Course Information
Introduction and Background

Corruption is today recognised as one of the world's greatest challenges. Corruption undermines political, social and economic stability and no country, whether rich or poor, is today immune from corruption. Corruption undermines sustainable development, impedes economic growth, threatens good governance and has a devastating effect on the democratic process. Corruption in the public sector undermines people's confidence in public institutions, increases the cost of public transactions and hampers the efficiency of public services. In public finances, corruption reduces tax revenues and makes public expenditure revenues ineffective for a promoting economic development and achieving social objectives. All this makes it imperative for the public sector to take appropriate measures and adopt effective strategies to prevent and combat corruption within the public administration and increase transparency. Corruption has today become a global problem affecting all countries and therefore it requires a global response. Various initiatives have therefore been taken at both international and national level to help countries effectively fight corruption.

This UNITAR e-learning course aims to provide participants information and understanding of the concept of corruption, its causes, its consequences and the various measures to combat corruption in public administration and financial management. The course will discuss the susceptibility of public finances to corruption practices and analyse the role of good integrity frameworks and sound public financial management systems in preventing and combating corruption. A successful completion of this course will enable participants to identify and analyse corruption threats, to design and apply strategies and initiatives for preventing and combating corruption, and to overcome the obstacles in effective implementation of international and regional instruments to regulate norms and principles of professional standards. The course is designed especially for government officials and public institutions, but is also open to the general public who want to understand various anti-corruption measures and strategies.

Registration Status: OPEN
Deadline for Enrollment: when slots are full
Course Dates: February 7 to March 11, 2011
Estimated learning time: Minimum of 35 hours
Format: Online/Internet-based (asynchronous)
Language of Instruction: English
Fees: US $ 400/-
Helpline: UNITAR Geneva (Course Administration and Technical Questions)
  Course Objectives  
At the end of the course, participants should be able to:

1. Distinguish the various types of corruption and how they cause havoc to a nation's economy;

2. Identify areas of public finance that are most susceptible to corruption;

3. Use reasonable judgment to detect the existence of corruption and determine its gravity;

4. Explain the role of sound financial management policies and practices in curbing corruption;

5. Construct a clear picture of the relationship between integrity and corruption; and

6. Propose sound anti-corruption measures that may be integrated into existing ones.

  Target Audience  

This course is designed to enhance the knowledge and skills of government officials and administration to successfully adopt and implement sound public financial management practices and principles, minimise the risk of misuse of public offices and prevent corruption.

This course is an intermediate level course for which the target audience are government officials, parliamentarians, staff of law enforcement agencies, senior and middle managers, policymakers, project managers, strategy officers who are responsible for continued improvement and transparency, as well as anti-corruption advisers. The course will be highly interactive in which all registered participants will share their extensive and diversified experiences dealing with anti-corruption issues through UNITAR's e-learning portal.

  Course Structure / Outline  

This course will comprise of the following modules.

Module I - Introduction to the Concept of Corruption

This Module will introduce the concept of corruption and discuss various issues relating to the definition and typologies of corruption. The Module will also examine various causes and detriments of corruptive practices as well as the consequences and costs of corruption. This Module will also discuss various international and regional initiatives taken to fight corruption.

Module II - Corruption in Public Financial Management

This Module will explore the vulnerabilities of the public finance, both the expenditure and revenue sides, to corruption. The Module will discuss the range of possibilities for corruption throughout the public financial management system by examining the major weaknesses in public financial management systems that increase the risk and opportunities of corruption and also the various patterns of administrative corruption. The Module will particularly examine the susceptibility of public procurement, tax and custom administration to corrupt practices. It will discuss the case studies from different countries worldwide to analyse how corruption in public financial management has affected their growth and development.

Module III - Measures to Combat Corruption in Public Financial Management

This Module will discuss various challenges faced in tackling corruption, about the complexity of the "diagnosis of corruption" with the difficulties related to measuring corruption, its causes and its effects. The Module will then discuss the concept of good financial management and examine how sound financial management policies and practices can play a significant role in preventing, discouraging, disclosing and identifying responsibility for corruption. The Module will also discuss special anti-corruption measures and reforms that could be employed in addressing the opportunities and incentives for corruption in budget and expenditure management as well as in revenue administration.

Module IV -Integrity Management Systems: A Measure to Combat Corruption

This Module will discuss the concept of integrity and review its role in the context of anti-corruption measures. The Module will discuss various integrity building strategies, as well as selected management tools to manage integrity including, for example, conflict of interest regulations, and codes of ethics/conduct. The Module will focus on four main functions of integrity management systems: determining and defining integrity, guiding through integrity, monitoring integrity and enforcing integrity. The Module will present few case studies to provide further details on actual practices, methods and tools of assessing integrity and corruption prevention measures.

Module V - Corruption and Money Laundering

This Module will discuss the relationship between corruption and money laundering. The Module will analyse various case studies evidencing the laundering of proceeds of corruption and will discuss how effective implementation of anti-money laundering policies can play a significant role in reducing corruption. The Module will also discuss various issues that arise in developing and implementing effective AML regimes and further how countries could adopt frameworks and approaches that will increase the effectiveness of AML policies in combating corruption.

  Other Course-related Information
This course will be conducted over the internet using UNITAR's e-Learning infrastructure for a five-week period. Participants will require a minimum of 90 minutes of study each day. The course pedagogy will allow for three levels of interaction. At the first level, the participants will interact with the training content. At the second level, the participants will interact with other participants to share experiences and learn in a contextual manner (using an online discussion board facility). At the third level, the participants will interact with a seasoned international negotiator (course mentor) who will moderate the course for its entire duration. At the core of this course is a set of online interactions and discussions, each of which will be coached by an expert.

UNITAR online courses attempt to create a networked learning environment, in which participants have the flexibility to learn at their own convenience and pace but also are able to interact with peers and experts through the discussion board facility.

This online course will be conducted in the English language.


This course is designed as an online course in which participants will be primarily responsible for their own learning. Each lesson will consist of the following components:

1) Basic Reading Materials (Compulsory Reading Materials): these materials are intended to educate the participants about the basic concepts and principles applicable to the subject-matter of the lesson. It will include, where appropriate, sample materials. These materials will constitute the required reading materials for the lesson

2) Advanced Reading Materials (Optional Reading Materials): this will consist of optional reading materials for participants who wish to learn more about the topic than what is covered in the lesson.

3) External Links: This will refer the interested participants to additional books, articles, documents, and websites that deal with the issues raised in the lesson.

4) Quizzes: At the end of each lesson there will be a set of quizzes for participants to answer. These quizzes are designed to test the participant's understanding of the lesson. Participants are required to pass each quiz and obtain at least 80% or more passing grade in order to be eligible for a certificate. All quizzes will need to be taken online.

5) Community Discussion Board: There will be a community discussion board available on which participants can post questions or comments that can be seen by the instructor and the other participants. This discussion board will be moderated by the course director and UNITAR. Structured discussion strings will be posted on a weekly basis.

All successful participants will be eligible to a certificate after completion of this online course.


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