INTOSAI-DONOR COOPERATION UPDATE

NEW GLOBAL CALL FOR PROPOSALS TIER ONE LAUNCHED

The INTOSAI-Donor Cooperation has relaunched the Global Call for Proposals (GCP). The GCP matches SAIs’ needs-based capacity development proposalGCP Megaphone.pngs with donor funding and/or INTOSAI support. The GCP is being relaunched in a stronger format with a two-tiered approach.

March 31 marked the launch of the new Global Call for Proposals (GCP) Tier 1 by the INTOSAI-Donor Cooperation. Similar to GCP 2011 and GCP 2013, Tier 1 will continue to accept proposals from all Supreme Audit Institutions (SAIs) and International Organization of Supreme Audit Institutions (INTOSAI) bodies for projects benefiting SAIs in developing countries. Tier 2, will provide more intensive support to a small group of the most-challenged SAIs and will be launched later in the year.

Following a strategic process in 2016, GCP has been strengthened to better fit the needs of SAIs and increase the ability of donors to support project proposals. It is a matching mechanism where the applicant actively develops the project proposal. The GCP provides guidance and support to SAIs to develop Concept Notes to be distributed amongst donors working with SAIs.

Key features of the GCP Tier 1 include:

A Rolling Process: The new GCP seeks to empower SAIs in developing countries to drive capacity and performance forward. A rolling process means SAIs can take their time to develop Concept Notes and apply for support when it best fits with their strategic cycles. The new Tier 1 does not have deadlines, so SAIs and INTOSAI bodies can submit Concept Notes to the INTOSAI-Donor Secretariat at any time.

Concept Notes: All SAIs, INTOSAI bodies and INTOSAI regions may submit Concept Notes at any time for projects benefiting SAIs in developing countries. The Concept Note, a key document to help applicants prepare and present a brief but precise outline of its capacity development needs and the proposed support, demonstrates SAI ownership and clearly refers to documented assessment of the SAI’s capacity development needs. The Concept Note template and guidance is available on the IDC website. Concept Notes should be submitted to intosai.donor.secretariat@idi.no.

Information about sources of support: To develop a high quality Concept Note, knowing more about donor practices and understanding how providers can support SAIs may be useful for applicants. Fact sheets for donor members and INTOSAI members of the INTOSAI-Donor Cooperation have been created, and SAIs can make use of this information that includes funding cycles and support mechanisms in preparing concept notes.

Peer to Peer Support: SAIs have unique roles best understood by other SAIs. Peer support is already established as a credible and independent form of support within INTOSAI. The GCP seeks to facilitate greater use of SAIs and INTOSAI bodies as providers of peer support. SAI applicants and donors can utilize INTOSAI Capability Statements to identify potential peer support providers.

Stronger quality checks: Quality review by the INTOSAI-Donor Secretariat is a support measure to help SAIs complete relevant needs-based and demand-driven concept notes that can be distributed to potential support providers. The quality review helps to ensure adherence to Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) principles that lay at the foundation of the INTOSAI-Donor Cooperation, including: linkage to the SAI’s strategic plan; harmonization and coordination with existing support; and being SAI-led, rather than donor-driven.

To find out more about the GCP Tier 1, including downloading the application template and guidance, visit IDI’s website.

Templates and concept note examples are available in English, French, Spanish and Arabic. For questions, contact the INTOSAI-Donor Secretariat via email at intosai.donor.secretariat@idi.no.

SPOTLIGHT ON SUCCESS

Success Stories.pngWorking with Supreme Audit Institutions is important in making a difference in the lives of citizens. How do we communicate this importance to stakeholders? How do we convey the significance of funding and supporting SAIs?

The INTOSAI-Donor Cooperation is taking steps towards this objective through a stronger focus on measuring results and sharing these results in success stories.

In 2016, the INTOSAI-Donor Cooperation (Cooperation) decided to update the organization’s strategic direction. As a result, the Cooperation is now entering a new phase with an increased focus on results measurement and communication. In relation to this new results framework, a Communications Strategy has been developed, which encompasses objectives to maintain Cooperation support by raising awareness on the Cooperation’s value and to influence behavioral changes to ensure the objectives of the INTOSAI-Donor Memorandum of Understanding (MoU)are achieved.

One of the key activities is the development of success stories to better:

  • Share results accomplished through the combined efforts of INTOSAI and Donor communities in strengthening SAI performance
  • Illustrate how these joint efforts have had an impact on the lives of citizens
  • Demonstrate how the MoU principles contributed to these results.

The success stories will be based on evidence—the work is closely related to results measurement where the Cooperation seeks to objectively measure changes in SAI performance over time.

The Cooperation, with support from the United States Government Accountability Office (GAO), has already collaborated with SAI Bhutan (RAA), SAI Sierra Leone (ASSL) and the PASAI Secretariat for the creation of three success stories, all of which have a country-level focus. Key achievements are illustrated in the figure below.

