INTOSAI Development Initiative

Supporting effective, accountable and inclusive Supreme Audit Institutions


Global Foundations

For IDI to deliver effective support through its four work streams and bilateral efforts, there must be strong global foundations that strengthen the role and effectiveness of SAIs. IDI, in cooperation with the INTOSAI and donor community, has identified four key focus areas, or "foundations", that can collectively create a strong global basis for supporting SAIs and enhancing the value and benefits they deliver to citizens. 

The four key foundations are:

  • Arranging strategic partnerships with other organisations that can contribute to strengthen SAIs
  • Brokering support for SAIs, from donors, peer partners or other organisations
  • Measuring and monitoring SAI performance
  • Advocating for and communicating about SAI development

The Global Foundations Unit (GFU) coordinates activities within these four foundations, both through IDI and the INTOSAI-Donor Cooperation.

The background and goals for each of the four foundations, as outline in IDI's current Strategic Plan, can be found below.

Four Global Foundations for SAI Success

Strategic Partnerships, Stronger Partners

Recognising that IDI’s vision is shared with that of many partners, IDI will seek to engage in strategic partnerships that enable IDI and its partners to work together to achieve shared goals. As an INTOSAI body, IDI always has and will continue to partner with other INTOSAI bodies. In addition, IDI will also partner with organisations outside of INTOSAI. IDI considers the following groups of partners as essential:

  • INTOSAI Regions: IDI’s key partner for regional implementation of each work stream. While each region differs in its mandate, aspirations and organisational set-up, the regional bodies are essential partners for communicating and coordinating with their member SAIs, and for understanding the regional context and needs. The regional bodies are also key partners in the development and delivery of IDI products and initiatives, as well as often running their own capacity development programmes.
  • INTOSAI Committees and Working Groups: These bring together the global community of SAIs –from developed and developing countries – to set audit standards, develop and disseminate good practices and guidance on auditing and capacity building, and share knowledge. Their products often form the starting point of IDI’s initiatives and are disseminated by IDI; they act as partners for implementation; and IDI feeds lessons learned from implementation back to these committees.
  • UN agencies, development partners: INTOSAI has had a long and constructive relationship with UN bodies. Recently, UN agencies have become partners in implementing IDI initiatives (e.g.Auditing SDGs programme). In addition to UN agencies, IDI has established direct funding and other partnerships with development partners and has acted as the host of the INTOSAI-Donor Secretariat since 2010, providing support to the INTOSAI-Donor Cooperation. UN agencies and development partners will continue to be important strategic partners for implementation of the IDI Strategic Plan in terms of global advocacy, design and delivery of work streams, sharing of knowledge, coordination of support and funding.
  • SAIs: Developed and developing countries provide considerable in-kind support to IDI, as well as support to their peers. This varies from long-term, institutional support, to cooperative audit engagements, to peer reviews and assessments, to ad-hoc international training courses. IDI will seek to enhance its partnerships with individual SAIs in the new Strategic Plan period.
  • Other providers of support: Professional accountancy organisations, specialised public audit service providers, and consultancy firms may also be engaged in supporting SAIs, usually through implementation of donor funded grants and contracts, and are potential partners for IDI.
  • International Civil Society Organisations: A variety of CSOs operate in the governance, accountability and transparency sector, and have the potential to shape the broader environment in which SAIs operate. Several CSOs, such as the International Budget Partnership, undertake work which engages directly with the topic of SAI performance and capacity. These CSOs are all potential partners for IDI’s work at the global, regional and country-level.

Measure and Monitor SAI Performance and Support

As an INTOSAI body with a global focus, engaged in both policy formulation and SAI-level implementation, IDI is uniquely placed to measure and monitor SAI performance and support at a global level. The rationale for engagement in this area stems from the need for global information on SAI performance and priorities, the need to ensure support is effectively coordinated, the need to identify the results from support to SAIs, and to learn lessons on the effectiveness of support.

