Assessing usefulness of participatory audit and planning process on improving functioning of patient welfare committees in select public health institutes from Maharashtra

Shweta N. Marathe, Deepali S. Yakkundi, Hemraj Patil


Background: Social audit is being increasingly recognized and used as a tool for ensuring accountability and transparency in various social sectors. Building upon social audit concept, retaining its core with appropriate modifications in the context of patients’ welfare committee (PWC) funds in public health institutions the ‘participatory audit and planning (PAP) process’ was developed and conducted in nine health institutes from Maharashtra by civil society organisations. The aim of the PAP was to improve the overall functioning of PWC. At state level, it has been decided to implement the process in 140 health institutions implementing CBMP of Health in Maharashtra. With such recognition of the process at state level, it was felt necessary to study the usefulness of the PAP process on functioning of PWCs.

Methods: Hence a descriptive study was conducted for assessing changes after introducing the PAP process on functioning of PWC in six out of nine health institutions, with the objectives to understand the change in pattern of expenditure of PWC funds for three consecutive years (2013-2016) in the context of conduction of PAP process and to understand opinions and experiences of various stakeholders of the PWC regarding usefulness of PAP process for improving functioning of PWC.

Results: This study signifies the usefulness of PAP process in the view of various stakeholders, especially on improving participatory planning of funds, bringing transparency in expenditure, record keeping and hence ensuring effective utilisation of PWC funds in the view of patients need.

Conclusions: Scaling up of PAP process shall be considered by the state officials to improve accountability regarding use of PWC funds and ensure it’s pro-people expenditure.


Audit, Participatory, Planning expenditure, Pro-people

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