What is a Social Audit?
A social audit is a way of measuring, understanding, reporting and ultimately improving an organization’s social and ethical performance. A social audit helps to narrow gaps between vision/goal and reality, between efficiency and effectiveness. It is a technique to understand, measure, verify, report on and to improve the social performance of the organization.
Social auditing creates an impact upon governance. It values the voice of stakeholders, including marginalized/poor groups whose voices are rarely heard. Social auditing is taken up for the purpose of enhancing governance, particularly for strengthening accountability and transparency in local bodies.
Objectives of a Social Audit
- Assessing the physical and financial gaps between needs and resources available for social aims and objectives.
- Creating awareness among beneficiaries and providers of local social and private services.
- Increasing efficacy and effectiveness of local development programmes.
- Scrutiny of various policy decisions, keeping in view stakeholder interests and priorities, particularly of rural poor.
- Estimation of the opportunity cost for stakeholders of not getting timely access to public services.
Advantages of Social Audit
- Encourages responsible business practices
- Encourages community participation and local democracy
- Benefits disadvantaged groups
- Promotes ethical decision making and sharing responsibilities
- Develops human resources and social capital
The Institute of Social Auditing of Ireland (ISAI) is an Irish (not for profit) body formed to promote the concepts of accountability within all sectors of Irish Society.
- Social Auditing is a systematic and objective procedure by which an organisation can measure and validate the social, community and/or environmental impact of its activities to its stakeholders.
- The declared aim of the ISAI body is to encourage community action in a sustainable manner through fostering the widespread adoption of Social accountability and auditing techniques and practices within all sectors of Irish Society.
- The ISAI should, through its membership, be able to utilise the new social audit techniques in order to document how partnership action is transforming local communities throughout Ireland.
- The ISAI is to encourage collaborative, ongoing partnerships with organisations outside of ISAI, both public (agencies, support systems) and private (funders, corporations, community action groups, etc.), which would benefit from contact with the ISAI and to support the development of accredited training in Social Auditing for social audit practitioners
For further information contact Diane Richmond at 01 4145700