Kenema City Project


Drawing insights from our involvement in tax reforms in Freetown, Sierra Leone’s capital, LoGRI has forged a partnership with Kenema, the nation’s third-largest city with approximately 255,000 inhabitants. Initiating in 2022, our collaboration with Kenema City Council (KCC) encompassed a pilot study detailing city building features and property values. This study paved the way for establishing property tax rates that are equitable and progressive. Spearheading the project, LoGRI identified and mapped all urban structures using high-resolution satellite imagery, simultaneously training local GIS professionals. In the final quarter of 2023 LoGRI, in tandem with KCC, is collecting field data, business information, and property characteristics from more than 50,000 structures identified from satellite imagery. This data will be used to build a database with business information and property value estimates, with the overall objective of building an fair and transparent tax system.

Our endeavors in Kenema not only enhance the tax system but also offer a blueprint for efficient reforms in cities with challenges such as informal real estate valuation and limited administrative capabilities. We’re pioneering methods in Kenema, including the use of GIS field tools to verify the precision of manually drawn building boundaries and evaluating the balance of accuracy and efficiency in both onsite and offsite property valuation methodologies, guided by local property value experts.

Upcoming Publications

Research and Publications

Project Team

Rosetta Wilson

Emile Eleveld

Amadu Jan Jalloh

Manso Bagura

Sheku Kunateh

Technical Lead

Axel Schneider

Paul Fish

Doctoral Fellow

Doctoral Fellow

Related Media

Related Projects

Photo credit to Wikimedia Commons

Evan Trowbridge

Technical Lead

Evan advances LoGRI’s work through the collection, analysis, and management of data. Before joining the LoGRI team in Sierra Leone, he was the data manager at a local research organization. Evan’s prior experience includes four years of governance experience in Honduras, where he worked for USAID and a local NGO while also leading a small program for at-risk youth. His other work includes the International Innovation Corps and an association of philanthropic foundations. Evan has a Master of Public Policy from the University of Chicago Harris School of Public Policy and undergraduate degrees from Penn State University.


Nicolas Orgeira Pillai

Doctoral Fellow

Nicolas Orgeira Pillai is a Doctoral Fellow with LoGRI. His research focuses on local revenue mobilisation, with a particular interest in property taxation and tax compliance. Through the use of impact evaluation approaches and quantitative analysis, his work aims to support tax administrations in implementing state-building tax reforms that improves governance and the relationship between the government and the citizens. His projects also relate to tax administration, gender and taxation, and the informal economy. He holds a master’s in economics at the University of Toronto and is a doctoral candidate in Economics at the University of Sussex.


All Contributions

Graeme Stewart-Wilson

Doctoral Fellow