Social Audit Standard (SAS) 1400
Facilitating Access to Land and Property Assets for disadvantaged Communities
(SAS 1400 should be read in conjunction with “Preface to the Social Audit Standards” and “Framework for
the Social Audit Standards”, issued by the ICAI)


Objective and Scope

1.10 This Social Audit Standard relates to the thematic area of ‘’Facilitating Access to Land and Property Assets for Disadvantaged Communities”. The Standard aims to provide the Social Auditor with the necessary guidance about independent impact assessment engagement of Social Enterprises engaged in facilitating access to land and property assets for disadvantaged communities and the audit steps and procedures that should be applied while conducting the social impact assessment. The Standard sets out the minimum requirements to be followed while conducting impact assessment. Laws or Regulations may establish additional requirements which should be followed as applicable.


Data Collection

1.20 The stakeholders that may be approached for obtaining data include:

  • 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
  • Employers
  • Key program officials of the reporting entity
  • The overall activity of conducting a survey and collecting sample data should be reviewed in terms of the following factors 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

  • The sample chosen for conducting the survey by way of Questionnaires, In-depth Interviews (IDIs), Focused Group Discussions (FGDs) shall be fairly representative of the diverse target communities and geographies, in order to cover a wide range of the stakeholders involved and give due representation to each category. Each such category should be analysed to assess the percentage composition represented by it, for e.g., disadvantaged communities/sections including but not limited to SCs, STs, OBCs, special needs/ disabled, women, elderly, children, and at-risk adolescents.
  • The assessment rate or the response rate is the number of actual responses received against the targeted number of respondents in the survey. A high assessment rate shall provide reasonable assurance that most of the targeted respondents have been largely covered under the survey and that the sample responses considered for the study are fairly representative. Identify the reasons for the gap between respondents contacted and responses received. Such gaps may be due to the candidates not being reachable, or the respondents having migrated to another place or due to incorrect contact details in the database.
  • The Social Auditor should review the procedure for identifying the participants considered for the sample study. The respondents targeted for the survey should be selected on a random basis so that the incidence of biased responses, which may unfairly influence the impact assessment, is mitigated.

Desk Review

1.30 The Social Auditor should conduct a desk review of existing documents to gain further insight into the evaluation procedure and impact assessment. Such documents, about facilitating access to land and property assets for disadvantaged communities, may include the following:

  • Enrolment form of trainees
  • Course books for trainees
  • Feedback form by trainees
  • Advertisement – leaflets/newspaper
  • Attendance registers of trainees
  • Video/Audio recordings of IDIs/FGDs
  • Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between the reporting entity and the training partners
  • Attendance registers of trainers
  • Photographs of passed-out trained batches
  • Current status of trainees
  • Curriculum Vitae of existing trainers (such as Banking Associates, Lokhpals, Tahsildar, Naib Tahsildar, Patwari, Talati ) to assess their qualification and expertise

Inspection & Personal Interviews

1.40 Besides desk review, the Social Auditor should also consider conducting physical inspection and personal interviews to get firsthand assessment of impact.

Evaluation Questions

1.50 The Social Auditor should review the evaluation questions addressed through Questionnaires, IDIs, and FGDs to assess the responses received from various stakeholders and to understand what has changed. This would help the Social Auditor in forming the views on the following aspects:

  • 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 questions, in relation to facilitating access to land and property assets for disadvantaged communities, may cover the following aspects:

(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?
    • Has the training been useful to their present engagements?
    • Are the participants satisfied with the assessment procedure?
    • What was the frequency of awareness Campaigns once a target group was identified? Was there a follow – up session / engagement activity to assess implementation of the awareness Campaigns?
    • Were the concerns / issues of the target group adequately addressed in future awareness Campaigns sessions?
    • Were suitable solutions provided during future awareness Campaigns sessions?

(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?

