The Institute of Fiscal Studies and Democracy (IFSD) is a Canadian think-tank sitting at the nexus of public finance and state institutions. 

Fiscal ecosystems include governments, legislatures, the public administration and other key actors and institutions in our political and economic life.  This ecosystem, rooted in hundreds of years of political history and economic development, is composed of an intertwined set of incentives, public and private information and a complex and sometimes opaque set of rules and processes based on constitutional law, legislative law, conventions and struggles for power.  The actors within this system depend on one another as well as the robustness and transparency of information and processes, all underpinned by a society’s standards of accountability.  It is at this dynamic intersection of money and politics that the Institute of Fiscal Studies and Democracy @uOttawa aims to research, advise, engage and teach.

The IFSD has been funded by the Province of Ontario to undertake applied research and student engagement in public finance and its intersection with public administration, politics and public policy.  The IFSD undertakes its work in Canada at all levels of government as well as abroad, leveraging partnerships and key relationships with organizations such as the World Bank, OECD, IMF and US National Governors Association.

IFSD manages a number of specific initiatives to further its mandate:

iVote-jeVote.ca is a campaign, led by uOttawa students and young alum, to foster political engagement among young Canadians.  The campaign aims to shrink the distance between young voters and our political leaders.  All national political parties have been represented on the iVote-jVote.ca stage and the campaign has been privileged to host some of Canada’s leading figures in politics and public policy including: The Rt. Hon. Justin Trudeau, Hon. Roy Romanow, Hon. Kathleen Wynne, Hon. Tom Mulcair, Hon. Michael Chong, Dr. David Suzuki, Hon. Stephane Dion, Elizabeth May and Hon. Maryam Monsef among others.

finparl.org is an online publication, data repository and aggregator of the research community focused on public finance and institutions with a specific interest in parliamentary strengthening.  The IFSD’s work in parliamentary strengthen is undertaken in partnership with the World Bank, OECD and IMF.

e-PBO.org is an online collaboration portal, hosted by the IFSD, that supports the World Bank’s Global Network of Parliamentary Budget Officers (GN-PBO).  The portal supports institutional capacity building through eLearning, financial and non-financial data, administrative resources, mentorship, peer knowledge exchange and the development of practice standards for fiscal officials.  The portal incorporates Cisco’s Webex conferencing platform providing a means to extend the GN-PBO’s meeting and workshop agenda by reaching to the working level of the network’s PBOs on four continents.

The IFSD Forum is a platform for research and debate. With expert analysis from Canada and around the world, The Forum’s mission is to provide digestible and publicly accessible events and policy briefs for politicians and their staff, the media, students and the citizenry. An open-source platform, The Forum was conceived in the lead-up to the 2015 federal election with the intention of challenging existing policy ideas and assessing emerging ones. Initially supported by a SSHRC Connection Grant, The IFSD Forum is now an initiative of the Institute of Fiscal Studies and Democracy (IFSD) at the University of Ottawa.

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