UOL collaborates with UN Office for Drugs and Crimes on Global Integrity Education
- 38 faculty members certified to impart integrity modules
Several countries world-wide are struggling against the most pressing and unpredictable challenges stemming out of the economic fallout during the outbreak of COVID-19. Among these, the pandemic has brutally influenced and stretched the business ecosystems increasing the compliance risk, particularly for the developing economies of South Asian countries like Pakistan.
In the context and challenges of promoting business integrity in Pakistan, the University of Lahore has joined hands with the United Nations Office for Drugs and Crimes (UNODC) to build the foundational elements of integrity education in Pakistan. The collaboration aims at addressing the most pressing need of promoting ethics, integrity and anti-corruption practices in the contemporary business environment.
UNODC’s Global Integrity Education (GIE) Project has initiated an innovative ethical and integrity education program for companies and universities in Kenya, Mexico and Pakistan aimed at bringing the academia and businesses together to inculcate integrity education within the society. The program is achieved through equipping university students with ethical mindsets and skills at the onset of their careers.
The GIE seeks to maximize the impact of UNODC’s University Module Series on Anti-Corruption, Integrity and Ethics, which have already been developed under the Education for Justice (E4J) initiative of UNODC. However, the agency emphasizes four modules covering ethical leadership, challenges to ethical living, behavioral ethics and detecting, and corruption investigation.
Collaboration strengthened with Training of Trainers on GIE
Under the GIE initiative, the ties between UOL and UNODC were further strengthened with Training of Trainers (ToT) Program geared at empowering a cohort of university lecturers to teach the modules in the respective university courses. The project has adapted the content of the modules to serve the local context in Pakistan.
The ToT Programme consisted of four phases that included preparation, pre-workshop activities, ToT workshops delivered via interactive live webinars and follow up, embedding modules in university curriculum and feedback. The process of ToT delivery comprised of orientation workshops, preparation workshops, mock workshops/sessions and the formal four GIE-ToT workshops. It also included a comprehensive international e-learning course on integrity education and contextualized teaching demonstrations.
The UOL nominated 38 lecturers from different disciplines while faculty members from Lahore University of Management Sciences (LUMS), Punjab University (PU), The Foundation in Advancement of Science and Technology (FAST University) and the University of Management and Technology (UMT) were also the part of the ToT.
The participants utilized and demonstrated cutting-edge teaching methodologies with the inclusion of case studies, role-playing, interactive sequential question answers, video discussions, asynchronous and synchronous communication, chat box interface, pre-surveys, in-class surveys, rapid fire round, situational analysis and innovative multi-media presentations.
The training was facilitated by the international UNODC’s representatives including Alex Petkov, Florian Lair, Christopher Atack, Elisabeth Florkowski, Nancy Kabaki, Hugh Mc Faul along with Aftab Shuaib, Farzin Iqbal, Jehanzaib Iqbal and Sumaira Sagheer from UNODC Pakistan actively engaged with participants during the workshops.
After the conclusion of the webinars, an online discussion forum and informal WhatsApp GIE Group were formed to continue allowing participants to support each other and share ideas and best practices.
Trained faculty incorporate GIE into curricular
The 38 trained faculty members will embed the UNODC Modules in their regular course curriculum and disseminate the UNODC Module content in their teaching sessions. According to Mr. Muhammad Afzal (Director, QEC, UOL), some of the faculty members have already reconstructed their course outlines and are inculcating students with the Integrity and Ethics focused concepts learnt during the comprehensive UNODC-ToT, a testament to the success of this unique training.
He adds that the training of the young students will eventually lead to the selection of “Ethics Ambassadors” from the graduating students who will entrench themselves in the private and social sectors to create a ripple effect to spread positivity and constructive accountability at a national and global level.
Stakeholders share views on the GIE collaboration
Mr. Faizan Khan (Program Officer, Anti-Corruption) expressed immense pleasure on GIE project collaboration with UOL saying, “Since its inception, the project was an effort towards strengthening teaching of ‘integrity’ and ‘ethics’ across Pakistan’s academic sectors. We are indeed proud to be associated with UOL for this project and look forward to achieving more unprecedented milestones in building a squad of ‘integrity ambassadors’ in Pakistan”.
“The innovative methods of teaching demonstrated by the lecturers during the ToT were highly engaging. It is very impressive to see how techniques of blended learning can provide an active learning experience to students in the actual classroom setting”, Mr. Jehanzaib Iqbal (Senior Programme Associate, UNODC, Country Office, Pakistan) said while appreciated the efforts of lecturers during the ToT.
Mr. Jouhaida Hanano (Criminal Justice Advisor, UNODC, Country Office, Pakistan) shared that universities can play a vital role in promoting ethical values and integrity among future generations of Pakistan.
Mr. Awais Raoof (Chairman, BoG) appreciated the GIE-ToT workshops and praised the catalyzing role of UNODC. “Capacity building interventions like these directly score into the vision and mission of the University. Our alliance with UNODC is timely and will be maintained. Let the certified faculty members be role models to the students and to the entire society generally” he added.
“The ultimate aim of modern university education is not just to transfer knowledge but to produce ethically literate individuals with sound understanding of values, practices and norms that can help to engender a robust, tolerant and equitable society. The University of Lahore truly believes in this theory and considers the UNODC’s Global Integrity Education Project (GIE) as path breaking”, Mr. Muhammad Afzal (Director QEC) said and pledged to ensure adherence to quality standards throughout the implementation of GIE.
The participating faculty members received certificates that were presented to them during the closing ceremony held at Nishat Hotel, Lahore. The project is one of its kind in Pakistan and will go a long way in developing a fraternity of young and bright integrity ambassadors. University of Lahore, the other partner universities and UNODC Pakistan, through a series of collaborative interventions, envisions a more progressive future for Pakistan and the materialization of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).