Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Social Audit should be mandatory and compulsory in all govt schemes, ministries and govt departments

  • A social audit is a process in which the people work with the government to monitor and evaluate the planning and implementation of a scheme or programme, or indeed of a policy or law. The social audit process is critically dependent on the demystification and wide dissemination of all relevant information.
  • Social audit - conducted jointly by the government and the people, especially by those people who are affected by, or are the intended beneficiaries of, the scheme being audited.
    • Can bring on board the perceptions and knowledge of the people,
    • Can look at outcomes and not just outputs,
    • Can involve the people in the task of verification,
    • Also, much greater acceptability by the government.
The Scope of a Social Audit
  • A social audit is conducted over the life span of a scheme or programme, and not just in one go or at one stage.
  • It audits the process, the outputs and the outcome.
  • It audits planning, implementation, monitoring and evaluation.
Elements of a Social Audit
  • Raising awareness of rights, entitlements and obligations under a scheme.
  • Specifically, about the right to participate in a social audit.
  • Ensuring that all forms and documents are user friendly.
  • Ensuring all relevant information is accessible, displayed and read out.
  • Ensuring that the decision making process is transparent, participatory and, as far as possible, carried out in the presence of the affected persons.
  • Ensuring that all decisions, and their rationale, are made public as soon as they are made.
  • Ensuring that measurements, certification and inspection involves the affected people on a random and rotational basis.
  • Ensuring that there are regular (six monthly) public hearings (jan audit manch) where the scheme and the process of social auditing is publicly analysed.
  • Ensuring that the findings of social audits are immediately acted upon.
  • Also ensuring that these findings result in the required systemic changes.
Benefits of Social Audit
  • Reduction of corruption.
  • Increased effectiveness of a program or project or scheme.
  • Benefits reach the people.
  • Government becomes more responsible and accountable.
  • Power in hands of the public.
I, Surya Prakash Loonker, am proposing that Social Audit should be mandatory and compulsory in all govt schemes, ministries and govt departments. Just like RTI, Social Audit can be a powerful tool in hands of the people. Social Audit is the next step after RTI. RTI gets you information. Social Audit actually helps get results or solve problems. Please campaign to make Social Audit an Act through legislation.

1 comment:

Peter Rex Charly said...

The bilateral agencies that sanction funds for the government projects should make it mandatory to have social audit.

Japanese Bank for International Development when funding forestry projects insists on Impact study reports by External consultants.