EUROSAI. Magazine N26 - 2021

Magazine No. 26 - 2021 123 Studies and other articles IDI adapted its delivery mechanism to provide flexible and resilient support to SAIs Global Foundations Unit – helping SAIs keep the lights on As the pandemic took a firm hold across the world, it became apparent that SAIs faced particular challenges in continuing operations, at the very time that it was most critical for them to be able to audit emergency funding provided to governments to tackle all aspects of COVID-19, and to carry out the focussed audits in procurement, health services and gender-based violence as described above. While the GFU is well-versed in rolling out global funding programmes on behalf of the INTOSAI Donor Cooperation, the immediacy and scale of the global emergency called for a swift and targeted response. In early October 2020, IDI facilitated the launch of INTOSAI’s “SAI Continuity of Operations During COVID-19” grant to offer SAIs assistance with continuity of operations, particularly through ICT and staff safety measures. A total grant of €700,000 was made available for a period 3 years until expended, with each selected SAI eligible to receive up to €20,000. With the funds on hand for speedy disbursement, IDI’s GFU team introduced a simple application and approval process that enables SAIs to receive practical assistance to continue working, often remotely. By the time the INTOSAI grant closed at the end of 2021, 54 proposals had been approved, assisting SAIs when they needed it most. Those 54 SAIs each received €11,429 for a total award of €617,166. GFU also managed a similar programme established by SAI Saudi Arabia, which provided 18 SAIs with ICT equipment to enable them to work from home during the pandemic. In the meantime, the GFU team introduced a series of clinics for hands-on guidance for SAIs in the development of concept notes to support funding applications. These clinics were rolled out to SAIs in the OLACEFSs region, with more carried out for CREFIAF by the end of 2021. “I’m very proud of the way the IDI team has pulled together and focussed first and foremost on supporting SAIs, at a time when priorities could easily transfer to more domestic matters,” adds Einar Gørrissen. “Some of these new initiatives will remain with us for years to come, and INTOSAI members can continue to access the support they need as they themselves pivot and grow.” For more on these initiatives, go to