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Social Audit Siva Prasad
Contents . Introduction Need for Social Audit . Definition Objectives How SACs work? . Challenges . Importance . Comparison . Examples . Questions
Definition * Social Audit is a process that enables citizen to assess and demonstrate social, economic, and environmental benefits and limitations of a scheme. * Social auditing provides an assessment of the impact of scheme's non-financial obiectives through svstematically and regularly monitoring its performance. . Social auditing requires the involvement of stakeholders. This may include employees, clients, volunteers, funders, contractors, suppliers and local residents interested in the scheme.
Objectives .Accurate identification of requirements . Prioritization of developmental activities as per requirements Proper utilization of funds . Conformity of the developmental activity with the stated goals . Quality of service .Assessing the physical and financial gaps between needs and resources available for local development Creating awareness among beneficiaries
Increasing efficacy and effectiveness of local development programs Estimation of opportunity cost for stakeholders of not getting timely access to public services Scrutiny of various policy decisions
How SACs work? . Clarity of purpose and goal of the local elected body. Identify stakeholders with a focus on their specific roles and duties. Social auditing aims to ensure a say for all stakeholders . Social Audit Committees are formed at the local level. Definition of performance indicators which must be understood and accepted by all. Indicator data must be collected by stakeholders on a regular basis . . Regular meetings to review and discuss data/information on performance indicators.
Follow-up of social audit meeting with the panchayat body reviewing stakeholders' actions, activities and viewpoints, making commitments on changes and agreeing on future action as recommended by the stakeholders Establishment of a group of trusted local people including elderly people, teachers and others who are committed and independent, to be involved in the verification and to judge if the decisions based upon social audit have been implemented, . . The findings of the social audit should be shared with all local stakeholders. This encourages transparency and accountability. A report of the social audit meeting should be distributed for Gram Panchayat auditing. In addition, key decisions should be written on walls and boards and communicated orallv,
Define values and objectives of organisation Publish social audit results Identify indicators of performance Social Audit Cycle Evaluate data intenal and extemal Collect data qualitative and quantitative Figure 1: The Social Audit Cycle
Challenges .Lack of education among the common masses. Since common people are not that educated, they do not know their rights, let alone get them enforced . Lack of any legal proceedings for not following social audit principles. Unless there is a stringent penalty on authorities for not implementing social audit, they will not give up control because it reduces their kickbacks and authority, . Untimely transfer of functionaries makes it difficult to have appropriate responsibility fixation
Problem of difference in work culture . Lack of people participation .Timely meetings are not held . No follow up Recommendations of SAC are advisory in nature. Lack training & expertise.
Encourages local democracy. Benefits disadvantaged people. Develops human resource and social capital. . . Promotes collective decision making and sharing responsibilities.
Examples Social audit in Jharnipalli Panchayat, Agaipur Block, Bolangir district, Orissa In October 2001, the gram sabha members of Jharnipalli Panchayat conducted a social audit of development works carried out in the panchayat over the preceding 3 years. The audit took place with active participation of many individuals and agencies, including block and district administration officials, MKSS [Mazdoor Kisan Shakti Sanghatan], NCPRI [National Campaign for People's Right to Information] and Action Aid India The Audit found that: 1. Although the works were not carried out, the sanctioned funds were shown in the records as having been utilized. 2. Contractors were banned under government guidelines, but 31 contractors were working on the project. 3. Muster rolls were not maintained by the contractors 4. Instead of target of 100 man-days of employment for families Below Poverty Line (BPL), only 12 half days of work were generated 5. BPL families could not buy subsidized food from the Public Distribution System (PDS) shops as partial wages because they did not possess the needed ration cards
Questions 1. Can we sav that statutory audit & social audit are two sides of the same coin? Or, are they two separate coins with varying values? Discuss. (2017) "In spite of certain advantages, Social Audit arrangements have mostly been ineffective because there is no legal provision for punitive action'" Comment. (2016) "Social auditing of flagship programs of the Central govt facilitates the performance of the CAG". Elaborate the statement with appropriate examples. (2014) "The concept of social audit is more comprehensive than that of traditional audit". Comment 2. 3. 4. . (2013)