Social audit is the process of cross verification of government records with the ground realities. The unique thing about social audit is that it is conducted by the very people who are affected by the implementation of any particular project, law of policy. Thus, social audit creates a platform for poorest and most disempowered to participate in governance.
Social audits can be very effective in enhancing the culture of transparency, especially in Panchayats. Panchayats are dominated by Sarpanch and Secretary who are not interested in promoting transparency. The villagers are hardly aware about the funds that are received by the Panchayat and the expenditure incurred. In this respect social audits enable Gram Sabha members to demand financial accounts as well as review performance of Panchayats for promotion of economic development and social justice.
In order to minimize corruption and ensure the benefit reaches the poor, social audit is given a central role in the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MNREGA). However, due to lack of political will, social audit have merely been reduced to paper service. Samarthan has taken a leading role to promote social audits for effective implementation of MNREGS. Watch the videos to see the process of social audit.
Social Audit (Panna)
Social Audit (Sehore)