The Foundation for Studies and Research on International Development (FERDI) is a think tank recognized for its expertise in development economics. Its research results and recommendations influence the policies of many international development actors.


Promote the inclusion of vulnerabilities in aid allocation criteria.

FERDI contributes to the definition of aid allocation criteria by advocating the consideration of structural factors, in particular, economic and climate vulnerability.

FERDI’s ideas have permitted in-depth exchanges with the French Treasury and relevant institutions (International Development Agency (IDA), African Development Bank (AfDB), European Commission). For these institutions, aid allocation according to new criteria has been simulated and analyzed.

Contribute to the design of the new aid allocation framework for the European Development Fund

On February 2016, the European Commission published a document illustrating its new aid allocation framework for the European Development Fund (EDF). This document explicitly mentions FERDI's role in the design of this new methodology.

Collaborate with the AfDB and the French Treasury to adjust the ADF funding allocation formula

At the request of, and with the support of, the French Treasury and the African Development Bank, FERDI, in collaboration with the African Development Bank, is carrying out a study on the future of the African Development Fund (ADF) in relation to its 15th budget cycle which will cover the period 2020-2022.

FERDI is advocating that the reform of the ADF allocation formula should take into account the fragility of countries as well as their performance.

Program International Financing for Development

National financing for development

Support research on tax policies and national financing for development.

Provide tax databases
  • In 2016, FERDI in partnership with the International Center for Tax and Development (ICTD), made available the first legal and tax database which lists the tax regime applicable to industrial gold mines in 21 African countries from the 1980s to the present, along with a simulation tool for sharing the mineral resource rent between states and investors.
  • FERDI has a tax revenue dataset for 41 Sub-Saharan African countries covering the period 1980-2010. 
Support the reform of the Guinean tax administration

As part of its budget support program for Guinea (2017-2019), the European Union is supporting the Guinean government with a tax administration reform project (PARAF project), aimed at increasing revenue mobilization.

Mandated by the European Union, in 2018 Expertise France carried out, with the support of FERDI of which it is a partner, an evaluation of tax expenditures.

In 2019, FERDI was mandated to support the 2018 evaluation of Guinea's tax expenditures. FERDI was selected because of its proven experience in carrying out this type of project (Madagascar, Cameroon, etc.).

Provide a method for evaluating tax expenditures

At the end of 2018 (June 2019 for the English version), FERDI published a methodological guide for measuring tax expenditure:  Geourjon A-M., Bouterige Y., Caldeira E., Laporte B., de Quatrebarbes C. (2018) " Tax Expenditure Assessment: From Principles to Practice Methodological guide", FERDI Report, December 2018.

This guide, as well as FERDI's brief on the taxation of official development assistance (Caldeira, E., Geourjon, A-M., A-M., and Rota-Graziosi, G. (2017) The taxation of official development assistance: challenges for the economic efficiency of recipient countries and the political credibility of donors" FERDI Policy brief B172) received an award in the "Market place" forum at the ATI/ITC 2019 conference on taxation and development.

Support the activity of the French working group on the mobilization of public domestic resources in developing countries

In January 2017, the French General Secretariat for European Affairs validated the creation of an informal French working group for inter-ministerial exchange and coordination on the mobilization of public domestic resources in developing countries (MRIP).

This working group includes the General Directorate of Globalization, Culture, Education and International Development of the French Ministry for Europe and Foreign Affairs; the General Directorate of the Treasury and Economic Policy and the Directorate-General for Customs and Indirect Taxes of the French Ministry of finance; the French Agency for Development (AFD); and Expertise France. Its aim is to involve other interested public or private actors, as well as to exchange with representatives of civil society.

Program National financing for development

Regional integration in the Franc Zone

Strengthening regional integration is a major issue for the African continent and in particular for the countries of the Franc Zone. At the request of Franc Zone Ministers, FERDI carried out a study and published a book entitled "Évaluation des gains attendus de l’intégration économique régionale dans les pays africains de la Zone franc" (only available in French). English translation of title - "An evaluation of the benefits expected from regional economic integration in African Franc Zone countries." 

