Capacity building: a requisite for effective social audit in MGNREGA.
1. Registration of families,
2. Distribution of job cards,
3. Receipt of work applications,
4. Preparation of shelf of projects and selection of sites,
5. Approval of technical estimates and issuance of work order,
6. Allotment of work to individuals,
7. Implementation and supervision of works,
8. Payment of unemployment allowance,
9. Payment of wages,
10. Evaluation of works, and
11. Mandatory social audit in the Gram Sabha.
Keeping in view the above responsibilities entrusted to the members of Gram Sabha, they are perceived to have desirable 'capacity' to undertake the social audit.
Though MG NREGA was enacted in the year 2005 and sufficient efforts have been initiated by all the states of India in building capacity of all the stakeholders in undertaking social audit, yet there appears to be evident capacity gap to deliver this responsibility judiciously and objectively.
Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act is an ambitious initiative of Government of India which provides a legal guarantee of 100 days wage employment to every rural household whose adult family members volunteer to do unskilled manual work at the notified wage rate in a financial year (Gazette of India, 2005). In the first phase, MG NREGA covered 200 backward districts w.e.f 2nd February, 2006; in the second phase, another 130 districts were brought under MG NREGA coverage w.e.f. 1st April, 2007 and finally in the third phase, all the remaining 266 rural districts of India were covered from 28th September, 2007. Any adult who is willing to do unskilled manual work at the minimum wage is entitled to being employed on local public works within 15 days of applying. In case the Gram Panchayat fails to provide the work within the time period of fifteen days, the job seeker becomes entitled for unemployment allowance. A development block is basic unit of implementation. In each Block, a "Programme Officer" has to coordinate the implementation of MG NREGS, Gram Panchayats are the main implementing agencies with accountability to Gram Sabha which conducts social audits of all works taken up within Gram Panchayat.
Social audit is a process by which the people, the final beneficiaries of any scheme, programme, policy or law, are empowered to audit such schemes, programmes, policies and laws. John Pearce defined "Social Auditing is the process whereby an organization can account for its social performance. It assesses the social impact and ethical behaviour of an organization in relation to its aims and those of its stakeholders (RAISE, 2005). Social audit is an ongoing process by which the potential beneficiaries and other stakeholders of an activity or project are involved from the planning to the monitoring and evaluation of that activity or project. Social audit can be described as checking and verification of a programme/scheme implementation and its results by the community with the active involvement of the primary stakeholders. It is a process of holding executive branch on the government responsible for their acts. The aim is effective implementation and control of irregularities. The administrative machinery is expected to extend full support in carrying out a social audit by the community. "Auditing is more about securing orders than improving the welfare of the workers, that is why the management only makes cosmetic changes to impress the auditors and not to better the conditions of workers." (Clean Clothes Campaign, 2005).
Social audit under MG NREGA refers to an audit of all processes and procedures under the Scheme, including wage payments, muster rolls etc. It normally involves scrutiny of all documents and records on work done (MG NREGA SAMEEKSHA, 2012). The basic objective of social audit is to ensure public accountability in the implementation of projects, laws and policies. (MG NREGA Operational Guidelines, 2013) Social audit covers the quantity and quality of works in relation to the expenses incurred/disbursement made, number of works/materials used and also selection of works and location of works.
To put it concisely, social auditing is a process by which an organization accounts for its social performance to its stakeholders and seeks to improve its future social performance. In order to effectively prefer social audit capacity building of grossroot functionaries is essential.
Capacity building training is often presumed as a synonym of capacity building whereas they are distinct (MoPR, 2010).Capacity is defined as "ability". Operationally, in work situations, capacity is defined as "ability to perform." UNDP defined capacity as "the ability of individuals, institutions and societies to perform functions, solve problems, set and achieve objectives in a sustainable manner."(UNDP, 2005). Capacity of human resources is dependent on internal factors viz. Knowledge, Skills, Attitudes and external factors i.e. Environment (to what extent it is enabling or otherwise?). Training has been defined as a planned process to modify attitude, knowledge or skill behaviour through learning experience to achieve effective performance in an activity or range of activities. Its purpose in the work situation is to develop the abilities of the individual and to satisfy current and future manpower needs of the organization. Training is major and most commonly utilized approach of capacity building of human resource. While training is essentially an "input", capacity is the "output". Capacity building is thereby the process through which the abilities to do so are obtained, strengthened, adapted and maintained over time.
