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Sarah's auditor testimonial

Let's hear from the auditors

March 2021

Sarah Kambarami is a senior auditor at HQAI and shares her insight into her work as an auditor, the challenges she faced during the past year and what keeps her motivated.

Tell us about one particularly positive experience during an audit.

One time I remember that I was so impressed with how much the findings from the initial audit had motivated a whole process of improvement throughout the organisation. The audit findings were around communities being able to provide feedback on their level of satisfaction. And we found that from senior leadership through to programme managers, through to project staff working on a daily basis with the communities, there was a renewed sense of commitment to putting a system in place that facilitated regular opportunities to gather feedback from the communities they were working with. The community members we spoke with were so happy that their voices were being heard and that their feedback was not only being collected but resulted in real dialogue that in turn meant project activities were being adapted and improved.

What has changed during the last year in regard to your work as an auditor?

In the last year, the biggest change has been completing all the audit activities from behind my desk at home, whilst also juggling home schooling and all the other disruptions to ‘normal’ life that came with the pandemic. The lack of opportunity to travel not only resulted in audit work being completed remotely, but also meant that the regular training we receive as auditors was also all completed online. I missed the face-to-face interaction with my colleagues and also found it harder not being able to travel to the project sites. On the positive side though, a lot less time was wasted in transit in airports and there was no jet lag to contend with!

Can you describe one specific challenge and how you managed to overcome it?

One specific challenge of completing the audits remotely, rather than travelling directly to the project sites, was managing the different time zones. Often this meant working evenings and late into the night when normally that would be family time. Plenty of coffee and good advance planning of the questions helped ensure that the late-night sessions went as smoothly as possible. Only occasionally during our preparation calls would my daughter’s head pop into the background of a Zoom call as she was intrigued about which part of the world I was ‘visiting’ that evening!

What keeps you motivated?

Despite all the changes this past year has brought us, and the different challenges we have had to overcome, there are two key things that keep me motivated. First, I am inspired by the organisations we are auditing. The staff are so committed to improving the quality and accountability of their work. Their dedication to motivating change and improvements across their organisation, and constantly pushing to do better, and to be better, inspires me. Second, I am motivated by the conversations we have with community members. Their stories inspire me and hearing about the work from their perspective always breathes life into the whole audit process.

HQAI auditor Sarah gives insights on her job

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