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Social Audit Siva Prasad
Contents . Introduction Need for Social Audit . Definition Objectives How SACs work? . Challenges . Importance . Comparison . Examples . Questions
ntroduction . Social Audit is an emerging concept that has become popular and relevant in the context of Good Governance, . Social audit through its systematic process allows the civil society to identify the gap between the desired and actual impact of a project/program/service implemented. in government service delivery carried out, as much as possible, with the consent and in complete * It also allows people to enforce accountability and transparency . It is based on the principle that the local governance should be understanding of the requirements of the people concerned.
Need for Social Audit Failure of traditional regulatory audit. CAG only conducts legal, regulatory & only sometimes performance audit. Line item budgets After liberalization due to increase in revenue govt spent huge amount on developmental schemes CAG doesn't have power to audit developmental scheme CAG conducts audit only in terms of economy & not in terms of effectiveness & equitv.
. High levels of corruption in implementation of developmental schemes. No participation of citizens due to: o Centralized top-down approach & o Bureaucracy-centric administration
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,
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
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.