Law and Policy

Social Accountability Policy, Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment

SAFAR is working with civil society organizations such as Centre for Advocacy and Research (CFAR), National Campaign for Dalit Human Rights (NCDHR), National Institute for Rural Development and Panchayati Raj (NIRDPR) to develop a Social Accountability Policy and scheme specific guidelines for the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment, Government of India. 

This includes provisions for mandatory disclosure of information, grievance redress, social audits, community monitoring and participatory planning in six schemes of the Ministry:

  • SC ST Prevention of Atrocities Act
  • Scholarship Assistance for SC, OBC and EBC students
  • Development Action Plan for SCs
  • Pradhan Mantri Adarsh Gram Yojana, National Action Plan for Senior Citizens and interventions for drug and substance abuse.
Credit: Prashant Panjiar

Public Accountability Bill, Rajasthan

SAFAR is supporting campaigns such as Soochna Evum Rozgar Adhikar Abhiyan (SR Abhiyan) in Rajasthan with advocacy for a Social Accountability Bill. The Bill provides a legal framework for information disclosure, grievances redress, the right to hearing, an independent appellate mechanism for grievance redress, information and facilitation centres and social audits. This bill builds on a 2011 version called the ‘Right of Citizens for Time Bound Delivery of Goods and Services and redressal of their grievances Bill” which was discussed in the Lok Sabha and endorsed by the Parliamentary Standing Committee. SAFAR has prepared briefing notes and discussion papers that provide evidence for why such a law will increase the effectiveness of welfare provisioning. SAFAR also assisted members of a Committee constituted by Government of Rajasthan to prepare a draft Public Accountability Bill.

SAFAR is now involved with the follow up on similar legislation being passed in Kerala and Karnataka, based on public commitments made by the State Governments.

Credit: Prashant Panjiar

Social Audit Rules, Meghalaya

After conducting pilot social audits in Meghalaya in collaboration with the State Government and civil society organizations, SAFAR helped draft rules for the scaling up of social audits across the state. These rules have now been notified and guide the implementation of social audits in the state.

Recommendations for implementation of Building and Construction Workers Act

After conducting pilot social audits of the Building and other Construction Workers Act in Delhi and Rajasthan, SAFAR with other partners provided detailed suggestions to the Central Government. Based on these suggestions, the Ministry of Labour and Employment has issued new instructions to all State Governments.

Credit: Prashant Panjiar

Transparency and Accountability Protocol for Jan Soochna Portal, Rajasthan

The Digital Dialogues co-hosted by the Government of Rajasthan and Soochna Evum Rozgar Adhikar Abhiyan (SR Abhiyan) created a platform for civil society organizations to deliberate and decide what information should be collected, how it should be stored and disclosed. Through these dialogues, we have developed a transparency and accountability protocol for the Jan Soochna Portal which seeks to make government data open and accessible.

Directions issued by Union Ministry of Labour and Employment on Social Audits of BoCW Rules for implementing the Meghalaya Community Participation and Public Services Social Audit Act Draft Public Accountability Bill submitted to the Government Committee constituted to arrive at a model law for the State Committee constituted by Government of Rajasthan to prepare an Accountability Law for the State Jan Soochna Portal Guidelines