Riksrevisionen logotyp, länk till startsidan.
Riksrevisionen logotyp, länk till startsidan.

Successful support to supreme audit institutions in developing countries

The Swedish National Audit Office (Swedish NAO) has followed up the last four years of international development cooperation. The conclusion is that the initiatives contribute to the development of democracy, greater transparency and more efficient authorities in many countries.

The Swedish National Audit Office's foyer with a sign and cover image from the results report on our international development cooperation.

One of the Swedish NAO’s tasks is to conduct international development cooperation. The purpose is to support development of independent and professional audit institutions in developing countries, contribute to democracy building and strengthen parliamentary control.

The Swedish NAO has tasked external actors with evaluating operations in the period 2019–2022 and has added its own assessments. The report shows that the operations mainly function well and achieve their objectives.

Riksrevisor Helena Lindberg, porträtt.

“Our partners have varied levels of development, but we see clear results among them all, including in the form of greater knowledge and clearer processes. An increasing number of countries can thereby carry out independent audit based on the international standards,” says Auditor General Helena Lindberg.

The main aim of the Swedish NAO’s operations is to strengthen partners’ capacity for financial audit, performance audit, quality assurance and quality control.

To increase the impact of change, the Swedish NAO also works to strengthen partners’ institutional capacity within areas such as HR, communication, strategic planning and leadership.

Here are some examples from the report showing what the efforts have contributed to:

  • The audit institutions in Kenya, Palestine, Uganda and Zimbabwe have enhanced the quality of their reports, which has led to greater impact of the recommendations.
  • The financial audits by the audit institutions in the Western Balkans are of higher quality, and the reports are briefer and more readable.
  • The audit institutions in Kosovo, Montenegro, and Bosnia and Herzegovina have improved their quality assurance and quality control.
  • The audit institutions in Moldova, Uganda, and Zimbabwe have developed their intranet, thus also their audit potential.

The Swedish NAO has identified a number of success factors. It is important that the support is flexible and based on the partner’s needs, and that it is practical and immediate for the initiatives to be relevant and needs-based. It is also important that the efforts build on joint creativity so that the partner feels ownership, and that they involve the partner’s entire organisation, including responsible managers. Combining regional and bilateral initiatives often improves the potential for positive change.

Matilda Jonung, portrait.

“Moreover, it is crucial to establish a trusting relationship so that positive changes have a chance to last over time,” says Matilda Jonung, project leader of the report.

Read the report

Results of the Swedish National Audit Office's International Development Cooperation 2019–2022

Annex 1. Results per cooperation project

The Swedish National Audit Office’s international operations

The Swedish National Audit Office conducts a wide range of international operations. The Swedish NAO represents Sweden in international contexts and is instructed by the Riksdag, within the context of Swedish development cooperation, to support development of supreme audit institutions in other countries. Currently, the Swedish NAO is active in bilateral cooperation projects in Armenia, Kenya, Kosovo, Liberia, Moldova, Palestine, Tanzania and Zimbabwe. In addition, the Swedish NAO is involved in five regional partnerships targeting 43 Supreme Audit Institutions in the Western Balkans, Africa, South-East Asia and the Pacific area.

Read more about the international work of the Swedish National Audit Office

Press contact: Olle Castelius, phone: +46 8-5171 40 04.

Uppdaterad: 11 October 2022

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