In collaboration with the West African Economic and Monetary Union (WAEMU) and the Economic and Monetary Community of Central Africa (CEMAC), FERDI is continuing its analysis of regional integration focusing on tax coordination and government involvement.

Contribute to the reform of multilateral surveillance

In 2015, at the request of CEMAC, FERDI conducted a study on the reform of multilateral surveillance. The purpose of this report was to respond to the wish of the CEMAC board and the CEMAC member states to make multilateral surveillance more effective, and to provide input to the decision-makers, such as the Board, the Multilateral Surveillance Committee, and the Council of Ministers.

The 30th ordinary session of the Council of Ministers of the Central African Economic Union (UEAC) held in Djibloho, Equatorial Guinea on Saturday 16 January 2016 adopted the report's proposals. In the words of the final communique, "The Council of Ministers welcomed the initiative to reform the Multilateral Surveillance system, which confirms the importance of the convergence of the various macroeconomic policies of the Member States. It approves the new criteria and institutional arrangements for multilateral surveillance, as well as the draft Guidelines. It gives a mandate to the CEMAC Commission to this effect".

Study tax harmonization within the Franc Zone

CEMAC asked FERDI to carry out a study on tax harmonization in the Franc Zone. This study was requested by COCOZOF (the convergence committee of the Franc Zone) and covered both WAEMU integration and CEMAC countries. The study was presented at the meeting of Franc Zone Ministers in October 2017.  

Support the formulation of an economic recovery plan for the CEMAC Zone

CEMAC asked FERDI to support it in drawing up a recovery plan to deal with the unfavorable economic context of its member states. The aim of this plan is to define a common approach that can serve as a basis for each member state's negotiations with the IMF. Many FERDI experts were mobilized, and on the basis of their recommendations, the CEMAC Commission asked FERDI to develop a matrix of measures to be implemented, with monitoring indicators, and an implementation timetable.

These two documents and the follow-up documents have influenced the Commission's thinking, and the "Recovery Steering Committee" has used them as a basis for creating its matrix. FERDI’s mobilization is continuing and could lead to a key role for FERDI in the coming months as part of the reform process and monitoring of implementation.

Examine the different options for the Franc Zone's reform

Among FERDI's publications on the subject, the brief "Quel avenir pour les francs CFA?" [What future for CFA francs?] (Guillaumont P. and Guillaumont Jeanneney S.) published in November 2017 has been downloaded more than 3,779 times on the HAL platform.

Program Regional and international integrations

Least Developed Countries graduation

For the past 15 years, FERDI's work has been focusing on the characteristics of countries in the Least Developed Countries ("LDCs") category and the effectiveness of the support measures taken in their favor.

Contribute to the analysis of the conditions and prospects for graduation from the LDCs category.

In 2009, Patrick Guillaumont wrote the reference book, Caught In the Trap, which identified the Least Developed Countries.

A follow up book, Out of the trap, will be published in September 2019.

Influence international organizations to take into account indicators characterizing LDCs

Under the influence of FERDI, the United Nations in a 2013 resolution has recommended that development partners should consider vulnerabilities in their criteria for identifying LDCs in their development assistance allocation.

Participate in an independent measurement of the implementation of the ODDS in LDCs

FERDI is one of the founding members of the "LDC IV Monitor" consortium, which brings together think-tanks from the North and South and whose aim is to independently assess progress in the implementation of the Istanbul Program of Action for LDCs for the decade 2011-2020.

Program Vulnerabilities - Least Developed Countries and other vulnerable countries

Security and development for Sahel

A plea for the Sahel

The group of experts created by FERDI in 2015 to work on the peace and security issues in the Sahel which threaten national development and international balance, published in 2016 the book "Linking security and development - A plea for the Sahel."

The plea was presented in France (Ministry of Europe and Foreign Affairs, national Assembly, Ministry of Defense), in Europe (European Parliament) and internationally (German Diplomats/US State Department/Wilson Center) as well as in various newspaper articles and radio interviews.

Creation of the Sahel Chair

The book Linking security and development - A plea for the Sahel resulted in the creation of the FERDI Sahel Chair. This Chair, led by Tertius Zongo former Prime Minister of Burkina Faso, mobilizes Sahelian expertise to evaluate the policies implemented.

Program Security and Development