Money in politics: curbing corruption in political finance

Money in Politics: Curbing corruption in political finance is a 4-week course focusing on the challenges arising from political and party finance, as well as lobbying. This course is aimed at practitioners dealing with governance programs, as well as those interested in understanding how electoral and political processes can interfere with development programmes.


Why take this course?

  • Get a better understanding of the role of money in politics
  • Understand how the political settlement and corruption in the political sphere can impact development and the contextual conditions in which development programs take place 
  • Help practitioners think more strategically about the feasibility of governance initiatives and development programs 

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. However, the course also provides important insights to development practitioners who wish to better understand the political economy context in which all development programs take place, particularly the incentives for corruption, with the ultimate objective of increasing programme effectiveness.

Learning objectives

At the end of this course, participants will have:

  • Enhanced knowledge about key integrity issues related to political and party finance and lobbying
  • Increased understanding of the political arena in their respective country of activity (legislation, monitoring, impacts for development agencies, etc.)

Topics covered

  1. Week 1: Introduction to political finance 
    Learning objectives: To familiarise participants with political parties and their roles in democracies; to identify integrity risks triggered by political finance; and to present cases that illustrate negative influences of monetary resources in democratic processes and elections.
  2. Week 2: Regulating political finance
    Learning objectives: To familiarise participants with alternative approaches to regulating political finance.
  3. Week 3: Lobbying and its regulation
    Learning objectives: To introdcue lobbying and particularly its ethical and integrity challenges, as well as approaches to regulation. 
  4. Week 4: International standards
    Learning objectives: To present international organisations and initiatives on political finance and lobbying, 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 40 hours of available time - spread over the four 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 four 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

  • 7th November - 25th November


All U4 Partners are encouraged to apply for this course.


Sara Ögmundsdóttir

Finance and Operations Manager

+47 47 93 80 55

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