The National Audit Office of Tanzania carried out a performance audit on the country's Ministry of Finance and Planning, and the President’s Office Regional Administration and Local Government regarding their preparedness to implement the SDGs.
The audit offers recommendations for improvement, noting a lack of institutional mechanism, a lack of comprehensive SDG policy coherence, and issues related to monitoring, review and reporting on SDG implementation.
Tanzania is one of 50 countries that will present a Voluntary National Review of SDG progress at the July 2019 session of the HLPF.
March 2019: Based on an audit on Tanzania’s preparedness to implement the SDGs, conducted from 2015 to 2017, the country’s Controller and Auditor General reports that the government has not adequately prepared for implementing the Goals. The insufficient preparations relate to identifying the required resources and capacities, and establishing mechanisms for monitoring and reporting, among other areas.Tanzania has volunteered to present its Voluntary National Review (VNR) of progress on the SDGs at the July 2019 session of the UN High-level Political Forum on Sustainable Development (HLPF), along with 49 other UN Member States.
From 2015 to 2017, the National Audit Office of Tanzania carried out a performance audit on the Ministry of Finance and Planning (MoFP), and on the President’s Office Regional Administration and Local Government (PO-RALG) regarding their preparedness to implement the SDGs. According to the audit report, these two entities are “the key implementers” of the 2030 Agenda in the country.
The audit report titled, ‘Performance Audit on Preparedness for Implementation of Sustainable Development Goals,’ notes that the MoFP, through the Planning Commission, is mandated to domesticate SDGs into national plans, and to identify and mobilize resources for the implementation of the SDGs and their targets. It is also responsible for: mainstreaming SDG indicators; collecting data for monitoring SDG implementation at the national level; and reporting on implementation progress at the HLPF. The President’s Office Regional Administration and Local Government (PO-RALG) is in charge of coordinating the Regional Secretariats and Local Governments who are responsible for promoting inclusive sustainable development within their territories, and for linking the global SDGs with local communities.
The audit assesses: the adaptation of the 2030 Agenda to the national context; the identification and mobilization of resources and capacities for implementation; and the monitoring, follow-up review and reporting on SDG implementation progress. Among its main findings, the audit identifies:
- The lack of an institutional mechanism to integrate the 2030 Agenda into national actions, including no cabinet directive to mandate relevant government entities to carry out SDG-related activities;
- No national SDG implementation strategy that would include the identification of resources and capacities required for implementing the 2030 Agenda;
- No evaluation of the effectiveness of awareness-raising workshops carried out at national and sub-national levels, and no plans for allocating budgetary resources from the national level to the community level for SDGs awareness campaigns;
- A lack of mechanisms for stakeholder engagement, and no mapping to identify key stakeholders, their roles, responsibilities, and engagement points in the decision-making process;
- A lack of comprehensive SDGs policy coherence, such as mechanisms to break down sectoral demarcations and to connect different levels of government actions, or mechanisms to coordinate strategic partnerships between the government and other stakeholders; and
- Concerns related to monitoring, review and reporting on SDG implementation, including a lack of performance indicators and baselines to monitor and report on progress, a lack of capacity (in terms of finance, human resources and facilities) to collect and disseminate data, insufficient and inadequate data quality and availability, and the absence of an integrated and whole-of-government monitoring and evaluation framework to provide overall guidance on the development and application of monitoring and evaluation across sectors.
The audit recommends that the MoFP and the PO-RALG, inter alia: develop a national implementation strategy; conduct an assessment of priority interventions with high impact to attain the SDGs and determine the sequence of their implementation; conduct capacity needs assessment; and identify innovative methods for resource mobilization. It also notes the need to involve stakeholders including local communities and citizens in awareness-raising campaigns, and to conduct stakeholder mapping to identify the potential stakeholders to be involved and their prospective roles.
On follow-up and review, the audit calls for: establishing a responsive and inclusive mechanism of coordinating, monitoring and reporting on SDG implementation; translating SDG targets into guidelines and ensure all sector ministries and local government authorities review their strategic plans to integrate these targets in line with national priorities and resources; ensuring the harmonization of data collection systems and tools; and establishing a consolidated system to capture all sectoral data from local government authorities.
The International Organization of Supreme Audit Institutions (INTOSAI), an umbrella organization for the external government audit community, has identified several audit reports and activities produced by individual countries’ supreme audit institutions (SAIs) with regard to SDG preparedness and implementation. INTOSAI has outlined four approaches to SDG audits and reviews, namely: 1) assessing the preparedness of national governments to implement the SDGs; 2) undertaking performance audits in the context of the SDGs; 3) contributing to the implementation of SDG 16 (peace, justice and strong institutions); and 4) promoting the use of transparency and accountability in SAIs’ own operations. [Publication: Tanzania National Audit Office: Performance Audit on Preparedness for Implementation of Sustainable Development Goals] [All SDG Knowledge Hub coverage of SDG Audits]