Social audits are one of the key methodologies that we use to mobilize communities and monitor the implementation of government budgets. In 2013 the first social audit in South Africa was conducted by the Social Justice Coalition with the community of Khayelitsha following their quest for dignified sanitation in the informal settlements of Cape Town. Since then SJC, Ndifuna Ukwazi, Planact, Afesis Corplan, Action Aid, Equal Education and other organisations have used social audits to engage government on the delivery of social services.
What is a Social Audit?
A social audit is a community-led process of reviewing crucial documents to determine whether the public expenditure and service delivery outcomes reported by the government really reflect the public money spent and the services received by the community. Members of the community collectively participate in a process of verifying government (or private company) documents by comparing them with the realities on the ground and the experiences of the community. On the basis of this work, they engage government to address the problems that they have identified.
Working with communities
WHO IS THE SOCIAL AUDIT NETWORK
The Social Audit Network (SAN) is a network of civil society organisations that work together to expand the use of substantive accountability tools, like social audits, as legitimate and effective forms of community based monitoring and participation in South Africa. The SAN works with communities to hold government and service providers to account and encourages community empowerment through skills transfer.
Visit the website for more information www.socialaudits.org.za