The PG-HGSF project recently published a new document in its learning series. This study, Social Audits: Speaking up for Home Grown School Feeding by Sue Sadler and Ian Thompson, explores the benefits of social audits as a tool for community engagement and greater transparency in school feeding governance.
Civic engagement is a powerful mechanism for holding public officials accountable for delivering public services, including state-funded school feeding programmes. As part of the Procurement Governance for Home Grown School Feeding project, we piloted social audits as a social accountability tools to monitor the performance of school feeding programmes in Ghana, Kenya, and Mali, with special emphasis on their links to local food production. The social audit tools proposed we proposed were refined locally to assess the results of the school feeding programme and enable community members to provide critical inputs to their public officials. This document analyses the project’s social audits that mobilised over 10,000 community members and decision makers to gather information, participate in accountability forums, and engage in action planning to improve school feeding in their communities. It identifies lessons from our social audit experience by examining the initial concept of social audit, its design and implementation in each country, and its impact on information sharing and capacity at the school level. The document concludes with observations on the process and its achievements, together with future recommendations.