Key Metrics for Evaluation of Project/ Program

1.60 The Social Auditor should review the project/ program documents to frame the evaluation criteria for assessing impact. Such key metrics may be collated from base-line, mid-line (monthly/quarterly) and end-line assessment (if available), respectively at the beginning, middle and end of the reporting period/project/program to effectively understand and evaluate the impact.

The evaluation of the program/ project information would facilitate the Social Auditor to assess:

  • 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?

Such information, about facilitating access to land and property assets for disadvantaged communities, may include the following points in respect of the beneficiaries covered under the survey:

(a) Composition

    • 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
    • Selection process of the trainees/participants and identification of training needs

(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
    • Sectors of training such as financial inclusion, land and property rights, government schemes like Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana (PMAY), for remunerative price for their produce, program like Pradhan Mantri Annadata Aay Sanrakshan Abhiyan (PM-AASHA), MSP etc.
    • Courses of training
    • Certification/assessment test
    • Trainer’s competencies
  • Quality of the delivery mechanism
  • Training infrastructure & equipment
  • 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
    • Arranging for / Improving access to formalization of lease/agreement, and tenants’ rights, and reducing informal type of lease/agreement
    • Arranging for / improving active access to as members in residents’ welfare associations
  • Designing training programs specifically for members of the disadvantaged communities to facilitate access to credit to acquire and protect land and property assets
  • Awareness programs for empowering women regarding legal rights to ownership of productive assets
  • Awareness programs for the rights of the disabled and the facilities needed by them to improve their property access / ownership
  • Awareness programs for the members of the disadvantaged communities to create awareness on owing the land and property assets and how these assets help to ensure their families mitigate some of life’s most difficult challenges

(c) Socio-economic factors

  • Status of beneficiaries before receiving training
  • Socio-economic improvement
    • Livelihood creation
    • Increase in income
    • Improved facilities at home
    • Improved ownership of assets
    • Changes in socio-economic factors – acceptance / respect in the village/society, economic condition, health condition, confidence level, purchasing power, earning avenues
    • Changing societal perceptions among communities that women are incapable of managing productive assets, such as land and property independently to facilitate inclusive growth and equal access to opportunities and resources for all segments of society.
    • Changes / improvement in Human capabilities
    • Changes / improvement in Physical capabilities
    • Changes / improvement in financial capabilities

(d) Other Factors

    • Holistic development
    • Entrepreneurial skill development
    • Extra-curricular programs offered
    • Amenities/resources provided
    • Impact on indirect beneficiaries
    • Improved access to financial resources
    • Reach of Micro Finance Institutions (MFIs) /Regional Rural Banks/Cooperative Credit Institutions/Commercial Banks/Financial institutions.
    • Informed decisions over asset creation
    • Improved credit distribution
    • Improvement in the technical support for the access of these services
    • Improvement in share of collateral free loans
    • On time repayment of credit

Assessment of Evaluation Criteria (Illustrative Key Performance Indicators)

1.70 The Social Auditor should identify the quantitative and qualitative evaluation criteria against which the impact has to be assessed.

Such criteria for facilitating access to land and property assets for disadvantaged communities may broadly include any of the following aspects:

