Social audit for poverty alleviation projects

Staff Reporter

Workshop on social audit begins in city

It can improve the life of the beneficiaries

Workshop to evolve a model for social audit

KOCHI: The urban poverty alleviation projects implemented with the support of the Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission will be subjected to a social audit. The housing and basic service projects for the urban poor which are implemented in cities like Kochi will also come under the scanner, according to the officials of the Ministry for Housing and Urban Poverty Alleviation.

A two-day national workshop, organised by the Ministry, on participatory planning and social audit in urban poverty alleviation project began here on Thursday. Kerala Institute of Local Administration (KILA) and Kochi Corporation are also associated with the workshop.

According to the organisers, it was important for the beneficiaries to evaluate the projects and assess its outcome. The sharing of knowledge and information in these projects would also help in improving the quality of life of the beneficiaries, they said.

Speaking on the sidelines of the conference, Kiran Dhingra, secretary of the Ministry, said that the conference would evolve a model for the social audit of the projects.

A group of representatives need to be evolved from among the beneficiaries and they should also be accepted by the beneficiaries, she said.

The social audit will also prompt the municipalities to gear up for approaching the projects with a human face, Ms. Dhingra said.

The Mission projects have a multi-level system for evaluating the projects. This includes the surveys, internal monitoring mechanism, third party monitoring on the quality of constructions, the scrutiny by the Planning Commission and Comptroller and Auditor General and also the Parliamentary Standing Committee, she said.

The social auditing should also be viewed as the evaluation of the satisfaction level of the beneficiaries, Ms. Dhingra said.

Alkesh Sharma, national project coordinator, National Strategy for Urban Poor, S.M. Vijayanand, principal secretary, Local Self-Government, Kerala, P.K. Mohanty, joint secretary of the Ministry, Kochi Mayor Mercy Williams and N. Ramakantan, director, KILA, attended.

The delegates of the conference will interact with the members of the Community Development Societies of Kochi and visit various micro enterprise units in Fort Kochi and Mattancherry on Friday. They will also visit various housing project sites of Kochi Corporation.

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