Ensuring total transparency and inclusiveness in the ongoing Waste-free Kerala Campaign, social auditing has been made the integral component of the movement, marking a shift from the conventional approach of planning, implementing and reviewing projects and activities entirely by state agencies.
The Department of Local Self Government has directed local bodies across the state to take up periodic social audit of projects taken up as part of the ‘Malinya Muktham Nava Keralam’ campaign, which aims at creating sustainable and self-reliant solid waste management systems in all local bodies by next year.
“Now that the campaign has entered its second and crucial phase, it is vitally important that projects are reviewed periodically by taking people on board. This will enable their critical evaluation in various stages of implementation and ensure greater efficiency and transparencies to the mission” said Minister for Local Self Government and Excise, M B Rajesh.
“If any project is found to have shortcomings, like harmful effect on local environment or hurting genuine interests of the local community, it could be rectified or alternatives thought of. Such an approach would turn the whole campaign truly democratic and transparent”, the Minister pointed out.
Based on the activities undertaken during the first phase of the campaign, local bodies had been asked to prepare detailed reports on the activities they had taken up and these were presented and discussed by the Haritha Sabhas held in all the 1034 local bodies in the state on June 5.
After the deliberations at the Haritha Sabhas and getting the approval of the local bodies, the blueprints have been handed over to the Social Audit Committees, comprising people from different sections of the society, including experts.
The Social Audit Committees, whose members had been imparted proper training by Kerala Institute of Local Administration (KILA), have started reviewing the reports. As part of the process that makes a detailed and critical look at every project, the actual achievements will be compared against the claims made by local bodies.
The initial rounds of reviews have been completed in all local bodies. In the next stage, these reports will be considered by the local bodies to ascertain the real achievements, identify the gap between the achievements and the targets and plan the next phases of the campaign.