SAS 1400 Facilitating Access to Land and Property Assets for disadvantaged Communities aims to empower disadvantaged communities by providing them with access to land and property assets. This article delves into the SAS 1400 program, its social audit process, key metrics, and impact assessment.
As soon as ICAI posts this SAS, it will take effect. Assisting communities that are disadvantaged by giving them access to land, assets, timely financial assistance, and cost-effective financing options.
Process of Social Audit
The SAS offers insightful advice on who the Social Auditor (SA) should contact in order to gather data for its effect assessment assignment, including but not limited to:
- Direct beneficiaries e.g., Trainees, Participants, Attendees
- Guardians of the direct beneficiaries
- Trainers imparting training
- Management personnel of Training Partners (such as banks, Non-Government Organizations (NGOs) /Non-Profit Organizations (NPOs), etc.)
- Monitoring Agency
When conducting surveys and collecting sample data, the following factors should be considered to assess relevance and reliability:
- designed by an in-house team or external specialized agency
- conducted by an in-house team or external specialized agency
- coverage: number of villages/districts/ total distance (kms) covered
After data collection, the SA should thoroughly review the data, which can include conducting physical inspections and one-on-one interviews to better understand the situation.
The social audit process under this SAS involves the SA asking key questions of themselves and the people involved. These questions form the foundation of the Social Impact Assessment Report. These questions could include:
- Did the target people attend the awareness Campaigns/ programmes/ workshops?
- Do they think differently after the awareness Campaigns/ programmes/ workshops?
- Did they learn something they did not know?
- Did they use/apply the knowledge and gain from it?
- Did they share it with others?
Such inquiries may address the following topics in respect to helping communities that are underrepresented gain access to land and property assets:
A. Composition of the participants
- Whether the program objectives were found to be consistent with the composition of the trainees?
B. Quality of awareness Campaigns/ programmes/ workshops
- How was the quality of awareness Campaigns/ programmes/ workshops that was imparted?
- Were the participants satisfied with the awareness Campaigns that they received?
C. Socio-economic factors
- What impact did the program have on a person’s life after receiving awareness Campaigns?
- Has the training improved the well-being of the participants?
D. Suggestions / Feedback
- What were the constraints or challenges faced in imparting the awareness Campaigns?
Likewise, there are many other questions that need to be identified by the SA.
Key Metrics: Framing and Assessment
The SA will follow the results of this evaluation in coming to their report’s conclusion. They will be able to evaluate the performance of the social enterprise based on its social impact after collecting all the data and analyzing the important parameters. These grading inquiries could cover the following topics:
- What would have happened in the absence of the intervention?
- How much has the project contributed to the changes that are evidenced?
- Is there any unintended negative impact that happened due to the intervention?
In relation to the beneficiaries covered by the survey, such information on enabling access to land and property assets for underserved groups may include the following points:
- Demography, Social Background of the beneficiaries- e.g., Age wise distribution, Marital status, qualification, social category wise distribution, representation/participation by women
- Ancestral background of the trainees/participants
B) Training aspects
- Relevance and usefulness of skill training
- Nature of training imparted
- Duration of training and its sufficiency
- Area of operation i.e., village, block, district level
C) Quality of the delivery mechanism
D) Apart from training, a Social Enterprise may be engaged in creating or improving access to finance/credit facilities like
- Arranging for / Improving access to microfinance / farm loans, etc. – Increase in annual production
- Arranging for / Improving access to Agri Insurance – Improvement in insurance coverage
- Arranging for / improving access to Government Benefit schemes. – Reduction in cost of production
- Arranging for / Improving access to judicial services in land related transactions and reducing conflicts
- Arranging for / Improving access to legal assistance to marginalized groups -Reducing unlawful burden on family income/ property
- Improvement in the title ownership of women
E) Socio-economic factors
- Livelihood creation
- Increase in income
- Improved facilities at home
- Improved ownership of assets
F) Other Factors
- Holistic development
- Entrepreneurial skill development
- Extra-curricular programs offered
- Amenities/resources provided
- Impact on indirect beneficiaries
- Improved access to financial resources
Assessment of evaluation criteria
The Social Auditor needs to recognize evaluation criteria of both Qualitative and Quantitative for assessing the impact.
Some key aspects that can be considered as evaluation criteria are listed below:
- of beneficiaries from deprived / disadvantaged sections of society, rural or backward areas to total beneficiaries enrolled
- of female/women participants to total beneficiaries enrolled
- of beneficiaries successfully certified in their program of choice to total beneficiaries enrolled
- of training hours i.e., training hours offered per week
- of days of training offered by the institute for the year as well as for the course duration
- Enrolment fees charged from participants on subsidized basis and comparison with average fee in general
- of participants who are provided partial/total scholarship to total beneficiaries enrolled
- Trainer attendance rate during the reporting period to assess the average number of absentee days
- Participant attendance from disadvantaged communities’ rate to assess the average number of absentee days
- Participant–Trainer ratio: No. of participants from disadvantaged communities per trainer
(A) Demographic Profile
- Household characteristics (members, gender, marital status, age, education, occupation etc.)
- Household population
- Total no. of Homeless population
- Percentage of landless and property less population
(B) Factors affecting access to financial services
- Gender issues
- Age factor
- Legal identity
- Limited literacy
(C) Improvement in Economic conditions
- Ownership of Land/House
- Ownership of vehicles & domestic utilities
- Loan repayment/loan availing facility
- Occupation distribution (such as construction labour, daily wage labour, agricultural labour etc.)
(D) Improvement in Social conditions – Improvement in social status and social acceptance, social prestige among peers and neighbours, gaining respect in society post completion of training
(E) Improvement in access to services and utilities
- Better access to medical facilities
- Availability of potable water at home
- Availability of sanitation facilities
- Better access to education
(F) Improvement in prospects
- Program helped the youth in becoming self-reliant
- Program helped in creating earning avenues for future employment
(G) Access to Government scheme and programs
(H) Holistic Development
(I) Property and Land Rights
(j) Assessment of loss/affected asset
(K) Access to financial resources
(L) Developing Human Capabilities
- Improvement in assets can provide access to information and knowledge, connecting disadvantaged poor households with their social networks, promotes education and training, promotes psychological and emotional wellbeing of poor people
Challenges/ Areas for improvement
Based on their suggestions and input, which may have an impact on the impact assessment, the stakeholders’ difficulties and areas for improvement should be identified by the social auditor.
- Insufficient number of training equipment available for training programmes
- Training on obsolete equipment
- Residential accommodation not being made available
- Candidates not being able to finish the training due to family problems
- Cases of no-response in case the questionnaire is not administered in person
- Some of the questions being skipped by the respondents and remaining unanswered
- Non-availability of respondents due to relocation to other places after completion of the course
- Change in contact details of respondents due to which they could not be contacted
Any significant challenges or limitations observed must be highlighted by the SA in their report.
Conclusion: Access to land and property assets has been a long-standing goal in our country’s history. SAS 1400 represents a significant step towards achieving this goal, with social enterprises playing a pivotal role. As Social Auditors, our responsibility is to evaluate the impact of such initiatives and ensure that government and corporate funds are effectively utilized for the betterment of disadvantaged communities. There is much work to be done, but SAS 1400 offers hope and tangible progress toward a brighter future.