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Army Of Social Auditors To Monitor Mgnrega – Fiinovation
India's flagship employment guarantee act, MGNREGA have been facing criticism for a long time now. The results expected from the initiative has not been as per expectations. Many states have not been able to implement the funds allocated to them. What's more ironic is that states which are considered less industrialized have not implemented much of MGNREGA funds compared to the more industrialized states.
Fiinovation reviews that the MGNREGA is struck by the poor state of monitoring and evaluation. As the projects are not monitored the initiatives doesn't create the desired impact. This not only results in wastage of valuable resources but also work hours which may have been utlised for other productive purposes.
Fiinovation believes that understanding the problems related to MGNREGA, the government is working out strategies to ensure MGNREGA becomes impactful. One such strategy is to deploy an army of social auditors to monitor and evaluate the progress of MGNREGA initiatives. The government is collaborating with Tata Institute of Social Sciences and starting an one-month course for social auditors. To start ...
... with approximately 8000 social auditors will be deployed and almost half of them will be women.
Fiinovation suggests that the government is looking to increase the pool of resources. The trainings would help these social auditors demystify the data collected from the field. It is understandable that the idea is to create an army of auditors that is capable of monitoring and evaluating major government schemes. The trainings would help the government to conduct social audits for all its programmes including the ones run by the Panchayati Raj department. It is expected that the minimum criteria for a social auditor would be a class 12 certificate.
These steps are considered to brush aside the points which makes MGNREGA a weak act. The rural development ministry has already issued notice to the states asking them to expeditiously conduct regular social audits. These audits will help highlight deviations and plug gaps in implementation of schemes on a monthly basis. Fiinovation believes that these steps will definitely improve the overall impact at ground level.
To ensure that the social audits are conducted in an impartial and transparent way, the government has advised the states to let self help groups, village social auditors and Bharat Nirman volunteers to oversee the process. One major issue of the MGNREGA has been delay in payments which affected the demand for work. Monitoring and evaluation will prevent corruption and leakages and ensure timely payment of the people engaged.
The government of India will only hope that in the coming months, MGNREGA will become a more effective mechanism to generate employment and create assets.
By Rahul Choudhury
Media & Communications, Fiinovation
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