To put it precisely, training to take place for learning, learning for action and action to bridge the gaps in the implementation of programme, that is the cycle of capacity building.
Social audits have a significant impact on generating awareness among beneficiaries as well as in improving quality of implementation of the scheme. (MG NREGA Sameeksha, 2012) In MG NREGA, Social audit has become more significant in comparison to all other programmes since it has legal provision of an 'Act'. Consequently, building capacity on social audit becomes important in view of legal sanctity.
There is plethora of literature available on social audit covering wide range of issues. However, in this research work, an attempt has been made to review select literature for understanding social audit, capacity requirements and its impact on MG NREGA. Prieto and Bendell (2002) stressed involvement of all stakeholders quoting that a high quality social audit can take a great deal of time as it requires not only a review of the management system and documentation, but also a number of interviews with management, workers, workers representatives, and health and safety officers and could also include interviews with other relevant stakeholders, such as trade unions or NGOs. In comparison to it, Mohamed Behnassi (2008) gave importance to experience, knowledge and indiscrimination as qualities required for an auditor referring, in reality, the experience required for an auditor to undertake a high quality and credible social audit is significant. Civil society organizations are considered as a precious resource because they can provide independent auditing founded upon expert knowledge of audited issues and can also serve to hold companies accountable to their own professed CSR commitments. ALCOSA Report (2010) based on a cross-country analysis of four East African countries- Uganda, Tanzania, Ethiopia and Kenya analyzed the capacities of local government councillors to oversee local administration and are in turn held accountable by citizens. It underscored that Local government councillors need to have institutional and individual capacity to carry out their mandate for participatory expenditure tracking surveys, village assemblies as well as other participatory monitoring and evaluation techniques. Yet, the link between these tools and local councils are often weak and hindered by capacity constraints such as weak council capacity in accounting and record-keeping and skill and pay differentials between local administration officials and councillors. These capacity constraints create tensions and render elected representatives unable to make the necessary decisions or to monitor and enforce accountability from officials. about village committees, it further mentioned that the committees provided that they build enough capacity to do so- periodically monitor the activities of the local governments based on the budget cycles--namely, planning and formulation, execution, and reporting cycles- as well as service delivery performances. Similarly, Annamalai and Prasad (2012) have observed, "Most of the functionaries in charge of NREGA have not received any training. There is a particularly urgent need for trained supervisors at the worksites and for training in record-keeping". Alnoor Ebrahim (2007) referred that Conventional types of capacity building have often failed to bring about improvements in organizational effectiveness, performance, and accountability. Capacity building needs to be seen as a means of encouraging learning. Thus, effective capacity building often requires a revisiting of an organization's aspirations and strategy, as well as its standard operating procedures; simple training programmes can achieve little on their own. The World Bank and SPIU Report mentioned that In order to demystify the process for the REGS functionaries, the present process of the social audit includes training for them on what to expect from the social audit, and also on how to support the initiative. Annamalai and Prasad (2012) reiterated, Government of Himachal Pradesh has recently brought out social audit guidelines with the assistance from GTZ-German Agency working in HP on social accountability mechanism in rural development sector particularly on drinking water. However, it is not clear whether these guidelines are superseding the earlier rules on social audit. To sum up that there has been delay in developing full-fledged social audit mechanism as of now in Himachal Pradesh. Operational Guidelines (2008) highlighted that Various agencies in performing their duties under the Act, training programmes should give priority to the competencies required for effective planning, work measurement, public disclosure, social audits and use of the Right to Information Act, 2005. During the Social Audit Forum, the Right to Information Act and social audit manuals should be publicized so that the Forum serves as an ongoing training ground for the public vigilance process. Ministry of Rural Development in MG NREGA Sameeksha (2012) observed that the frequency and quality of social audit is a major constraint in effective implementation of MG NREGS. Shah et al, (2010) found in a study of nine states across India that social audit was seriously carried out in ten out of forty works; in ten more cases it was done by block administration, in four by NGO and in two by the district administration. In case of more than a dozen of works, no audit was carried out by anyone. CRRID (2009) in the study of three states mentioned "Majority of the respondents of all the selected Gram Panchayats of three districts were not aware about the role of Social Audit system in the NREGA activities. The study further found though training was provided to the elected panchayat members and also to some other Gram sabha members, yet there are still some stakeholders like social audit committee member, grievance committee members, vigilance monitoring committee members, government functionaries like Panchayats Secretaries, Sahayaks and Gram Rozgar Sewak who need to be provided proper training about NREGA scheme and recommended Strengthening of Social Audit System". CAG Report, (2008) found--In the absence of proper maintenance of records, social audit and the Social Audit Forum in Gram Sabhas remain the only methods for ensuring a degree of transparency and accountability at the GP and GS level. Non-conduct of social audit adversely affects demand-driven bottom-up approach of NREGA. CSP/IDS (2011) observed, "Community social audits are designed to be instrumental in changing the existing dominant and unequal power structures by creating the power in the hands of workers to hold the implementing agencies. The effectiveness of this rights- based policy crucially depends on the capacity of the people to demand their rights and entitlements and the capacity of the implementation agency to protect and enforce it. Institutionalizing social audits needs capacity building and change in outlook in traditional bureaucracy towards civil society organizations. Aiyar and Samji, (2009) found 'Social audit also improved record maintenance and worksite implementation. It was found that entries in job cards increased from 39 per cent to 99 per cent. The availability of drinking water at work sites also went up from 79 per cent to 95 per cent.
