Corruption in the health sector

Corruption in the Health Sector is a six-week course on causes and consequences of corruption in the health sector; vulnerabilities in drug supply systems, informal payments, and strategies to minimise the problems. This course is offered in collaboration with Boston University, School of Public Health, and is aimed at practitioners in the health sector.


Why take this course?

  • Get an introduction to the problem of corruption in health systems.
  • Find out how to identify risk factors in the pharmaceutical sector, assess the costs and consequences of corruption, and design strategies for mitigation and prevention. 
  • Learn about the problem of informal payments
  • Network with other international health sector development professionals grappling with these issues

Target audience

The course is targeted to health sector advisors and programme managers working in development agencies and governments. Democracy and governance advisors may also appreciate the sector-specific perspective gained from the course. Anyone who will be accountable for detailing how funds were spent, and how their actions reduced corruption and increased programme efficiency will benefit from this course.

Course objectives

At the end of this course, participants will be able to:

  • Define corruption and the types of corrupt activities that occur in the health sector
  • Explain why corruption occurs and identify important risk factors
  • Assess vulnerability to corruption in health programmes
  • Discuss cultural differences in defining morality and corruption
  • Examine, given a particular country situation or programme, how corruption and vulnerabilities to corruption can be reduced in drug supply, financial systems, and informal payment for health services
  • Advocate effectively for anti-corruption strategies and reforms to promote accountability and transparency in health programs.

Workload and training methods

Participants are required to take part in discussions led by experts in the field. Compulsory assignments are also required.Weekly course readers and introductory videos are accessible to anyone with a valid U4 user account.

Minimum 30 hours of available time - spread over the six weeks - and a reasonably stable internet connection is needed.

It does not matter what time of day you log on to the Virtual Classroom, but please do not sign up if you cannot participate on a regular basis during all the six weeks of the course.

Guidance, facilitation and expert supervision

The participants receive help and guidance from a U4 course facilitator. In addition, experts in the field will give input to discussions and comment on assignments.

Course material

Course readers and material for all U4 online training programmes can be found on our course material page. This information is only accessible for partner agency staff.


All participants who complete the course successfully will be issued a course certificate.

Course fee

Participation is free for U4 Partner Agency Staff and invited partners (includes ministry of foreign affairs and embassy staff).U4 unfortunately cannot respond to requests for participation in the online course from individuals or organizations not connected to a U4 partner agency. Non-U4 partners cannot apply for a place, unless they submit first an explicit invitation by a U4 partner agency granting them a place under their quota.


Upcoming courses

There are no upcoming dates for this course.


Register your interest for the next available course.

Featured themes