MGNREGA Social Audit

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“Social Audit Kerala” is an independent society tasked with the exclusive responsibility of conducting social audits for Mahatma Gandhi NREGA.

Social Audit Kerala via C-dit approached us with a complex scenario that required IT solutions to collect and consolidate data, and thereby reduce the redundant man-hours and improve the efficiency of the workforce. The main purpose is to conduct audits with the help of mobile apps provided to resource persons to conduct different types of audits at different stages or processes. Later, the consolidated data from the audit would be used to prepare reports, and these reports would be presented at meetings and also used to update data to the central government’s MIS.

Social audit (SA) is an audit conducted by the people, especially those who are affected by or are the intended beneficiaries of the scheme being audited and facilitated by the Government.

The SA process is used to verify the implementation of a scheme or preference and its results by the community with the active involvement of the primary stakeholder.

During the verification exercise, the SA is conducted by comparing official records with actual ground realities in the presence of the community and the findings are presented via a public platform.

The SA also examines whether the money was spent impartially and has made a difference to people’s lives.

Objectives of the SA

  • Promote transparency and accountability in the implementation of the program.
  • Inform and educate people about their rights and entitlements under the law during the SA process
  • Provide a collective platform, such as Social Audit Gram Sabha for people to express their needs and grievances
  • Promote people’s participation at all stages of implementation
  • Strengthen people’s participation in Gram Sabha; make it an inclusive and participatory institution
  • Make it a platform for positive collective action
  • Improve the capacity of local stakeholders who participate in the SA
  • Strengthen the scheme by deterring corruption and improving implementation

Problem scenario

The Kerala State Social Audit Society conducts social audits as per the information provided on the MGNREGA website that can be downloaded in social audit formats. The social audit formats are populated in their respective fields upon verification. After verification, the social audit format is again populated digitally on the website. This practice is quite cumbersome and time-consuming.

Around 2,500 staff are employed in the social audit. To manage the manpower efficiently and to take care of business contingencies, they needed an effective solution.

Other important categories that needed immediate attention included ensuring appropriate processes were in place to build resilience, avoiding errors, and tracking of the auditing, records and proof of auditing.

Solution we delivered

We came up with a fitting solution for the social audit, which was created using our product XYForms. 

The audits are conducted using the mobile apps provided to the concerned authorities or staff. 

Different types of audits are conducted at different phases of the program as separate audits. All the data are then consolidated into a single database for further analysis. The analysis is carried out to identify the discrepancies and mismatches between the collected data and actual data. 

Result and efficiency achieved

Within a time frame of six months, they were able to complete 40,000 audits. 

Our solution made it easier to onboard staff and quickly authenticate them to do the audits. We further introduced evidence collection to withstand any false allegations. Various reports helped the authorities to identify concern areas from scratch if any. The staff no longer had to focus on redundant tasks. The overall performance of the audit process increased in such a dramatic way that it reflected the entire system as a whole more transparently.

Solution absent scenario

Collection of data and preparing it for presentation and reports would be cumbersome to personnel involved in the field process. It might discourage them from being proactive due to redundant jobs. It would have badly affected the efficiency of the whole program. Our method helped to save human effort, time and money when compared with the conventional methods that were being followed previously.

Our takeaway 

Human effort is an irreplaceable and priceless contribution to all kinds of jobs. It can be reduced using possible IT interventions and automation. 

Mobility has reached all corners of life and tapping it opens up a new realm of business possibilities.

Converting a real-life scenario into an IT-enabled solution requires good communication between the parties involved. Identifying the clients’ pain points opens up new doors of requirements and introducing the need for new automation solutions to evolve. Breaking down these requirements into most basic functionality is the success of the technology.