Objectives of the Study
a) To determine the state of awareness of social audit in MG NREGA for Rural Development, Panchayati Raj Departments and Programme Officers.
b) To examine the level of importance of capacity building for social audit in MG NREGA for Rural Development, Panchayati Raj Departments and Programme Officer.
c) To assess the capacity of members of Gram Sabha to undertake Social Audit in MG NREGA
d) To measure the status of Social Audits undertaken with the existing capacity and to determine the effort associated with capacity building for Social Audit in MGNREGA in HP besides its need and importance.
e) To measure workers' awareness, preparedness and satisfaction with the transparency in implementation of MG NREGA.
The study is a descriptive, as well as, analytical research based on secondary data relating to Himachal Pradesh. The secondary data mainly include three reports of social audit undertaken by the author as faculty from H P State Institute of Rural Development in Sirmour, Kangra and Bilaspur districts. In addition to this, primary data has also been collected and used in this paper.
The primary data includes
* The observations made, examination of records and inspection of works while undertaking social audit, interviews with the functionaries and job seekers in different districts of Himachal Pradesh.
* The experience sharing by different stakeholders in training programmes, as well as, the active involvement of author in the social audits undertaken by the HP State Institute of Rural Development.
* The qualitative data drawn from the experiences gained in field visits as well as interviews held with all the stakeholders.
The secondary data has been drawn from
* The reports of social audits undertaken by H P State Institute of Rural Development, Shimla. To give adequate representation to the three phases of NREGA implementation, one district from each phase has been taken as sample viz. District Sirmour (Social Audit Report, 2008) has been selected from phase I, District Kangra (Social Audit Report, 2009) from phase-II and District Bilaspur (Social Audit Report, 2010) from the phase-III district.
* The circulars, documents, case studies as documented by different agencies, publicity materials and any other relevant documents from various agencies.
* Published research work, content analysis of social audit reports of MGNREGS, recorded or published practices have been collected during the fieldwork for analysis including the information put in public domain on the MIS-NREGA.
* The rules, guidelines and instructions issued by Governments of India and Himachal Pradesh.
The guidelines, rules and instructions issued by central and state governments invariably insist conduct of social audit at least twice in a year, thus fixing a minimum frequency limit.
The quantitative data collected has been presented in the Table 1.1. It gives an account of demographic features and MG NREGA implementation in four Gram Panchayats representing three districts covered during three phases in Himachal Pradesh.
It is evident from Table-1 that number of Job Card holder families has increased substantially as a percentage of households i.e. 23 percent Job Card holders in GP Puruwala in phase I, 42 percent Job Card holders in GP Chetru in phase II and 79 percent Job Card holders in GP Nanawa in phase III. However, the job seekers as a percentage of job card holders have remained in the range of 30 percent 38 percent except for GP Nanawa which recorded 59 percent job seekers. The number of women job seekers registered a substantial increase supported by the fact that only 2 or 3 women were job card holders in phase I whereas 265 women held the job card in phase III. Similarly, their share in employment reached to the level of 74 percent and 81 percent, respectively. The share of SC families in employment reached to level of 5.28 percent in Phase II and 46 percent. In phase III. The presence of 5.29 percent ST families has also been recorded in GP Chetru.
