Jawad Dadban, Advocacy Officer
Integrity Watch Afghanistan along a number of other civil society, lawyers and police oversight organizations are exploring to hold a social audit of the 119 Police Hotline. The group is considering to conduct the audit in an inclusive and multi-perspective process by establishing a joint social audit committee. The social audit committee will be supported by the technical guidance of a small advisory board composed of police and public oversight bodies and experts on police issues.
The initiative is a first step to implement the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed between Integrity Watch and the Ministry of Interior in May 2017. It aims to provide stakeholder organizations an opportunity to review and assess the 119 Police Hotline’s performance and its social impact since its establishment, to measure the extent to which the organization has lived up to the mission, goals, and objectives it has committed itself to achieve, to strengthen accountability in its service delivery and to explore ways to improve its performance.
Social audit has been institutionalized and is being utilized as an important tool to address corruption and maintain social accountability in many countries. However, little is known about social audit and its benefits for improving social accountability in Afghanistan as it is almost new and has not been much utilized in the country. Integrity Watch and its partner organizations aim to institutionalize social audits in Afghanistan and expand conducting social audits in other public institutions in the future.
For the current initiative, Integrity Watch prepared a concept note, met the above-mentioned group of stakeholder organizations individually and conducted two consultation meetings with them this month to explore the feasibility of conducting a social audit of the 119 Police Hotline. As a result, a social audit committee and an advisory group were established in this process. The social audit committee will meet MoI officials and will start its practical social audit in the first half of August.
Regarding its methodology, the social audit will be conducted based on international audit standards and the tools and methods used will include document review, individual interviews, physical inspection, focus group meetings and so forth. The audit will also use best practices and experience of other countries in the area of social audit. The records, reports, and statistics will be selected based on specific percentages taking into account the time and resources available for the audit committee. All the activities including data collection, analysis, and report writing will be conducted in a collective manner.