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/programme/service
implemented. It also allows people to enforce accountability and transparency in
government service delivery. Since social audit is an emerging concept in good governance,
its concepts, approaches, strategies and adaptable methodologies need to be propagated
and percolated. Thus, there emerged a need for a Centre for Social Audit to provide
a clear set of guidelines to carry out and sustain the process of Social Audit.
Social audits have the potential to make delivery of public programmes more effective.
While the process is evolving, the social audits of the MGNREGA have shown what
is possible. Social audit – a transparent, participatory and active evaluation process
– has the potential to encounter the corruption that plagues anti-poverty programmes.
Social audit as one of the tools of social accountability mechanisms is now mandatory
in few development programmes.
This Centre has a broad inter-disciplinary perspective towards social accountability
mechanisms, which cut across the different development programmes and policies,
run by different Ministries. Hence the mandate of the Centre is to focus on social
audit in particular and social accountability mechanisms in general. Besides research
and training, it focuses on documentation, publication and specially working in
the field by networking with various social audit units/ NGOs/CSOs/activist groups
in facilitating the conduct of pilot audits, test audits and audits.
- Organising capacity building activities like ToTs/Trainings/ workshops/seminars/sensitisation
programmes/ exposure visits/ international trainings.
- Taking up research, action research and consultancy studies on the practice, strategies,
effectiveness and impact of social audit and social accountability mechanisms.
Documentation of best practices in the area of conduct of social audit.
films on social audit and social accountability practices.
- Taking up pilot social
audits and test audits to handhold the resource persons of Social Audit Units.
To liaison with different Ministries/Institutions for professional support in the
area of conduct of social audits and institutionalising social audits in the respective
- Taking up certification course in social audit in distance mode.
Providing a platform for the practitioners.
Thrust area & scope
Social accountability mechanisms (Participatory budgeting, expenditure tracking,
participatory performance monitoring, citizen charter, public hearings, transparency
portals, ombudsmen, citizen report cards, community score cards, social audit) in
general and social audit in particular. Other aspects include:
- Capacity building of resource persons in social audit units (SAUs) on social audit
and social accountability
- Sensitisation of rural development professionals on
the importance of social audit
- Research studies on the practice, strategies,
effectiveness and impact of social audit and social accountability mechanisms
Action research in the areas of social audit and social accountability mechanisms
Documentation of best practices in the area of conduct of social audit
of films on social audit
- Knowledge management and dissemination of knowledge
to other countries on the practices of social accountability by taking up international
training programmes, exposure visits
- Taking up pilot social audits to handhold
the resource persons of SAU.
- Test audits, where social audits are institutionalised
for authentication and to make social audits more effective
- Networking with
different Ministries/Institutions for professional and mutual support in the area
of conduct of social audits and institutionalising in the respective schemes.
Certification of trainers
- Taking up certification course in social audit in
- Providing platform for the practitioners
- Online based
management of community of practice/solution exchange on social audit
evaluation and impact assessment of social accountability practices
Dr C Dheeraja
Associate Professor & Head
Areas of Specialisation :
Gender Issues in Rural Development, Gender Budgeting, Impact of MGNREGS on women
and other vulnerable sections, impact assessment studies.