Citizens of fragile states can fund public services directly – it’s working in Somalia

We found that most households step in to fund public services through community-based informal taxes. Our evidence also suggests that external actors can build on this informal financing to improve public goods provision, without necessarily undermining the state’s authority. Nevertheless, it is important to recognise the uneven burden that informal taxes can have on citizens. They can also reinforce an inequitable distribution of power and encourage a non-universal conception of citizenship and rights.