Engaging Citizens in the Audit Process: A New Frontier in Public Financial Management

The course offers tools and mechanisms to advance citizen engagement in the audit process towards enhancing public oversight.


Leave no one behind
SDG9: Industry, innovation, and infrastructure
SDG17: Partnerships for the goals
SDG 17: Systemic Issues
Citizen Management

Supreme audit institutions (SAIs) play a critical role in the accountability system. They contribute to good governance and to improving the lives of citizens. Engaging citizens and fostering partnership with civil society can help them enhance the value of public oversight, strengthen the legitimacy of audit processes as well as SAIs’ independence. This course delves into the political economy of SAI-citizen engagement and offers tools to inform communication strategies and advance public participation at different stages of the audit cycle.

Over the past decade, SAIs around the world have started to deepen their engagement with citizens to increase the effectiveness and scope of their auditing practices. These efforts include pioneering various citizen engagement models to increase the effectiveness of the audit process and the effect of SAIs’ work to enhance value in the use of public resources.

The challenges as well as the opportunities for effective engagement between SAIs and citizens are many raising questions, such as, how can space be opened for SAIs and citizens to interact to enhance external oversight through greater participation, transparency, and accountability? Also, how can the tools and mechanisms be created for SAIs and citizens to interact and jointly work toward improving the audit process? Answering those questions is at the core of this e-learning course, which tries to address them in a practical, simple way while reinforcing the growing consensus regarding benefits that the collaboration brings.

In this course we will learn different tools to design participatory policies, measure short and long-term outcomes, and assess the overall performance and impact of citizen engagement interventions, through interactive multimedia presentations, practice exercises and quizzes.

Target Audience

This e-learning course targets Supreme Audit Institutions (SAIs) staff, representatives from Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) and citizens interested in understanding the challenges and opportunities for advancing public participation in the audit process. In particular, it targets SAIs’ staff responsible for the communication strategy, as well as auditors and other officials in charge of designing and implementing participatory mechanisms at different stages of the audit cycle.

Additionally, the e-learning course targets a broader audience including: CSOs working on transparency, accountability and social monitoring; citizens interested in advancing participation in public oversight; researchers from academic institutions and think tanks exploring the political economy of citizen engagement in public accountability; international cooperation agencies supporting PFM reform and accountability projects through advanced citizen engagement, among others.

Learning Objectives

  • Build participants’ awareness about the challenges and opportunities for engaging citizens in the audit process.
  • Offer tools and strategies to inform participation and two-way communication practices so as to help maximize the effect of external oversight to ensure more efficient and effective use of public resources and to prevent mismanagement and corruption.
  • Share good practices implemented around the globe that are illustrative of SAI–Citizen Engagement at different stages of the audit cycle (planning, execution, dissemination of audit results and follow-up of audit findings and recommendations).
  • Assist participants in building an effective citizen engagement framework that is supported by international rules and regulations.
  • Explore strategies to adequately implement engagement mechanisms that take into consideration the specific country contexts.
  • Present methods and tools to effectively design appropriate indicators to measure progress and results of citizen engagement mechanisms.