With a broad based approach, the public vigilance and verification of MG NREGA implementation has been grouped into five major categories for the convenience of data analysis:
i. Records Management
ii. Works Management
iii. Knowledge/Awareness Management
v. Rules, Guidelines and Instructions
Records Management: Operational Guidelines and instructions issued from time to time by Rural Development Departments have clearly spelled out different information and registers required to be maintained for records management. The Table 1.2 gives an account of records management by the implementing agency i.e. Gram Panchayat.
The fault in all the three phases, the prime issues of job cards include non-fixing of proper group photos, custody and their authentication. In contrast to this, no cases of denial of job cards or registration have come forth. The dated receipts of job applications forms basis for unemployment allowance, however, have not been given in any GP in all the three phases. Another grey area is not following the complete set of record registers as prescribed in the guidelines. It is further aggravated by discrepancies in their maintenance and complete absence of certain registers.
Works Management: A summary of the major issues and concerns found in the works management is provided in the Table -3.
It is surprising to note that permissible works have been executed but following the priority and shelf approval by Gram Sabha have remained a constraint. On the work sites, neither the public information boards nor the work site facilities were seen except the drinking water facility which was arranged by the workers themselves. The execution of works witnessed the bias towards the individual works of elected representatives of Gram Panchayat, Nanawa followed by poor quality of works. Except for GP Navni, technical sanctions were not available; however, works with unrealistic technical feasibility were executed in GP Nanawa. The maintenance of muster rolls has been another eye sore since the work progress and material consumed were not at all recorded besides several other discrepancies. The situation on wage payments is also not rosy since the cases of under payment, ignorance of calculation of wage amount and inconsistency in muster roll vis-a-vis job card entries were common. The participation of women which was negligible in the Phase I recorded the unprecedented increase in Phase II and III.
Most importantly, MG NREG Act and Scheme were not available in any of the four GPs across all the three phases of implementation. Proactive disclosures have been made in GP Navni (Phase I) and GP Chetru (Phase II), whereas there was complete absence in GP Puruwala (Phase I) and GP Nanawa (Phase III). As a result of these, the awareness of rights, entitlements, significance of Gram Sabha was very poor among the community members. In the same spirit, Vigilance and Monitoring Committee or Social Audit Committee were constituted ritualistically to formalize the responsibilities, however, no committee was constituted at all in GP Nanawa. The NREGA trainings imparted to elected representatives and functionaries have been insufficient and most of the time without field exposures. Elected Ward members who were maintaining muster rolls have never been given any training at all. Similarly, no training was imparted in all the three GPs to elected representatives and functionaries on social audit. Unanimously, social audit was never conducted in all these GPs in past.
MIS-NREGA: In addition to above, the programme management system viz. MISNREGA takes account of social audits undertaken in a Gram Panchayat along with the following items:
a) Total Gram Panchayats
b) No of GP where social Audit held
c) No. of VMC meetings held
d) Verification of Documents
e) Must Roll Verified
f) Inspections Conducted
g) Issue Raised and action taken
h) Status of Grievances and action taken
i) Status of Complaints
j) Minutes of meeting
The MIS report for Himachal Pradesh up to the month of December, 2012 indicates social audit conducted for 1035 GPs out of 3243 GPs i.e. 32 percent GPs where social audit has been undertaken in the financial year 2012-13.
Rules, Guidelines and Instructions: H P Government brought social audit instructions (2008) for the first time followed by Transparency, Grievance Redressal and Social Audit Rules (2009). Due to change in Section 13 of Schedule-I (2008) of MG NREG Act by Government of India, the members of social audit committee were replaced by NREGA workers in place of the members nominated by Gram Sabha. Consequent upon it, Government of HP (2010) in collaboration with GTZ revised and web-hosted social audit guidelines. Government of India issued Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Audit of Schemes Rules (2011) and clarified that Audit of schemes shall include social audit. The rules provided for constitution of a separate directorate or identification of an independent agency for social audit with units at state, district, block and village level. In pursuance of these rules, Government of HP (2011) issued another set of instructions and its own structures at all these four levels at social audit units and officers at these levels as social audit resource person. The social audit animator engaged under GTZ guidelines as gram panchayat resource person. Audit of Schemes Rules prescribed preparation of reporting formats, resource materials, guidelines and process manuals as a responsibility of social audit units. The work on account of this material is yet to be initiated by Government of HP.
