The IDI supports SAIs in over a 140 developing countries, through a client-centred facilitation approach, in their efforts to sustainably enhance their performance, professionalism and independence, and thereby contribute to SAIs making a difference in the quality of public sector governance and public service for the benefit of their citizens. The efforts of the IDI are manifested through the IDI Capacity Development Programmes which are offered to SAIs for supporting them in different areas of their professional operations. The portfolio of IDI’s capacity development programmes has represented the entire gamut of the SAIs operations over the years. Besides supporting the SAIs in core audit disciplines, the programmes cover areas like Strategic and Operational Planning, Management and Leadership Development, Human resources etc.
The first complete set of International Standards for Supreme Audit Institutions(ISSAIs) was presented and endorsed at the INTOSAI Congress in South Africa in 2010 and the IDI was entrusted by the INTOSAI for facilitating the capacity development of SAIs with regards to implementation of the ISSAIs. Implementation of the ISSAIs is one of the core areas where the IDI provides support to the SAIs through its capacity development programmes and the implementation of ISSAIs cuts across as a priority area for all the IDI Programmes.
As detailed in the IDI Strategic Plan 2014-2018, the following five core principles permeate every IDI effort:
The IDI recognises three main aspects of capacity development. The IDI Capacity Development Programmes strive to incorporate at least two of these three aspects.
Institutional Capacity Development involves working within the institutional and legal framework within which an SAI operates. It is a combination of formal laws, regulations and procedures on the one hand, and informal conventions, customs and norms on the other, within which the SAI operates. Formal regulations include the SAI’s legislation in terms of financial independence, administrative independence, audit mandate, and terms and conditions of appointment of the Head of the SAI.
The organisational system's capacity of an SAI include the processes and structures within the organisation to enable a more effective and efficient achievement of the desired objectives. These include systems in the core business area of an SAI – audit – as well as overall governance and support systems e.g. establishing a human resource management system, developing audit manuals, and developing a management information system. The professional staff capacity of an SAI is the ability of the SAI management and staff to function effectively together as per their job requirements. It includes the knowledge and skills of SAI employees.In considering any capacity development effort it is important to reflect on all three aspects of capacity development. The IDI’s capacity development framework for SAIs integrates the three aspects of capacity development with the areas of capacity development in an SAI.
To implement this approach to developing SAI capacity, the IDI has adopted a model consisting of the following sequenced steps:
For assessing needs, the IDI has developed a needs assessment framework and supporting guidance that addresses gaps in SAIs’ organisational systems and employees’ professional competencies. The needs assessments are carried out by the INTOSAI regions with support from the IDI or globally through global surveys or through meetings with the INTOSAI regions and other stakeholders facilitated by the IDI. Other sources like the SAI Capacity Development Database and the Global Call for Proposals are also considered. The programmes to be carried out are determined in close collaboration between the INTOSAI regions, their member SAIs and the IDI. Prioritisation matrices are also employed by the IDI to determine the programmes to be prioritized.
After having established the needs, the IDI, regional resource persons and other stakeholders design appropriate interventions to address the identified gaps. To optimize impact, target SAIs are grouped together based on similarity of needs. Since the programmes have become more comprehensive, span over several years and require substantial monetary, human and other resources, an emphasis has been on obtaining the commitment and ownership of the Heads of the SAIs through the signing of Statement of Commitments or equivalent committing the necessary resources to the programme. This is considered critical as ownership and top management leadership is crucial to successful development. There are regular consultations with regional administrators to monitor progress and make midway changes wherever necessary.
The experience of the IDI is that classroom teaching alone has limited impact. The IDI programmes, therefore, target a combination of theoretical skills development and implementing the skills in practical work. The theoretical part is either done face-to-face through classroom training or increasingly through e-learning. This is followed by practical implementation through for instance pilot audits where assistance is provided in the field and/or through review meetings. Importantly, the programmes also typically include a component for implementing the methodology within the participating SAI. Based on the lessons learned and experiences made, the programmes are documented in handbooks or other guidance material which are global public goods.
As in previous years, the IDI has achieved strong results in 2015. The programmes delivered in English, Arabic, French and Spanish have had 1106 participants from 145 SAIs. This includes 41% female participation and covers 116 SAIs in developing countries and 45 SAIs from fragile states. Over 48 000 capacity development days have been delivered. Sixteen Capacity Development Programmes have been facilitated during the year. This includes six new programmes in highly relevant areas for capacity development of SAIs like SAI Fighting Corruption; SAI Engaging with Stakeholders; SAI Strategy, Performance Measurement and Reporting; SAI Young Leaders; Auditing Sustainable Development Goals; and Enhancing eLearning Capacity. Other significant programmes offered during the year include the ISSAI (International Standards for Supreme Audit Institutions) Implementation Initiative; IT Audit; IDI- INTOSAI Capacity Building Committee support programme; and Audit of Lending and Borrowing Frameworks Programmes.