Sharing is Caring

January 11, 2022 by Maja Tomšič Pavlič


The initiative for developing a knowledge-sharing culture in tax administrations started in 2021. A series of online meetings help participants recognize the numerous benefits that knowledge sharing brings to every individual, team, and institution. Participatory meetings offer Tax Coordinators a platform for developing ideas, sharing knowledge, and learning from each other. In doing so, we aim to help them strengthen their capacity for systematic knowledge exchange in the long term.


CEF Tax Coordinators and their colleagues, responsible for the training of tax officials, are invited. CEF Tax Coordinators are our constituency's regional representatives in tax administrations, who are engaged in capacity development and the strategic management of human capital in their institutions. As human resources professionals, they focus on strategic personnel retention and talent development.


Knowledge sharing encompasses the exchange of knowledge (information, skills, experiences, or expertise) between individuals and teams, within and across organizations. It is an important aspect of knowledge management that enhances organizational learning and employee performance, and improves cooperation between organizations and individuals. Institutions that use knowledge management practices in different forms achieve organizational goals easier and increase their performance. An organization that acknowledges the importance of knowledge exchange and is skilled in creating, acquiring, and transferring knowledge, becomes a learning organization. Many knowledge management activities are already being implemented in the tax administrations of Southeast Europe, but not that systematically. So, there is a big potential for institutions to recognize that learning and knowledge sharing are crucial sources of value creation in each institution.

How #1?

Due to the complex nature of the subject and the fact that internal readiness for such changes needs to be built patiently, we took a step-by-step approach. During the first two meetings, we identified the most crucial topics for bridging the gap in achieving institutional knowledge-sharing. So far, we have addressed IT development, including the operational use of information systems and the development of staff skills. Our next focus will be legislation. All the topics are addressed one by one, taking account of their complexity.


How #2?

We put our audience in the center of the learning process as we believe that participation always improves the learning results. At the same time, we wish to address the real needs of CEF Tax Coordinators. They should become creators of their future, and have ownership of their commitments, which is why it is better to start from real known circumstances. So, we decided to assign them an active role right from the very beginning until the end of the learning process by being engaged in preparations and delivery. Experience shows that the preparation process is crucial. We devoted a lot of time and energy to this phase, and it paid off in the form of fruitful discussions during the meetings. Preparation is essential from two perspectives:

  • Faculty. We met several times with the faculty to explain to them our main purpose and how to achieve it. It is worth explaining everything in detail, as the faculty must adopt and share the vision and mission of the meeting. From this stage on, it is easy to jointly design an agenda for the activities. An important result of joint efforts is a questionnaire, which is sent to the participants.
  • Participants. By submitting the filled in questionnaire, they provide us with answers that serve as the basis for a live discussion. The agenda of the meetings is fully demand-driven – we discuss participants’ challenges. Moreover, the faculty performs mostly as observers, asking the participants for additional explanations, helping them develop ideas, and setting a general way forward.

How #3?

CEF Tax Coordinators and other participants learn from each other through discussions. Identification of similar issues is an important aspect of peer learning.


Participants benefit from taking an active approach before and during the meetings. Based on their feedback, this methodology makes them think further and opens new horizons. At this stage, this is very promising. It is a long journey to become a learning organization and we do not expect tax administrations to achieve this overnight. We will continue helping them raise awareness of the importance of knowledge management. So, in a few years, we expect to see changes in the strategic human resources management and consequently, better individual and institutional performance.

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