On 31 May-2 June 2017, UNDESA's Division for Public Administration and Development Management (DPADM) and the International Organization of Supreme Audit Institutions (INTOSAI) jointly organized a symposium to share experiences on the contribution of Supreme Audit Institutions (SAIs) to SDG follow-up and review and digitalization, open data and data mining. Participants stressed that there were many opportunities related to data and digitalization, including conducting audits more efficiently, at lower costs, and obtaining new and real-time insights. However, there are also significant challenges for SAIs, especially in developing countries. Capturing the benefits of digitalization and data would require new capacities – notably human resource capacities- methods, resources, strategies and learning. New opportunities for cooperation on data and digitalization are related to SAIs’ ongoing work around the SDGs.
Regarding SAI's contribution to the SDGs reviews, INTOSAI and its member SAIs are responding, in their national contexts to the 2030 Agenda, according to their priorities and capacities. Participants reflected on existing initiatives under the four approaches defined by INTOSAI for SAIs’ contribution to the SDGs (Namely: i-assessing national readiness for implementing and reporting progress on the SDGs; ii-undertaking performance audits of programs that contribute to the SDGs; iii-assessing and supporting the implementation of Goal 16, and iv-being models of transparency and accountability). There is the idea that aggregating information from SAIs’ audit work under each approach can help inform the SDG follow-up and review processes at the global level notably in the High-Level Political Forum for Sustainable Development (HLPF). The meeting agreed that INTOSAI and its members will continue working to advance the four approaches, including the development of implementation frameworks to produce high-quality SDG-related information, setting mechanisms and processes for enhanced knowledge sharing, and promoting cooperative audits related to the SDGs.
The meeting adopted a set of conclusions and recommendations.