Business Ethics and Integrity in Pakistan: Promoting innovative approaches

Global Integrity Education Project is a global endeavour of the Education for Justice Project under the umbrella of United Nations Office for Drugs and Crimes.

Building a culture of lawfulness starts with strengthening our ethical values and the ability to act upon them. To that end, the Education for Justice (E4J) initiative developed a series of Integrity and Ethics Modules, which lecturers can use as a basis for teaching in universities and academic institutions across the world. The modules seek to enhance students’ ethical awareness and commitment to acting with integrity and equip them with the necessary skills to apply and spread these norms in life, work and society. To increase their effectiveness, the modules connect theory to practice, encourage critical thinking, and use innovative interactive teaching approaches such as experiential learning and group-based work. The modules are multi-disciplinary and can be integrated as ethics components in non-ethics courses. By focusing on common universal values, the modules leave room for diverse perspectives and lecturers can easily adapt them to different local and cultural contexts. Each module is designed as a three-hour class but also provides guidelines on how to develop it into a full course. Additional pedagogical guidance is provided in the E4J Teaching Guide on Integrity and Ethics.

The private sector and education systems play a crucial role in the anti-corruption efforts of the state. UNODC, under the new Siemens-funded Global Integrity Education Project brings together business and academia to develop and implement an innovative integrity education programme in universities and companies. The ultimate goal of this project is to foster ethical decision-making in the private sector by equipping young graduates with ethical mindsets and skills to work as ‘ethics ambassadors’ at the start of their career.

The 3-year project is concurrently implemented in Pakistan, Kenya and Mexico to inform and sensitise a global audience of educators and practitioners on lessons and best practices in business ethics, integrity and anti-corruption. The project’s most innovative aspects are integrity education modules co-created by academics and private sector practitioners; student-focused teaching methods; and graduates who join the private sector as key ethics players.

In Pakistan, UNODC’s Criminal Justice and Legal Reforms Sub-Programme-II has joined hands with other academic institutions and private health, energy, finance, engineering, insurance and law firms to implement the UNODC’s Global Integrity Education Project funded by Siemens Integrity Initiative.

This is the first-ever initiative in Pakistan that brings together academia, university educators, private sector practitioners and UNODC to address the most pressing need of promoting ethics, integrity and anti-corruption practices in the contemporary business environments.

UNODC’s Global Integrity Education (GIE) Project stands out at the cutting-edge of innovation in Pakistan. A unique and momentous programme, it brings together the creative spirit of a large fraternity of academics and university teachers to lead change through building a cadre of integrity ambassadors in private companies by teaching customized learning modules on ethical leadership, challenges to ethical living, behavioural ethics and detecting and investigating corruption to last-year graduate students. This is the first-ever programme of UNODC, funded by the Siemens Integrity Initiative, that has set a benchmark of ethical learning in Pakistan.

The Global Integrity Education Project will continue to engage the students after graduation and empower them to serve as ethics ambassadors at their workplaces, especially in industries that are vulnerable to corruption, demonstrating that education can generate a positive impact on business integrity by supporting the next generation of employees.

UNODC and The Open University are partnering to support integrity and ethics education in universities. A certified, five-hour online training course provides an accessible and inspiring introduction to the teaching methods and ethical concepts that underpin the Education for Justice (E4J) initiative. Providing practical support for educators in universities, it aims to develop the capacity of lecturers to successfully incorporate integrity and ethics teaching into the curriculum.

An international working group developed 24+4 modules on Ethics, Accountability and Anticorruption. Pakistan was chosen as a pilot country to localised four modules and conduct TOTs for University Professors.

University of Lahore collaborated with UNODC Pakistan to take a lead role in conducting the first multi-institutional GIE TOT. UOL looks forward to spearhead stage 4 of the GIE TOT and take forward this global movement of accountability and Integrity to the University Students of Pakistan, our Future Leaders.

46 Participants successfully completed stages 1, 2 and 3 of GIE TOT after an intense five weeks cross-learning structured program. 37 Faculty Members from different departments of UOL along with Honourable Professors from LUMS, University of the Punjab, FAST and UMT completed this challenging Certificate Program were certified by UNODC Austria.

United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) PAKISTAN, organized a Reunion and Revitalization Meeting of the Certified Global Integrity Education Project-TOT Faculty Members of LUMS, UCP, UOL, FAST, Punjab University and UMT on 12th and 13th October 2021 at Nishat Hotel, Emporium Mall Lahore. It was a wonderful experience sharing event by the 70 plus Certified faculty who have further taught Integrity, Ethics and Anti-corruption Modules to nearly 7000 students across Pakistan.

Among others, Ms. Farzin Khan UNODC Pakistan, Jahanzeb Iqbal UNODC Pakistan, Florian Lair UNODC HQ Vienna, Austria. Professor Dr. Athar Azeem Khan Dr. Faisal Mustafa Provost UCP, Dr. Anjum Fayyaz LUMS. Muhammad Afzal QEC-UOL, Alex Petkov UNODC HQ Austria and Last but the least Professor Syed Hussain Haider Adjunct Faculty LUMS, Integrity Education Expert and Vice Chairman Pakistan Institute of Human Rights, Lead TOT Trainer in GIEP workshops and Module Development of GIEP Integrity Modules and Professor Dr. Shahid A. Zia Adjunct Faculty Institute of Business & Information Technology (IBIT) University of the Punjab participated.

The event was moderated by Professor Syed Hussain Haider, Adjunct Faculty LUMS and Coordinated by Jehanzaib Iqbal, Senior Program Associate UNODC Pakistan.

The faculty members were fully energised and motivated to undertake the next phase of implementation and involve thousands of students in Integrity related activities. The selection of Integrity Ambassadors and the inclusion of the private sector organisations would create a snowball effect to hinge accountability in all spheres of business and develop a responsible CORPORATE LEADERSHIP.

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