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Tribunal de Contas da União

SAI20 Online Technical Meeting addresses Fight Against Hunger and Poverty

Por Secom TCU

On February 27, 2024, the Supreme Audit Institutions 20 (SAI20) conducted an Online Technical Meeting on the theme “Fight Against Hunger and Poverty”, setting the stage for the upcoming SAI20 Senior Officials Meeting (SOM) and the SAI20 Summit. Hosted by SAI Brazil (TCU), the meeting unfolded in two sessions, drawing participation from 87 individuals from 18 different SAIs.

All participants, representing SAIs from Brazil, China, Egypt, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Morocco, Nigeria, Portugal, Russia, South Africa, South Korea, Spain, Turkey, United Arab Emirates as well as Japan and Mexico (as observer SAIs), actively engaged in a group discussion facilitated by a consultant collaborating with TCU through the partnership with United Nations Development Program (UNDP).

The purpose of this session was to collaboratively identify and prioritize key themes in the "Fight Against Hunger and Poverty". The discussions aimed to acknowledge the strategic role of SAIs in association with the G20 governments, and to amplify the voice of the participating SAIs, especially regarding the role of these institutions in improving government policies and programs to halt Hunger and Poverty.

The event inaugurated with welcoming remarks from Raisa Ojala, the Director of International Cooperation at TCU, and with opening words from Junnius Marques Arifa, Deputy Secretary General of External Control at the Brazilian Federal Court of Accounts. They both underlined the crucial role of each SAI in contributing meaningfully to the discussions.

To provide a deeper understanding of the central theme of the session, Saulo Arantes Ceolin, General Coordinator for Food and Nutrition Security at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Brazil, and Co-Coordinator at G20's Task Force for a Global Alliance Against Hunger and Poverty, delivered an overview of the G20 agenda on the themes of Hunger and Poverty. Saulo Ceolin stated the need for "urgent, ambitious, out-of-ordinary, but consistent and sustainable action to accelerate progress towards Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) 1 and 2”, and marked the initiative as a multilateral effort to implement national policies aimed at eliminating hunger and poverty.

According to Mr. Ceolin, the Global Alliance Against Hunger and Poverty aims to be a decisive international pact towards the eradication of hunger. The initiative is built upon an action-driven focus, with the main goal of taking concrete steps to mainstream a set of established domestic public policy instruments, championing effective anti-poverty and hunger policies, rather than simply becoming a forum for dialogue. When detailing the principles guiding the Global Alliance, Mr. Ceolin reinforced the special role SAIs can play in ensuring the soundness of its knowledge pillar, considering their leverage in taking part of a network of countries and institutions partnering to ensure the dissemination of effective practices and knowledge among members.

After the presentation, participants from different SAIs engaged in group discussions to develop in-depth conversations based on two guiding questions: a. How can SAIs contribute to improving government ​policies and programs for the Fight Against Hunger and Poverty?​ b. From the SAIs’ perspective, what are the main risks
associated with government policies and programs focused on the Fight Against Hunger and Poverty?​ The facilitation session was designed to provide all SAIs with an active opportunity to debate relevant topics, such as the types of audits that can be carried out​ for the betterment of hunger and poverty policies; the nature of hunger and poverty programs that should be audited​; the process around identifying errors in the design or implementation of these policies; and eventual problems of policy fragmentation and overlapping, among others.

The group discussion laid the foundation for a subsequent moment of consensus-building regarding the key messages that should be endorsed by SAIs. The aim was to collectively identify priority messages reflecting audit institutions’ shared vision and aspirations for combating hunger and poverty. During this part, all SAIs had the opportunity to read and review the shortlisted messages, subsequently voting on their priorities.

In general, the highlighted key messages comprised aspects related to the eventual malfunctioning or ineffectiveness of hunger and poverty policies, featuring conditions that should be considered in auditing initiatives, such as the need for developing sets of cohesive, actionable, and measurable indicators, as well as the need for innovative methodologies to enhance monitoring and evaluation. Additionally, there was an emphasis on the need to amplify the reach and influence of audit findings and on the relevance of accurate targeting of individuals who should or should not benefit from policy interventions.

The Online Technical Meeting on Hunger and Poverty, held on February 27, served as a preparatory step for the upcoming SAI20 Senior Officials Meeting (SOM) to take place in Brasilia from April 15 to 17, 2024. The SAI20 SOM will serve as an opportunity to prepare the group’s Communiqué, providing G20’s governments with concrete policy recommendations with the potential to generate benefits for SAIs within the scope of the “Fight against Hunger and Poverty” and “Climate Finance”.

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