S. No

Evaluation Criteria
(A) Quantitative Criteria
1 No. of beneficiaries from deprived / disadvantaged sections of society, rural or backward areas to total beneficiaries enrolled
2 No. of female/women participants to total beneficiaries enrolled
3 No. of beneficiaries successfully certified in their program of choice to total beneficiaries enrolled
4 No. of training hours i.e., training hours offered per week
5 No. of days of training offered by the institute for the year as well as for the course duration
6 Enrolment fees charged from participants on subsidized basis and comparison with average fee in general
7 No. of participants who are provided partial/total scholarship to total beneficiaries enrolled
8 Trainer attendance rate during the reporting period to assess the average number of absentee days
9 Participant attendance from disadvantaged communities’ rate to assess the average number of absentee days
10 Participant–Trainer ratio: No. of participants from disadvantaged communities per trainer
11 Number of participants from disadvantaged communities receiving vocational or technical training to total participants enrolled
12 Participants drop-out rate i.e., percentage of participants who had enrolled for the program but dropped out before its completion and no. of dropped participants enrolled back
13 No. of caregivers trained who are responsive to needs in early childhood care in preschools, day-care etc.
14 Increase in the number of assets owned by the target group in the period of assessment, be it land, house, property, equipment, vehicles, etc.
15 Number of loans granted by microfinance institutions to facilitate access to land /property
16 Number of judicial cases pursued to establish rights of disadvantaged individuals over property
17 Number of property records made accessible to the target group
18 Number of beneficiaries of Government benefit schemes facilitated by the Social Enterprise
19 Number of asset/ agri insurance policies facilitated
20 Increase in financial inclusion – number of bank accounts opened, Jan Dhan Yojana, direct credit transactions by Government
21 Number of legal advisory transactions facilitated
22 Increase in rent transactions of land or property within target group during the period of assessment
23 Number of individuals provided with accommodation after natural disasters / accidents
24 Number of individuals relocated after redevelopment / community building projects / Number of such projects initiated / completed
25 Number of change vectors and their man hours applied in pursuing social reforms
26 Number of disabled persons benefitting from the program as compared to the total number of beneficiaries of the program
(B) Qualitative Criteria
1. 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
  • Percentage of floating population
2. Factors affecting access to financial services

  • Gender issues
  • Age factor
  • Legal identity
  • Limited literacy
  • Disability
  • Place of living (due to mobility of population, problem of no fixed formal address)
  • Psychological and cultural barriers
  • Level of Income
3. Improvement in Economic conditions – Beneficiaries becoming financially self-sufficient and having better access to facilities through improved purchasing power, post completion of training.

The following indicators may be used to assess the same:

  • 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.)
  • Income distribution of the community
4. 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
5. Improvement in access to services and utilities

The following indicators may be used to assess the same:

  • Better access to medical facilities
  • Availability of potable water at home
  • Availability of sanitation facilities
  • Better access to education
  • Availability of public transport
6. Improvement in prospects

The following indicators may be used to assess whether:

  • Program helped the youth in becoming self-reliant
  • Program helped in creating earning avenues for future employment
  • The beneficiaries influenced others to join similar programs
7. Access to financial services

  • Institutional and Non–Institutional sources of finance
  • Criteria of eligibility for loan
  • Criteria of valuation of collateral
8. Assets ownership distribution

  • Per unit land/property per household
  • Per unit land/property per member
  • Ownership of land/property under female/male
9. Access to Government scheme and programs

  • Percentage of the population aware and enrolled in the government schemes and programs
  • Percentage of the population enrolled in the housing and social security schemes
  • Availability of government identification cards
10. Holistic Development–In contrast to a purely academic program, whether the need for the overall development of the participants is also addressed through:

  • Inculcating good behavior as a responsible citizen
  • Keeping campus & neighbourhood clean
  • Development of social, behavioral, and interpersonal skills
  • Encouraging community service
11. Property and Land Rights

  • Securing progressive tenure documents ranging from occupancy permits, government leases to formal titles
  • Women’s partnership in title, or sole ownership
  • Joint titled ownership
12. Loss of land and property assets

  • Due to developmental projects, acquisition etc.
  • Natural Calamities
  • Loss of structure of the property
13. Assessment of loss/affected asset

  • Assessment of potential economic impact
  • Physical measurement of affected assets.
  • Categorization of potential loss
  • Identification of the non-title holder
  • Compensation for land/property loss or replacement cost
14. Measurement of the extent of financial exclusion

  • Number of low-income households/landless excluded from the formal financial system due to following factors:
  • Reach of Financial institutions (like banks reach Bank Branch Density/MFIs/Bank accounts)
  • Complex procedure of documentation
  • High prices of financial services
15. Transportation

Transportation facility provided to participants who requested or needed it. Details on the service provided, such as no. of participants from disadvantaged communities who were provided transportation, eligibility criteria, bus capacity, ridership, safety etc.

