In previous modules, we have seen that in recent years, SAIs have started to deepen their citizen-engagement mechanisms and strategies to increase the effectiveness of the public financial management system. SAIs are using specific tools and mechanisms to leverage CSOs and the media to enhance the effectiveness and value for money (VFM) audits. However, the basic questions are, how are those mechanisms and platforms for SAI–CSO engagement contributing to improving the public accountability and integrity system, and what is the emerging evidence, if any, that public participation in the audit cycle is increasing the effectiveness of external audit?

The main rationale for evaluations in this context is to establish when and how different SAI–citizen engagement modalities are most effective. This module introduces the readers to some basic variables that are common to different cases and helps to evaluate the quality of the participatory mechanisms used and their direct and indirect effect. The text also provides some useful tools to help readers map outcomes based on empirical evidence. Those tools will allow readers to determine whether the current SAI–citizen engagement is effective and enable them to take corrective actions midway, when necessary, to attain the desired goals. Finally, this module discusses some methodological tools for conducting an action-oriented evaluation to assess the effectiveness of various citizen-engagement practices in their own country context.

Learning Objectives

At the end of Module 4, you will be able to do the following:

  • Understand direct and indirect outcomes associated with citizen engagement in the audit process.
  • Apply concepts, techniques, and approaches to your particular context to design indicators and measure participatory mechanisms and their effectiveness.
  • Use the presented indicators to assess your organization’s current practices and results framework for citizen engagement, and to better showcase the effectiveness of these initiatives.

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TPA Initiative – ACIJ (2013): “Audit Institutions in Latin America. Transparency, Citizen Participation and Accountability Indicators”.

OECD (2013): “How can Supreme Audit Institutions Engage External Stakeholders to Enhance Good Governance?”, Concept Note - OECD with Supreme Audit Institutions of Brazil, Chile, South Africa & IDI.

Johnsøn, J. & Søreide, T. (2013): “Methods for learning what works and why in anti-corruption: An introduction to evaluation methods for practitioners”, U4 Issue N°8, Bergen, U4 Anti-Corruption Resource Centre- Chr. Michelsen Institute.

Gertler, P. J. et al. (2011): “Impact Evaluation in Practice”, Washington, DC: World Bank.

Hevia, F. & Vergara-Lope Samana (2011): “How to measure participation”, CIESAS – INDESOL. “Practical Guide For Evaluating Participatory Processes”; Marc Pares, Leonardo Díaz (IGOP/UAB) & Melissa Pomeroy (OIDP/OLDP)

“Supreme Audit Institutions and Stakeholder Engagement Practices. A Stocktaking Report”, Effective Institutions Platform, September 2014.

“Working with Supreme Audit Institutions", Department for International Development (DFID, 2005).

Open Budget Survey 2012, International Budget Partnership (IBP)