Sharaka is a five-year cooperative programme being implemented by the Netherlands Court of Audit and several Arab supreme audit institutions (‘Sharaka’ means partnership). Various regional and bilateral projects and initiatives are being carried out under the banner of the Sharaka programme. Its goal is to improve the operation of public administration and the effectiveness of public services and to strengthen public financial management, both in the Netherlands and in partner countries.
The programme was launched in 2016 and will run until 2021. It is being financed by the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
Seven partner countries are currently taking part in the programme: Algeria, Iraq, Jordan, Morocco, the Palestinian Territories, Sudan and Tunisia.
Four bilateral projects are currently being carried out with the supreme audit institutions of Algeria, Iraq, Morocco and Tunisia. The content differs because the projects are demand driven, but all the projects are focussed on institutional development and increasing the impact of the audit institution. Two initiatives involve all seven partner countries and the Netherlands. They are:
- tackling integrity risks using the IntoSAINT Self-Assessment Integrity tool;
- reviewing the national implementation of the UN sustainable development goals (SDGs).
The goal of the programme is to facilitate the exchange of knowledge and promote cooperation between the audit institutions of the Netherlands and the Arab region. The programme’s ambitions include:
- greater consideration of integrity and audits to prevent integrity risks;
- national reviews of the government’s preparations to achieve the UN sustainability goals;
- institutional strengthening of at least four participating audit institutions through bilateral cooperation in various areas, such as communication, external relations with stakeholders, performance audits, the reform of public financial management and IT auditing.
(A woman sits on a park bench. On-screen text: Learning by Doing. The IntoSAINT and Sharaka logos. On-screen text: Supreme audit institutions working together on integrity. People look at some brochures. A woman in a headscarf speaks, while others listen. Abdel Elabassi:)
(The Sharaka project is a cooperation between the Netherlands Court of Audit and colleagues in the Arab region. The Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs finances this project, and the duration of the project is five years.)
(I think the regional and international cooperation gives us the opportunity to exchange experiences and to share good practices in many domains. And the Sharaka project is a model for this cooperation.)
(One of the most urgent problems in the Arab region is unemployment, especially youth unemployment. And in order to create employment, investments are needed. And for investments, we need a favourable economic climate.)
(One of the elements of a favourable climate is a lack of corruption: integrity. Of course the Supreme Audit Institutions have a role to set the example. So, it's important that the Supreme Audit Institutions are especially sensitive to integrity.)
(It's very important that citizens trust their government and the public sector as a whole. And we think that we, as the Supreme Audit Institutions, should set a good example by reflecting on our own integrity.)
(IntoSAINT, as a methodology, is a tool to determine the vulnerable areas in my organisation and the weaknesses. So I can, with this methodology, increase the level of integrity in my organisation.)
(Basically it's a workshop with a cross-selection of employees. The heart of the workshop is a discussion that we have with the employees from all parts of the organisation about what they experience as threats to the way they behave. The threats to the integrity of the organisation. And particularly how the organisation can help them to perform their work in a more ethical way.)
(The most important result is to set up a formal integrity policy based on a systematic analysis of risks and vulnerabilities. And also to set up an action plan to implement the integrity measures.)
(The most important result for my SAI is everybody's keen awareness about the importance of the question and the subject of integrity. Now, everybody is speaking about integrity and asking how to guarantee that everything is going well.)
(Integrity, as a word, is a noun, but in fact, I think it's a verb. That means we need to keep working on it, and IntoSAINT is a very useful tool to help us with that.)
(Our kind of institutions are very important in every country, because we need to produce reports that are indisputable. Everybody needs to be able to trust that what we say is OK and is correct. And in order to do that, I think we all should have a high sense of integrity. And I don't think we all have a problem with integrity, but it needs to be an ongoing subject that we talk about, among each other and with each other.)
(The participants become change agents, because for them, it's an eye-opener. It's the first time they talk about these issues, about integrity issues in their own work. They come up with recommendations, and they really become change agents for their organisation.)
(If the management of the SAI takes on board the recommendations, this is a really great opportunity for them to become a better organisation, to have more motivated employees and finally that results in better quality of the work that they do.)
(A young man takes a group photo, and the image freezes. The Court of Audit logo. On-screen text: The 'Sharaka' programme is coordinated and implemented by the Netherlands Court of Audit and financed by the Netherlands Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The Sharaka logo above: english.rekenkamer.nl/sharaka next to the IntoSAINT logo above: intosaicbc.org/intosaint.)
THE ARABIC MUSIC CONTINUES, THEN FADES AWAY