Social Accountability in MGNREGA: Institutionalised Social Audit in United Andhra Pradesh of India
AbstractThe study examines key issues that occur in the implementation of public policy and the role of social audit to curb those. Corruption is one of the serious issues in South Asia, especially in India. It has become everyday culture and quite normal to discuss corruption in India. In absence of social accountability and the sole emphasis on traditional vertical accountability, it observed a significant negative effect in the implementation of the social welfare programmes. The rising concepts of ‘transparency and accountability’ are playing a vital role to achieve good governance, empower the citizens and justice in the new public management system. The tool of the social audit has emerged as a hope for the democratic accountability that provides a platform to people, especially the marginalised ones, to raise their grievances fearlessly. The key objective of the research is to examine the institutionalisation process and its contribution to ensure transparency and accountability in the implementation of Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA). Key findings of the research suggest that United Andhra Pradesh was the first state who came up with the institutionalised social audit to sustain its process. The state had an interesting journey that achieved the full-flagged institutionalised social audit process. The institutionalisation of social audit in the state has proven its effective outputs to make the system more accountable for their duties that brought a positive impact on the quality implementation of the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA) as a social policy. Keywords: Transparency and Accountability, Social Audit, Institutionalisation and Social Policy.