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 This module is a resource for lecturers  




This section contains suggestions for in-class and pre-class educational exercises, while a post-class assignment for assessing student understanding of the Module is suggested in a separate section.

The exercises in this section are most appropriate for classes of up to 50 students, where students can be easily organized into small groups in which they discuss cases or conduct activities before group representatives provide feedback to the entire class. Although it is possible to have the same small group structure in large classes comprising a few hundred students, it is more challenging and the lecturer might wish to adapt techniques to ensure sufficient time for group discussions as well as providing feedback to the entire class. The easiest way to develop a small group discussion within a large class is to ask students to discuss the issues with the four or five students sitting closest to them. Given time limitations, not all groups will be able to provide feedback in each exercise. It is recommended that the lecturer makes random selections and tries to ensure that all groups get the opportunity to provide feedback at least once during the session. If time permits, the lecturer could facilitate a discussion in plenary after each group has provided feedback.

All exercises in this section are appropriate for both graduate and undergraduate students. However, as students' prior knowledge and exposure to these issues may vary widely, decisions about the appropriateness of exercises should be based on their educational and social context. The lecturer is encouraged to relate and connect each exercise to the key issues of the Module.

It is recommended that lecturers build a conducive and sympathetic environment at the start of class and before conducting the very first exercise. This can be done by breaking the ice in a supportive way, by respectfully examining students' starting orientations to corruption and gender, and by demonstrating genuine interest in their perspectives. Once students come to see the lecturer as respectful, genuinely interested in their orientation to the material, and consistent in regulating any snide or unsupportive comments by class members, that safe environment will enable effective learning and development. 

Exercise 1: Icebreaker

This is a good exercise for the start of the Module. Upon completing the exercise begin the lecture and discussion and then return to this exercise again at the end of class to discuss if students feel any different about the original findings.

The lecturer hands out pieces of paper to all students in the class and gives the following instructions:

Do not write your name on the paper. I would like you instead to write the numbers 1, 2 and 3, and next to each number, a tick (for yes) or a cross (for no) as a response to the following questions. You do not need to worry about what you write because your answers will be anonymous.

1)    In your opinion, are male politicians more likely than female politicians to embezzle public funds in your country?

2)    Imagine that a female traffic cop pulls over a motorist for breaking the law. Do you think that she is more likely to be offered a bribe by the motorist than a male traffic cop would be in the same situation?

3)    In your opinion, if a famous woman in your country was found to be corrupt, and a famous man in your country had a year ago been found to have done exactly the same thing, would society react in the same way in both instances? (Consider Rheinbay and Chêne, 2016, 5)

A student is assigned to collect, shuffle and hand out the papers at random. The lecturer then asks the students to unfold the paper they received (containing the answers of another student). Next, the lecturer reads out loud again the questions one at a time and instructs students to put their hand up if the paper in front of them says 'yes' in response to a particular question.

Lecturer guidelines

The design of this exercise is intended to avoid social desirability bias, whereby students might not give honest answers because they are worried about what others might think of them. To preserve anonymity, it is best to discourage curiosity about 'whose paper might I have?'. It may also help to ensure at the beginning that all students write their ticks and crosses using pens of the same colour. 

The lecturer should sum up after each show of hands whether hardly anyone, a few, most people, or almost everyone said yes to each question, and to tie each question to the broader point that it demonstrates:

  • Descriptive gender stereotypes towards corruptibility.
  • Perceived sex-differentiated variation in opportunity for corruption.
  • Injunctive gender stereotypes towards corruption.
  • Social responses and shaming mechanisms surrounding gender and corruption.

Following the session on the findings of the exercise, a discussion should be encouraged among students on the results. Provide students with a few minutes to reflect on the social context of the answers that they provided as a whole. A discussion should consider how students in other contexts may have answered questions differently or what factors in the questions may have changed their answers.

In large classes (50+ students), this exercise can be entirely carried out with an online immediate response software (Internet and facilities permitting).


Exercise 2: Addressing corruption and gendered networks

Each individual (or group) writes a short paragraph about a hypothetical case where single-gendered networks foster/promote corrupt behaviours. To ensure diversity among the scenarios that the class develops, the lecturer might wish to assign each group a dedicated area: private sector, political sphere, education, healthcare, for example, within which they should locate their hypothetical case. The paragraphs are then swapped in the class.

When receiving a paragraph that others have written, students should list all the stakeholders that are implicated/hurt in the situation as well as the consequential effects (that may not have been explicitly mentioned in the paragraph they received but could reasonably be assumed to exist). Then, students should brainstorm realistic options of how to tackle the formation and consequential effects of such networks keeping in mind 'gender' as a tool. Following this, students could consider the potential policies or mechanisms available to rectify these consequences to each of the stakeholders, as well as note the pressures associated with these courses of action. If no promising options are available, the student could think about what institutional mechanisms might make it easier to report existing situations and the preventive mechanisms in the long run.

