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Values education for public integrity

What works and what doesn’t

Schools and universities in various countries are teaching youth about integrity norms and values. Despite limited evidence on effectiveness, some good practices and lessons learned have emerged. Development partners, multilateral institutions, higher education councils, national anti-corruption bodies, and professional associations can all play roles in supporting public integrity education and building an evidence base on what works.

14 May 2020
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Values education for public integrity

Main points

  • Social norms and values such as honesty, fairness, accountability, transparency, and integrity are critical in preventing corruption. Schools and universities have crucial roles to play in teaching these norms and values to youth to prepare them for adult life.
  • At primary-secondary level, integrity education can be integrated into the core curriculum, added as an extracurricular component, conducted as a schoolwide event, or delivered through technology applications. Universities may offer ethics education as part of undergraduate and post-graduate degree programmes or through conferences, guest lectures, internships, and debates.
  • There is limited evidence as to which pedagogical methods may work best, but participatory, hands-on activities and case-based learning show promise. Experiences in various countries point to some best practices, including a gradual approach to curriculum design that includes all stakeholders; a cross-curricular approach; effective teacher training; and an open school and classroom environment.
  • Donors supporting human rights and citizenship education in schools can advocate for the inclusion of ethics, integrity, and anti-corruption principles. They can support monitoring and evaluation systems to build an evidence base on what works in public integrity education. Multilateral institutions can work together to promote the harmonisation of ethical standards and curricula across countries.
  • Other actors with important roles to play include education ministries, curriculum development agencies, higher education councils, national anti-corruption commissions, private business, civil society organisations, professional associations, and regulatory councils in fields such as medicine and law.

Cite this publication

Munro, C.; Kirya, M.; (2020) Values education for public integrity. Bergen: U4 Anti-Corruption Resource Centre, Chr. Michelsen Institute (U4 Issue 2020:8)

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About the authors

Carissa Munro

Carissa Munro is a Policy Analyst at the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) in Paris.

Monica Kirya is Deputy Director at the U4 Anti-Corruption Resource Centre and a lawyer. Kirya coordinates the themes on mainstreaming anti-corruption in public service delivery and integrating gender in anti-corruption programming.


All views in this text are the author(s)’, and may differ from the U4 partner agencies’ policies.

This work is licenced under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International licence (CC BY-NC-ND 4.0)


Ty Lagalo