What's New?

Estimating the Costs of Corruption

AFI’s new model estimates the costs of corruption and other efficiency losses at US$4.5 trillion at the general government level. This is about 5% of world GDP or more than four times the annual gap needed to fully finance the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG). The model predicts that every country in the world has substantial losses – some more than others – caused by corruption and other inefficiencies that are in turn caused by holes in their own public finances and oversight systems. Losses are estimated for all countries with publicly available fiscal and risk data. Estimates of losses are also provided by sub-system (e.g. budget, audit and procurement), sector (e.g. health and education) and level of government (e.g. general, central and local). A technical working paper has been released for comment that provides the methodology and presents some initial findings. A pilot of a Costs of Inefficiency and Systemic Corruption (COSIC) Index is also under development. Comments can be provided via:  cosic.review@artificialfiscalinteligence.com


Fiscal Intelligence

“It’s the ability to apply public financial and performance information of social, economic and political value to achieve better policy outcomes. Governments only use a fraction of the data available to them. Modern technology now provides the opportunity to design tools that can harness that latent value and allow policy makers to make more informed decisions based on clearer evidence. ” (AFI Founders) 


Artificial Fiscal Intelligence (ChatGPT)

“AFI refers to the use of artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) techniques in fiscal policy making and decision-making processes. It can be applied in a variety of areas such as tax collection, budget allocation, and expenditure optimization.

Some potential benefits of AFI include improved accuracy in forecasting and data analysis, increased efficiency in resource allocation, and enhanced transparency in decision-making processes. However, there are also concerns about the potential risks and limitations of AFI, such as the possibility of biases in data and algorithms, the need for extensive data privacy and security measures, and the potential for AFI to replace human expertise and judgment.

Overall, AFI has the potential to offer significant benefits in the field of fiscal policy, but it is important to carefully consider its potential risks and limitations and to ensure that it is implemented in an ethical and responsible manner.”


We have a suite of diagnostic, performance management and budget preparation tools and applications in support of improved fiscal intelligence. These go well beyond the standard approaches including fiscal space forecasting and ways to measure risk and the costs of corruption and other inefficiencies. We believe that our technical cooperation system is an effective way to apply the tools we have used and developed over the last 25 years. Our end-to-end technical cooperation engagement solution starts at diagnostics and consensus building through to reform strategy development, performance monitoring systems, and an implementation mechanism designed to incentivize team and institutional performance. Click here  to find out more. 

We start with diagnosing the problems

Then we help build a consensus

By being strategic in reform planning

And fostering great budget practices

While helping to monitor internal agreements

By incentivising teams to take calculated risks


Meet Vin and Andrew our Founders and Directors

Vin Ashcroft
Andrew Laing


The two founders, Andrew Laing and Vincent Ashcroft, met in the Budget Office of Timor-Leste in 2001 at the tail end of the UN mission that helped to restore independence after 25 years of Indonesian occupation. Working inside the newly formed government and dealing with the international development community’s overwhelming presence left a lasting impression. Our mission became one of looking for a better way to help developing countries find their own path to self-reliance and fiscal sustainability. We have worked separately and together in diverse countries, including Iraq, Cambodia, Indonesia, Liberia, Afghanistan, PNG, Pakistan, and Puerto Rico. Over the years, we have developed a strong team-based and problem-driven approach to help governments and reformers facing considerable challenges in low capacity and volatile environments.


Welcome to Artificial Fiscal Intelligence.
AFI is a startup formed to help governments develop and apply fiscal intelligence in order to get better fiscal outcomes. Our aim is to help our partner governments grow their economies in fiscally efficient, inclusive and sustainable ways. We believe that strengthening policy making, delivering better fiscal performance and increasing institutional and public accountability are primary pathways to that goal. We believe there is significant room for innovation in the way rich and poor countries cooperate on strengthening fiscal performance. Our system of technical cooperation is about facilitating partnerships, assisting reformers, integrating new technology into policy making and incentivizing fiscal performance improvements. 

One of our strengths is being able to draw on our experience in both highly functional and dysfunctional systems to quickly and credibly understand the true strengths, weaknesses and risks present within a government’s public finance system – and using that as a foundation to create the conditions for successful and enduring reform for the benefit of current and future generations. 

What we do

Check out where we have worked and what we’ve been doing for the last 25 years in different roles, and what AFI plans to do moving forward


AFI is founded on the belief that we can be a cost-effective partner for developing countries needing assistance on their path to fiscal self-reliance and their donor government partners. We are an expertise-based organisation. We only work in areas where we feel we have experience and unique expertise. We draw on a global network of people who are development experts who look for the best opportunities to advance the cause of poor people rather than recruiting professional contractors.


Here are our five key traits that define our approach to fiscal development:

Committed to country systems

We are committed to using country systems to improve them. This means working within the prevailing political, economic, and social systems and using existing local data to better inform decision makers and strengthen analysis

Using Incentives in Implementation

We believe in using incentives to improve implementation including direct support for local reformers and reform teams, building institutional and social accountability and by using international assistance strategically

Embrace Cost-Effective Technology

We embrace the use of cost effective, cutting edge technology and innovation to help solve problems, improve transparency and accountability, and break aid and TA dependency traps

Proactively Building Alliances

We are actively working to build an alliance of like-minded leading experts in diverse but complementary fields that prioritise problem solving and political and technical consensus building in order to create the conditions for reform and effect desirable change

Targeting the Nexus

We always seek to drive the nexus of public finance and anti-corruption, public accountability and institutional culture with service delivery to ensure policy and reform agendas prioritise improving the lives of citizens, especially the poor and the most vulnerable in society.

Number of Collaborations
Countries we've worked in​
Clients who said it was too hard​
Times we thought it was too hard​