Money in politics: curbing corruption in political finance

Money in Politics: Curbing corruption in political finance is a 3-week course focusing on the challenges arising from the need for financial resources in electoral processes. This course is aimed at practitioners dealing with democracy building and anyone interested in understanding how electoral processes interfere with development programmes.

Why take this course?

  • Get a better understanding of the role of money in politics
  • Understand how corruption in the political sphere impacts development
  • Start thinking in strategic terms about feasible activities on ‘Money in Politics’ to include in democratic governance projects

Target audience

The course is targeted to advisors and programme managers working in development agencies and governments. Democracy and governance advisors may particularly appreciate the issue-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.

Learning objectives

At the end of this course, participants will have:

  • Enhanced knowledge about actors in the field – internationally
  • Increased understanding about the political arena in your country of activity (legislation, monitoring, impacts for development agencies, etc.)

Topics covered

  1. Week 1: Political finance - between democracy funding and the risk of corruption
    Learning objectives: To familiarise participants with political parties and their roles in democracies, to identify issues around the need for money in political processes, and to present cases that illustrate negative influences of monetary resources in democratic processes.
  2. Week 2: Regulating political finance, control by state agencies and oversight by media and non-profit organisations
    Learning objectives: To familiarise participants with existing options to regulate political finance and to present actors outside the realm of government and State with a stake in political finance.
  3. Week 3: Global standards: the seed is sown
    Learning objectives: To present international organisations and initiatives which touch upon political finance, and to discuss the role of the international community in addressing corruption in political finance

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 are accessible to anyone with a valid U4 user account.

Minimum 30 hours of available time - spread over the three 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 three weeks of the course.

Guidance, facilitation and expert supervision

The participants receive help and guidance from a U4 course facilitator. In addition, experts with long experience in the field 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

Online training

Money in politics: curbing corruption in political finance

  • 15th September - 3rd October


All U4 Partners are encouraged to apply for this course.

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