The major findings on the basis of analysis of data have come across:
MG NREGA Implementation
Lack of awareness: The substantial increase in job card holder families establishes availability of employment opportunities to villagers; however, it is not supported by proportionate increase in the number of job seekers. This indicates lack of awareness among masses and the demand driven design of the scheme has not percolated down to masses.
Participation of marginalized groups: The participation of marginalized groups in work force has increased abnormally in case of women but not in case of SCs and BPL's.
Transparency in financial disbursements: The payment of wages in post office/ bank accounts has increased in phase-II and III, which is an indication of transparency in financial disbursements.
b) Prominent Issues in implementation
i. Records Management:
Capacity gaps: Though no household has been denied of registration and job card, but incomplete job orders, their authentication, custody and photographs indicate the laxity of official in rules and procedures. They have either not trained properly or lack knowledge on this account, in both the cases it is an apparent case of capacity gap.
Deprivation of rights: The work demand applications are not acknowledged or they are without date, forfeiting the claims of job seekers for unemployment allowance. The procedural lapses are resulting into financial loss and deprivation of legal rights to workers.
Lack of accountability: The registers are found to be not maintained as prescribed in the MGNREGA operational guidelines. A few registers are not being followed at all viz. work demand registers, assets registers and job card registers. In contrast to these, complaint registers and inspection registers have never been filled up. The supply side leniency is resulting into lack of their accountability.
ii. Works Management:
Challenge to transparency: The permissible works under MGNREGA have been undertaken for execution but the laid down priority has been ignored as well as the shelf approved by GS has been ignored. Undue favour has been given to individual works of elected representatives of Gram Panchayat putting a challenge to transparency.
Work site facilities: Public information boards have not been found at most of the work sites. Besides this, the work site facilities were also not available. The drinking water available at sites was arranged by the workers themselves.
Creation of assets: The quality of works executed has been found comparatively reasonable except for one GP. This indicates the zeal of GP's for creation of sustainable assets.
Technical Sanctions and Estimates: The technical sanctions, estimates and maintenance of muster rolls have proved to be another weak area. The technical sanctions and estimates have not found at work sites.
Poor maintenance of muster rolls: The muster rolls are not kept in an apple-pie order, especially the Part III of muster roll. This poor maintenance has also led to charging of skilled labour to wages component in spite of material component. The progress of works is not recorded in time leading to delay in wage payments. The material consumed is not being documented on muster roll which provides scope for pilferage. The muster rolls have not been verified by workers committee on regular basis.
Wages Calculation: The NREGA workers are not aware how wages are calculated, the difference of wage rate and piece rate is not clear to them, however, they have become partially aware that the wages are paid on the basis of progress of work.
Discrepancies in muster roll: On account of wage payment, the workers are in a fix to understand the computation of quantum of work to draw their daily wage rate. The non worker member of GP (elected ward representative) enrolled on the muster roll reduces the wage rate for the workers. There are cases of discrepancies in muster roll and job card entries. iii. Knowledge and Awareness Management:
Access of information to public: The proactive disclosures of MGNREGA implementation have been followed in two GPs by writing them on Panchayat Ghar's wall. Except this, there is complete absence of proactive disclosures which has obstructed the access of information to public on their rights and entitlements.
Lack of knowledge: The non availability of MG NREGA Act, Scheme and Guidelines/instructions further strengthen the lack of knowledge with the agents of service delivery.
Impact of leadership: There has been a mixed response on participation and significance of gram sabha supported by the fact- Gram Sabha has been found to be participative and well aware in one GP, another witness more participation of women whereas in other two cases, it is monotonous. This can be attributed to an incidence of impact of leadership at the lowest tier of governance.
Defunct or incapable institutions: The constitution of committees as vigilance institutions have not been followed in letter and spirit. Vigilance and Monitoring Committees have not been constituted following the laid down norms, additionally they are either defunct or incapable to do justice with their obligations and responsibilities.
Transparency and accountability: It has been found that social audit has never taken place in all the four Gram Panchayats in the past, putting a question mark on continuous public vigilance. In one case, elected representatives of gram panchayat found aggressive to social audit, meaning thereby, they are not in favour of transparency and accountability.
