Social Audit

Definition   |   Tools   |   Indicators   |   Benefits   |   Methodology

Speech by Mawlana Hazar Imam at the 

The Enabling Environment Conference Kabul | 4 Jun 2007
“How do we know whether these programs are actually working or not? How do we know whether they are improving? It would be very easy to mislead ourselves on this score – and to assume that because we are trying hard, or spending significant sums of money, or are inspired by noble intentions, or are holding a lot of meetings – we must therefore be making an effective impact. 
But this is not always the case. And that is why it is so important that all of us should be held accountable for the results we produce – that our work should be measured by its observable, positive impact on the quality of peoples lives.” 


A social audit is systematic examination and analysis of the impact of programs and services on the stakeholders

It is usually performed at a minimum 3-5 years after a programme has been established so as to have meaningful comparative performance metrics.  Subject matter experts are engaged by the GRB to ensure that programmes are benchmarked against current industry best practices. 

Beneficiaries are engaged in the examination process to ascertain programme feedback and any issues and concerns.

Engagement Tools

  • Statistical / Regression Analysis
  • Focus Groups
  • Questionnaires
  • On-line Surveys
  • Interviews 
  • Document Studies

Indicators Reviewed


Air quality; noise/visual pollution; access to water; distance to recreational facilities and/or walking paths; access to clean drinking water; etc

Social / Quality of Life 

Housing/home-ownership; empowerment of women and disadvantaged; elimination of caste/gender/education/ income based discrimination; participation in programs/services; improved social relations amongst groups; etc.


Source(s) of income; savings;  employment/unemployment; percentage of families above poverty line; wages; contribution to reduction in poverty; improvement in economic status; reduction in families living below poverty line.


Enrolment rates; attainment rates; investment per capita; increase in education attainment (through formal and informal institutions; human capital formation (education); universal education;  etc.


Access to quality health care facilities; rates of illnesses/diseases; birth/death rates; sanitation; human capital formation (health); reduction in incidence of preventable diseases and malnutrition; etc.


Provides assessment of outcomes and impact (intended or unintended)

Provides recommendation to improve services,

Validates performance and identifies and addresses negative outcome gaps

Instils greater accountability

Enhances effectiveness of programme delivery of Institutions

Aids in future planning