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The CBC workstream in support of SAIs in fragile situations (represented by the SAIs of Afghanistan, Liberia, Netherlands, Norway, Sierra Leone, Sudan, Sweden and the IDI) invited Auditors General, Deputies Auditors General and some staff from Zimbabwe, South Africa, South Sudan, Palestine and Rwanda, and CEO and staff from AFROSAI-E, to a forum in Johannesburg, South Africa, 28-29 March.

The forum was organized in response to a need expressed at the CBC meeting in Washington DC in September 2017, where the issue of Supreme Audit Institutions operating in a fragile environment was discussed. Supreme Audit Institutions and Auditors General declared a wish to deliberate concrete challenges and possible solutions to practical problems in their daily operations and management of their SAI. This was done in an informal setting, hosted by the Auditor General South Africa, chaired by the Swedish National Audit Office and facilitated by Development Action Ltd consultants, David Goldsworthy and Silvia Stefanoni. During frank and open discussions, participants shared their experiences and discussed issues prioritized by themselves. Topics included how to recruit and retain people with the right competencies, how to improve the delivery of audits, and the role the SAI can play in strengthening the state. Meeting colleagues and reflecting on both challenges and successes was worthwhile in itself, but the discussions will also inform the workstream’s future work.

Moving forward, one important line of work is identifying and sharing success stories of SAIs in fragile or especially challenging situations so that they may benefit others in similar situations. The discussions offered several good illustrations of how good work can be done in challenging circumstances, and we aim to share those stories and others in due course.