Insufficient capacity building initiatives: The systematic approach to training has been found to be completely ignored. It indicates that importance of capacity building on social audit is hardly on the priority agenda of departments and officers concerned. The members of Gram Sabha hardly have any capacity in this regard. The insufficient capacity building initiatives for elected representatives of gram panchayat have failed to facilitate continuous public vigilance.
Reporting on Social Audits: It is a pathetic state of affairs that minimum mandated two social audits in one Gram Panchayat annually do not take place, actually. It has been found that in most of cases, social audit has been reported to be undertaken on MIS-NREGA. At the same time, neither the functionaries nor the community supported the fact when they were interviewed. However, a few asserted that records of MG NREGA implementation were read out in the Gram Sabha meeting.
Process and structure of social audit: Neither the members of gram sabha nor the functionaries/implementing agencies are clear about the process and structure of social audit, thus, limit the activity to a paper exercise only. The practice fails to establish that Rural Development, Panchayati Raj Departments and Programme Officer are aware of social audit in MG NREGA.
Information gap: There is evident gap in the information reported on MIS-NREGA. The number of social audits undertaken in one gram panchayat overrides the number of documents verified in one social audit as per MIS Report; it is an extreme example of information gap.
Rules, Guidelines and Instructions
Ritualistic Performance of Functions: The instructions issued by Govt. of HP nowhere make it clear that they are issued in addition to or in super-session of notified rules. The prescribed directorate or agency and social audit units at four levels, all functions have been performed ritualistically giving the responsibility to own hierarchical structures at these levels. The rules and instructions issued have failed facilitate social audit.
Based on the above analyses, discussions and findings, the following recommendations are made to create a sustainable environment for social audit to take place in an automated manner:
a) MG NREGA Implementation
Awareness Campaign: An MGNREGA awareness campaign focused on marginalized groups to be launched with a view to demystifying the scheme to increase the share of SC, ST and BPLs in the workforce participation.
Demand driven design: Community to be apprised about the demand driven design of the scheme. There is a need for capacity development of masses for demanding job, thus the awareness campaign to be specifically designed to address the needs of community.
b) Prominent Issues in implementation
Procedures simplification and standardization: The procedures on account of maintenance of registers, their classification, job cards maintenance, custody, group photos, work demand applications etc. need to be standardized and simplified. A manual in simple language with examples needs to be drafted. All the functionaries involved in the implementation of NREGA are required to be given training with field exposures to build their capacity with not only knowledge but also with skills. The first phase could be started with pilot in a Gram Panchayat, thereafter covering block, followed by District and thereafter rolling it out in the whole state.
Adherence to SOPs: To establish the regime of transparency, the priority of works and approval of Gram Sabha to be given significance and needs to be followed. The minutes of gram sabha meeting to be recorded in register and placed in public domain. Besides this, work site boards and facilities, estimates and technical sanctions, quality of works to be monitored by VMC and workers' committees on regular basis. Programme Officer and District Programme Coordinator to review the adherence of standard operating procedures (SOPs) and monitor it through the MIS as well as monthly and quarterly meetings.
Manual on Civil Works: The maintenance of muster rolls, especially part three giving account of progress of works, material consumed and further quantifications of work for calculation of wages to explained to elected representatives of gram panchayat and workers. A simple manual on civil works in local language with practical examples can build their capacities in this regard.
Knowledge / Awareness Management
Proactive disclosures: In the light of RTI Act, 2005, the proactive disclosures of MGNREGA implementation to be stressed upon and audited biannually during SA exercise. NREGA Act, Schemes instructions, their simplified version to be prepared and supplied to each GP and Block Samiti.
Knowledge building on social audit: Beneficiaries need to be made aware about the process of social audit on what, why, where about the social audit, selection of works and their role etc. Adequate training needs to be imparted on all these issues.
Check lists and Formats: The Pradhans of Gram Panchayat should be equipped with a check list of all the procedures, processes and documents with regards to implementation of NREGS. Social Audit Committee to be apprised about all the provision of NREGA in simple and understandable formats with pictorial training material, Manuals on checking of different works; Capacity building with practical examples and exercises on reporting formats and analysis of information to be social audited in NREGS; and Knowledge and skills on location of works and time of their execution.
