campaigning. This will offer the potential to deliver significant change at scale to the lives of millions of people in countries across the world. Other projects within the F.A.I.R. – Even it Up! program are the Fair Tax Monitor, and CRAFT.
Activities under F.A.I.R. – Even it Up! are being implemented in: Burundi, Egypt, Ghana, Kenya, Mali, Malawi, Mozambique, Myanmar, Nigeria, Niger, Senegal, Uganda, Zambia, OPTI, Morocco, Tunisia, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Pakistan, Vietnam, Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Guatemala, Paraguay, Peru, Nicaragua, Honduras, Bolivia, Cuba, India and Brazil.
For more information on our work in these countries, have a look at the Fiscal Justice Global Track Record. In it you can find 20+ country case studies which document experience and lessons learnt through our fiscal justice work, focusing on tax, budget and social accountability.
For more information, please contact Stefan Verwer.
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