Can Social Audits Count?
This paper discusses the conceptual and operational problems associated with the social audit of a government scheme. It argues that social audits have not performed well in the National Rural Employment Guarantee (NREG) scheme because of three problems. First, conceptually, it has been unable to resolve the question of hierarchy. In a social audit, the relationship between the auditors (who include villagers and NGOs) and the bureaucrats is weakly hierarchical; the NGOs and villagers are part of the citizenry who elect political representatives, and these politicians in turn oversee the bureaucracy implementing the scheme. Second, operationally, the feeble hierarchical relationship weakens the enforceability of sanctions against errant officials and produces a disconnect between the substantive goals of the scheme and the procedural standards followed by bureaucrats. Third, the assumption underlying the social audit that given a chance, the community will monitor such schemes is also problematic. The paper highlights the arguments by assessing the performance of NREG social audits in three states — Andhra Pradesh, Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh.
|Date of creation:||2010|
|Date of revision:|
|Contact details of provider:|| Postal: |
Phone: +61 2 6125 4705
Fax: +61 2 6125 5448
Web page: https://crawford.anu.edu.au/acde/asarc/
More information through EDIRC
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:pas:asarcc:2010-09. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Stephanie Hancock)
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.