Communication is one of AFROSAI-E’s strategic imperatives and also one of the domains in the Institutional Capacity Building Framework. The importance of working with both external and internal communication has been emphasised by the AFROSAI-E Governing Board.
The theme of the 2007 Governing Board meeting was Communication. A year later, a tool on how a SAI can improve its communication with internal and external stakeholders was adopted by AFROSAI-E, and handed over to the AFROSAI-E member SAIs.
The Management Development Workshop hosted 12-16 October 2009 for the AFROSAI-E AGs and their deputies, showed that there is a demand for more guidance and support in establishing effective and efficient communication systems in SAIs. The members of AFROSAI-E want to work more with external and internal communication and stakeholder management.
In addition, since the adoption of the Communication Package, a handbook on Strategic Planning has been presented, as well as updated manuals for Regularity Audits and Quality Assurance.
Therefore, it was time to review the communication package, to coordinate the content with the other handbooks and manuals, as well as to include lessons learned and parts that are missing. The content also needed to be aligned with the leadership imperatives in the AFROSAI- E Management Development Program.
The result of the review is a handbook on communication to be used by the SAIs in the region. Hopefully, this handbook can be a useful tool to help Supreme Audit Institutions develop their own communication policies and communication plans in line with their specific circumstances.
The handbook presents important general aspects, as well as specific issues and questions that need to be addressed during the process of developing the communication policy, communication strategy and communication plans in a SAI. The content of the material is generic and needs to be adapted to the conditions in the specific country.
It is also important to point out that the handbook is very comprehensive and covers most areas of communication. A long term commitment is required if all aspects of internal and external communication are to be developed.
This handbook has been developed by Ms. Ing-Marie Olofsdotter, former Director of Communication at the Swedish National Audit Office. The contact person at the AFRSOAI-E Secretariat has been Mr. Göran Olson. Study visits have been made at the Office of the Auditor General in Botswana and in Zambia. Interviews have also been conducted with representatives from the SAIs in Tanzania, Liberia and Kenya. The project was supported by the Swedish National Audit Office. Its support is highly valued by the AFROSAI-E region.
Member SAIs are encouraged to seriously consider the practical applications of this handbook. The application will certainly be of great assistance in achieving level 3 of the AFROSAI-E Institutional Capacity Building Framework.
This is a living document that will be updated periodically. Any suggestions to improve the handbook will be appreciated.