IDI envisages the following components under Measure and Monitor SAI Performance and Support:

  1. Global Survey and Stocktaking: IDI will coordinate the triennial INTOSAI Global Survey, in partnership with INTOSAI Committees, Regions, General Secretariat, Chair and Strategic Planning Task Force. IDI will also produce and disseminate its triennial Global Stocktaking report. This provides a global overview of levels and changes in SAI capacity and performance, and other information on SAI capacity development. It draws heavily on the results of the INTOSAI Global Survey, supplemented by other SAI performance information. Following from the 2010, 2014 and 2017 reports, new reports will be published in 2020 and 2023.
  2. SAI Capacity Development Database: Previously administered by the IDS on behalf of the INTOSAI-Donor Cooperation, this records the global, regional and SAI-level support projects implemented around the world. It provides a strong platform for planning and coordination of support to SAIs.
  3. Programme 360 – Assessing Sustainability and Impact: This Strategic Plan takes as a point of departure the need to enhance the impact and sustainability of IDI’s work. IDI will therefore develop and launch programme 360, with the overall purpose of better understanding whether the expected outcomes and impact of IDI’s initiatives on SAI capacity and performance have been achieved and sustained, and what contributed to this. Findings will provide a feedback loop to improve IDI’s work streams. Whilst results monitoring will be integrated continually into each work stream, assessing sustainability and impact requires a longer-term perspective. The follow-up of specific work stream components6 after their completion will therefore be undertaken through this global foundation.
  4. Global SAI Performance Data Management: The above components generate and rely on vast collection of SAI capacity and performance data, drawn from many sources. However, this data is collected and managed individually. Better management of this data could strengthen IDI’s planning and targeting of support and understanding of results. Better sharing of global, regional and SAI level performance data – with due respect to the confidentiality of survey responses and unpublished assessment results – could help all stakeholders engaged in support to SAIs to strengthen their work and better communicate results. This could be done via a web-accessible database and/or the country pages of the SAI Capacity Development Database. IDI’s work in this area during 2019-23 will progress depending on the levels of interest and availability of resources.

Broker of Support

For IDI, brokering support is about the facilitation of matching and connecting SAIs with suitable partners, and empowering SAIs to better articulate their support needs. Brokering support can be done through a formal process, like the Global Call for Proposals (GCP), or more informally through all IDI’s work. IDI will put more emphasis on bringing the right partners together in support of SAIs and INTOSAI Regions (through peer-to-peer, donor support etc.).

Broker of Support

As the figure shows, IDI will broker support through a targeted intervention (GCP), which would be a revised approach to scaling up support through helping to match SAI needs with donor/ peer-support capabilities. IDI could also continue to broker support less directly through its work streams and individual SAI support, by facilitating contact with donor organisations and other providers of support. A less direct method is for IDI to spot opportunities informally through its data gathering on performance, its partnership engagement and advocacy work.

Advocacy and Communications for Behaviour Change

Communications and advocacy are vital to maximise the effectiveness of the IDI Strategic Plan. A separate but complementary IDI Global Communications and Advocacy Strategy7 reinforces the vision, mission and strategic priorities set out in the Strategic Plan at global level.

IDI defines advocacy as a process that involves empowering and facilitating the efforts of stakeholders in changing existing laws, practices, ideas, and distributions of power and resources. It is both about changing specific decisions affecting people’s lives and changing decision making processes, so they are more effective, accountable and inclusive. IDI applies advocacy approaches to support the sustainable enhancement of SAI independence, resources, capacity, performance and impact. IDI advocates for implementation of international standards for and by SAIs, and for SAIs to engage in emerging issues relevant to citizens.

The INTOSAI-Donor Cooperation has asked IDI to incorporate the operational work to achieve the objectives of the Memorandum of Understanding between the Donor community and INTOSAI. In this respect, IDI will specifically advocate for support being SAI-led, well-coordinated and harmonised around the SAI’s own strategic planning. IDI will work closely with INTOSAI and the Donor community to leverage their engagement in promoting these principles.

As a member of the INTOSAI family with a distinct role as an implementing body, IDI will coordinate, work and build synergies with INTOSAI entities and contribute to the INTOSAI Strategic Plan through its own communication and advocacy efforts.

IDI will focus on the following communication objectives:

  1. Communicating IDI’s value
  2. Raising awareness on the role, benefits and challenges of SAIs
  3. Advocating for better SAI environment and support

IDI will target its audience by directly addressing relevant stakeholders via appropriate communication channels and by engaging with change agents that have the potential to act on behalf of IDI. IDI will incorporate gender into its advocacy and behavioural change work. Behaviour change will not only encompass good development cooperation practices, but also communicate the benefits of diversity for SAIs and the countries they operate in. This can include identifying, developing, and disseminating success stories which highlight the role of women and gender issues in SAIs, and their contributions to successful capacity development efforts.