Notes from the Right to Food Campaign 1

Social audits – a method of public examination of accounts of public concerns has largely been addressing the question of corruption. It serves to check the veracity of the records and to check if the expenditure fits the prescribed norms. Efforts are on to extend this concept further to check if public works satisfy the entitlements . The audits currently check the veracity of accounts and its consistency with norms. It will be extended now to cover ‘whether it satisfies ’ the entitlements.

These are a part of a large number of experiments that are being conducted in Right to Food Campaign to build monitoring and accountability that are essential elements in ensuring that the resources are spent and spent well.


The Right to Food Campaign has been pressing for expansion and improvement of various schemes. In a quest to reduce or eliminate hunger the campaign has been giving various suggestions. I recap some of the major concerns regarding public policy in the campaign:

  1. Realistic financing
  2. Universal access and self selection
  3. Simple schemes with well-defined entitlements.
  4. Rights based approach over paternalistic and welfare based approach
  5. Preference for schemes with demonstrated workability
  6. Involvement of Panchayati Raj institutions
  7. A monitoring and redressal mechanism
  8. Right to information.
  9. Well designed schemes.

The campaign has shown a preference for schemes that seem to match many of these concerns. In suggesting improvements of schemes, these are among the considerations that are repeated most often.

About Vivek Srinivasan

I work with the Program on Liberation Technology at Stanford University. Before this, I worked with the Right to Food Campaign and other rights based campaigns in India. To learn more, click here.

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One thought on “Notes from the Right to Food Campaign

  • Tanuj

    I started reading about right to food after the bill was passed, and got to know about the campaign that ran behind it for more than 10 years. I grew more interested in the campaign and activism that supported it, after I read a few snippets about it in a few articles, specially about the action day for mdm in 2002. I was searching about it, and landed up in this site. These notes give a great structure to the ideas behind the campaign.
    If there are any notes or articles or books that have a memoirs of being part of this campaign, or talk of the different activities that were carried out through out the campaign, then I would be really obliged if you can direct me to such resource.