The lecturer should then ask a few students to give a two-minute summary of the situation their group discussed, and what they considered to be the most promising ways of addressing the problem. After that, the lecturer opens the discussion to the whole class.

Lecturer guidelines

The lecturer must make it clear to the class that the hypothetical case to be developed should be comprehensive in nature comprising a substantial background leading to actions and consequences that involve multiple stakeholders within a clearly defined organisational structure.

The lecturer must also highlight the operable dimensions of 'gender' in the fight against corruption and should focus on the preventive measures and mechanisms that can be engendered. 


Exercise 3: Case study: Understanding unequal representation in law enforcement

Either before they come to class, or for five minutes during class time, ask the students to read this article and the CHRI Study Rough Roads to Equality: Women Police in South Asia as a case study. Then open a discussion around the following questions:

  • Why were women not joining the police forces in India in the proportion stipulated in the federal government's guidelines?
  • What kind of crimes tend to go unreported as a result of the shortage of female police officers?
  • What acts of corruption, therefore, are more likely to go unpunished?
  • Consider some of the ways in which female police officers might contribute to policing efforts such as community policing or victim response, that are mentioned in the Wall Street Journal article. How might diversifying police forces change opportunities for corruption?
  • Can you think of any policies that could be introduced to increase the numbers of women applying to become police officers?
  • Can you think of any policies that could be introduced to reduce incentives for women to be judged as "'poor copies' of male policemen"?
  • Discuss possible barriers to women joining other public institutions that were not mentioned in the article.

Lecturer guidelines

Develop a discussion and encourage debate among students. After some questions relating to the study and the article, the lecturer may wish to turn the discussion towards public institutions, such as the police in his or her own country.

 For large classes (50+ students), the lecturer may want to introduce an web-based joint work document (Google Docs or Padlet). The lecturer may split the class in teams without loss of anonymity, each of which is tasked with leading the online discussions on a particular question of the list above. The lecturer can then collect, display and summarize the main points.


Exercise 4: Gender mainstreaming in anti-corruption

Prior to coming to class, students are asked to identify a short section of the IDB document 'Gender Mainstreaming in the Transparency Fund' that could be applied to their own country, and then to prepare a short presentation (five minutes) about how that might be done. Although the document is about a transparency policy, the questions and topics raised can be applied to other anti-corruption policies. Students would be expected to conduct their own research in addition to reading relevant sections of the IDB document. Videos and other materials by EIGE, available in the Module's section on Additional teaching tools, may be helpful in this respect.

Lecturer guidelines

Instead of letting students choose for themselves, the lecturer may, prior to the class, wish to ask students to consider what gender mainstreaming would mean for a specific anti-corruption policy in their country, dividing the questions in List A (below) among the class. For this, the lecturer should point students towards Chapter 3 of the IDB document, available in the Module's Advanced reading list, and instruct them to read the relevant short section (usually less than one page in length) relating to their question.

Alternatively, the lecturer may prefer to ask the class to select from List B first (also below), and then have the students identify a policy related to corruption that could plausibly be introduced or improved in their own country whilst keeping their List B item in mind. Again, students should be pointed toward reading the relevant short section from the IDB document, in this case from Chapter 4.

List A:

  • Do women and men benefit equally from the policy or project and how do we know that?
  • Are women providing and accessing the information (as much as men are)?
  • Do women have a substantive voice (or have they had a substantive voice) in decision-making?
  • Are there opportunities for engaging women's organizations to reflect on or to formally assess the anti-corruption policy?
  • Does the policy present gender-based risks?
  • Does the policy reach women across social, economic and ethnic/racial identities?

 List B:

  • Gender equality audits.
  • Gender-responsive complaint systems.
  • Gender-smart contract negotiations.
  • Gender-responsive budgeting.
  • Levelling the procurement paying field.

Exercise 5: Class review

During the last few minutes of the class, students are asked what the key points from the session were, and what queries they still have about the topic. The lecturer could open up student questions to the rest of the class, offering other students the opportunity to answer.

Lecturer guidelines

Depending on the answers, the lecturer should take time to clarify all misunderstandings, and point students towards specific texts in the Module's Advanced reading list that will address further queries.

For large classes (50+ students), the lecturer should replace this with a reflective exercise where they ask students to write individually the three key points they found novel in the lecture, and how they have changed their awareness of gendered differences in corruption and corruptibility. The lecturer can then summarize on the screen the key take-away points of the session.

Next: Possible class structure
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