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Ethics and corruption in education

Improving transparency and accountability in education is a precondition for the attainment of Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 4, and an education sector free of corruption is imperative to the promotion of a wider culture of ethics. The comprehensive IIEP capacity building programme on Ethics and Corruption in Education, ongoing since 2001, has enabled IIEP to develop an understanding of how to reshape educational planning to address corruption issues by incorporating the principles of transparency and accountability at the policy level. 

Fighting corruption: what research tells us

As part of its Ethics and Corruption in Education Programme, IIEP has carried out a series research projects to document successful strategies to promote transparency and accountability in a variety of educational planning/management domains. For example:

Almost 30 publications are available in the Ethics and Corruption in Education series, including six recent case studies on open school data in Asia and the Pacific.


Corruption risk assessments in education

In recent years, IIEP has started to conduct integrity assessments as a means to comprehensively assess the corruption risks present in an education sector. In 2014, it conducted an Integrity Risk Assessment of the Kosovo Education Sector at the invitation of the UNDP. In 2018, a corruption-risk assessment of the higher education sector of Georgia was carried out at the request of the Prime Minister of Georgia. A similar exercise is now being initiated for pre-school and TVET in Georgia at the request of the Ministry of Education; and in Guinea at the request of the Guinea national Anti-Corruption Commission. IIEP also participated in integrity assessment exercises led by the OECD in Serbia and Ukraine. Using its experience IIEP has developed its own methodology which can be adapted to each country context.

Building capacities about anti-corruption strategies

IIEP regularly offers residential and online training on transparency, accountability and anti-corruption at the request of ministries, donor agencies and non-governmental organisations. Altogether, IIEP has trained 2,268 people since 2003, on a variety of topics related to ethics and corruption in education. For more details on IIEP’s training offer in this field see ETICO website.


Technical assistance on PETS and teacher codes

Over the past 15 years, IIEP has built the capacity of a number of national teams to design and implement PETS, including teams from Burkina Faso, Cambodia, Ghana, Uganda, or South Africa. It also provides support to Member States that are in the process of launching or reviewing a teacher code of conduct – such as Kuwait, or Lao PDR.

Promoting policy dialogue

To facilitate the sharing of methodological tools, successful strategies, and best practices on anti-corruption related issues among education stakeholders, IIEP organises policy fora, seminars and study tours. Some examples include:

  • 2015: Policy Forum on Planning Higher Education Integrity
  • 2017: Study visit on the My School initiative in Australia
  • 2018: Two Study visits on academic integrity in Switzerland
  • 2018: Policy Forum on Using open school data to improve transparency and accountability

It also shares the results of its work in arenas such as the OECD Integrity Forum or the International Anti-Corruption Conference (IACC). 

ETICO online resource platform

All of IIEPs work on this Programme is compiled into one resource platform: ETICO, a dynamic clearinghouse for all information and activities related to transparency and accountability issues in education.

Selection of activities on the topic of Ethics and Corruption led by IIEP in 2019

  • Launch of IIEP’s new research project on open government in education 
  • Two new integrity assessments, one in Guinea and the other in Georgia
  • Organisation of a workshop on teacher codes of conduct in Kuwait
  • Regular update of the ETICO platform of resources