Personality Development: Exposures to soft skills like motivation, team building and leadership development programmes to be organized for elected representatives of gram panchayat to strengthen the decentralized governance.
Additional Data Capturing: MIS NREGA to capture the data on constitution of workers committee, vigilance and monitoring committee and social audit committee with their names and photos etc.
Annual social audit calendar may be uploaded on MIS.
The system generated cross verification of uploaded information for creating alerts on social audit to be included.
Rules, Guidelines and Instructions
Positive attitude of bureaucracy: The bureaucracy to play a constructive role with regard to rules, guidelines and instructions with a view to facilitating and establishing the institutions spelled out through policy mechanisms to strengthen the cause of social audit in MG NREGA.
A bird's eye view on the analyses and findings gives an account of the different aspects. It is worth mentioning from the analysis that all the dimensions of social auditing whether it is records, works or awareness, all recount to developing capacity in this regard. It may be observed that all the findings narrated in previous paragraphs directly or indirectly relate to the capacity of human resources- internal or external. Internal factors- knowledge, skills and attitudes of those individuals who are directly involved in the implementation of Act and their capacity deserves to be developed in this regard. Similarly, the external factors relate to the environment i.e. the organizational issues, the hierarchy which is indirectly involved in implementation from the supply side. This includes programme officer, district programme coordinator, state and central employment commissioners. The desired level of training as input to these both human resources with appropriate prescription at regular intervals can result into the required output called capacity. Failure to administer the appropriate doses of capacity has increased the risk of non compliance of statutory provisions of an immense programme-MG NREGA. Regrettably, non seriousness of individuals, management and organizations continue to plague the effective implementation of programme, creating gaps in service delivery and the conceived objectives. These further results into shortfall in achievement of the targeted growth and empowerment of people.
The major recommendations suggested lay foundation for building capacity of all the stakeholders to facilitate the conduct of social audit. Additionally, directly concerned departments and officers should recognize the importance of social audit as well as the need of capacity building for social audit. The members of gram sabha to be administered appropriate initial and booster doses of capacity development at regular intervals to enable them to play the role of torch bearers for continuous public vigilance. It is evident that a lot of work is yet required to be done by both demand and supply sides to undertake social audit which is only possible with serious, committed and dedicated effort on capacity building for social audit. The capacity building of functionaries, ERs of PRIs, committees, workers, community and all other stakeholders will result into better implementation, ultimately resulting into empowerment of both sides to establish transparency and accountability with the tool called Social Audit in an objective way.
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Table 1: Demographic Features and MG NREGA Information of Selected GPS Phase I Distt Sirmour Unit 2008 Puruwala Navni Total Households No. 678 NR Total Population Persons 5312 1604 Male 2385 821 Female 2927 783 Scheduled Caste Persons 176 Male - - Female - - Scheduled Tribes Persons - - Male - - Female - - Job Card holders Households 156 94 Scheduled Caste - - Schedule Tribe - - Women 3 2 BPL - NR Job Card holder Percentage 23 - Households Job seekers Persons 60 56 Job seeker Households Percentage 39 60 out of job card holders Employment generated Person 3568 days Schedule Caste - - Schedule Tribe - - Women - - BPL - - SC share in employment Percentage - - generated Women share in Percentage - - employment Bank Accounts - - Phase II Phase III Distt Distt Kangra Bilaspur Unit 2009 2010 Chetru Nanawa Total Households No. 387 614 Total Population Persons 1641 2863 Male 833 1481 Female 808 1382 Scheduled Caste Persons 54 765 Male 27 382 Female 27 383 Scheduled Tribes Persons 111 - Male 60 - Female 51 - Job Card holders Households 164 485 Scheduled Caste 7 140 Schedule Tribe 8 - Women NR 265 BPL NR 60 Job Card holder Percentage 42 79 Households Job seekers Persons 116 173 Job seeker Households Percentage 71 36 out of job card holders Employment generated Person 5625 6651 days Schedule Caste 297 3071 Schedule Tribe 202 0 Women 4530 4904 BPL NR 35 SC share in employment Percentage 5 46 generated Women share in Percentage 8 74 employment Bank Accounts 154 254 * NR = Not Reported Table 2: Records Management by Selected GPs Indicator Phase I Distt. SIRMOUR 2008 Puruwala Navni Job Photos missing, Incomplete Group photos not Cards