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Social Audit Siva Prasad
Contents . Introduction Need for Social Audit . Definition Objectives How SACs work? . Challenges . Importance . Comparison . Examples . Questions
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,
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.
Importance Involvement of people in developmental activities ensures that money is spent where it is actually needed. Reduction of wastages. Reduction in corruption. Awareness among people. . Promotes integrity and a sense of community among people. .Improves the standard of governance.
Encourages local democracy. Benefits disadvantaged people. Develops human resource and social capital. . . Promotes collective decision making and sharing responsibilities.
Comparison Government audit Professional auditors are involved without significant involvement of affected people People's audit It is done by the people with assistance from NGO'S and findings might not be easily acceptable to government It assesses outcomes and priorities Social audit It is done jointly by government and people who are affected or intended beneficiaries It assesses procedural integrity and outputs It looks at outcomes and not merely outputs Brings on broad perceptions and knowledge of people Greater acceptability by government There is little ability to get public perceptions or verify outcomes One can get public perception, local knowledge and public verification is also done There is low acceptance of findings System may be corruptible as people who are doing the audit do not have a real stake in the outcome
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
MEGHALAYA IS FIRST STATE TO LAUNCH A SOCIAL AUDIT LAW This makes audit of 11 departments and 21 schemes to be mandatorily conducted by the Govt 1st Country Social audit to ensure swift implementation, stakeholder involvement & course correction National Convention on Social Audit held at Shillong's Yojana Bhawan Auditorium