16. Quality of training imparted

Qualification and experience of the trainers to assess their competence, skill, expertise and the quality of delivery

17. Basic facilities at the training centers

Basic amenities such as the provision of chairs, desks, toilets, safe drinking water, etc. should be assessed

18. Training Resources provided

Availability of textbooks, note-books, study material, digital training resources, library books for participants from disadvantaged communities should be assessed

19. Spirit of Entrepreneurship

Whether the focus on entrepreneurship is covered in the course curriculum to enable the trainees to develop a broad outlook and become self-reliant

20. Creating lifelong learners

Provision of developing a lifelong learning mindset to equip the beneficiaries to enhance their capabilities to be future ready, from a livelihood perspective

21. Creating Physical Capabilities

Improvements in assets can create physical access to markets, access to basic services, provide shelter and safety, and promote nutrition

22. 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

23. Access to financial resources

Improvement in access to productive assets can increase incomes for poor people, can diversify income streams of poor people, encourage the adoption of risk mitigation practices, and households can liquidate non-productive assets to cope with shocks


Challenges/Areas for improvement

1.80 The Social Auditor should identify the challenges faced by the stakeholders and the areas for improvement based on the suggestions and feedback received from them, which might influence the impact assessment. Some of the examples of commonly faced issues about facilitating access to land and property assets for disadvantaged communities may include the following:

  • 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

Any significant issues during the assessment, that may influence the user of the Impact Assessment in decision making, should be highlighted by the Social Auditor in the Social Audit report.

Limitations of the assessment

1.90 The Social Auditor should identify the inherent limitations of the evaluation process which might influence the impact assessment. Some of the examples of facilitating access to land and property assets for disadvantaged communities may include the following:

  • 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 limitations observed during the assessment, that may influence the user of the Impact Assessment in decision making, should be highlighted by the Social Auditor in the Social Audit Report.


Taxonomic classification of areas and sub-areas for social objectives

(relating to Facilitating access to land and property assets for disadvantaged communities)

Sr. No.

Areas Sub-areas
14 Facilitating access to land and property assets for disadvantaged communities Undertake reforms to ensure access and timely availability of financial services, and affordable and adequate credit facilities to disadvantaged communities/ sections (including but not limited to SCs, STs, OBCs, special needs, women, elderly, children, and at-risk adolescents)


To Read Related post Social Audit Standard

SAS 100 Eradicating hunger, poverty, malnutrition and inequality
SAS 200 Promoting health care including mental healthcare, sanitation and making available safe drinking water
SAS 300 Promoting Education, Employability, and Livelihoods
SAS 400 Promoting Gender Equality, Empowerment of Women & LGBTQIA + Communities
SAS 500 Ensuring environmental sustainability, addressing climate change including mitigation and adaptation, forest and wildlife conservation
SAS 600 Protection of national heritage, art and culture
SAS 700 Training to promote rural sports, nationally recognised sports, Paralympic sports and Olympic sports
SAS 800 Supporting incubators of social enterprises
SAS 900 Supporting other platforms that strengthen non-profit ecosystem in fundraising & capacity building
SAS 1000 Promoting Livelihoods for rural and urban poor including enhancing income of Small and Marginal Farmers and workers in the non-farm sector
SAS 1100 Slum area development, affordable housing and other interventions to build sustainable and resilient cities
SAS 1200 Disaster Management, including Relief, Rehabilitation and Reconstruction Activities
SAS 1300 Promotion of financial inclusion
SAS 1400 Facilitating Access to Land and Property Assets for disadvantaged Communities
SAS 1500 Bridging digital divide in internet and mobile phone access, addressing issues of misinformation & data protection
SAS 1600 Promoting welfare of migrants and displaced persons

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