2020 Financing for Sustainable Development Report: Domestic Public Resources

Cover image of the 2020 FSDR

Domestic public resources have a unique role to play in financing for sustainable development. The link between revenue collection and effective expenditures for quality public goods and services forms the basis of the social contract between citizens and the state. Member States of the United Nations also recognized that significant additional domestic public resources are necessary to realize sustainable development and committed to enhancing revenue mobilization.

Since 2015, there have been improvements in tax policies and international cooperation in some significant areas, yet five years into the implementation of the agenda, positive reforms have not been fully integrated and aligned across sectors and institutions—nationally or internationally. The slow and steady progress in domestic public resource mobilization is insufficient to match the scale and ambition of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. Only about 40 per cent of developing countries clearly increased tax-to-gross domestic product (GDP) ratios between 2015 and 2018. Political will for reform and assistance for capacity-building are inadequate, while sustainable development is not yet universally prioritized in expenditure allocation and budget processes.