Since our founding in 1980, we have delivered capacity building for SAIs in developing countries through our international programming. In these 35-plus years, more than 240 auditors, from 53 countries, have graduated as Fellows and hundreds more have participated in our workshops abroad.
The program has always been funded by the Government of Canada (initially the Canadian International Development Agency, now Global Affairs Canada) and delivered with the strong and continuous participation of our Canadian partners.
The rationale and broad objectives of our international programming have remained consistent over time, but the design of the program has evolved—beginning with only Fellowship placements in Canada, then expanding to include workshops abroad, and now providing even more in-depth support.
2012-2017: The International Legislative Oversight Program (ILOP)
Our current program, the ILOP, focuses exclusively on four countries—Cameroon, Ghana, Tanzania, and Vietnam—continuing the relationships we had already established with these SAIs. While maintaining the structure of our previous program, with Fellowships held in Canada and training and mentoring delivered abroad, the ILOP provides more in-depth support to these four countries. This includes:
- More direct involvement in audits: In the Fellowships, each participant now works with Canadian mentors to plan a performance audit that is to be carried out when they return home from Canada. As well, several of the in-country training activities are directly connected to the planning, conduct, and reporting of specific audits. This gives the program a strong practical focus and produces clear outputs.
- Increased focus on priority and crosscutting themes: The ILOP requires that the Fellows’ audit plan projects address topics related to the Government of Canada’s international development priority themes. We also support and encourage audits on the crosscutting development themes of gender equality and environmental sustainability and have developed training and guidance materials on these subjects.
- Management internships: Training and mentoring for the SAIs has been expanded to include the management cadre, addressing topics such as strategic planning, performance measurement, and communications strategies. This added dimension of training reinforces the success of the performance audit capacity building and helps the SAIs make a greater impact with their audit reports.
- Greater regional involvement: The program includes increased collaboration with INTOSAI regional organizations and other development partners, and a greater emphasis on engaging our partner SAIs in regional and international events. This creates additional capacity-building opportunities for the SAIs, extends our reach to the regional level, and ensures that the program avoids duplicative efforts.
2007-2012: The International Legislative Audit Assistance Program (ILAAP)
The launch of the ILAAP marked a significant expansion in our international programming. The ILAAP continued the successful Fellowship placements and introduced new components to provide post-graduate support to the Fellows and additional training for SAIs and parliamentary oversight committees.
The key changes were:
- Introduction of in-country activities: We began delivering workshops for the SAIs and parliamentary oversight committees, and mentoring for the SAIs.
- Engagement of more Canadian partners: The Offices of the Auditors General (OAGs) of Alberta and British Columbia began hosting Fellowships, joining the long-time hosts, the OAGs of Canada and Québec. These OAGs, as well as those of Manitoba, New Brunswick, and Nova Scotia, also began to co-facilitate in-country workshops and act as mentors for the SAIs.
- A focus on fewer countries: Whereas our international program previously focused on training individuals, the ILAAP aimed to build a core group of trained performance auditors in selected countries. We therefore narrowed the geographic focus of the program to 11 countries: Barbados, Belize, Benin, Cameroon, Ghana, Guyana, Kenya, Mali, Saint Lucia, Tanzania, and Vietnam.
Under the ILAAP, 39 Fellows graduated and we delivered more than 50 in-country or regional workshops and mentoring sessions, including 10 workshops for parliamentary oversight committees.
1980-2007: The International Fellowship Program
Our international programming began in 1980-81 when four auditors—from Ghana, Malaysia, the Philippines and Singapore—completed a placement at the Office of the Auditor General of Canada. The OAG of Canada continued to host Fellows every year, and soon the OAG of Québec also joined the program.
During this period, 184 Fellows participated, coming from 52 countries. Several of these graduates have gone on to become Auditors General, in countries including Bhutan, Costa Rica, Guyana, Kenya, Saint Lucia, Senegal and Sri Lanka, and many others held senior positions in their offices.