While the PASAI chronicle is based on a regional capacity development program, its primary focus is on the concrete results in SAI Kiribati and SAI Tuvalu. The stories, first made publicly available during the XXII Congress, have now been published on the Cooperation website.

The Cooperation has defined three criteria that need to be in place:

  • Enhanced Internal Capacity
  • External Impact
  • Contribution of INTOSAI-Donor MoU principles

Enhanced Internal Capacity. The success stories associated with SAI Bhutan, SAI Sierra Leone, SAI Kiribati and SAI Tuvalu all include enhanced internal capacity and improved audit quality experiences. Dasho Tshering Kezang, Auditor General of SAI Bhutan, noted, “External support has been instrumental in enhancing the institutional capacity of our audit office.”

External Impact. Internal improvements must also translate externally. In Bhutan, increased audit quality has influenced Bhutan’s public debt management. Based on audit recommendations, the Ministry of Finance (MOF) developed a Public Debt Policy that provides a single overall threshold, as well as sector-specific thresholds for external debt.

Shortly after the policy’s implementation, the MOF established a new department of Macroeconomic Affairs, whose mission is to “maintain a sustainable level of public debt.” In Sierra Leone, capacity development programs have led to a strengthened relationship between the SAI and the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) resulting in improved parliamentary scrutiny of audit reports, public access to the SAI’s reports and publicly broadcast PAC hearings.

Additionally, the prompt audit of the 2015 Management of Ebola Resources and the resulting report on mismanagement and corruption in the use of Ebola aid funds led to strong debates among stakeholders and increased pressure for accountability.

Increased capacity in the SAIs of Kiribati and Tuvalu, both in the PASAI region, has driven timely completion of the whole of government audits, positively contributing to the availability of up-to-date and reliable financial information for the respective governments in preparing budgets and formulating relevant policies.

Mr. Eli Lopati, Auditor-General of SAI Tuvalu, stated, “The Sub-regional Audit Support (SAS) program has contributed to increased trust by our clients in the reports we deliver.”

The ultimate goal is to demonstrate concrete effects on the lives of citizens, a challenging task particularly due to the Cooperation having only been established in 2010. However, we believe showcasing the external impact already achieved can affect the lives of citizens in the long run.

Contribution of INTOSAI-Donor MoU Principles. The PASAI story provides a good example of regional support aligned behind a regional strategic plan, leading to coordinated and harmonized cooperation. Both the Bhutan and Sierra Leone stories illustrate SAI-led support, with donor sponsorship backing the SAI strategic plans, subsequently enhancing SAI capacity.

Where possible, the Cooperation’s regional and global initiative influence toward these results will also be highlighted, such as the project stemming from the SAI Capacity Development Fund, the Global Call for Proposals, or that the SAI Capacity Development Database was used to ensure effective coordination with other partners.

While this is not an absolute requirement, the goal is to have an all-inclusive development of narratives that recognize successes that have come, in part, as a result of united stakeholders coming together working for a common goal (the essence of the INTOSAI-Donor Cooperation).

The positive developments are inspiring! Yet, the coming years will still be challenging for SAI Bhutan, SAI Sierra Leone, SAI Kiribati and SAI Tuvalu as they continue the journey in relation to performing audits in accordance with international standards and making those changes sustainable.

Mrs. Lara Taylor-Pearce, Sierra Leone’s Auditor General, echoes these sentiments and has “embraced the sustained support given by our development partners and harmonized development programs with our strategic plans. We hope the intense development assistance to ASSL can continue until we reach a level of matureness where we can make an impact based on our own sustainable capabilities.”

In the coming years, these success stories will be widely distributed using a number of forums, and the Cooperation will continue developing new ones as cooperative projects and associated efforts progress to completion. The forums include the current Website, as well as the new Cooperation Portal (planned for launch later this year). A new Portal feature will be SAI country sites—a great place for SAIs to demonstrate their work, the support they have received from others and how this is making an impact on society.

In light of the current challenges the world is facing, now, more than ever, it will be important to find effective ways to communicate to stakeholders that working with SAIs is important, makes a difference to the lives of citizens, and should be funded and supported.

Globally, reduced economic growth, tremendous investment needs to meet the Sustainable Development Goal objectives, rising inequality within the developing world and enduring corruption, greatly impact society. Though these factors can potentially lead to a lack of appropriate funding to SAIs and may hinder SAI ability to deliver on mandates, it is important to note that they also enhance the central role of the SAI in the Public Financial Management system of a country.

Making effective use of scarce resources, identifying improvement opportunities, holding the government accountable and promoting transparency are just a few examples of how SAIs can contribute. For a more in depth article about the important role of SAIs, see the Cooperation update in INTOSAI Journal Summer Issue 2016.

The INTOSAI-Donor Cooperation Secretariat is always seeking examples of SAI capacity development success stories that can potentially be developed into communications pieces. If you wish to share examples, please email the Secretariat at intosai.donor.secretariat@idi.no.

Follow the INTOSAI-Donor Cooperation on LinkedIn.

 

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