In October 2001, ActionAid and Collective Action for Drought Mitigation in Bolangir, India, organised a social audit in nine villages of Jharnipalli. The process started with a street play to inform people about their right to information concerning government services. Political support for the process from the District Collector forced government officials to open up their files, including full details of work orders and accounts. A team of volunteers reviewed these and then visited villages to verify whether reported work had taken place and whether local people had any evidence or suspicion of corruption. It was important to encourage villagers to participate without fear of recriminations. Key information was collected on clear charts and a sequence of presentations was agreed. On the day itself over 2,500 people gathered. For the first time local people were able to challenge government officials directly, exposing corruption and collusion. This led to the suspension of, and criminal proceedings against, the secretary of the local council.