Enabling and facilitating the development of an alternative model of 'data-centered governance' through social auditing, May-June 2014

Social auditing forms a key component of the efforts directed towards enabling the development of an alternative model of 'data-centred governance'. Thus, there is a strong emphasis on community ownership and auditing of local data by working closely with panchayats in which information centres are located, to help them utilise techno-social possibilities, to put out data-centred decision making processes in the public domain, and to explore mobile phone-based strategies for public information outreach.

For instance, with the help of infomediaries and Elected Women Representatives (EWRs), the KMVS team carried out social audits in 3 villages - in order to address the loop holes in the delivery of Public Distribution System (PDS) benefits in all three villages. Following the completion of the audit, a detailed analysis was also carried out and a memorandum was presented to the collector. This comprehensive social audit process played an important role in improving the PDS system in Lakhapar village.

Similarly, at the Attiguppe Community information centre in Mysore district, the Managing Committee and the information intermediary are now invited by the local Child Care Centre to audit its food grains distribution, every month. In fact, at present, it is the information intermediary who takes the photographs that are sent as documentary evidence to the block level departments, by the Child Care Centre workers. In this way, there is a strong effort and focus on evolving a gendered framework for data-led local governace at the panchayat level, ultimately.