May 2017: The Role of Supreme Audit Institutions

Last year Global Affairs Canada issued a message to Canadians and to the broader global community that Canada's new development agenda would be centered on supporting the poor and most vulnerable and the empowerment of women and girls. Since then, Global Affairs Canada has been actively promoting the need for a feminist approach to development in all of its areas of activity, from food security and sustainable economic growth to governance, maternal newborn and child health, humanitarian support, and peace and security. Also in 2016, at the Congress of the International Organization of Supreme Audit Institutions (INTOSAI) in Abu Dhabi, the United Nations' Under-Secretary-General for Economic and Social Affairs, Mr. Wu Hongbo, issued his own strong message that Supreme Audit Institutions (SAIs) - independent public bodies mandated to ensure the proper and effective use of public funds using a variety of auditing techniques - have an important role to play in achieving the goals set out in the UN's2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development (the SDGs). These SDGs prioritize the empowerment of women and girls as a prerequisite for sustainable and inclusive development. Building on the Under-Secretary-General's statement noted above, and with Global Affairs Canada set to release its renewed international assistance policy following the conclusion of its International Assistance Review, this white paper serves as an opportunity for development practitioners and policy-makers to better understand this important relationship between effective SAIs and sustainable, inclusive development. In doing so, the paper underlines the importance of continuing to invest in governance institutions such as SAIs as critical and complementary tools for improving the lives of the most vulnerable, including women and girls, in the world's least developed countries.

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