Job Cards, No one denied of fixed, Custody with registration, Cases of workers, No one unauthenticated Job Cards. denied of registration, No cases of denial of JC to any one. Demand Dated receipts not given. Applications not of Work acknowledged. Maintena Registers not followed as Registers not nce of per guidelines, Incomplete followed as per Registers registers with discrepancies, guidelines, Complete set of registers not Incomplete maintained, Registers not registers with kept, Work Demand, Assets discrepancies, Registers, Job card Complete set of registers. registers not maintained. Indicator Phase II Distt. Phase III Distt. KANGRA 2009 BILASPUR 2010 Chetru Nanawa Job Photos provided by Photo missing, Custody Cards job seekers, Cases of with GP, No one denied custody with of registration Pradhan, No one Unauthenticated. denied of registration, Incomplete unauthenticated. Demand Dated receipts not Undated applications. of Work given. Maintena Registers not Registers not followed as nce of followed as per per guidelines, Registers guidelines, Incomplete registers with Incomplete registers discrepancies, Complete with discrepancies, set of registers not Complete set of maintained , Employment registers not register to record the maintained. demand yet not started. Table 3: Works Management Issues and Concerns in selected GPs Indicator Sirmour 2008 Puruwal Navni Type of Work Works as per Priority not perspective plan followed Work site boards Unavailability of Unavailability of works site boards works site boards Work site No facilities Availability of facilities available drinking water Ceremonial first and temporary aid box available shed Ceremonial first aid box available Quality of work Satisfactory Reasonable Estimate at work Not available Available site and technical sanction Muster Roll Work progress and Work progress Management material used not and material record, Skilled used not workers charged to recorded. Delay Labour in recording work assessment Payment of wages Workers ignorance Paid in cash of amount paid Women work Very low Very low participation Indicator Kangra 2009 Bilaspur 2010 Chetru Nanawa Type of Work Permissible work with Favoritism to GP priority to irrigation members for work individual works Work site boards Works site boards on Work site boards completed works only not seen Work site Drinking water Not available facilities arranged by workers Ceremonial first Ceremonial first aid aid box available box available Quality of work God Substandard works Estimate at work Technical sanction not Unrealistic site and technical available technical sanction feasibility Muster Roll Work progress and Work progress and Management material used not material used not recorded. Opening and recorded. closing dates missing Inconsistent on Muster Rolls attendance, poor maintenance , skilled workers charged to Labour Payment of wages Contradiction in muster Underpayment of Roll and Job Card wages. Lack of entries understanding of wage payment system to workers. Women work Higher than the norm More than the participation prescribed limit Knowledge and Awareness Management: The overarching dimension of knowledge and awareness management has been illustrated in Table-4 below. Table 4: Knowledge and Awareness Management State in Selected GPs Indicator Sirmour 2008 Puruwal Navni Proactive Absence of Wall writing for Disclosures Proactive disclosures Disclosures NREGA Act and Copies not kept in Copies not kept Scheme availability GP in GP in GP Awareness on No awareness Partial rights, entitlements no clarity of demand awareness of 100 and demand driven driven schemes day job no schemes awareness of unemployment allowance Significance of GS members don't Participative and Gram Sabha and feel relevant sufficient aware participation Constitution of VMC constituted VMC constituted VMC, SAC and other No training only committees and No training their raining Status of Social No Social audit done PRIs antagonistic audit in past t Social Audit Training on No training Insufficient a) MG NREGA Training b) Social Audit No training No training Indicator Kangra 2009 Bilaspur 2010 Chetru Nanawa Proactive Wall writing for Complete absence Disclosures disclosures of Proactive Disclosures NREGA Act and Copies not kept Copies not kept in Scheme availability in GP GP in GP Awareness on No knowledge of No knowledge to the rights, entitlements entitlements community and demand driven No training to ward schemes member 3 days training to Pradhan without any practical orientation Significance of Women more No enough Gram Sabha and enthusiastic participation participation Constitution of Incapable SAC No committee VMC, SAC and other Defunct VMC constituted committees and No raining training out of their raining question Status of Social Social audit not No records of audit conducted previous Social Audit Training on Limited training Training without a) MG NREGA practical exposure b) Social Audit No training No training
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|Publication:||Political Economy Journal of India|
|Date:||Jan 1, 2014|
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