Participation During the Planning Phase

Annual Multi-stakeholder Planning Meetings

This participatory mechanism consists of a nonbinding consultation process through which SAIs hold annual meetings with CSOs and other stakeholders to receive proposals on entities and programs to be audited for their potential inclusion in the annual plan. The main goal of participatory planning is to improve the annual plan through technical knowledge and information provided by external actors.

This mechanism is an innovative way to incorporate citizen knowledge, increase responsiveness, and foster trust in the SAI. Audit selection is a technical issue that must remain objective and systematic, but working with civil society to incorporate their suggestions for potential audits, to the extent that they are consistent with technical needs, is a strong mechanism of public engagement.

Goals of the mechanism

  • Improve the annual planning with public demand and technical knowledge from CSOs and experts.
  • Increase public awareness among relevant stakeholders on the role and importance of the SAI in public accountability.
  • Raise interest about the audit reports, and generate public pressure for compliance with recommendations.

Step by Step

1. Create a database of potential participants

  • Develop criteria for CSO selection and outreach.

  • Create a database of CSOs and other stakeholders.

  • Send invitations for the annual consultation meeting.

2. Produce and disseminate information before the meeting
  • Produce citizen-friendly, simplified audit reports and other relevant information (such as audit calendar, SAI mandate, previous audit reports of public interest, and main priorities for next annual plan).

  • Send these documents in an email or send hard copies with the invitations.

3. Share the purpose of the meeting
  • The invitation to participate should clearly specify the purpose of the meeting and convey the importance of participation.

4.Meet face-to-face
  • The purpose of the meeting is to share information about the process, to explain SAI's mission and mandate, and to raise awareness of the benefits of mutual cooperation.

  • The meeting can adopt different formats according to the number of people invited and the duration of the event (panel presentations with Q&A, roundtable). Formats that encourage dialogue are preferable to one-way communication.

5. Set up a process for CSOs submitting proposals
  • After the meeting, CSOs can go back and start working on the proposal to submit audit evidence (with relevant backup information) and to draft a well-justified proposal or request SAI to audit a specific government program.

  • SAI will set and announce a deadline for CSOs to submit proposals.

6. Analyze proposals and make a decision
  • In this step, SAI will analyze the proposals according to its technical matrix of indicators, evaluate their accuracy and priority, and decide whether or not to include them in the audit plan.

7. Profide feedback to participants
  • SAI can inform the participants whether their proposal has been accepted or rejected.

  • If a proposal has been rejected, SAI can provide a short explanation on why it was not been accepted.

8. Follow up
  • SAI should send a copy of the audit report to those CSOs whose proposals were accepted, once the reports are issued and are publicly available.

Who can participate Challenges and responses Cases
  • CSOs (mainly)

  • Research centers

  • Policy makers

  • Journalists

Challenge: Ensuring effective participation


  • Adequate planning and logistics

  • Sufficient and clear information about the mechanism (how to take part, how to build adequate proposals)

Challenge: Building sustainable communication beyond the annual meeting


  • Providing information about the course of action undertaken regarding the proposal

  • Regular mailing

  • Website for sharing updates and information in the field


Any comments? Please notify us here.


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