In Chapter 2 we provided an overview of the advocacy cycle: how to identify problems and solutions, how to map stakeholders, and how to develop an advocacy strategy. Research is a crucial part of this process.
Robust evidence-based arguments, grounded in data collection and research, should not only underpin your advocacy strategy but also serve to strengthen it. At the same time, research should be practice-driven: the topics you research should arise from problems you face in your wider advocacy work.
We propose seven steps for planning and implementing effective advocacy-focused tax research:
- Step 1: Defining the problem and the research questions
- Step 2: Preparing the research and deciding on your methodology
- Step 3: Planning your research
- Step 4: Collecting and analysing data
- Step 5: Controlling the quality of your research (validation)
- Step 6: Reporting, dissemination and discussion
- Step 7: Planning your follow-up
This chapter is divided into two sections. First we will apply these steps to analysing government tax policy. Then we will apply the same approach to understanding the tax contribution of multinational companies (MNCs).