Understanding Social AuditsLearning’s from the AP experience The World Bank Atul Pokharel with Yamini Aiyar, Salimah Samji, Intellecap and SPIU (AP govt.) February 1, 2008
Research Question Do Social Audits enhance Laborer bargaining power with respect to implementation of NREGA in Andhra Pradesh? Parameters: • Awareness Generation • Implementation Process • Grievance Redressal
Key Indicators • Awareness Generation: Awareness of scheme, scheme entitlements- guarantee, wages, demand for work • Implementation process: Work application & worksite information, worksite facilities, measurement processes, muster roll maintenance, wage payment processes • Grievance redressal: Social Audits as an effective mechanism to resolve problems,perceptions towards officials, ability to approach officials to register complaints
Study Design Sampling • 3 Districts (Medak, Khammam and Cuddapah) • 2 Mandals in each district • 7 Gram Panchayats per mandal (14 in total) • 20 Labourers per Gram Panchayat • Total = 750 laborers common across three rounds
Study Design • Two surveys at the GP level • Individual surveys of APREGS laborers (840) • Gram Panchayat level FGDs (42*2). This set of surveys have been conducted 3 times in each of the 42 GPs: (i) before the social audit, (ii) 1 month after the social audit, and (iii) 6 months after the social audit Individual perceptions surveys at the GP level within 3-7 days after the social audit. Sample size: 6 sample Mandals, 3 GPs- 1 GP where the Social Audit has taken place. 10 Laborers per GPs • Key informant interviews
Caveats This is NOT an evaluation of Social Audits Indicates what changes when people are exposed to a social audit. Shows general trends Only applies to Social Audits at the village level (not Mandal Level)
Respondent Profile 750 paneled respondents Gender: 59% females, 41% male Caste: General- 6%, SC- 39%, ST-25%, OBC-30% SHG Membership: Individual membership-38%, family member in SHG- 22% Education: No formal education- 72%, less than primary 10%, completed primary-5%, others-11% Occupation: Agricultural labor- 69%, non-farm labor-11%, own land- 18% Job card holders: 98% Participated in works: 92% 100% respondents had not heard of a social audit in round-1
Levels of Awareness and it sticks 59% Jump • 99% of those who had heard about APREGS/ NREGA in round 2 had been exposed to a SA
Levels of Awareness And it sticks……
Perception results….. After the SA 91% respondents said that they demand work because ‘it is a right’ Exposure to SA increases awareness YET most respondents were unable to identify the corresponding pictures on the job card
Implementation Process Work Application and Worksite Information • Field Assistant: Overall, APREGS implementation structure is ‘top down’ with FA playing the dominant role. But some minor changes in round 3- • 32% respondents said they selected works at the Gram Sabha • Payment slip: After being exposed to a SA, 87% knew what a payment slip was.
Implementation Process Work Application and Worksite Information • Significant changes in availability 6 months after SA • Creche facilities least effected by SA Work Site Facilities
Grievance Redressal Ability to influence local officials Before SA 57% respondents agreed that they were powerless in influencing APREGS officials After SA, of these 57%: *99% of those who changed their opinion from agree to disagree in round 2 had been exposed to a SA
Grievance Redressal 60% respondents said that they ability to contact these officials has changed because they now have greater awareness Perceptions towards local officials After the SA you more comfortable approaching the following?
Grievance Redressal Relationship with village power elites Before SA 61% respondents strongly agreed/ agreed that the powerful in the village do not care about them After SA, of these 61%: *95% of those who changed their opinion from agree to disagree in round 2 had been exposed to a SA
Grievance Redressal Perceptions of SA as a mechanism to address grievances 88% respondents said that grievances were raised SA meeting But…where these grievances addressed?
Grievance Redressal Perceptions of SA as a mechanism to address grievances “We came to know many things that we didn’t otherwise know after going to the mandal meeting. We are now able to question any misdeeds that the Field Assistant and Technical Assistant are indulging in.” Participants at Obulvaripalle, SA forum • 82% respondents said that SA are an effective mechanism for grievance redressal.
Perceptions on the social audit “The social audit people should come every month to keep these wrongdoings at bay.” Satyamma, Arepalli SJ 90% respondents felt that the social audit is a desirable task 92% respondents said that they could express themselves during the social audit meeting 94% say SA should occur on a regular basis 61% say that decisions made during SA will be implemented in the village
Perceptions on the social audit BUT……. • 87% respondents said that they would never conduct a social audit on their own, because • Illiteracy • Ignorance of how to conduct a social audit • 75% respondents said that higher officials should conduct the SA
To sum up…….. We can broadly surmise: • Social Audits have a massive and lasting effect on citizens awareness levels • It has some impact on streamliningimplementation process • It enhances citizens bargaining power with local officials and offers them never before opportunities to address petty grievances • It increases confidence and respect amongst the poorest and most dis-empowered
And finally……. Social Audits are indeed a desirable task If this much can be achieved after one SA, imagine the possibilities if they are held more frequently? Thank you