Institute for Social and Economic Change
Working Paper: 294
How Effective are Social Audits under MGNREGS?
Lessons from Karnataka
This case study on social audits under MGNREGS in Karnataka aims to provide suggestions on how to improve the design and implementation of social audits in the state. With the help of the primary data collected from five grama panchayats in Chitradurga district, the paper argues that although the documentary evidence shows that social audits are conducted they do not fulfil the main objective of engaging the beneficiaries of the scheme and making the scheme effective. Social audit process is compromised by the influence wielded by village elites which results in the exclusion of poor labourers for whom the scheme is primarily meant. The social audit process could be made more participatory by ensuring that it is conducted in an impartial manner.